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North Country Heritage Roses are what we call roses found on old farmsteads, roadsides or ditches. They thrive decades or even a hundred years after being planted.

History

Many of the roses we grow and sell were discovered in the countryside by the founders of Old Market Farm, Christine Zavgren and her husband Jan Wojcik. We call these roses North Country Heritage Roses. They have also been contributed by gardeners who wish to share their historical plants.

The history of Old Market Farm's hardy roses dates to the 1990s, when Christine Zavgren decided to solve a problem confronted by so many gardeners: the roses they bought in local stores did not survive the harsh winters of the North Country. These gardeners thought they were at fault, but it was not so. Rather, their store-bought roses were meant for more temperate zones.

By experimenting in her garden, where she continues to tend 250 different roses, Christine identified both commercial and specialist grown roses that do well in our climate. She has also spent countless hours searching out and identifying North Country Heritage Roses growing by roadsides, in woods and on old farmsteads, and researching their origins. The current collection of Old Market Farm Hardy Roses exists thanks to friends and acquaintances--fellow rosarians--who have shared cuttings and experience cultivating roses.

In the spring of 2010, Christine and Jan decided to transition out of the nursery business, which was acquired by Vanessa Bittner and her homesteading partner, Richard Paolillo. The business moved just 1-1/2 miles down the Old Market Road, then to its new permanent home. Click here for directions.

For more on the new incarnation of Old Market farm, click the Mission page.