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Agritourism Lifestyle

A job. Became a passion. Became a purpose.

By John Kennedy

Hannah Brookfield, CPH, HTC is a Horticultural Therapist. And that may very well be the first time you have heard of such a title, but it will no doubt not be your last. She is also a self-described plant nerd and owner of BotaniGal on Mainstreet in Sykesville, Maryland.

Plants have been omnipresent in our world and lives since the dawn of time; however, to most, their use has been relegated to the outdoor landscapes of our homes or businesses.

As time unfolded, they were brought onto our decks in nice container gardens or onto our window sills as decorative home décor, and then finally arrived inside our houses and our homes to brighten our mood and our day. It was indeed an evolution over centuries.

Today, houseplants are one of the fastest growing trends in the garden and green industry along with vegetable gardening. The soothing elements of plants have been “understood” for a long while anecdotally, and are now being measured scientifically.

Enter BotaniGal and Hannah.

In high school, Hannah grabbed a job across from school which made the commute pretty easy. That job was at Potomac Garden Center where she learned the love and care of plants. In fact, a life-changing moment happened at that job:

“One day while walking with my supervisor, I found a plant that was nearly dead. I asked if I should throw it away and she answered, “no, I will just fertilize it.” And after a week, the plant came roaring back to life. That was the day life changed…I often look back on that day and realize that you can manipulate a plant’s environment to make it happy…you can manipulate a person’s environment with plants to make them happy.”

That job created a passion.

And it also was the very beginning of BotaniGal. “In college, I came up with that name knowing that if I was to ever open up my own business, I would want to name it BotaniGal!”

From there, Hannah moved on to a non-profit greenhouse, and for the following nine years she was the lead grower. Part of the mission of the greenhouse was to provide horticulture therapy to adults with special needs.

Hannah took that mission and built upon it to become certified as a Horticulture Therapist, which is defined as “improving overall well-being and health through the use of plants.”

With a brother who has intellectual disabilities, Hannah poured herself into creating a foundation for the program to thrive; however, when the pandemic hit, and work slowed, she was granted more free time to rethink her next steps.

One evening while talking with a friend, a seed was planted to have her own “pop-up” shop with plants. So, she began to source her products, create a plan, and finally found a standing brick and mortar consignment shop called “Farm Chicks Corner Market” where she befriended the owners, Lauren and Jamie, and took a small area of the store to purvey her plants.

That small area quickly became an entire corner of the store, called “The Plant Corner” where Hannah states: “Lauren and Jamie have always rooted for me, and have become very close friends.”

The goal was to one day have her own store, which is now in the process of opening on Main Street in Sykesville, Maryland (One of the top Main Streets in America) in the Spring of 2022.

The passion becomes a purpose.

Hannah has rededicated her life: “I just want to help people with the use of plants, because they help with my mental health and I know it can help others….”

With her new location, she will be able to provide the surrounding community with plants, passion and purpose. She will be offering classes to the elderly, vets with PTSD, kids and adults with learning disabilities to find happiness and healing in plants. She will also be providing the perfect plants to have in your home to create an environment of peace and well-being.

Hannah is also pursuing her certification to become a Registered Horticulture Therapist, and will become deeply rooted in the Maryland community to serve others…which makes Hannah Brookfield a super shero to Agritourism.Life.

Note: What are your superpowers and how do you choose to share them with the world in 2022?? Feel free to let us know on IG or FB…the world could use a few more Hannah’s!

Find Hannah at or on your social spots @botanigal


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