Connie Jefferson and Paul Mailman are the faces behind Century Homestead Farm & Floral. They have been attending the Bridgewater Farmers’ Market for five years and bring several different varieties of garlic for eating and planting, tomatoes, leeks, onions, peppers, carrots, and other vegetables, along with beautiful floral arrangements and handmade seasonal wreaths.
Connie has been growing flowers and gardening for over 20 years. In 2000, the pair started their landscaping and general contracting business, and in 2006 Connie entered her first flower show. Since then, floral arrangements have become a large part of what Connie loves to do.
In 2015, the two farming began with a small hoop house and a few garden beds. Since then they have been expanding the farm every year: they now have two hoop houses, two greenhouses for growing directly in the soil, a greenhouse for seed starting and potted crops, and five large beds to allow for crop rotation. In 2019, the farm was named “Century Homestead Farm and Floral” after the name of the road they are on, Century Drive.
The pair started developing the farm so they could have something to work on when they retire from the contracting and landscaping business. “We are not travellers,” Connie said, “[and we] enjoy being outside. Producing naturally grown, no-spray products for our use and for the market seemed like the right choice for the land.”
Since they began their farming journey, Connie and Paul have been trying out different crops to see what works for them and what doesn’t. In the coming years, they will be working on developing and expanding their orchard. They have a variety of berries and small fruits such as currants, peaches, plums, cherries, and apple trees planted, and were able to harvest a few this year. “We are hoping that we will see more production next year,” they said.
“We will also be expanding flower production in the spring. As for growing other items… if there is more space available, who knows?”
Century Homestead doesn’t use any sprays on their farm, and also keep their own bees for pollination and honey. Perhaps their biggest yearly harvest is garlic - they grow around 6,000 heads per year and have 10-12 different hardneck and softneck varieties including Red Russian, Duganski, German White, Legacy, and Bogatyr.
A behind-the-scenes look at the garlic harvest.
Connie and Paul welcome visitors to their farm if you want to take a look at where your food is coming from and see how they grow everything. They ask that you give them a bit of notice before coming, “...or you may find yourself tagging along or helping out while we are working,” Connie said.
Check out Century Homestead’s beautiful floral arrangements, garlic varieties, and other vegetables at our in-person market on Saturdays, as well as in our online store. To always know which vendors are going to be at the market, subscribe to our weekly newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FFp5yF