Callie On The Job: Longshadow - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Callie On The Job: Longshadow

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POMONA -- Callie went deep in the forest to work at the highest point in Jackson County. She found a beautiful garden that produces big products that are shipped worldwide in this week's Callie on the Job. 

In the midst of the Shawnee National Forest in Pomona sits a factory in a garden, one of southern Illinois' hidden gems. 

In 1994 Daniel Ward and his wife Charlotte purchased neglected farmland and turned it into what is now Longshadow Gardens.

Since then they have hand made more than 150,000 planters.These planters can be found at state capitols, luxury hotels and up and down Michigan Avenue.

"We make beautiful hand packed cast stone planters that we ship coast to coast and overseas," Daniel Ward said.

They are only open to the public by appointment. Their primary market is downtown redevelopment, hotels, convention centers, high-end residential, but they have planters for every budget and every style of architecture. 

What makes Longshadow even more unique is they use an ancient process to create each piece. 

"The dry-cast limestone process was originally written about by Vitruvius 2,000 years ago and it's very similar to how the Colosseum.and the viaducts in Rome were built," Ward said.

They use this process for two main reasons. It comes out of the molds looking like cut limestone and the process increases durability.

Each planter starts with a mold. Each mold is designed and made in house. After the mold is completed, production can begin modeling the planter.

First the mix is dumped into the mold, then different tools are used to pack it in tight.

After the planter is smoothed out it sits for 24 hours before being removed from the mold. Once removed, it's taken to the greenhouse for curing, where it will sit for 28 days before being shipped worldwide. 

For more information about Longshadow, visit their website.

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