Weyers Cave, VA
Gazing out at the ocean, all Chris Auville and her daughter Jessica Hall could think of were flowers.
Imagine this: sand stretching as far as the eye can see, the crashing of ocean waves, the warmth of the noonday sun. That’s the view that Chris and Jessica gazed upon during on a beach vacation with the family when they decided to start a cut flower farm. Jessica and her husband Brian had just purchased land with Jessica’s parents Chris and Martin Auville, and to the family, a business growing cult flowers seemed like the perfect way to use it.
Jessica and her husband Brian both had a background in horticulture, so they could help the family get started. However, they lacked a business plan.
AgBiz Planner Program
The Auvilles and the Halls then turned to Farm Credit of the Virginias and their Ag Biz Planner program. Ag Biz Planner is a college-level course available nationwide in an on-demand, online training format for farmers to use from their home or place of business. “Ag Biz helped us learn how to build a farm business model and how to grow a cut flower farm,” Jessica said.
When the Auville’s and Hall’s started the farm back in 2011, there weren’t a lot of other cut flower farms in the area, but that didn’t stop them. “Over the past seven years we’ve seen a resurgence of cut flower farms and we’ve been very proud to stand at the leading edge of that as a family business,” Jessica said.
There since the beginning
Farm Credit has been there to support the family well before the start of Harmony Harvest; Chris and Martin became customers of Farm Credit when they were buying their very first piece of property. “Farm Credit was part of our lives all growing up,” Jessica remembers. “I look at Farm Credit, not just as business lenders, but as business partners,” she said.
Reflecting on the life she’s created with her family at Harmony Harvest, Jessica said, “the best part for me is right here. I get to work with my family every day. I’m building a dream that we’ve all invested in for the benefit of all of us.”