Building A Small Farm

In 2010, Ben and I applied for funding through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) for a 30’ x 72’ high tunnel on our property. We had been growing food, and some flowers, for several years and were ready to up our game. The new space was HUGE, and we mulled over ideas for what to grow. We both agreed – it was too much to take on as a hobby. Where could we take this 2,100 square feet of potential?

Lavender. Tarragon. Basil, oregano, thyme and dill. My first dreams revolved around the scents and tastes of herbs. Somewhere in those dreams, however, rose up flowers. The idea and reality of cut flowers settled over us and just felt right. The Slow Flowers movement was just getting its feet under itself. Erin at Floret was regularly posting inspirational, informational, and absolutely beautiful blog posts. Ben and I would often begin thoughts with, “Well, Erin was saying that they….” A virtual, one-sided mentor – I don’t know how she does it, but somehow she has gifted so many of us with that same feeling. That she’s sitting at the table with you, scheming and planning for beauty and success at every step of the way. I owe a lot of our confidence to dive into this journey to her, and her team, at Floret. (and I’m excited about their new book coming out this spring!)

 In 2014 I was blessed to travel to Erin's farm for one of her inspirational workshops. I met some incredibly fabulous people who were, and continue to be, remarkably inspirational on a regular basis. 

In 2014 I was blessed to travel to Erin's farm for one of her inspirational workshops. I met some incredibly fabulous people who were, and continue to be, remarkably inspirational on a regular basis. 

Compost, soil amendments, neem oil, nematodes, ProMix, drip tape, Cool Bot, hortanova, low tunnels, sheds, tractor, Remay, plug trays, bulbs, bare root perennials, succession planted annuals – the list of things to acquire, establish and learn is neverending.

The creative design potential is breathtaking.

The opportunities to reach the community and share our flowers, share beauty and hope, feel wide ranging.

Since 2010, we’ve added two additional high tunnels and established over 2,000 square feet of permanent raised beds outside. We sell flowers at the Homer Farmers Market, at Save-U-More (my most-favorite local grocery store), through weekly subscriptions, through phone and web orders. I love our wedding clients, and the process of working with couples to design incredibly beautiful floral visions may be my favorite outlet for our flowers. In 2016 we were able to do a few trial runs of getting our Homer-grown tulips up to Anchorage, for Dallas and her team at Bloomsbury Blooms!

In 2016, I've taken some big steps. I've (mostly) left my job of 8+ years at a wonderful regional non-profit. We have a young family, and I'm committed to growing with this small farm, this budding design studio, this family business. I'm excited to keep sharing photos and stories with you through this journal. Ben and I both love the depth of knowledge we gain every year through working on the farm, in creative design and through managing our businesses (he's a sawmiller). This process of building a small farm is expansive. It’s a wide horizon of potential and opportunity, risk and reward. Here's to looking back to look ahead, and jumping in strong with wide, open eyes and heart.