White Hall Flower Farm Takes Root

Sewing the seeds for a sustainable family farm

Across the Palace Green from Bruton Parish Episcopal Church lies the home and foundry of Williamsburg’s most famous 18th century silversmith, James Geddy, Sr. His son William Sr. and grandson William Jr. found enough success in the family smithing and brass foundry business that in 1805 they were able to purchase 326 acres and build the White Hall farmhouse. Having survived Union occupation in the Civil War, and more than 200 years, that farmhouse still stands today at the intersection of Route 30 & Route 60. 

It was here on the farmhouse porch that we sat down with Sarah Geddy Wood, the 8th generation of Geddys to call Williamsburg home, to learn about her plans for a sustainable future for this historic property. Her father, Bert Geddy, popped in on our interview and shared stories about living there, and recalled inheriting the home in the 1970s. From our seat on the front porch, we looked out at the two massive magnolia trees flanking the entrance to the home. Bert commented, “My grandmother planted those. We figure they’re at least 100 years old.”

After college Sarah married Jim Wood and moved near his family outside Charlottesville, in Nelson County. Sarah and Jim returned to Williamsburg in 2010.  Sarah was a teacher and is now working from home as a curriculum developer. Jim works as a recruiter. The Woods were committed to be good stewards of this special place, and to grow a business that enabled future generations to sustain and enjoy it as well. Eventually, the idea to create the White Hall Flower farm took root. 

In 2020 Sarah took classes from Lisa Mason Zeigler's flower farming school in Newport News, and also studied with Erin Benzakein from Floret Flowers in Washington State. These garden gurus taught her a “high intensity, small-scale flower farm model” that Sarah believed would be perfect for the family farm. The first seedlings and bulbs were planted this past Fall and the first flowers have started selling just up the road in Toano at the KelRae Farm Food Hub. In April they expanded from the first few test beds and seeded and planted a quarter acre with Iceland Poppies, Zinnias, Dahlias, Anemones and numerous other varieties. 

White Hall Flower Farm grows rare varieties of flowers, heirloom flowers, flowers that would be too difficult to ship commercially, and thus can’t be found in conventional flower stores. The selection of flowers, coupled with Sarah’s passion for growing flowers without chemicals and pesticides, makes this farm something unique.

Their growth as a business will be as organic as the flowers they harvest. Both Sarah and Jim have full time jobs, and for now, it’s a labor of love and a means to fund the much needed restoration of the farmhouse and outbuildings. Jim showed us the fence that he and his children built together just weeks before, and he was clearly content to simply be spending quality time with the kids before time takes them off to college and beyond. For now they are not open to the public, but ultimately they hope to offer farm tours, flower arranging workshops and other events. But for now the Woods are taking it one step at a time. When asked what people should know about the White Hall Flower Farm, Sarah warmly replied, “We want to spread beauty and joy in our community through flowers.”

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