Paying it Forward
I started growing flowers when our kids were still really small. To put that into perspective, Elora is in her third year of college and Jasper just graduated from high school. So I have been growing flowers for a very long time. When the kids were little, Chris was working as a mechanic down in Seattle and commuting back and forth to work every day. During the week he was hardly home and I was by myself caring for two young children so I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I tried out numerous small business ideas during those early years to see what would stick, including planting an heirloom cider orchard (I didn’t take into account that it would be at least five years until my first viable harvest). I raised more than a hundred chickens in our backyard for a rainbow egg business, but the birds kept escaping from their coop, and I would get angry calls from our neighbors daily. I even tried my hand at growing miniature vegetables for local customers, but quickly realized it takes a lot of baby zucchini to make $5. I attempted so many different ideas but none of them went anywhere. Along the way, I added flowers to my garden and started selling the extra blooms. Unlike all the other things I made or grew, flowers had the power to stir such deep emotion. Every time I delivered my homegrown blooms, complete strangers would open up and share the most beautiful stories with me. Almost every recipient had a flower memory that they could recall as if it were yesterday. It wasn’t until I started sharing flowers, which I had grown myself, that I felt like I had finally found my calling. From that season forward, every waking minute was devoted to the garden. I was obsessed. But I knew very little about flower farming.