Flora is a family farm that focuses on growing cut flowers and flower seeds. We select highly desirable cultivars that are prized by brides and wedding designers; we harvest our cut flowers at their peak beauty; we are always on the look-out for unusual and new varieties; and we enjoy the shared creative process of growing a particular flower crop with our clients in mind.
The Country Life
Back in 2008 when I started Flora, my daughter had just been born the year before. After taking a break from work to get her off to a good start, I was itching to get my hands back in the dirt after so much inside time. Prior to her birth, I had been helping to run a small non-profit farm and education center here in Williams, where we grew vegetables, flowers, and herbs for a CSA and hosted farm camps and school visits for children. But I knew that I wanted to narrow my farming focus, and after assisting several friends with their wedding flowers, I felt the beauty and challenge of flowers calling me.
Working from home and on the farm has allowed me to include my daughter in my daily activities. Whether it’s weeding, transplanting, harvesting flowers, or cleaning seeds, it’s a lifestyle that children can easily participate in. Of course, the older she gets, the less keen Hannah is on the early mornings, but both of us are continually inspired by the beauty of what surrounds us here on the farm. There’s dirt under our fingernails, holes in our pants from climbing trees, and vases of flowers everywhere. (Don’t worry, I clean up well when it’s wedding time!) There are also inspiring pictures from flower magazines pinned up, coffee table books of the latest floral designs front and center, many saved photos of design ideas in my Instagram account, and exciting flower varieties dog-eared in all my favorite seed catalogs.
My mom, who lives next door with my dad, regularly reminds me when I bring her new flowers, “I always dreamed of you getting fresh bouquets from Pike’s Market when you went to school in Seattle” (imagine the wistful, far-off look). Well, my college student budget didn’t allow me then, but I’m able to live out that dream for both of us now and LOVE being able to share the pleasure of an incredible bloom with others.
I’m the Farmer
Now, nearly ten years into it, I grow over 90 varieties of flowers and foliage on less than an acre in Southern Oregon. My harvest season is from May through October. I work closely with brides and event planners, and provide market bouquets to retail stores and farmers’ markets in the Applegate and Rogue Valleys. I have flower seed available nationally and internationally through the Siskiyou Seeds website, an all-organic seed company based in Southern Oregon. I receive invaluable help with tractor work from my sweetie Don, and have a friend come work a day/week in the field with me. Otherwise, it’s just me, Hannah, our dog Grizz, and the good grace of Southern Oregon sun, water, soil microorganisms, and the flower fairies that bring in the harvest.