Rising Sun-area farmers launch wedding venue
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
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.
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.