About Beech Hollow
Beech Hollow Mission:
Beech Hollow Farm’s mission is to produce high quality, locally sourced, plant material to restore the Georgia Piedmont.
Beech Hollow Farm
is a 120 acre native plant farm just outside Lexington, Ga. It is named after the grove of centuries old Beech trees that line the banks of the creek that meanders its way through the property. Native Georgia plants, their preservation and propagation, are our passion.
Our Plants, Our History:
Twenty years ago Pandra Williams started collecting native plant specimens on large woodland tracts under development in South Fulton County. By 2005, collection had turned into propagation as Williams saw a lack of native plants available for sale for homes and public spaces. In 2012 Williams and Jeff Killingsworth opened the Beech Hollow nursery in Lexington. With a trove of regional genotypes in their propagation beds, BHF has established and maintained a growing catalog of plants for propagation..
Beech Hollow currently boasts an inventory of over 235 different species of native trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, grasses and sedges. With this inventory, BHF is able to:
- Stock two direct-to-customer sales nurseries.
- Fill special orders of various sizes.
- Conduct both temporary and permanent installations.
- Participate in volunteer planting activities.
- Donate to local eco-based charities.
All our plants are grown using sustainable practices and all seeds and other plant material are collected ethically and with permission. Additionally, we do not use neonicotinoids, or other ecology-disrupting chemicals.
Founders and Owners, Mike & Pandra Williams
The idea to form Beech Hollow Farm as a native plant nursery was originally inspired by an area of southwest Atlanta. Strewn with large boulders and peppered with native plant species, this patch of ground is known locally as Boat Rock. Popular with rock climbers, the area had been spared the developer’s bulldozer blade until the Atlanta housing boom of the 1990’s and 2000’s. The Southeast Climber’s Coalition (SCC) established a small woodland climbing preserve in 2002. However, the surrounding area was still subject to the whims of land developers. Mike and Pandra Williams, who were active members of the climbing community at the time, saw the destruction of native plant populations first hand and decided to take action.
In an effort to preserve local genetic plant stock, they began working with developers to save plants, seeds, and bulbs before ground-disturbing activity began. This process proved to be troublesome, and begged larger questions: Why aren’t these plants growing everywhere? on roadsides? in front yards? in flower beds?
The answer proved to be lack of supply. There were few native plant nurseries in the Atlanta area, and many existing nurseries carried very few native species. Even the few native species available were grown from non-local genetic stock and thus did nothing to preserve Georgia’s rich diverse plant history.
Jessi Noreault, Operations Manager
Jessi grew up in the Adirondack Mountains in New York where he first acquired a love for nature. He has been a lifelong avid hiker and environmental activist. In 2005 he acquired a B.F.A in Visual Arts and B.A. in English at the State University of New York at Fredonia. During his studies, he created several bodies of environmental and feminist activist visual art and writings. Since then, Jessi spent his time as a coffee shop manager and as a Bartender/Bar manager. Through these jobs, he was able to weave in his passion for the environment by creating craft cocktail menus highlighting local and seasonal ingredients.
Over the years he has become more and more passionate about his own vegetable garden and the ecological health in his surroundings. Jessi decided to take his passion out of the service industry and onto the farm. In 2016, he started working at Beech Hollow Farm. Here he does various jobs from weeding the garden beds to bookkeeping and is loving every minute of it!
Clair Eisele, Grounds Lead
Clair Eisele was born and raised in San Diego, Ca., Clair served 7.5 years in the United States Air Force as a Readiness and Emergency Management Journeyman before separating honorably to pursue a career in farming. In 2016 she earned her Associates degree in Sustainable Urban Agriculture from San Diego City College. She took her love of travel and newly acquired knowledge of small farming on the road in search of somewhere to settle and start a hobby farm. She was a member of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), which led her to north Georgia in mid 2017. In November of 2017 she purchased an old farmhouse on 2 acres in Oglethorpe County and started working at BHF in July of 2018.
Clair has a history of working in landscaping and with sustainable farm operations. Her primary responsibilities at the farm include maintaining the parent stock beds, sales, local marketing, and implementing new garden design ideas. When she’s not at the farm she is renovating her 1904 farmhouse, gardening and landscaping her 2 acre property, traveling to north Florida to spend time with her boyfriend, drawing, hiking, and exploring Georgia.
Tanner Biggers, Nursery Technician
Tanner Biggers became fascinated by plants as soon as he took his first Botany course in college, and since then his interest has led him to seek out a career working in horticulture. Tanner has acquired a large breadth of knowledge about native plants through his training as an Athens-Clarke County Extension Master Gardener volunteer. Tanner's time as a landscape technician has made him skilled in native plant identification and plant pest and disease management. As a current Master Gardener Extension volunteer, Tanner is able to volunteer at local botanical events and pass on horticultural knowledge to the public in addition to maintaining publicly owned gardens across Athens. He thoroughly enjoys learning everything he can about native plants, in addition to sharing what knowledge he has with others.
Kayleigh Pacion, Grounds & Nursery Associate
Kayleigh was born and raised in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, later moving to Northern California where she grew an even deeper interest in environmental conservation. She took this passion into her studies at Sierra Community College and Humboldt State University. Through her education she obtained two A.S. degrees in Natural Science and Biological Sciences and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Management.
While living in California, Kayleigh worked as an Invasive Plant Management Intern for the American River Parkway Foundation. After graduating she spent a season in Florida working with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation as a Native Landscapes and Garden Center Intern. Since moving to Georgia, Kayleigh has been working at the State Botanical Garden where she maintains the Threatened and Endangered garden beds and the Bog garden by identifying plants that are present, and eradicating species that don’t belong. Now she is able to further her education and passion for conservation and restoration by working with Beech Hollow Farms to contribute to the protection of the Georgia Piedmont.