Moore Farms Botanical Garden - America's Heartland

Moore Farms Botanical Garden – America's Heartland



it might look like many small towns in America Lake City South Carolina home to some 10,000 people in the rural PD region but this small town is planting seeds of change while connecting to its agricultural roots a lot of really interesting plants in here this is what we call a bog garden this is more farms botanical garden a nonprofit state-of-the-art public plant collection blanketing 50 of the 500 acres of this southern family farm it's a horticultural dream come true promoting research and education while bringing the people of this area closer to the land I was just blown away in this small town to see the Botanical Gardens um I think the part my son enjoyed the most is when we went into the area where there was the gardening area where they were tomatoes fresh tomatoes and peppers and he actually had an opportunity to taste them an opportunity for the people of Lake City thanks to this woman Darla Moore a billionaire financier and philanthropist she was dubbed the toughest babe in business by Fortune magazine after Wow mall Street something special to put back in there Darla is putting something special back in her hometown of Lake City it doesn't look like any town in America the Moore family farm grew row crops when cotton and tobacco were southern staples but as farming changed so did the economy and small southern towns began to struggle in my career I've spent a lot of time working with bruised and broken companies financially distressed companies there enough assets here that if properly targeted supported you could probably reinvent an economy and an area like this Darla has invested millions of her own money to create an agricultural draw here the gardens are unlike any other in the south with rare collections of regional native plants it is a botanical Wonderland I tell people that did it's a gardeners garden it's the kind of place where you go and you find all kinds of interesting combinations of plants interesting textures colors it's a very inspiring garden the gardens are experienced flock to see how plants grow and thrive something Darla wants to see happen to her hometown and we're here in the middle of pretty much nowhere and we have become a destination for people who are horticulturalists botanists garden master gardeners people that are interested in plants and gardening we are a destination now and instead of growing row crops which is what we've always done here or historically done we're growing specimen plants and interesting plants so we're still using the land for a very very creative but economically viable purpose take a short drive and you can see what is happening downtown Darla has helped build a boutique and bustling farmers market across from a new amphitheater and town green there's now a world-class art gallery and a new popular local event art fields bringing tourists to town there is a buzz and an optimism in the community that is amazing and I think that gives all of us here great satisfaction the mission is to help improve the lives of the people in the community improve and whatever they want to improve if I can help lay the base or the path for the improvement of other's lives because that my life was improved I haven't come from here but Darla isn't done she has big dreams for her hometown and her home state she says she won't stop until this Botanical Garden is the best the country she says that's what the people of South Carolina deserve the people inspired me down this path more than I inspired them which is interesting but she realized that none of them could do this without you and nor me without them they sponsored the vision and I embraced it

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