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Natasha McCrary is happy about expansion at 1818 Farms in Mooresville with the opening of The Cottage at 1818 Farms, which will provide space for workshops, special events and a showroom. CONTRIBUTED

The Cottage at 1818 Farms expands beloved Mooresville destination

MOORESVILLE – The idyllic setting of 1818 Farms in Mooresville has expanded recently to include a historic building, The Cottage at 1818 Farms, which will provide space for special events, workshops and a showroom.

Owners Natasha and Laurence McCrary returned to his circa 1826 family home in Mooresville in 2005 to live near relatives and raise their children. Laurence’s family has lived in Mooresville for seven generations.

The McCrarys founded 1818 Farms in 2012 and adopted a comprehensive mission statement:

* “Life the way it used to be . . . Preserving history and honoring tradition by working a sustainable farm, producing handmade products and educating the public on the value of self-sufficiency, craftsmanship and a strong sense of community.” (1818Farms.com)

The farm’s animal residents include Babydoll Southdown sheep, a Nubian goat, cats, hens, miniature pigs and Great Pyrenees guardian dogs. An adjacent field contains more than 14,000 flowers.

1818 Farms is named for the year that Mooresville was incorporated, one year before Alabama earned statehood.

For years, Natasha had dreamed about additional space for workshops and special events. “I’ve utilized every inch of existing space available at the farm.” In summer of 2023, she “was approached by my sweet, farm neighbors asking if I would be interested in their home once they moved to another home in Mooresville,” Natasha said about buying the property.

The cottage at 4934 Market Street occupies the corner with Old Highway 20 and Mooresville Road. “Its front porch literally overlooks 1818 Farms. This historic cottage was the perfect answer for expansion,” Natasha said.

The McCrarys purchased the cottage from Joelle Ward and her husband Leo Brown, who lived there for five years. Claud A. Oliver built the cottage in 1908.

The Cottage at 1818 Farms gives added studio space that will allow Natasha to host educational workshops during winter and early spring months. The Cottage also will serve as a showroom to sell farm products, flower bouquets and eco-printed scarves.

The Open House on December 8 attracted visitors to browse products from the farm and guest artisans. The Cottage will carry the full line of customers’ favorite 1818 Farms merchandise.

Among the handcrafted products, Botanical Wax Sachets are one of Natasha’s favorites. The hand-poured sachets feature the farm’s beautiful dried flowers, artfully arranged in a blend of scented soy and beeswax.

“The sachets are aromatherapy for your home and perfect for freshening small spaces such as closets, cabinets and bathrooms,” Natasha said. “The hanger for the sachet is yarn that is spun from the wool of our flock of babydoll sheep.”

1818 Farms’ items include scented shea creme, bath soaks, cuticle balm, lip care, pottery, coffee, candles, sachets and naturally dyed textiles.

A quite popular item with visitors, each bundle-dye scarf is unique and created using flowers from the farm. The resin art pieces with pressed flowers are especially attractive with gorgeous petals and blooms preserved for perpetuity as coasters, key chains, jewelry, rectangular and circular serving trays and charcuterie boards.

Also at Open House, award-winning artist Kathryn Price fell in love with the painting process that includes problem-solving skills. She finds much pleasure trying to learn to see big shapes, values and composition.

“To me, art is a geometry problem,” Price said. “You are given a canvas and an idea . . . then you go through the steps to prove your concept. Hopefully, my paintings will connect with someone.”

Price believes as painters grow as artists that they constantly challenge themselves with new endeavors. “Painting is learning how to see and to achieve what your eye can discern,” she said. “It’s a process of constantly learning and developing your skills.”

Occasionally, Price will dabble in abstract paintings, in her approach to impressionism. When she starts more abstractly, the impressionistic painting will become looser and more painterly.

Beginning with lines and shapes, Price defines where the viewer’s eye will go. As the painting progresses, she continues to refine until the painting takes on impressionistic characteristics.

Price is an equestrian, a master gardener and flower arranger. She was taught to paint ‘what you know.’ Thus, she loves to paint horses in motion and still life setups featuring her garden flowers. Her designs include “Hydrangeas” and “The Hay Field.”

Price has borrowed from many artists, including Sara Beth Fair, Gary Bodner, Barbara Davis, Roger Dale Brown, Dawn Whitelaw, Gina Brown, Nancy Franke and Amy Peterson.

Painting from chaos to quietness, Price’s techniques may be a metaphor, not only for a journey in art but also for a journey in life. (kathrynpricefineart.com)

Many 1818 Farms products feature sketches of the cherished farm animals by Natasha’s mother-in-law, Shirley McCrary. Their line of Flower Sack Towels and Swedish Dishcloths is a customer favorite. At Open House, Natasha launched the “Where I Bloom” collection, which features pressed-flower artwork for all 50 states.

Currently, The Cottage at 1818 Farms will not have regular store hours but will open to shoppers periodically and for special events. “To be the first for notification of events, please join the farms’ priority email contact list: mailchi.mp/1818farms/1818-farms-landing-page,” Natasha said.

Anyone who cannot attend an event can purchase products at 1818farms.com. 1818 Farms ships products nationally. For direct questions, call 256-489-0777.

For up-to-date happenings and upcoming events at 1818 Farms, follow on Instagram at @1818farms, and visit Facebook/1818farms.

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