Historic Farm Becomes a Gardener’s Dream Destination

| April/May 2006

  • Jim Long
  • Buffalo Springs Herb Farm owners Don Haynie and Tom Hamlin did extensive renovations on the 1790 house they purchased for their herb business.
    Jim Long
  • The Heirloom Vegetable Garden features antique varieties such as purple hyacinth beans, which Thomas Jefferson brought to Virginia.
    Jim Long
  • The Celestial Garden is a place for quiet contemplation.
    Jim Long

  • Jim Long

In 1989, an herb farm was only a glint in Don Haynie and Tom Hamlin’s eyes. Now, they can barely keep up with the visitors.

RAPHINE, VIRGINIA – Buffalo Springs Herb Farm isn’t hard to find. Locate the rolling hills of rural Virginia, near the little town of Raphine, and nearly anyone you ask can tell you how to get there. And no matter which route you take, this lovely place is like no other farm you’ve seen.

Don Haynie and Tom Hamlin bought the 220-acre farmstead in 1989 with the intention of creating an herb farm.

“Location, location, location is what business advisers tell you,” Hamlin says. “But if you don’t have location, then your mantra becomes, ‘Destination, de-stination, destination.’” Day trips to herb farms have become popular with gardeners over the years. With time and hard work, the Buffalo Springs owners have turned an old farmstead into one of the most popular of these destinations on the East Coast.


When Hamlin and Haynie purchased the property, it included a 1790 brick farmhouse, an enormous 1890 barn and, at the bottom of the hill, a springhouse that at one time had provided water to the house.

Next door to the farm was Wade’s Mill, a water-powered gristmill that didn’t work but made a lovely scenic backdrop. It now has been restored and is a popular tourist stop, as well.

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