Something I never thought I’d say in my lifetime: I’m going to start a flower farm.
Yep, you heard it right. The girl who leaves dead mums on her front porch until mid-December, the girl who somehow managed to kill an aloe vera plant. That girl is going to become a flower farmer.
My precious daddy passed away in May of 2019, and in June 2020, my mother deeded their 40 acre farm to my sister and me. In 2011, the farm was devastated by a tornado, and had just been sitting their idly with nothing to show for itself except some hay that the neighbors cut, and some weeds in the ditches. It's good land, though - flat, fertile soil full of happy reminders of my youth, so I knew I had an obligation to make it fruitful again. I grew up on the farm, but I've been a city girl for over ten years. I had no idea what to do or where to start. Several things happened over the next few months that led me to where we are now, on the cusp of trying something completely out of my comfort zone.
As crazy as it sounds, I’ve always believed in signs. Maybe it’s because I doubt my own instincts and rely on divine intervention way too often, but I look for signs everywhere. In early summer, I began seeing posts on my Instagram feed about Haynes Farm, a sunflower farm near Cullman. I was mesmerized by the beautiful flowers and by the sheer number of people who drove all the way there to have their pictures made among them. My second sign came from the awe-inspiring 1818 farms in Mooresville. My husband and I drove our granddaughters there to see the sheep on their small, three acre farm, and I saw their beautiful flower gardens, tucked away behind a cute little barn. A friend of mine took a flower arranging course there, so I researched the website and found that their business model is incredible. Slowly, something began to tick in my little brain. I started entertaining the idea of growing flowers and selling them to market, but I knew there was still more I wanted to do. While Googling flower farms in my area, I came across the website for Collinette Flower Farms, and was intrigued by their u-pick concept. The very next day I was scrolling through Facebook, as I am prone to do, and a sweet friend of mine posted some beautiful pictures taken at - you guessed it - Collinette Farms. I told my husband we had to go that weekend, and I talked my son into meeting us there. I wanted two people with common sense to tell me this was a crazy idea so I could stop the madness, but I had already seen the signs, and they were pointing to flowers.
When we arrived at the farm, a lovely little patch of land way off the beaten path, I was surprised at the number of cars parked up and down the road. It was late August, near the end of the growing season, so the flowers were declining, but there were at least 20 people walking among the flowers, chatting with strangers, cutting stems, and arranging their bouquets. I knew that it wasn’t the flower growing itself that intrigued me - it was the shared community, the idea that I could make our farm a gathering place. As we walked back to our cars with our bouquets in hand, I looked at Eddie and Price, expecting them to give me all the reasons I needed to change my mind, but they were fully on board.
Get ready, friends. We’re about to grow some flowers.