Ris­ing Sun-area farm­ers launch wed­ding venue

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ ce­cil­whig. com

— Like many of their Ce­cil County col­leagues, Linda and Tim Pierce are look­ing to di­ver­sify to re­main in farm­ing.

The Ris­ing Sun cou­ple has launched The Gar­dens at Beth­le­hem Farm as a venue for weddings, fam­ily gather­ings, cor­po­rate func­tions and more.

“We need to make a liv­ing and sup­port agri­cul­ture,” Linda said Tues­day. “And there’s some peo­ple who just can’t get enough of the coun­try.”

It couldn’t come at a more op­por­tune time with the abrupt clos­ing of Elk Manor Win­ery and the

RIS­ING SUN

an­nounce­ment that Kitty Knight House is also ceas­ing its ban­quet op­er­a­tions.

While Tim raises Here­ford beef cows and runs a plumb­ing busi­ness from the 30- acre farm on Slicer’s Mill Road, Linda is fo­cus­ing on host­ing events for up to 200 peo­ple. With rolling green pas­ture land, a bright red barn, tons of flowers and coun­try charm, she thinks The Gar­dens at Beth­le­hem Farm would be a great spot for the cou­ple who want a quiet, out­doors venue for their spe­cial day.

“We’ll pro­vide the tent, the ta­bles and chairs, the elec­tric­ity,” Linda said, adding a trailer of re­strooms would also be part of the pack­age. “And on the day of the event, I’ll be the co­or­di­na­tor mak­ing sure the cater­ers and pho­tog­ra­phers know where to go.”

“That takes ( pres­sure) off the bride,” she noted.

The idea came af­ter two of the cou­ple’s four chil­dren were mar­ried on the farm, which has been in the fam­ily for six gen­er­a­tions.

“Peo­ple loved it,” Linda re­called.

She also plans to of­fer her home to the bridal party to dress for the wed­ding. The house has six bed­rooms and Pierce said she has no qualms about open­ing her doors to the chaos that comes be­fore the pro­ces­sion.

While none of the Pierce’s chil­dren seem in­ter­ested in farm­ing, they want to hang on for the grand­chil­dren.

“Look at all the farms be­ing sold be­cause the kids don’t want it,” Linda said.

Like oth­ers, the Pierces be­lieve di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion is the so­lu­tion.

“This is how to make a small farm prof­itable,” she said. “This is part re­tire- ment plan, part farm sur­vival.”

Tim ex­pects his role in the ven­ture to be the heavy lift­ing and park­ing of cars, and he’s OK with that.

“I told her I’d be the back­bone be­hind it,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing, a pos­i­tive thing.”

Linda is al­ready plan­ning how she will land­scape around the tent and even- tu­ally turn a corn crib into the pre­miere spot for wed­ding pho­tos. Cer­tain places in­side the 160- year- old re­stored farm­house are also per­fect back­drops, she added.

For more in­for­ma­tion on The Gar­dens at Beth­le­hem Farm, con­tact Linda Pierce at 443- 350- 7299 or email her at lf­pierc@ ya­hoo. com.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Linda Pierce re­cently launched a new busi­ness, The Gar­dens at Beth­le­hem Farm, at her farm on Slicers Mill Road in Ris­ing Sun. Her coun­try venue can hold up to 200 peo­ple for weddings, par­ties or cor­po­rate func­tions.

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