Robin Hollow Farm is a small, diversified ornamental farm, with a focus on sustainably grown cut flowers. We chose to switch from certified organic vegetables when we purchased a small farm near abundant markets in Polly’s home state of Rhode Island, and to further add value to our flowers with event design, mainly weddings. We continue to use the same essential methods as we did as certified organic growers, but we like the flexibility of choosing what we consider to be best practices regardless of the position of the NOP (National Organic Program, a part of the USDA). We are currently exploring work with pro-actively colonizing plants to remove the “foothold” for damaging fungi such as Powdery Mildew.
We buy in compost from a local medium-scale producer (who get a fair amount of sea products) and we make our own compost. We separately compost our potting soil from crate production, which gives us a very high quality top dressing for our beds. Our soil is somewhat heavy, and so the investment in serious composting has really paid off for us in the last five years.
Our main goal for Robin Hollow Farm is to provide a respectable living for both Mike and Polly Hutchison, including a beautiful place to live, growing some of our own food, being able to take a vacation in the off-season, and raising healthy children. We have grown the business at a rate of 25% to 30% a year, and we are within a year of achieving our financial goals. We have built the business steadily, and plowed a fair amount of the proceeds into capital improvements, but we are nearly done with the “building” phase and our challenge is to even things out without becoming stale or dull. Our long term goal is to provide both a home and a business for Mike and Polly as we move out of the child-raising years and keep us healthy in middle age, both mentally and physically.