Waverly Farm had its roots at River Farm Nursery, a 25-acre plot of land on the Potomac River near Poolesville, Maryland. Jerry Faulring had already spent 20 years in the green industry owning Hydro Lawn, a regional lawn and landscape firm. River Farm Nursery started out as a diversion from the day-to-day hectic pace of operating a five-state business with tens of thousands of residential customers. He quickly rediscovered “his roots” having grown up in a dairy farming community in Western New York State. Farming was back in his life for good.
Twenty-five acres wasn’t too hard to manage, although the land had its downfalls. The nursery was in the heart of prime deer country. An expensive electric fence surrounding the perimeter of the nursery had to be installed to prevent heavy losses. Even in hunting season, the deer seemed to multiply like rabbits. Additionally, the Potomac River flooded its banks one too many times in the mid-1990s. Jerry got the itch to expand shortly after starting River Farm Nursery. He quickly developed a passion as a grower and 25 acres couldn’t really keep him that busy. Finally in 1996, after an extensive five-year search, Jerry and Paula Faulring acquired 200 acres in Frederick County, Maryland to develop a nursery from scratch. The land bought for Waverly was divided into two 100-acre pieces, separated by a road. The property was essentially twice as much land as Jerry was looking for, but because the soils were so valuable, they didn't want to pass on this opportunity. They bought the whole farm, with every intention of selling off the additional hundred acres.
By the end of the summer of 2003, all 200 acres will be planted. In an attempt to maximize our land, we have begun to interplant the large tree rows. Jerry’s retirement is but a distant memory.
The site for Waverly Farm, formerly a dairy farm, was selected based on its high quality soils. In 1995, corn production yielded 280 bushels an acre, compared to 130 bushels, the state average. We recognize the value of these soils and are committed to preserving the land. We have planted grass strips throughout the nursery to prevent soil and nutrient erosion. Additionally, Waverly Farm is part of the Carrollton Manor Land Trust that extends from the Catoctin Mountain Ridge to the Potomac and Monocacy Rivers. The Land Trust is committed to limiting growth while preserving small town character, scenic vistas, a clean environment, and historical sites. Waverly Farm has given over a permanent easement to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation meaning that the land can never be commercially developed and will hopefully always be a productive part of the agricultural community.
In the 1800s, “Waverly” was a plantation that produced vegetables and small grains for Washington, D.C. Today, Waverly Farm is a wholesale nursery focusing on landscape-size, heavily-pruned B&B ornamental flowering shrubs and trees. Field production began in 1996, and today we have lined out all 200 acres with several hundred thousand plants in various production stages including over 400 different genra, species and cultivars.