Growing Happiness at Fairytale Farm Greenhouse

When Adam Bond faced the reality of leaving a nursing career in the city and returning to his roots on a 400-acre family farm, he embraced the opportunity.
Bond said he has been farming "officially for about a year, but my whole life," explaining he started early in life following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Donald Offill, who is now 83. "He taught me everything I know," he said.

His young family was doing well in Lexington, he said, when he and his wife, Brittany, were suddenly faced with family concerns. "My wife was nine months pregnant and my grandmother, Lana Offill, had a stroke," he explained, adding he ultimately found himself in a place where he had to say, "OK, I'm going to start from square one."

Pursuit of traditional goals such as a large salary, college degrees and debts were not rewarding, Bond said, chuckling as he noted he often has to explain himself to friends who have difficulty believing he traded a his established career for farming. "They ask me if I'm crazy. I say 'Yeah, but I'm happy.' I'm happy because I do what I love."

Brittany works as a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics at KDMC, and Adam is the one-man-operator at the 400 acre farm originally established by her great grandfather, "Or maybe my great-great grandfather," she said.

The farm has served generations of the Lewis family well with the longtime staples of regional farms, tobacco and dairy cattle. Bond is bringing their agricultural into more modern times, with a new greenhouse in place to help with this season's crops, and plans for another greenhouse when he gets enough time to begin building it.

"I want to revitalize it all. I want to paint the barn and clean the fence lines and make this a place where people can bring their kids and let them run through the flowers - and they don't have to pay anything," he said.

Affordable prices for farm-fresh produce are a priority for Bond, who explains he likes to determine his prices according to what is fair for him as a farmer, as well as for a family's budget. He sold this year's white half-runner beans for nearly $10 less per bushel than others in the area, he said, not because he wanted to "undercut" them, but because he felt his price was fair to everyone in the exchange.

Bond has harvested an impressive variety of produce this year, including at least one massive Atlantic Giant pumpkin. He estimates the great pumpkin weighs around 425 pounds, noting eight or nine strong people were needed to lift it onto a wagon that morning. "My father in law says it around 300 pounds," he said with a grin, acknowledging Bill Lewis' experience as a pumpkin grower.

The 2019 season also allowed planting and harvest of heirloom tomato varieties including Cherokee Purple, Giant Crimson, Mister Stripy and Brandywine; Honey Select and Ambrosia verieties of sweet corn; white half-runner green beans as well as "Jess Taylor Beans," originally grown by a resident of the Grahn/Olive Hill area.

"I have always heard them call Jess Taylor beans. They taste just like half runners but they are a little bit longer," Bond said, using his finger to indicate the average length of a Jess Taylor bean.
"When they are ready you can just go up and grab them by the handful and throw them in the bucket!"

Produce grown at Fairytale Farm Greenhouse, located on U.S. 60 across from Gregoryville Christian Church and open from dawn to dusk daily, will be available to customers even if there is nobody around to collect, Bond said.

"I farm this solely by hand, just me," he said, explaining he will have an "Honesty Box" to collect payment when he is out tending to farm chores.