For the Joy of Flowers
By Jennifer McKee | Photos courtesy of R&R Secret Farm
Tucked away inside a residential neighborhood in Athens lies one of The Classic City’s natural gems.
R&R Secret Farm sits on a .7-acre plot owned by Rita and Robert O’Brien, hence the R&R. Secret because it’s something you wouldn’t expect to find in Athens.
“We’re small, but we use everything,” says Rita of the Certified Naturally Grown farm. Landscape design is a conscious decision, with shrubs, trees and perennials that provide habitats and food for pollinators and birds. “We have our own little ecosystem here,” she adds.
But it’s the flowers that put a smile on Rita’s face. On any given day, you’ll find something magnificent in bloom: it could be sunflowers, peonies, quince, snapdragons, roses or any other of the hundreds of varieties of crops the farm produces every year.
“The diversity is good for the soil, and good at managing pest control,” says Rita.
It’s also a full-service florist, and patrons delight in the farm’s selection, freshness and eco-mindedness.
Sustainability is at the core of everything R&R does. It’s 100% chemical free, fully solar powered and all packaging used is compostable or reusable. The farm also repurposes vases and jars to keep them out of landfills.
Rita’s day begins in the early morning hours, when the plants are harvested and brought to the on-site design studio, to prep for market and for the farm’s daily local deliveries.
Fresh flowers can also be shipped nationwide.
“The boxes leave at 3 p.m. and are delivered the next morning before noon,” says Rita of the nationwide service. “They’re always super fresh.”
R&R participates in two farmers markets weekly, a Wednesday evening market at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. and the Saturday morning market at Bishop Park. Both are within a few miles of the farm.
“It’s nice to stay near our community and sell in our community,” says Rita. “We love being here.”
Summer is one of the farm’s busiest times of the year, with Mother’s Day, and, of course, weddings, giving flower arrangements high demand. But whatever the season, R&R Secret Farm is happily “jam-packed with flowers.”
Visit the farm online at rrsecretfarm.com