My parents purchased our secluded 35-acre tract of land near Clayton, North Carolina shortly before I was born. As a child I enjoyed a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables from our extensive family garden and played for hours in the woods around our house. Goats, chickens, horses, cats, and dogs were my best friends.
When Dad retired from his job in 1984, he and Mom built the first greenhouse on the farm, in the hopes of supplying the neighborhood with a few garden plants, and as a means to protect their own houseplants from the winter weather. The neighborhood demand for their plants was higher than expected. Over the next few years, they added additional greenhouses. It wasn’t long before they were growing and selling not only annual bedding plants, but also hanging baskets, perennials, garden mums, and poinsettias. Mizio’s Greenhouses had become a community landmark!
In 1987, I formed Auntie M’s Enchanted Garden as a separate division of the farm and specialized in herbs and herbal products. Through the years, I’ve sold herb plants, taught country living classes, and created herbal products to share with the public – not only at the farm, but also at a variety of herb and plant fairs throughout North Carolina and Virginia.
In 2007, my parents retired from the farm business and turned management over to me and my husband, Wade. We merged Auntie M’s Enchanted Garden with Mizio’s Greenhouses and renamed the farm Toad Song Farm, in honor of the hundreds of frogs and toads we can hear ‘singing’ on any given spring or summer evening (so far, we have positively identified 5 species of frogs and toads).
Wade and I have big plans for Toad Song Farm. Our ultimate goal is to help the farm grow into a special destination where guests can commune with nature and re-charge their spirits as well as learn about herbs and country living and buy plants for their gardens.
Visitors can come out and enjoy and meditate in our lovely lavender labyrinth. It is registered with the Labyrinth Society, and is in the meadow near the fire pit, where we host our annual Stone Soup party. Wade is currently mapping out nature trails through our woods for visitors to enjoy. In the near future we’ll be installing teaching gardens, as well as meditation benches in the deer meadow. We’ll also be adding workshops and activities on the farm such as weed walks and bird watching expeditions.
For those who have the time and desire to learn even more about country living and the greenhouses, we’re always welcoming apprentices. Apprentices come out 1 or 2 mornings a week and help with whatever projects we’re working on in the greenhouses. Apprentices usually work until lunch, and go home with a full stomach and treats for their garden and homestead. Just contact us for more information if you’d like to be a Toad Song Farm apprentice!
Hopefully, we’ll see you soon!