Founder's Story

Eight or so years ago, I thought I wanted a farm. I wanted to grow food, eat some, and give the rest away. Something small, quaint, a shift from the city life I was accustomed to, having just relocated from Chicago. Well, I got my farm and then some. Over time, I realized that I wanted to build a place that I’d love to be, and hopefully, others would enjoy too. I asked myself how I could take the things I enjoyed most and put them together into a brand-new experience, unique to the area. I wanted something that worked with the land, that was forward thinking. That is Southall.

Why is it called Southall, anyway? It’s simple enough, really – the area where we built was historically known as Southall, and there’s a sign with the name right outside the property. The idea of the farm was to work with nature, work with what’s already there. Why not continue that mindset with the name? Southall was there before us, and now we’ve adopted its namesake.

At Southall, I’m focusing on the big picture as I go along, one step at a time. I think about what feels right and what doesn’t, discover what I know and don’t know. I turn a hunch into a high-level idea, and then, with the help of my executive team and a fleet of designers and passionate experts, see how big we can go with it. They come to me with countless ideas of their own, and we try to make it all work as best we can.

Eight years and 325 acres later, we’ve dug wells for geothermal heating and cooling; planted heritage seeds; have an orchard with 40+ varietals of apple trees; built two traditional greenhouses, a hydroponic greenhouse, a farm stand, grazing areas, kitchen gardens, five miles of trails, row gardens, and apiaries, just to name a few. We are pursuing a biodynamic facility while farming with best practices.

Paul Mishkin, Founder

A particular point of pride for me is that we collect rainwater from roofs and gutters, along with land terracing, to direct that water into our man-made lake for irrigation.

I’m passionate about water conservation, and I insisted from early on that we remain self-sufficient for our irrigation, disconnected from the municipal water supply whenever possible. I’m very happy to say that we’ve achieved that goal, and water our crops through the natural water cycle, turning to town water only when absolutely necessary.

We’re combining state-of-the-art farming techniques with farming philosophies from over a century ago, growing a wide range of heirloom varietals chosen by our chefs and farmers for the taste and feel on the plate. We seek to grow our produce in a way that nourishes the earth, so that we can continue to provide the best food we can for many years to come.

We will also partner with the local community to offer our guests local beef, pork, and dairy along with off-site activities such as golf, horseback riding, fly fishing and live music. Our resort day spa features natural ingredients, many of which are found right on the property. The spa, by the way, is really something special. I wanted to be sure to include a luxurious, high-end experience, so we could take care of our guests as well as we take care of the land around them, and I think the team really went above and beyond in achieving that goal.

Yes, Southall is a resort, but at its core, it’s still a farm. To really share the farm and all it has to offer, I wanted to create a place where people can come and stay to fully enjoy a deep dive into a culinary seed-to-table experience. So, we have a 62-room inn and 16 cottages surrounded by the farm and trails. It’s immersive – Southall’s beauty is all around you, and we want you to be able to experience every inch of it. This is an experiment in immersive hospitality and a giant picnic at the same time, with events that can pop up pretty much anywhere on the property.

My wife Laura asks me if I’m having fun. Good question! In the past, with a business in the financial securities industry trading options, I was working too much to think about it. But now, I can confidently say that the answer is yes, I’m having fun with my work. I’m working on it every day, thinking about it all the time. But I am also spending time with my family as we watch it all come together. I’m building something that will be here for a long time, something that will enhance my life and my family’s life and, most importantly, the lives of the people who come to Southall. It’s big. For so long, it felt like a dream, but then we built it – it’s real! – which I’m still wrapping my head around.

Here, everyone can be a part of what we grow, how we care for it, and how we serve it up. Check us out. Eat the food. Listen to the music. Walk the trails, take a spa day! You’ll feel nurtured by nature no matter what you do at Southall. We can’t wait to open our doors to you.

– Paul Mishkin