May 31, 2021 4 min read

Touring The Granville Lane Farm

Drone Shot Of Granville Lane Farms


In person customer interviews are a favorite here at Maker Pipe and our most recent venture took us to Granville Lane Farm In Albemarle, NC. Rick, Sandy, and their pup Lilly are repurposing a hog farm with a rich history into a family flower farm. In the tour Rick showed us tons of cool stuff like his DIY cold frame made from EMT Conduit and Maker Pipe!


Deep Family Roots


Granville Lane Farm (1960's)


Granville Lane Farm has been in Rick's family since the early 1930's. His grandfather and father both ran a hog farm on the property up until the 1990's. Now Rick and Sandy own the property and they live inside of a grain silo! Of course now it's repurposed into a home, and it was totally cool. Maybe next time we are in the area we can get a house tour. Farming has its ups and downs and Granville Lane had plenty of hassles throughout its life like natural disasters that wiped out their hog houses killing several hundred pigs. Rick and Sandy are on a mission to bring some life back into the property with their flower farm adventure.


Touring The Farm


Rick Showing The DIY Cold Frame


Rick took us on a tour through the property and showed us all that they've got going on from a 60's dodge flower truck to their DIY cold frame made from our connectors and EMT Conduit.

Hoop House


Granville Lane Farm Hoop House


The first stop in the farm tour is the once thriving farrowing house that now serves as a hoop house for the farm. In the late 80's a fire took out the farrowing house and wiped out 250 pigs. After the fire the pit filled up with dirt and at the time wasn't worth clearing out. Rick and Sandy cleared out the pit to make room for flowers and they covered it with a hoop house kit.

JanieJo The Flower Truck


Janie Jo The Flower Truck


Next on the tour we saw Janie Jo the flower truck. She is a 1968 Dodge D200 named after Rick's mother and grandmother. The truck spent most of its life as a Mopar parts delivery vehicle until it retired and landed in South Carolina at a dealership where Rick and Sandy would buy it and give it a new purpose.They plan on fixing up the truck and taking it to their local farmers market and other places in the community.

Flower Fields & Fruit Patches


Granville Lane Flower Fields


Rick and Sandy have quite the array of flowers from dahlia's to sunflowers! While on the farm we got to see the dahlia and snap dragon field. They recently had their first snap dragon bloom which was really exciting to see. They were thrilled to see the fruits of their labor so to speak. After checking out the dahlia's and snap dragons we looked at the strawberry and blue berry batch where we tried some fresh strawberries. They were delicious!



DIY Greenhouse For Seedling Germination


Rick mentioned much they loved reusing parts of the old hog farm. One of the most useful remnants of the hog farm are the concrete pads that used to sit under hog houses etc. These concrete pads are a strong base for anything that Rick and Sandy might need them for including their greenhouse. Earlier in tour we saw the hoop house that was made from a kit. They had about half of the kit left over so they repurposed it into this greenhouse. This is where they germinate the seedlings that will then transfer into the cold frame and later into the flower fields.

Cold Frame


DIY Cold Frame With Lift


Last on the tour we got to see Rick's ingenuity at work! The hog farm once had a large manure pit about 60 feet long. Rick used some clever thinking and decided to repurpose the pit into a cold frame that will help protect germinated seeds from harsh weather conditions like frost. He built up the retaining wall, but left it shorter than the back wall so the cold frame top would have a nice angle to catch the sun. With the frame ready, Rick needed a solution for the cover that holds the greenhouse plastic in place. He built a series of rectangle frames that would all be separate and allow for ventilation. Rick didn't stop there with this build! He found an old auger winch on the farm and figured out how to rig the winch to the cold frame pieces that would allow him to raised and lower the cover when need be. It is a really clever solution, and we are glad we got to see it in person.





We had a great time on the farm and are really excited for Rick and Sandy as they continue in their flower farm adventures. Be sure to follow their Instagram or Facebook so you can follow along their journey as they grow (some pun intended). If you want to see Rick's community post you can see it here, and watch the full tour on our YouTube channel. Thanks and happy building!