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In this blog, I will take you on my flower journey with me, through the good, the bad, and the beautiful of flower farming...from seed to bouquet and everything in between. I hope you will join me. If you sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom of this page) you will receive notices of new blog posts, and updates about items the farm will be offering each week.
My Flower Journey
When I was a little girl, from the age of one to five, I lived in Hawaii. Of course, living there my whole life was filled with flowers. My dad was in the Air Force and in his off time he worked for a local flower dealer. They had a little grass shack on the docks at Pearl Harbor and sold leis and orchids to the sailors as they got off the ships, to send home to the ladies in their lives. In fact, during Mother’s day week, the Captains told their crews that they weren’t allowed off the ship on leave if they didn’t have a receipt for flowers for Mom!
Every Sunday I wore an orchid corsage, that was almost bigger than I was, to Sunday School. I felt very special.
When we moved to the Valmont farm in 1962, it had been unoccupied for many years. It was so overgrown that I would get lost trying to get to the barn from the house! The weeds and wild brush were over six feet tall. But, everywhere there were flowers. Flowers my great grandmother, Minnie Madge, had planted. There were hollyhocks and iris, poppies and lilacs, and daylilies. Thousands of daylilies. And one very special peony. A gorgeous, buxom, deep burgundy one that smells like heaven. All of these flowers are still here, and I treasure them.
Although my mom was all about growing vegetables to feed her family, and that was her first priority, she loved flowers as well. She made little flower patches where she could, which, over the years, grew into bigger patches. In the spring, I delighted in taking big bouquets of flowers to my teacher. I couldn’t wait for the lilacs and iris to bloom. Mom would always let me have a little flower garden of my own to tend in the summer. She taught me how to start seeds and how to set the tiny plants out when it was warm enough.
One of my first jobs out of school was working for a florist and greenhouse. It was my favorite job of all time. I loved stepping into that shop on a cold winter morning and smelling those flowers. Oh, it still warms my heart today to think about it. That is where I really learned how to identify, care for and design cut flowers. I made everyday arrangements for the cooler to sell, I boxed roses for Valentine’s Day, made corsages for Homecoming and Prom, and I got to help the head designers with weddings, too. I loved doing weddings! They were crazy and stressful, but so much fun. We sometimes would have five or six weddings on one Saturday! Weddings are where I really honed and developed my floral design skills.
I love orchids, and at one point had over 150 of them in my house! I also had a bedroom filled with shelves and lights growing hundreds of unusual African violets from cuttings that I sold at the flower shop.
When my mom passed away in 1998, I came back to help my dad on the farm. I soon began to revive the vegetable garden. Then I opened a farm stand up on the main road and I sold vegetables, a few flowers, my homemade jam and my paintings (I am also an artist). In the Spring I would have my big heirloom tomato plant sale with plants I had grown from seed. The farm stand was a great success. I met so many wonderful people, and reconnected with old friends and neighbors whom I had lost track of.
Over the last few years, I haven't felt comfortable leaving my dad, who is now 98 years old, alone for long periods of time. I had to stop flying solo at the vegetable stand and come up with a new way to feed my passions. So, I decided to do what I had always wanted to do: grow flowers. And I mean lots of flowers!
Now, instead of a vegetable stand, I have joined forces with two other historic Valmont farms, Naughty Goat Farm and Andrus Farm. We now have one stand between the three of us at Naughty Goat Farm and we sell organic flowers (my specialty, of course), veggies, baked goods, coffee beans, and pasture raised eggs and meat. It’s been great fun, and much more convenient for our amazing customers.
I hope you'll continue to follow my flower journey and, maybe, also become part of my story. Don’t forget, 8-16 week flower CSAs are available NOW from Valmont Valley Farm. Get yours today! I appreciate your business and on-going support of my small farm.
Valmont Valley Farm
Where beautiful magic is always in bloom!