Hilltop Farm From the Air

About Us

HistoryWho We AreCats

A History of Hilltop Farm

The old homestead in Southwest Missouri now called Hilltop Farm was purchased in 1981 by my wife, Amy, and me. We opened the doors for business in 1983 as a small retail greenhouse. Ever since then we have added to and improved our operation as time and finances have allowed. We now have twelve greenhouses with a total of approximately 20,000 square feet of heated growing area, and an additional one acre of cold frames and outdoor production area.

Our farm comprises over 100 acres, so there is plenty of room for our display gardens (extending over one acre) and greenhouse operation, as well as open farmland. Our most recent improvement to the farm is a water-pumping windmill in our barn lot. We hope it will help with our electric bill by supplying us with "free" water for part of our operation.

Who We Are

Hilltop Farm is owned and operated by the Cross family, consisting of me, my wife Amy, and our three children: Peter and his wife Tara, Emily and her fiancé Zach, and Lindsay and her husband Brian. Amy and I moved to Missouri after growing up in New Jersey and graduating from Rutgers University. After buying the farm in 1981 and both working in town, we had our first child, Peter, in December, 1982. Amy wanted to stay home with him, so we started Hilltop Farm as a part-time business, selling our product at the local farmers' market. In December of 1984 Emily was born. At that time I quit working in town and became Hilltop Farm's second full-time employee. In September, 1986, Lindsay was born, and our home-grown staff was then complete.

A lot of water has passed through the hose since then! Growing up, our children were an integral part of Hilltop Farm. Now that Peter and Emily have moved on with lives of their own, their presence at Hilltop Farm is (sadly) infrequent. But they still remain part of who we all are. Peter is our web-site manager, in his spare time. (What's that?) Emily still makes the 7-hour-each-way trek back to the old home place as often as she can. She makes special trips in the spring to do some landscaping and "get dirt under her nails". Lindsay, however, has returned to her roots and once again works full time at the greenhouse. She is a tremendous asset to the business, taking on any task at hand. She is the instigator and sustainer of our Facebook page, takes on the role of Brute Squad when we geezers need a strong arm, and is amazing with power tools! Seldom are all the Crosses together at one time, but when we do get together, it's a party!

- Oscar Cross

The People of Hilltop Farm


Oscar brought a dream to life when he started Hilltop Farm many years ago. His passion for things horticultural and his daily commitment to quality sustain Hilltop Farm's longstanding reputation for excellence. In order to offer our customers the best service, he keeps current with the industry by voraciously reading trade journals and catalogues alike. He genuinely cares about customers' success in their gardening adventures and won't think twice to tell them the painful truth about the proper time for planting tomatoes, or the reasons you really don't want to plant bamboo for a privacy fence. Oscar couldn't be happier than when holding one of his cats, or educating a grandchild, or entertaining guests around the dinner table, or having his kids all together.



Amy does more than one could possibly imagine to keep Hilltop Farm running smoothly. She works tirelessly to maintain exceptionally high standards in every area of the business and possesses enough ingenuity for two. If your marigolds are all exactly the same size, you can believe she transplanted them. If we have door prizes, she put her mind to the task. She cares genuinely for every customer who walks through our doors and always hopes they leave better off than they arrived. She will talk straight to customers (Remember, she's an East Coaster.), but it will always be for the customer's benefit. She puts thoughtful deliberation into her every action; so if she does something for you, you can count on it being better than good, every time. Amy is a proud Grandma to Quinn, Ophelia, and Claire, the delights of her life. Amy takes every opportunity to get to California to visit Quinn, Ophelia, and Claire (and their parents, Peter and Tara, of course!)


Peter, Tara, Quinn, Ophelia & Claire

Peter is a two-time graduate from the University of Missouri - Rolla, having received Master's and Bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering. He completed a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a dissertation on modeling ablation in rocket nozzles (a real pager-turner!). Peter currently works for an engineering firm in a remote part of California. Tara (his bride of a baker's dozen (!) years) is a professional mother, raising one Mr. Quinn Cornelius Cross (born October 2014), one Miss Ophelia Iris Cross (born August 2016), and one Miss Claire Ilex Cross (born November 2019), the third-generation of Hilltop Farm Ants.

Despite being marooned in the middle of the Mojave desert, Peter still manages to torture a few hostas. Tara's horticultural interests have blossomed, and include roses, sweet peas, vinca, lobelia, and nerines, to name a few.

Peter, Tara, Quinn, Ophelia, and Claire

Emily & Zach

Emily continues to navigate the waters as the clinical dietitian for a nursing home in Henderson, KY, bearing the responsibility for the nutritional needs of all of the residents in the 222-bed facility. Her first year there has taught her much about the importance of a lifetime of health decisions. She is very grateful to observe this at the outset of her career so she can apply it to her own path and offer it as insight to any/all at other stages of life. While Emily continues with her current dietitian work, she is eager to put her hands to her other interests—gardening, cooking, mission/outreach. She appreciates every opportunity to have her hands in the dirt, to be out in the sun, and to make people happy with food or flowers. Emily realizes the joy these outlets bring to her and others. She happily calls Evansville, IN her second home and thanks God and all the friends who have helped make it such a pleasant place to live. These friends have lovingly nicknamed Emily "MIT" (mother-in training) and "Momma Emily" for reasons unknown ☺, but she bears the titles proudly. She cherishes the river walks, the midnight talks, the kitchen experiments, and the garden beautification projects life in Evansville has afforded. Emily continues to treasure all the joys of home and seeks to incorporate them wherever she finds herself.


Lindsay & Brian

Lindsay and her husband, Brian, (married 10/29/11) are proud home-owners in southeast Springfield. Lindsay's "day job" is here at Hilltop Farm, doing everything. One of her great assets is her ability with power tools. She is responsible for much of the renovations that have happened in the past 7 months or so. Another gift she has brought to Hilltop Farm is her creation and maintenance of our Facebook page; check it out at hilltopfarmmo. Most of the photos posted there (and there are many) are Lindsay’s artistry.

Her avocation, creating chainmaille and beadwork jewelery, is giving her renown with her prize winning designs. Check out her facebook page: Beauty and the Beads. (Her logo is a stylized B.) Posted on the site are photos of some of her work. But if you want to see the jewelry in real life, and maybe make a purchase, she displays her "stuff" at Hilltop Farm's Open Houses. Brian is a zookeeper at the Dickerson Park Zoo by day. Now that they have a house to tend, he surely will have his evenings booked with "honey do" lists. ☺

Lindsay and Brian

& Staff

We also have a crew of part time helpers who do a lot of the watering, pot filling, weeding, plant grooming, etc. They often are not seen by the public but their roles here at Hilltop Farm are vital and for their help we, the Crosses, are grateful.


Missy (short for Mischief) is our black and white cat. We adopted her in October 2012; she was a feral kitten at the zoo where Brian works. She almost filled a hand when we got her; now she is one very elegant full-sized cat. She is a friendly cat, usually close by.

Wiley, our brown tabby, just showed up during a busy Saturday Open House in September 2013. The first we saw him, he was loving on a little girl. We thought he belonged to the little girl; but, no. Well, that is how friendly he has been since the beginning! We don't know how this cutie came to us, but we feel blessed (and figure someone is really missing their kitty). Wiley is very affectionate and likes to sit on your lap.



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