It might sound a bit of a cliché, but one day, Sarah Macalpine and her husband Kenny woke up in their small-town home in Ontario, just outside of Hamilton, and realized they needed to make a change.
Kenny left behind a job in the steel industry and Sarah left the fashion world, trading it in for an acreage in Halls Harbour.
“It was a freeing and scary decision, but we decided we were going to uproot our lives and move to Nova Scotia to pursue our dreams of living a more fulfilling life,” says Sarah.
They sought a life aligned with nature, where they could reconnect with the things that were truly important to them.
Now in its first year of business, the Macalpines run a small cut flower farm called Two Birds One Stone Farm. According to Macalpine, the name symbolizes both of them working together for one sole goal.
“It also represents our commitment to this one precious planet, and it’s about working smarter, too. We take every opportunity we get to say ‘two birds, one stone’ when we can get two things done at once around here,” she says.
On the farm, Sarah combines all her passions into one new career and business. Previously in Ontario, she worked as a fashion designer, assisting in the management of two store fronts, working on the sales floor, handling all the marketing and promotions, as well as sewing to facilitate the completion of tailoring and alterations. Being part of a family-run business, she was a Jack-of-all-trades.
She says she is certain that there was an actual lightbulb above her head that went off when she realized what she could do. As an artist for many years, she always yearned to express herself creatively.
“I’ve always kept a big garden, and I’m happiest when I’m outside with my hands in the dirt. Plus, I actually like the handwork that goes along with farming,” she says.
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Sarah has always loved flowers and believes they can connect people who perhaps have nothing else in common but can share in the universal beauty of plants. In an instant, flowers can take you back in time, she says.
At Two Birds One Stone, the Macalpines grow many fanciful flowers and foliage, like dahlias, sweet peas, cosmos, zinnias, ranunculus, anemones, sunflowers, and zinnias. They have well over 100 varieties that bloom from early spring to late fall, and many of them that would be seen in a cottage-style garden. Eventually, the couple plans to open their gates to visitors.
Another of Sarah’s skills is flower arranging. As a painter, she has set up and depicted many still life scenes, almost always with flowers.
“I inadvertently began to learn about floral design by harmonizing the composition of my paintings by arranging flowers to paint,” she says.
Now, she is about to teach the community these flower design skills in an upcoming workshop in Kentville on Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. This event is in partnership with the Kentville Farmers’ Market and will be held at 38 Cornwallis St., where the winter market takes place. The workshop costs $25 per person and tickets must be prepaid by Aug.13, and are available via PayPal at twobirdsonestonefarm.com/workshops. Payment can also be accepted at the farmers’ market.
All participants will be given everything they need to create their own arrangement, and all the flowers will be freshly harvested from Two Birds One Stone Farm.
“I’m going to go over the basics of bouquet construction, and share a few tricks, but it’s important, too, that everyone expresses themselves creatively, and has fun with it,” says Macalpine.
Two Birds One Stone can be found at the Kentville Farmers’ Market every Wednesday and at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market every Saturday. In addition, they offer weekly bouquet subscriptions, pick-up or delivery, and can provide flowers for weddings and other special events.
In the future, the Macalpines hope to diversify their farm, adding some fruit, vegetable, and herb crops, but for now their main focus is the seasonal blooms.
LEARN MORE: https://twobirdsonestonefarm.com/