By Meredith Wagner | Arts & Life Editor
When the Wilmot and Lascoe families found themselves at an end in life, they did the unthinkable to create new beginnings. The result of their courage is what farmers-market-goers know as “Tin Cup Farm,” the family-owned and operated flower farm and “farmacy” out of Buffalo.
The Wilmot and Lascoe family adventure of creating a flower and natural product business began one year ago on a 60-acre property just 60 miles east of Waco.
“My husband retired, and we bought this piece of property,” Kathleen Wilmot said. “We would go up and visit on the weekends, and then we decided, let’s just go ahead and build.”
The building process was an unusual task, however, given the path-less-traveled they took to see their vision to fruition. Kathleen Wilmot, alongside her husband Scott, her daughters Belle and Aelish, and Aelish’s husband, David Lascoe, camped for three months on the property with no running water or shelter, all in hopeful anticipation for their soon-to-be business.
“Both of us basically were homeless,” Kathleen Wilmot said. “[Aelish] had gotten out of her rent because she decided to do something else. So here we were — homeless — on this fantastically beautiful piece of property of 60 acres. We had this beautiful oak tree, and we had our little picnic table.”
The families camped for three months, alternating between a tent, an unfinished barn, a small trailer and a motel for shelter.
“My husband and I were in our little 1952 trailer, which we named “Cruella,” because it’s a Deville camper. Two little beds. There’s no bathroom or anything. There’s no plumbing, so we had to use the plumbing ‘of the land,'” she said through a smile and chuckle.
Aelish Lascoe said the memories of their three months of “homelessness,” or extended outdoor family bonding, are fond, though the difficulties of the moment felt real at the time.
“It’s fun looking back,” Aelish Lascoe said. “But at the time, I think we all thought we were going to kill each other.”
Today, each of the families live in their own tiny houses on the property. Aelish Lascoe said her business was worth the outdoor adventure. She and her husband had always dreamed of doing something like this, and about one year ago, they felt like the time was right to make the leap.
“None of us have farmed before. We’re just figuring it out as we go,” Aelish Lascoe said. “My husband and I always kinda wanted to do it in the future. We were both at dead-end jobs in Houston, so we were like, ‘Let’s try it.’”
This spontaneous decision resulted in moments many would deem unforgettable, and eventually, sprouted into a business truly built from the ground up.
Kathleen Wilmot said the family began tending to the soil and building the flower garden before they thought about the houses.
“That’s the first thing we put up there, before the houses,” Kathleen Wilmot said, adding, “We had this property. Might as well do it.”
Tin Cup Farms consists of two core branches — the first, their “Farmacy,” sells homemade soaps, lip balms and the essential oils foundational to those recipes. The Farmacy is mostly run by Kathleen Wilmot, and Wilmot’s younger daughter, Belle Wilmot.
“We make our soaps with pure ingredients. We use pure essential oils. We don’t use any fragrant oils,” Kathleen Wilmot said.
Kathleen Wilmot said the difference between essential and fragrant oils is in the source of the oil, and that fragrant oils include artificially constructed scents like vanilla, almond or strawberry.
“An essential oil is pure and natural — made from pure, natural herbs and flowers — where a fragrant oil is man-made. We stay away from those and we do only essential,” Kathleen Wilmot said.
The other core branch of Tin Cup is their flower farm, which is largely maintained by Aelish and David Lascoe. Aelish Lascoe arranges the flowers in colorful bouquets, rich in variety and volume, which are for sale at the farmers market. She also runs a floral wedding business called Ten Fold Floral Studio, which sources the flora and fauna directly from their farm.
Aelish Lascoe said Tin Cup also offers a “flower CSA” to market-goers. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” which is a model that closely connects farmers with consumers through subscription packages. The flower CSA includes a 20-stem bouquet every other week for six months, and in the summer, an additional gift, also from the farm.
“My mom and my sister do the soaps, and my husband and I do the flowers, and in the summer we do peppers and tomatoes as well,” Aelish Lascoe said.
Kathleen Wilmot said Lascoe’s flower arrangements are altogether unique and difficult to come by.
“She just doesn’t do the regular old, normal [arrangements],” Kathleen Wilmot said. “She does a beautiful array of different shapes and colors. They’re really beautiful and unique.”
Aelish Lascoe said the process of starting her own business stems from a passion for the process.
“I like arranging, but I think my favorite part about the farm is actually growing,” she said.
The family’s farming techniques are similar to the production of their self-care products, in that they value keeping the products as pure as possible.
“We try and grow organically, because we love the land and we don’t want to harm it,” Aelish Lascoe said. “We’re pretty much on a sandbar [at the farm], so it’s just like beach sand that we’re growing in. It’s a lot of building up the soil.”
As for the market, Aelish Lascoe and Kathleen Wilmot said they will continue making the drive each weekend to set up their white tent and tablecloth, a neutral backdrop that makes their colorful products pop.
“It’s the best market in the area. We’ve tried a couple different markets, and this definitely has the most foot traffic,” Aelish Lascoe said. “We generally sell out of our flowers.”
Tin Cup frequents the Waco Downtown Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday beginning in March and usually through December.