The Secret Garden

Located just off the beaten path in Commiskey, Indiana, walking into Stream Cliff Herb Farm is like stepping into a Secret Garden. Wildflowers and lush landscaping line brick pathways which lead from one beautiful discovery to another, from reflecting ponds to serene gardens to an old wooden chapel. My daughter and I spent an afternoon there while off on a mother/daughter adventure.

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We started with lunch in the Twig and Sprig Restaurant, which offers some unique recipes for salads, sandwiches, and soups served in homemade bread bowls. The restaurant is decorated in a garden theme, with large windows looking out on the flowers and herbs that are available for purchase. All recipes are created using the Farm’s home-grown herbs and plates are decorated with edible flowers. My daughter had the pulled pork barbecue sandwich with potato salad while I enjoyed a farm burger with a dill and apple coleslaw.  The specialty desert at the farm is Hummingbird Cake, which is made from scratch by the owner’s grandmother.

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After lunch we browsed through the endless plants available for purchase. The selection is amazing. We didn’t purchase any since we weren’t planning to be back home for a few days and feared they wouldn’t survive the trip, but we enjoyed exploring the wide variety of colorful flowers and fresh-smelling herbs.

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We did a little shopping in the gift shops, where we skimmed through books on garden fairies, tried on some fancy hats, and purchased some unique teas in old-time wooden boxes.

The Farm is a photographer’s paradise! My daughter was able to get some stunning photographs of the gardens and reflecting ponds.

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There’s even a little pink playhouse for children!

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We especially enjoyed exploring the the Little Chapel.  The Farm is an ideal place for small wedding ceremonies. The chapel is also used for classes and workshops which are offered on a regular basis.

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The Farm also has a Winery, which offers free tastings of their hand-crafted wines. Other items are also available for purchase, including hand-made chocolates, pumpkin butter, and assorted jams and jellies.

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The history of Stream Cliff Farm dates back to 1821, when bachelor James Harmon traveled to Indiana to claim his father’s land grant, which was offered to Revolutionary War soldiers for their service. James’ father had served in that war under Benedict Arnold. James lived in a hollowed-out tree and had pigs under the floor of the tree to help keep him warm at night. He built the old barn and he baked all of the bricks to build the house, which he completed in the 1830’s. The farm was once occupied during the Civil War by Morgan’s Raiders. Upon his death in 1863, James left the farm and all of his possessions to Asbury College, a part of the Methodist Church. Current owner Betty Manning’s grandmother purchased the farm from the Methodist Church and lived there for 50 years, where she spent her days quilting and gardening. Seven generations of the family have grown up on the farm, and it’s now available for everyone to enjoy.

The Farm hosts many festivals and musical events throughout the year, as well, but it’s a beautiful place to visit any day of the week.

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6 thoughts on “The Secret Garden

      1. I know, me too. I have 4 grown boys and my Favorite thing is to hang out with them. They’re so funny and bring me such joy. It’s our reward and God’s blessing for all we do in raising our kids.

        Liked by 1 person

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