Stone Hollow Farmstead (Harpersville)
The Makers: Deborah Stone and Alexandra Stone Flowers
Deborah Stone has heard the quips about how the longtime spa operator’s so-called “retirement” resulted in an ever-growing farm operation that keeps her and her co-founding daughter constantly on the go.
From pampering to planting. From glamour to goats. From facials to flowers.
“It’s a retirement position, and we’re just having fun with it,” Stone said. “Alex embraced it, so we’re doing it together and having a great time.”
“Alex,” is Alexandra Stone Flowers, Stone’s daughter, who co-founded Stone Hollow Farmstead and serves as creative director for the business. She also runs the FarmStand at Pepper Place which carries Stone Hollow Farms products as well as products from other Alabama makers.
“We do produce, we are a flower farmer, as you can see; jams, jellies, preserves, cheeses … you name it, we’ve done it or we’re doing it,” Flowers said.
She said the canning products helped extend the life of what they were growing at the farm. For instance, when their 400 heirloom tomato plants made more than they could eat or sell, they decided to use them to make a bloody Mary mix.
Flowers said Stone Hollow has grown along with the Market at Pepper Place, and customers at the market have been key to their growth.
“The beauty of a farmers market is they get to try it and they get to tell you what they like, what they don’t like and you get to kind of tweak depending on that and the community really helps you grow,” she said.
Stone grew up on a farm and has fond memories of her grandparents’ place in Hanceville. They transplanted their first flowers from that farm to Stone Hollow and have tapped into those family roots of canning and planting to expand what the farm does.
“We just naturally evolved to who we are today,” Stone said.
This time of year, flowers are the dominant product. But the cheeses, jams, jellies and preserves are available year-round.
Next up will be a line of hemp and cannabidiol (CBD oil) products. Stone Hollow is part of the Alabama Hemp pilot program and will harvest their first two-acre field in October.
“We will have candles,” Stone said. “We have a hemp perfume that is absolutely to die for.”
Unlike marijuana, hemp contains nor or low-levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives the drug its psychoactive effects.
Stone said the company’s cheeses can be found at Whole Foods in Birmingham and its jams and jellies are sold at the Publix GreenWise Market in Mountain Brook. In addition to the FarmStand at Pepper Place, the company also operates a second FarmStand in Harpersville. Stone Hollow also sells online.
While the mother saw it as a retirement plan, the daughter has enjoyed Stone Hollow Farmstead as another special bond between the two women.
“My mom’s my best friend, so we get to work together every day,” Flowers said.
Stone Hollow Farmstead
The product: Goat cheeses, flowers, jams, jellies, preserves, lemonades and juices.
Take home: A jar of fig goat cheese ($16).
Stone Hollow Farmstead offers events at the farm itself and sells its products at FarmStand at Pepper Place and FarmStand at Harpersville in addition to select retail outlets and online. You can follow Stone Hollow of Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow the FarmStand on Facebook.