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My Story To Flowers

Updated: May 22, 2023

The City of Marysville invited me to share my Flower Farming story at the Marysville Opera House on May 16, 2023.


If you attended, Thank you for taking the time to connect and Flourish with me.


I loaded up "Little Bloom", our vintage horse trailer with our seasonal fresh flowers and some of my favorite resources.


My talented photographer friend Molly Vaden of @Mollyvadenphotography had documented our farm and family since 2019. It was a full circle moment seeing our short film debut on the historical theatre screen!


Did you know you can boost your mood by simply looking at flowers for 6 seconds?!


Our story began in 2004 when we acquired my childhood custom log home along with its 5 acres. We grew our family and exposed our two children to growing veggies and remember them eating sweet peas off the vine and carrots with the dirt still on them. As the children grew so did our desire to cultivate our land. We had the desire to preserve our farmland, farm sustainably and with integrity. We began researching crops and took farm tours with Seattle Tilth Alliance. Learning from other farmers and considering ways we would like to turn our homestead into a small-scale farm. In 2019 Flourish Organic Farms became an LLC.


We discovered Snohomish County Conservation District www.Snohomishcd.org and it's wealth of support. We invited a farm planner to walk our fields and this is where www.flourishorganicfarms.com was born. My research turned into education and I narrowed my focus on flower farming.


The environmental impact of imported flowers became exposed. The use of fossil fuels that store-bought flowers generate is massive and we can no longer ignore its impact on our climate.


I discovered the Slower Flower movement www.slowflowers.com


This movement aims to champion a more mindful, seasonal, and sustainable consumption of cut flowers, challenging the growing disconnect between our desire for fresh flowers and where our blooms actually come from.


The Slow Flowers Society is a community and branding platform that promotes domestic flowers, connecting consumers with farmers, florists, designers, and retailers


When we take time to connect and build a relationship with our local farmers, we learn about their farming practices. We support local agriculture. We take control over how we spend our money, keeping it local and these decisions feel good.


Where to start:

  • I challenge you to shop for local resources and avoid big box stores. Most towns have a local Co-op or hardware store.

  • Start small. Set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals. What is your why?

  • Start with a soil test. A simple soil test can help you save time, money and set you up for a successful season.


Some of my favorite cut flower varieties to grow:

  • Dahlia

  • Peony

  • Ranunculus

  • Sedum

  • Sunflower

  • Zinnia

Don't overlook dried flower varieties like feverfew.


Seed sowing methods:

  • Each seed variety has its own set of sowing instructions. Do your research. Some require pre-chilling before germination others prefer direct light exposure while others need longer germination rates.

  • Know your growing zone. I'm farming in Snohomish County, Zone 8.

  • Know your first and last frost date.

  • Consider seed sowing on heat maps and under grow lights in order to start your seed sowing earlier Indoors.

  • I love my seed sowing trays from www.neversinktools.com

  • I was introduced to the soil-blocking method while attending a workshop www.growingkindnessproject.org presented by www.mossygatefarm.com this seed sowing method has many benefits.


Hydration:

  • Hand watering. Controlled, time-consuming, and therapeutic.

  • Drip line Irrigation or soaker hoses. Avoid overwatering.

  • Water at the root and not over top the bloom. Minimize disease.


Favorite Seed Companies:

  • Osborne seed co. Local and organic

  • Johnny's seeds, affordable and great germination rate

  • Floret Flower, local and unique varieties

  • Seed saving, swap with friends and neighbors.


Favorite Dahlia Resources:


Favorite flower farm tools:

  • Tool belt http://wheelermunroe.com/ It wears well and holds my favorites at my fingertips like gardening snips, chapstick, sharpie, and cell phone so I can work efficiently and have my phone handy to take pictures of my flowers.

  • Hortinova netting to support long stems and keep stems straight. I label the length and store them properly so I can reuse this tool www.Johnnys seeds.com

  • Cougar Urine. yep, this keeps pests out of the garden. Warning, introduce it to your farm dog before applying.

  • Butter knife. I keep one in my tool belt and use it when popping starts out of the trays when transplanting out.

  • The Garden Tower www.gardentowerproject.com offers a great setup for small spaces and container gardening.


Favorite Workshops:

  • The Growing Kindness Project, Alumni 2019

  • Floret Flower Online Workshop, Graduate 2021

  • The Bee Farmer. Tamila Morgan practices and teaches sustainable beekeeping, Arlington Wa.

  • Seattle Tilth Alliance

  • Snohomish Conservation District

  • Snohomish Dahlia Society, member since 2019

  • Country Living Expo, Stanwood Wa.

