#EscapeWithNCAg is a year-long series that will focus on agritourism across North Carolina. Many farms, wineries and other agricultural businesses in our state offer events such as tours, yoga, educational classes, pick-your-own events and festivals, to entertain the public and teach them about our state’s number one industry. Each Thursday, we will feature a new site for you to visit with friends or family. Stay tuned and learn how to escape the stresses of life by diving into agriculture!
“If we could celebrate the beauty in our differences, how much better off would the world be?” – Rebecca Sorenson
Beauty, compassion, friendship and joy can be found at a farm tucked away in Chapel Hill. Blawesome, a flower farm owned and operated by Rebecca Sorenson and her son Raimee, offers a variety of fun workshops to allow you and your family to build community relationships while learning about peace, serenity and pure fun that can be found amongst the flowers.
Although Rebecca has always loved working in the garden and spent years managing the greenhouse, Blawesome was started for the sole purpose of Rebecca’s son, Raimee. At 18 months of age, Raimee was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Throughout his years of schooling, Raimee held various internships in the community, including one at a local farm. “He came home every day from that internship telling us how much he enjoyed the work that he was doing,” Rebecca said. “Sometimes the world has a way of isolating those with disabilities or differences, but we wanted to create a space where Raimee could flourish.” After receiving a grant to start the farm and working with members of the community, including Elon University, to build the barn and greenhouses, Blawesome was opened to the public and it’s journey of influencing hearts, establishing joy and changing minds began.
In 2021, when the world started to come alive again after the COVID-19 pandemic, Rebecca and Raimee began opening up the farm to the public through tours and workshops. “It was not our original plan,” she said, “but after doing it for a group of friends, we fell in love with the concept and the joy that it brought to both us and the visitors.” The very first workshop hosted on the farm, which is still held today, was Bubbles and Bouquets. Hosted during the spring, typically around Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, it offers champagne to interested customers and teaches the art of bouquet making with fresh cut flowers. Prior to the workshop, Raimee leads a meditation and farm tour that typically lasts about 45 minutes. “I love watching him explain the farm and the process to customers,” Rebecca said. “It’s amazing to watch his passion come through as well as the joy that people experience in watching him succeed at modern day farming, which is something the world often tries to tell people with disabilities that they can’t do.”
Throughout the year, Blawesome hosts a variety of workshops to teach visitors about the beauty in diversity as well as the art of owning and operating a flower farm. Workshops include: fresh flower arrangements, dried flower wreath making, floral centerpiece creation with candles, floral masquerade mask making, a celebrate love event at Valentine’s Day and more. “I wanted to be able to connect with people and bring families together through an experience, as well as educate on how we can all work together and have a sense of purpose despite our differences,” Rebecca said. “I can’t tell you how many people have told me how they were inspired by Raimee or impacted by his story upon visiting Blawesome. I’ve heard so many testimonies from parents or family members who also experience the pain and restrictions that the world can put on those with disabilities. The response and connection we establish here is extraordinary.” Workshops typically range from $100-125 and last at least two hours, sometimes more. Each workshop includes a farm tour with Raimee and a guided meditation to set the tone of acceptance, peace and togetherness.
When you visit Blawesome, not only will you be immersed in the beauty of many annual flowers, like zinnias, but also 30 twenty-foot beds of perennials, including lilies, dahlias and bulbs. “The flowers create the peace and beauty while we provide the fun and educational experience that brings people together,” Rebecca said. “Our mission is to demonstrate the capabilities of people with disabilities and what they can contribute to the workforce, including farming. When people visit this place, they receive hope, joy, inspiration, and connection to nature as well as each other.”
Check out their website to see what workshops they have in the works for this year and sign up to join in the fun, community centric experience offered at Blawesome. “I love the miracle of seeing things grow, and watching Raimee share his joy and passion for it with others is the biggest blessing,” Rebecca said. Embrace the beauty around you and start planning your visit today!