Forty-five Seven Lakes Garden Club members recently visited Magnolia Lane Farms to learn about the products offered at this nearby acreage: self-pick blueberries, raw honey, lavender and three different grape varieties.
The approximately 60-acre Magnolia Lane Farms, named after the many Magnolia trees that dominate the farm, is owned by Gary and Ann Kunce and is located between N.C. 211 and the community of Seven Lakes West in West End off Knox Road.
Upon selling their business and retiring in 2015 and then finding themselves just sitting around for six months, Gary and Ann decided to investigate buying a farm. Their search took them to Virginia, western North Carolina and Greensboro. Having once lived in Seven Lakes, they heard about a farm in West End, so they took a look.
The land was barren, and backyard gardening was their only experience, but in 2016 they bought the farm. Under their care, the land now boasts a verdant green space with a large spring-fed pond, a honey bee apiary with nine hives, a Provence Lavender field, three large grape arbors including the large Supreme Muscadine, rows of several types of blueberries and a lovely hill-top home, barn, and grounds dotted with hand-planted live oak trees.
It is truly a haven of nature tucked into their protected Longleaf Pine forest. The farm is also a sanctuary for rescue animals. It started with one horse, which became three, then a
pair of mute swans, two miniature donkeys, an assembly of ducks, two dogs, six cats, three chickens and a rooster named Fred.
West End residents are fortunate to have this local source of organically grown products. The Kunces retail their “Toody Bear Honey” at Burney’s Hardware in Seven Lakes and Nature’s Own in Southern Pines; the blueberries are self-pick at the farm when ripe; and in-season grapes are available at Nature’s Own. Their Provence Lavender dried bouquets and, depending upon the harvest, lavender sachets a.k.a. “Pillow Tucks,” are normally sold through Nature’s Own Market. Barron’s in Seven Lakes also carried bundles last year.