Homegrown Mini-Golf and the World's Largest Garden Gnome were created to increase appreciation of locally-grown food and farms by offering the low-tech fun of a vintage American game set in a sensuous, annotated garden of edible plants and animals. Maria Reidelbach, co-author of the book Miniature Golf, a history of the game, conceived the farm-themed mini-golf and colossus in 2002 and developed the idea over the next several years. She began discussing the project with the Kelder family in 2005, who were already running a pick-your-own farm with farm animals, a market, and other features. It was a good match, and she broke ground on their farm the following spring. The attraction opened on July 4 weekend, 2006. It is maintained by Maria and operated by Kelder's Farm.
Our gnome's back story begins in 2003 in Manhattan. Artist-filmmaker Ken Brown made the drawing on which the gnome was originally modeled, and Maria and Steven Ott built it. Fabricator, sculptor and musician John Hutchison worked with Maria in 2006 to transform the gnome into cement and to make the mini-golf greens. We received a Guinness World Record for the world's largest garden gnome the following year.
On the mini-golf, the rustic gates and chicken house were built by Dave Yoder. Emilia Stern has been our real-life garden gnome and shop elf since 2008, with great spirit and intelligence. Chris Hewitt and the Country Wisdom collective have been helping maintain and improve Homegrown Mini-Golf. Abby Goldfarb, Hollengold Farm, helped plan and plant this year, adding Permaculture methods to our gardening and swales to our beds.
We hope you enjoy your visit, and that you tell your friends about us. Come back soon, there's always something new coming up!