How did I get to this point in my life where I'm living in a beautiful town of CA with my beautiful family and growing beautiful things? If I told my teenage self I would be doing this today I would not believe me. Truth is though, I couldn't be happier! I strive to live in the present moment and being a new mom has certainly grounded me to living more in the Now than ever before. However, this post will take a retrospective look at how I got to be here doing what I do: growing flowers!
I could start out way back to when I was just learning to walk. This was when I started gardening! *Shout out to my wonderful, Mom!* who let me have my own garden year after year until I moved out. She gave me the space to grow, literally, and from an early age, I grew in love with nature, earth, flowers, and being in the dirt. I was also a little artist. When I wasn't gardening, I was drawing, coloring, or painting. One of my favorite things to do was to paint rocks and go around my neighborhood door to door asking if people wanted to buy my painted rocks! Turns out, I had quite the spirit of an entrepreneur. So taking a look back to my early years, I am not surprised to find myself here growing flowers, arranging them, and selling them to my local community.
Turns out though, I had no idea I wanted to be a farmer florist when I was in high school or college even. I thought I needed to become a professional in a field where I could get a good job or make lots of money because that's what school was preparing me for, right? Everyone has heard the term "poor, starving artist" and how could I make money gardening!? I decided to study Biology in college because this subject most interested me, but I still didn't know where this degree would take me. After I graduated, I drove out the very next day to California to be a bee research assistant at UC Davis for a few months. I knew I wasn't going to want to return home to Wisconsin after this temporary job, so I found a job working on the most beautiful farm: Free Spirit Farm. I harvested all sorts of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers that went to fancy restaurants in San Francisco. This was my first taste of farming and I fell in Love. One summer while working at Free Spirit Farm, I started up my own mini farm in the same town. I grew cut flowers, of course, and sold bouquets to friends and our local food co-op.
This was a wonderful experience, but ultimately, I was not in love with the land I had leased to grow flowers and I needed a job that wasn't only available in summer. This is when I found Kingbird Farms! I became manager of this gorgeous place farming and overseeing the production of veggies, fruit, herbs, eggs from chickens, and yes- I grew flowers here too! We had a weekly CSA and sales to restaurants.
I loved being here, but things changed yet again when I became pregnant! I moved back to Davis with my boyfriend, Derek, to raise our baby together. Our little guy, Nalin, was born in spring (March 23rd, 2015) and has been the best gift of all. I'm so grateful he was born to me and I love spending my days with him. With Derek owning and operating a landscape business in Davis, Whole System Designs, and me starting this flower farm, Nalin is sure to be a nature guy! He already gets super excited about flowers and it melts my heart.
The place I am farming now is part of The Collins Farm nestled between Davis and Dixon. You can see part of it as you are driving West on the 80. Ruhstaller has a hop yard and tap room off the Kidwell Road exit. The Collins Farm also has a Farmstand open May 23rd - Sept 6th which will sell The Collins Farm berry pies, jams, The Cloverleaf farm's fruit, Hearty Fork Farm's vegetables, and my flowers. We're all a part of this beautiful land and I'm looking forward to farming amongst some wonderful people.
Stay tuned as I will update this blog periodically about the experience of farming with a little one.