Shortly after moving to Wisconsin over twenty years ago, my husband and I took a Saturday drive with our friend Stacey out to a very special farm and garden center called Monches Farm. We climbed out of the car and fell instantly in love with the overwhelming beauty of the place: deep rolling furrows of field-grown perennials, stone and timber outbuildings, a big red barn with antiques and gifts, pergolas and statuary, a glass house with teetering stacks of pottery, a vast inventory of day lilies, and dozens of exotic chickens freely pecking hither and non.
Last week, Scott and Matt, the owners of Monches Farm (photo above), announced that after nearly forty years in business, they are retiring. I’d like to take this moment to announce that we have purchased their property.
Gary and I pinch ourselves every time we think about the farm. We are in awe of what Scott and Matt have built. The irony is not lost on us — that what we love about Monches is ending. It is very sad for all their devoted customers and employees. Monches Farm is such a magical place. But that magic doesn’t happen magically. These two men have spent their lives working the land in all seasons. They’re ready to devote more energy to their other farm. They’re eager for change, for a new beginning.
Thus, an ending.
I hope all of my Wisconsin readers (and you Illinoisans too!) will make the trip to Monches Farm this spring. As of April 2, the shop and gardens are open every day. Perennials will be discounted. The shop will feature decorative accessories for all four seasons. And there is a guest book which you can sign. Please let Scott and Matt know know what Monches means to you.
If you are here at The Bubble Joy for the first time and are unfamiliar with me, I assure you that my family and I will cherish this special place. We will be good stewards of the land. We do not yet know what our plans are. We have four sons and a daughter-in-law who all have ideas. One of our sons is currently working on a farm in Mineral Point. My husband spent a lot of time on a farm when he was young and he looks forward to unceasing physical work. As for me, I dream of hosting writing retreats and pop-up shops for artists. Certainly, I will be typing away in the upstairs bedroom in the little farmhouse, relaying to you readers vivid tales of innocence lost. I imagine it’ll be funny. Or it could be really dark, if someone loses a limb. Either way, the chickens will lay eggs, the sun will set behind the Oconomowoc River, and the ancient apple tree out front will bloom in May.
Join us on this journey, won’t you? Read “We Bought a Farm! Part One” here. If you have ideas for us, would you consider leaving a comment? If you have well wishes for Matt and Scott, feel free to share them. (Please understand that I will swiftly smote with my delete key any comment that is unkind.)