After finding healing at an 1895 farmhouse and its fertile fields, Jessica Pfarr is sharing it through her business.
She started Arngibbon to offer houseplants, succulents, cut flowers, hanging flower baskets, produce, and vitamins and supplements.
“It’s the ultimate farmers market,” Pfarr said.
Pfarr, a homeschooling stay-at-home mom of five, hadn’t planned for a new and growing business, but it slowly seemed to find her. She loved rural life after growing up on a farm west of Beloit.
She and her husband, Brendon Pfarr, purchased the farm at 8234 E. County MM, Janesville, in 2013 after it sat vacant for 10 years.
In 2014, they moved in after extensive renovations to restore the home.
It had a rich history in the area; its original owners, the McLay family, were the first people in the United States to breed Clydesdale horses.
“They were top-quality show horses,” Pfarr said. “All of the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales have a direct bloodline.”
They had imported them from their native homeland of Scotland and named their new stateside farm Arngibbon in honor of their Scottish farm.
“It’s Scottish for low-level place,” Pfarr said.
In the 1930s, she said the McLays transitioned to longhorn cattle and they sold the farm in the 1970s to the Venable family. It switched hands over several years and was in disrepair by 2012.
Pfarr said her husband, a plumber, worked on the septic system next door and spotted it.
“He said, ‘You have got to see this abandoned house,’” she said. “We both just knew we wanted to restore and bring back life to this house.”
In between buying the farm and restoring in, Pfarr experienced some challenges. Two of her children have special needs. She found that growing flowers felt healing to her.
“I love flower farming,” Pfarr said. “I’ve gifted bouquets for people and made bouquets for special events and been out there in the field on a long day. It didn’t feel like work. They are very special, and I’ve just seen how happy they make people. It feels good to grow them. There is an art to putting a bouquet together. Each one is different.”
She filed as a limited liability company in March and began selling flower baskets from her home and cut flowers such as dahlias, sunflowers and zinnias.
“We sold every basket we grew,” she said.
Building upon her passion for health and healing, she opened Arngibbon Health Store, 2569 Milton Ave., Janesville, last fall inside Nutrition Shack.
After COVID-19 hit, she started selling more succulents and houseplants at the Janesville Winter Farmers Market as the business continued to grow.
Later this month, she will be selling houseplants, cut flowers and succulents at Basics Cooperative Natural Foods, 1711 Lodge Drive, Janesville. She has an arrangement with Basics to take plants that start to wither back Arngibbon to be revived and sold later.
At her farm, Pfarr continues to attract visitors who can purchase products and view the historic site.
“People love the fall baskets we have and the history of the farm. It’s just like going back in time,” she said.
Despite her busy schedule, Pfarr is motivated by the flowers.
“I feel there is a ministry to it. It helps other people. I’ve seen people light up,” she said.