“My dad’s motto has always been ‘bloom where you were planted,’” says Lauren Palmer of her father, Myron, who grew up on a dairy farm in central Tennessee, not far from the now-400-acre property where he raised his own children. Sure enough, after getting a degree in social work and moving to Nashville to work in a hospital (following in the footsteps of her mom, Teresa, who works in health care), Lauren felt a familiar tug and returned home in 2008.
“In college, the idea of helping people really appealed to me,” says the 33-year-old. “But I think I always knew I’d end up cultivating our farm. I wanted to be my own boss, and when my parents bought more land, I decided to try it.” Bloomsbury, named in part after her dad’s fitting mantra, is indeed a multigenerational affair. Myron chips in with planting and harvesting carrots, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, rutabagas, and a slew of lettuce varieties.
Lauren sells her organic produce through summer and fall CSAs, to Whole Foods and nearby restaurants (including Nashville’s Husk), and at four area markets. She’s also showing her 2-year-old daughter, Palmer Jennings, the ropes: “Palmer already knows that if it comes out of the ground, you can eat it right then and there.”