  • Focus on Farming, Monroe Wa.


Favorite Farming Podcasts:

  • Slow Flowers

  • Field and Garden

  • Farm Walk

  • My Digital Farmer

  • Team Flower

  • Let's Grow Girls

  • The Growing Kindness Project-stay tuned


Favorite Podcasts:

  • The Moth

  • The Next Right Thing

  • How I Built This

  • The Camano Voice


Favorite Farming Books:

  • The Floret Flower Series: Cur Flower Garden, A Year in Flowers, Discovering Dahlias.

  • The Lean Farm by Ben Hartman

  • Don't forget about your local Library and the digital audiobook app Libby


Favorite Magazines:

  • Growing for Market

  • Mother Earth

  • Magnolia


Favorite Resources:


Favorite Nurseries:


Favorite Farmers Market:

  • Arlington Farmers Market. We chose to market our fresh-cut flowers curbside from our vintage horse trailer "Little Bloom". We began marketing here back in 2019. Our local market begins Mother's Day Weekend in May and is open every Saturday through the end of September. Stay tuned for holiday market dates. Our market bouquets are available most Saturdays in Legion Park, 10-2 pm


Garden Shows:


Mental Health:

  • Set realistic expectations, avoid over-shopping seed catalogs

  • Avoid FOMO, especially on Social Media

  • Stretch, breathe, hydrate & protect sleep

  • Companion Farming with a friend

  • Celebrate Victories

  • Pick a bouquet for yourself. I like to wake up to mine on my nightstand.


Grant Opportunities:

NRCS stands for natural resource conservation service. It is part of the federal government, and more specifically, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NRCS's motto is "Helping people help the land." The agency was started as a response to the dust bowl. The agency offers voluntary programs to assist agricultural producers with their conservation goals. The programs are designed to address, soil, erosion, soil, health, plant, health, surface, and groundwater contamination, water use, air pollution, livestock, wildlife, habitat, and other environmental concerns, that land owners and ag producers might have on their property. Some of the common practices NRCS assists within this region, a Hightunnel's, nutrient management plans, more efficient irrigation systems, cover crops, crop rotation, riparian plantings, pollinator habitat plantings, removing fish passage barriers, gutters in concentrated areas, and more. NRCS programs are listed under "Conservation". More NRCS programs are cost-share programs, meaning that they will only pay a portion of the cost of the project, but it's a significant portion. There are also wetland easement programs and programs to preserve farmlands from development, and other uses. Anyone producing an agricultural commodity, property owners, and subsistence farmers can apply for NRCS programs if they have conservation goals. NRCS also provides free technical assistance and can be found in nearly all countries in the U.S.


The Growing Kindness Project:

This local nonprofit pulls on my heartstrings.

I have been honored to come alongside this project as a Growing Kindness Ambassador and Alumni since 2019.

"In a world that feels increasingly disconnected and divided, we’re bringing kindness back into communities by teaching people how to grow and freely give flowers to foster goodwill and meaningful connections."

Founder Deanna Kitchen says it best, "Start where you are and use what you have."


The Growing Kindness Mission:

"Growing Kindness is a little project with a big heart and a big dream. Our goal? To start a campaign of kindness that starts a ripple of goodwill that reaches across the world.

How? Flowers.

Growing a cut flower garden is easier than you think. All you need is a little bit of dirt and a big heart. We’re here to help you with the rest!

The Growing Kindness Project is working to support thousands, just like you, who want to share kindness by growing and giving flowers.

We provide support, education, and resources to help you both garden and give. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or have never grown a single plant, whether you’re tending a pot of flowers on your city balcony or acres of blooms on a farm, we’re here to help you grow kindness in your community. Join us and let’s get growing in your neighborhood or community!"



Flourish Organic Farms Goals:

  • Continue educating and encouraging others.

  • Flourish with a local business and provide a custom party. Bring our organic flowers to your one-of-a-kind bouquet-making experience. Are planning a celebration and would like an opportunity to work with flowers. I'd be hpnored to bring your vision to life!


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Leave a Review:

One of the nicest compliments you can give a business is to leave a Google Review. It's free, only takes a couple of minutes, and helps a small business. If you have constructive criticism please email me directly at Flourishorganicfarms@gmail.com

This gives me an opportunity to hear you and adjust so that I can continue to grow.


Shop our Online Shop:

We have Flourish Organic Farms merch. Including Farm Hats, Long Sleeve Farm Shirts, Sweatshirts, Waterbottle Stickers, Seeds, Gift Cards, and more.


Thank you for your continued support! I hope these resources are an encouragement to you. Remember Local Flowers Make Life Better and Keep Flourishing Friends!



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