Lauri L. Newman-Waters --- Owner
I grew up on the water's edge, off the coast of NC, Soundside. I am Mom to Elder Waters and a Designer, Gardener, Artist, Scientist and Urban Flower Farmer. I love Nature, Science & Art. I want to be an Urban Homesteader & actively participate in the healing of Earth's energies through my work. Growing up I spent most of my time outside, fishing and shrimping with my dad and exploring the sound and marshes.
My deep connection with the sound was my primary teacher. As a child, my favorite chores consisted of pulling up crab pots tied off our deck, feeding the ducks and casting a net to snatch up some mullets for dinner. We even had a family of otters that lived in the banks of our canal. And then it happened...more people moved into our subdivision, they built houses and sea walls, they dumped their sewage into the canal... The otters were the first to disappear, then the crabs, then we didn't swim in the canal anymore, then the mullets stopped swimming into our canal, red tide outbreaks started to occur, preventing us from claming beside the mouth of the canal. The sea walls eradicated the marsh's nursery grounds. The destruction of this ecosystem devestated me and the experience had a deep impact on me and has put me on the path I walk today. I work for Earth!
My college education started in 1989 and I began by majoring in Marine Biology, then Animal Science; I wanted to be a veterinarian, and worked 3 years as a veterinarian technician then I embraced becoming a Scientist. After my Undergraduate B.A. studies in Zoology, Biological Studies and minor Genetics in 1995, I moved to Chicago, IL - The first City Hall with a Roof Top Garden. In Chicago I worked at Abbot Laboratories and was a Research Assistant to an Immunologist. Moving to Raleigh, I studied for a Masters of Landscape Architecture at the College of Design, NC State University (1999-2002). During and since that time I have studied Permaculture, Ecological Design, Organic Farming, Living Machines, Alternative Energies, Urban Regeneration and Holistic Herbalism. I have also been a Mosaic Artist since 1998, and a maker of Terrariums since I was a teenager. I love Nature!!!
I moved to Asheville in 2004 from Montpelier, VT where I worked as a Water Quality Scientist. While living in Vermont I instigated my first Guerilla Garden in a downtown gravel lot. Since moving to Asheville, I have been working towards familiarizing myself with the Native WNC Flora and Fauna and transforming my West Asheville home into an Urban Homestead. And I have studied to become an Herbalist at the NC School of Holistic Herbalist. I am always learning, and hope to never stop being a student of Nature and life.
Because I grew up on the sound side of the NC coast, I am very drawn to water and concerned with water quality issues and aspire to include water features in my designs when appropriate. I work one-on-one with my clients on garden and landscape designs, using my Herbalism knowledge to specify medicinally and spiritual appropriate flowers, herbs, shrubs, vines and trees.
Mimi --- Assistant Manager & Crew Leader
I moved to Asheville late 2013 from Athens, Georgia. It was entirely on a whim, and quite possibly the best decision I've made to improve my life and grow. Asheville became my healing epicenter, the woods my nurturer, and Farm Girl my path purveyor. It wasn't until spring of 2015 that I joined Farm Girl as a part time edible flower harvester, and am currently a full time employee. I had already been dabbling in medicinal and herbal plants but Farm Girl was the fire. I shifted out of my previous job working in wine sales and retail into where I felt most at home, most powerful, and most grounded: the Earth. I discovered a passion long forgotten from when I was a child, from days when I was collecting rocks and snakes (to my mother's dismay), drawing every day, and spending nearly every moment outside getting filthy (also to my mother's dismay). Tending to plants, helping them grow, creating beautiful landscapes. Mind you, it's a tough gig. A real tough gig. Sometimes things don't go quite as you plan. Sometimes it rains on the day you have to be done with a project. Sometimes you're shoveling 6 tons of rocks and moving them uphill. Sometimes you dig a hole big enough for an 800 pound tree and what shows up is a 200 pound tree. Sometimes you dig a hole big enough for yourself and you think about the life you're giving to a world that is constantly being torn apart. It's fulfilling, it's healing, it's Farm Girl.
In fall of 2015, with less than two weeks before classes began, I enrolled in school. I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. I'm so excited! FINALLY something that clicks in the academic realm. Specifically, I'd like to get involved in pollution control and sustainability management. I think having a hands-on experience and not solely text-based is critical to really understanding the environment. I'd like to work for a non-profit agency, perhaps cleaning up waterways and greenways. This is the part I'm still discovering. Luckily I have a wonderful crew to work with and learn from. I love being a part of this crew of powerful women and I love the path I'm on. It's cheesy, and it's great. Right on, ladies.