Chickens and eggs and cats and cocoa and coffee and candles and local goods curated by the sweetest Southern soul. These are a few of my new favorite things.
We kicked off the holiday season this year with a family visit to Rose Farm. Located on a gravel country road in Norwalk, Iowa, just South of Des Moines, Rose Farm is easily becoming one of my happy places. Sure it photographs well in an idyllic setting with a quintessential, styled greenhouse and chickens roaming outside the red barn – my camera and I would be happy here all day long. But what I’m drawn to most about Rose Farm is her charm, warmth and hospitality.
This was our second visit to Rose Farm as a family. I love how Iowa’s ever-changing seasons naturally create a completely different experience when re-visiting the same location. Our first visit was during late summer when the flowers were still blooming, visitors were picnicking, bees were buzzing, the sun was shining and acoustic guitar music filled the air.
This time, only two months later, the trees had lost their leaves, holiday garland adorned the greenhouse, the outside air was crisp and the shoppe was warm, welcoming and stocked for the holidays. It’s crazy to me how quickly we went from enjoying refreshing drinks on ice in September to warming our cold bodies with hot cocoa and coffee in November. As locals say, that’s Iowa for you. (And something we’re still adjusting to after living in a rather season-less Southern California for twenty years.)
This visit was also unique in that (due to the transition to distant learning for our school district that day) we were able to drop by on a Friday morning and had the place to ourselves. Not only did we get to meet and chat with Karri Rose, the amazing woman behind the magic of Rose Farm, she let the kids collect the most beautiful eggs I have ever seen from the chicken coop! (A first for me too!) Afterwards, the kids warmed up inside with complimentary hot cocoa and the friendly Rose Farm cats. Best field trip ever for kids who were born and raised in LA!
Meanwhile, Luke and I were busy trying to decide which Currently Co. holiday candle was our favorite (Christmas at the Farm FTW) while sipping the most amazing Bourbon Pecan coffee (in real coffee mugs, woot!) We really enjoyed chatting with Karri and learning more the farm and her background. Karri and I were both born in Arkansas and I love how she has infused her Southern charm and hospitality into Rose Farm. She’s a warm, welcoming soul that makes you feel instantly relaxed and like you want to chat with her all day.
Rose Farm is one of those magical places that you just don’t want to leave. At least we were able to take some of it with us. We purchased the eggs the kids collected and cooked them as soon as we got home – freshest and best scrambled eggs ever! We purchased the Bourbon Pecan whole bean coffee, created especially for Rose Farm. (Drank it all in a week!) And we pre-ordered a Limited Edition Rose Farm Holiday Box of locally made goods, including our favorite Currently Co. soy candle, Des Moines Soap Company peppermint soap and hand lotion, a beautiful custom tea towel by Doe A Deer, Rose Farm honey, a honeybee spoon, festive holiday matches and the cutest little bottle brush tree. I returned the following week to pick up our box and purchase even more of the Bourbon Pecan coffee. It’s THAT good.
On our drive home, we decided that in addition to a dog and a cat, we also want some chickens. So we’ll either have to buy a house in the country or drive out to visit Rose Farm once a week. I’m not sure yet if this city girl can fully commit to country life, so Rose Farm might be seeing a lot of us. (At least it’s an easy drive from Des Moines!)
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All photos taken with my Nikon D750 with the exception of a couple iPhone snaps I took while enjoying my coffee.