This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts about her recent trip to Johnny’s Seed Company in Albion, Maine. She typically posts about her garden over on the east coast, but she’s changing things up a bit today.
And trees and beehives galore.
This folks was not heaven, but the Johnny’s Selected Seed Trial Gardens in a teensy, tiny, modest town of Albion, Maine.
The HH and I, while on a kid-free vacation (whoot-whoot), scooted off one cloudy day to tour the gardens. I knew their farm was going to be beautiful, but I grossly underestimated what we actually saw.
Although we followed our trusty gps all the way to their doorstep as there were no signs along the way, they clearly get their share of visitors. The self-guided tour began with a four page visitor’s guide we picked up at the front door. Among the reasonable rules of not picking anything from the garden we were also not allowed in the greenhouses due to risk of contamination. (Which was a total bummer because I love a good greenhouse and these greenhouses were Pinterest perfect. The floors swept, the pots lined up and evenly spaced, my OCD heart gave a little leap of joy at the mere sight.)
Then we let ourselves in the ten foot high fence gate and began our stroll through heaven… eeer I mean the immaculate gardens, began. (This fence must be at least 9′ high and it circles the farm. Deer are high jumpers and I would assume moose would be a threat also.)
True there was no-one to answer questions, and boy did I have a lot. For example, there were MANY rows of Bee Forage. Is that to support the farm or bees in a general health way, or were they experimenting with different varieties? Or both? Inquiring minds (mainly mine) were so curious!
There were a dozen or two people in the field taking copious notes as they inspected and weeded their way through a plot and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to interrupt them.
I did learn quite a bit from the visitor’s guide though. One of the most interesting things was the sheer scope of the work they do. Simply spending an entire decade breeding a new variety that would not only capture the interest of the home gardener but make that same variety taste good, look good and perform in many climates seems to be a tall order and yet they’ve been doing just that since 1973.
There is a company timeline of accomplishments at the back of the visitor’s guide. Did you know the company is 100% employee owned? How cool is that?
We saw this in the parking lot on the way out – Ha!
That just about says it all. I couldn’t be more impressed with this company.
Johnny’s farm is located on Foss Hill Road in Albion, Maine, a farming community approximately 10 miles east of Waterville, Maine.
Johnny’s trial fields are open to guests for self-guided tours from July through September. The farm is open daily, Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 4 PM.