In 2016, I sold sunflowers and zinnias to nine local florists in the Greensboro, Kernersville, and Winston-Salem area. I was so happy that local florists were excited to have fresh locally grown flowers. The following year I added celosia cockscomb, celosia plumes, ageratum, dahlias, eucalyptus, lisianthus, yarrow, and zinnias. I also tried some other cut flowers but narrowed the flowers down to these eight cut flowers. Besides selling to florists, I have added some wedding designers especially since I have increased the number of dahlias I have been growing. This year I am making some changes as I want to focus more on dahlias. I am growing over 200 varieties. I am taking a lot of notes about which varieties seem to do well in our hot and humid summers. I really enjoy being self-employed and growing flowers for a living. I am so excited to start my 5th year of selling locally grown flowers in 2020. I am also selling dahlia tubers this year to help supplement my income to help pay for the expenses of being a flower farmer. I do appreciate all the local florists buying my flowers and everyone who purchases dahlia tubers from me online. I really enjoy growing these flowers and your support means a lot to me.
We purchased this farm 5 years ago. We have almost 12 acres. The farm is in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina. I knew when we purchased it that I wanted to do something with the land. Growing up in Delaware, my grandparents had a farm that we always went to on weekends. My Mom's Dad was a dairy farmer and sold milk in the local town door to door in the 1930's. Milk sold for 12 cents a quart! Eventually he just grew soybeans or corn on the land. The Delaware farm is a centennial farm as it has been in our family for over 100 years and my brother continues to farm on the land. So even though I have an accounting background and have mostly lived in neighborhoods with ½ acre lots, I grew up understanding what it is like to somewhat grow up on a farm. I never would have guessed that I would become a flower farmer.
I have always grown flowers and had large flower beds. I have been a Forsyth County extension master gardener volunteer since 2015. I started farming in March of 2015 when we purchased the farm. In August 2015, I attended the Chatham County Cooperative Extension workshop on “Growing Cut Flowers for Market” in Pittsboro, NC. I learned so much at that two day workshop. I thought I was going to grow vegetables and sell at the local farmers market. I came home from that workshop and told my husband “I love flowers, and I can make money growing flowers on the farm”. I began farming on four 100 foot rows. Now, I have forty 100 foot rows for cut flowers. The cut flower field is surrounded by deer fencing and is about 1 acre.
Hi! I am Paula. When I told my father that I was growing flowers as a living, he laughed and said your grandmother did that. Apparently, she grew various bulbs, dahlias, zinnias, and other flowers for the local florist back in the 1940's. I did not know that. When I was born, my dad's parents had moved from that farm to a house into town but she did have large flower beds that I always remembered. I always thought my brother would be the only farmer in the family but after all these years, here I am flower farming!
My husband has a full time job; however, he does help with some jobs on the farm when he has time. We have always had large flower beds wherever we lived. He is really good about remembering all the flower varieties. He really enjoys taking an evening tour around the yard and see what is blooming. We also enjoy feeding the wild birds and especially the hummingbirds. We have several bluebird houses on the farm.
Because of the name of our farm, I am often asked if we have honey bees. We did have honey bees until 2019. We really enjoyed beekeeping; however, they just kept swarming! Our flowers support many species of native bees. We also see many monarch butterflies on the farm. We are all about growing crops naturally and creating native pollinator habitats.