Holly and Barry Mawby: gardendwellers FARM
“We sleep in the house, but we live in the garden”
As you make your way to gardendwellers FARM, take a moment to look at the surroundings: acres of barley, wheat and soybeans to the horizon. It’s a testament to just how strong the agricultural giant North Dakota really is. When you arrive at gardendwellers FARM, let another sense take over; close your eyes and take in a long, deep breath.
“You smell it, you feel it, you taste it. It’s not a slide show or an exhibit. It’s something you can really involve yourself with,” says Holly Mawby, who owns gardendwellers herb farm with her husband, Barry. It is the only herb farm in North Dakota. The two joke that their garden used to be a place to escape the commotion of everyday life (hence the name “gardendweller”). That was before they realized there was opportunity hidden in their thyme, rosemary, basil and countless other herbs.
“An herb farm was one thing North Dakota didn’t have, but we wanted to do it in a way where we could educate our customers on eating good things,” Holly says.
What is there to do on an herb farm? Become a garden dweller for a day. Get dirty harvesting spices, then cooking them into a meal through one of Holly’s classes. Partake in a once-a-year farm-to-table dinner with people crossing oceans to attend. In the end, Holly says, she and Barry just want people to remember the local growers in their community; the ones who produce those freshly picked tomatoes, beer brewed with hops grown just down the road, and eggs from chickens that wander around the farm day to day.
“People have become disconnected,” Holly says. “They don’t think about the small producers that are growing vegetables or grass-fed meats. It gives our guest a chance to become acquainted with farmers, producers and businesses that they hadn’t purchased from before or didn’t even know about. It really is night and day difference.”