Six years ago I began working on an organic farm serendipitously. I started working as an assistant for their new wedding venue. By the time I moved on from that job, I had managed the venue and the farm’s office. During that time, I became interested in learning about organic farming, the food supply chain, and the self-sufficiency of gardening at home. A garden was started in the window sill of my farm office in a broken piece of 128-plug tray. I transplanted a few in pots to put in the window sills of my apartment. The following summer, we rented a house with a yard and room for a real garden. All 100+ vegetable seedlings I started in my dining room at home died so I settled for nursery bought starts, attracted at least 6 kinds of insects which devoured most of the rest of my garden, I canned an obscene amount of tomatoes from the giant plants that seemed to avoid the pests best. And that’s the ones that my chickens, dog, and cat didn’t destroy before the seedings took off. I also started bringing in bouquets from the flowering plants that were already in my rental home’s backyard.
As each year passed, I learned a little more and was increasingly successful in growing food. Flowers made their way into the garden as well. During this time I was transitioning to coordinating weddings, dabbling in floral design, and learning how to work for myself. This past year I transitioned once again, coordinating the fewest number of weddings, yet working more weddings in a year than I ever have. I designed 37 weddings between May and October. In each of those weddings, I included flowers that I grew in my garden into the bridal bouquet. I sold garden bouquets at a curbside stand and did a couple of events where I sold bouquets that were a design of local women-owned Snohomish County flower farms mixed with flowers from my cutting garden.
Towards the end of last season, I decided it was time to leave coordinating and focus solely on flowers. The decision was multifaceted. My health and family shifted to my priority, which meant I have to work a lot less, and a lot differently. As I thought through how to continue to work in a fulfilling way while staying at home with my kids, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to continue providing wedding floral but on a slower paced schedule than last season. Not only would this mean less hours away from home and something I could do on relatively my own schedule around kids, appointments, and self care, but it would allow me to provide more attention to detail to each couple’s design experience.
Finding fulfilling work that I could include my home and children can also be found in growing a big, abundant garden at home. With the right tools and pacing, I have space to grow what’s probably going to be a ridiculous amount of flowers in our south-facing, slightly sloped front yard. I’m hoping to be pleasantly overloaded with blooms and greenery, much light my first-year tomatoes. I have had six seasons of trial and error. I have read and put into practice intensive gardening and farming practices, used organic growing methods, learned about soil health and maintenance, and about the particulars of growing dozens of varieties of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. I feel ready to scale it up to a manageable 716 square feet of intensive flower growing. I will also be growing herbs for both bouquet use, culinary and herbal in containers, tomatoes in a small greenhouse, and vegetables for my family in a kitchen garden.
I am growing a sizable urban market garden. Saying this is seven years in the making. I am so hopeful for where this season could potentially go. I've applied for a city of Everett business license so I can apply to be a vendor at the Everett Station Wednesday Farmer's market. I will have a weekly and bi-weekly bouquet option for pickup and delivery in a few cities.
To learn about the flowers growing in the Cutting Garden this season and to keep up with it's progress, you can sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page.
To learn more about how you can support the growth of this Cutting Garden this season by purchasing a weekly or bi-weekly bouquet, Click Here.
I'd also love to interact and share the day to day workings of being a farmer-florist with you, and you can be apart of that by following me on Instagram.
I hope this season is going to be beautiful, well-paced, and full of abundant blooms for us all!