Hiddenite, North Carolina
Carmen Huffman owns a greenhouse operation in Hiddenite, North Carolina.
Carmen’s Greenhouse is comprised of 13 greenhouses, where she raises a wide variety of plants.
Plants and community support
The land underneath Carmen’s greenhouses spans nearly an acre. She grows everything from pansies and mums to ornamental cabbages and pumpkins. And she helps her customers rebuild their planters each season with plants that will thrive at different times of the year.
In addition to selling plants, Carmen also hosts events at the greenhouse that support her community. For example, she hosts a “Poinsettia Paint” event each winter, where customers are invited to come out to the farm and paint their very own poinsettia plant in celebration of the winter holidays. She also hosts Pink Ribbon Day in support of breast cancer research and awareness. Customers join Carmen in a walk, which is followed by a lunch-and-learn, silent auction and more.
Farm Credit was there to help
Carmen has been a Carolina Farm Credit customer for over 20 years. And over the course of those 20 years, Carmen has worked with Farm Credit to expand her business. Her strategy was to buy one greenhouse and then, with help from Farm Credit, pay it off, then start the whole process over again, until she had reached an ideal size.
“Farm Credit has always been there for us, whether we need an operating loan to help get things going in the springtime or whether we need to purchase a warehouse or equipment,” Carmen said. “They've always been there to supply what we need.”
In addition to the support she receives from Carolina Farm Credit as a lender, Carmen also appreciates that the folks she works with at Carolina Farm Credit are part of her community, too, and even shop at her greenhouse. “The folks from Farm Credit are also customers of mine and that makes it easy to work with them,” she said.