Harvesting Flowers

The beginning of the growing season is always the busiest for farmers. But after a hectic start last year, Jill and Doug are prepared for the upcoming season. Last April, the cooler temperatures shortened the harvesting period. They had to work through the day, planting 15,000 daffodils and tulips in the early wee mornings. Besides that they are also harvesting hundreds of poppies, delphiniums and forget-me-nots.

The couple are party of the new movement of local farm-to-table plants and flowers across the country, hoping to connect with people with the beautiful flowers they grow. Come summer time, a beautiful display of sinnias, ammi, celosia, scabiosa and cosmos will brighten the fields. To keep the soil healthy, they rotate where they plant to help restore nutrients and prevent disease. To beat the heat, the group cuts first thing in the morning, then moves to the barn to arrange flowers for the designers.

It was never easy at first. Jill started by leasing an acre near the farm that she did her apprenticeship. She didn’t own equipment or have access to water, so she watered her crops from rain collected from the barn roof. Doug stepped in and they set up at the local farmer’s market selling their local produce. They realized quickly that they were just a tiny fish in a large pond and took it to the next level by selling their flowers. It was a hit. Today, they tend 25 acres, growing their beautiful flowers both organically and sustainably.