Nearly 26 years ago, I was a toddler in Wisconsin with dirt underneath my fingernails, grass stained clothes, and flowers in my hands. Not much has changed today, except I got older. The outdoors was my playground and gardening was my center. I’ve always felt most comfortable and grounded in my garden. My mom gave me the freedom to use my garden space however I wanted and I always packed it full with flowers. Plant and flower guide books were my favorite to read as a child. It was natural that I studied biology in college and after, moved to California to work a summer job as a research assistant on a native bee project with UC Davis. I knew after two weeks of living here, I would not want to go back to Wisconsin. A farming job gave me the security to stay, and I found my calling. By 2014, I was farming a small plot of flowers and then managed a diverse 3-acre farm in Galt by 2015. Once I became pregnant with my son, I had to reevaluate my living and work situation which lead me to move back to Davis. When my son, Nalin, was 8months old, I was presented with an opportunity to farm flowers again. I now grow over 40 varieties on 1/3rd acre at The Collins Farm in Davis. You can also guess, that yes, my toddler farms with me! Nalin is now the little one with dirt underneath his fingernails, grass stained clothes, and flowers in his hands as he accompanies me on the farm.
–Owner, Lead Farmer and Designer, Katie Koch
My aim is to grow flowers in the most environmentally healthy way possible by building up the soil and leaving the soil food web intact and nourished. This means I do not till the soil thus preserving the network of life underground. I add layers of compost, mulch, and amendments each season to give back to the soil, hold in moisture, and suppress weeds. I farm naturally without the use of pesticides or herbicides and I aim to grow biodynamically according to the rhythms of nature. At any given day on the farm, one can find several species of bees, birds, butterflies, lizards, snakes, and so much more. The farm buzzes and hums with life especially during summer when everything is in full bloom. My aim is not only to preserve, but also to regenerate, the beautiful ecology on the farm.
Not Just Farming
There is an artistic side to me, and so naturally, I gravitate towards arranging the blooms that I grow. I am obsessed with creating color combinations and combining different textures that are pleasing to the eye. I want my arrangements to WOW my customers. It is so rewarding to be involved in every step of the way from seed to bloom to arrangement. Because I am the farmer and the florist, I can take extra care that my flowers are picked at their most optimal time, conditioned properly, and arranged thoughtfully. I design with my heart and soul, because just like farming, I have a burning passion towards creating beautiful designs! When you purchase flowers from me, you know they will be the absolute freshest, often picked just a day before you receive them.