Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 28, 1984, Image 58

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

in May Marilu Shaw of Windhaven
Farm will be perched on one seat
of her old tobacco planter, but she
won’t be planting tobacco. Instead,
she will be planting two acres of
Gypsophila or baby’s breath that
she has already contracted to sell.
Marilu and her husband,
Stephen, purchased a small farm
in Washington Boro about nine
years ago and decided that while
their farm was set up for tobacco
farming, they did not want to grow
“We couldn’t afford to buy all
that farm equipment,” Marilu
said. Besides, she laughed,“l don’t
like those big green worms.”
To use their land the Shaw’s
decided to raise flowers and herbs.
Planting and harvesting tobacco
and flowers is quite similar,
Marilu explained. The flowers are
planted like tobacco plants and
then left to grow until early July.
During the first week of July, long
before tobacco growers are ready
to harvest, the Shaw’s cut the
flowers with tobacco clippers,
■t'dife -
fM 1
* , 4
•• *£
The lavender in Marilu’s herb garden is starting to come up
and soon the rest of the herbs will also come to life. Marilu
uses her garden to show customers how herbs look, taste and
Just a few dried flowers remain in the Windhaven’s barn, which will be full of baby's
breath later this year.
Windhaven Farm will produce baby's breath
spear them on lath, and hang them
in the barn to dry.
“It’s really almost the same
operation as tobacco harvest,” she
But unlike tobacco farmers,
Stephen and Marilu don’t have to
use pesticides. They do use a
limited amount of herbicide to
control weeds, but weeds aren’t as
much of a problem as they are
withi tobacco because flowers are
harvested before weeds are in
their glory, Marilu said.
Another advantage to flowers is
that they weigh much less than
tobacco and are easy for a woman
or even a child to lift.
This will be the first year the
Shaw’s devote the majority of their
land to baby’s breath. When they
first started growing flowers they
planted a lot of mums that people
dug for themselves. They also had
a demonstration herb garden and
sold herbs, something they plan to
continue for their existing
Each year they planted fewer
and fewer mums and more and
more dried flowers and herbs.
*, ’* j*
ifc t
< i
**•* * ’ ‘ 5 5 1: i
•' ?*r?
Marilu Shaw and daughter,
“It was just sort of an
evolutionary process,” she ex
Marilu also offered classes on
making spice and herb wreaths
that turned out to be very popular.
The first year she held the classes
in the house while Steven was
away deer hunting, but it was
cramped and the customers had to
be scattered in different rooms,
making it hard for her to conduct
the class, she said.
The following year they
refinished part of the bam and
moved the classes in there. The
bam also houses a craft shop
which they open only during the
Christmas season. They invite a
group of local craftsmen to join
them and the shop works like a co
op, Marilu explained. Only unique,
top-quality handcrafted items are
For the past two Christmases
they have also decorated a house
on the Holly Trail, a tour of Lan
caster County Homes held each
year in December.
Manlu is enthusiastic about
flower growing and says that
demand for dried flowers is in
creasing. While more people are
making dried flower
arrangements, there are few
suppliers on the East Coast. Most
of the flowers sold here come from
California, she explained.
But despite the demand, growers
must search for the market,
Marilu said.
(Turn to Page B 20)
Krissy, show how easy it is to handle dried flowers on a lath.
Herbs . unique flavors to food and are to <x
Marilu Shaw of Windhaven Farm makes her own herb vine©
and recommends “Hildy's Herb Recipes" for beginning herl
This dried flower wreath is just one way Marilu's dried
flowers can be arranged.