Happy Birthday, Little Bluestem Farm!
Every place I’ve lived I have had a garden — sometimes the soil was rich and sometimes it was rocky…sometimes my efforts were welcome and sometimes I had to sneak a few seeds in the ground…but I’ve always managed to have a few flowers or vegetable to tend and to give away.
Our family bought the property we now call Little Bluestem Farm in December four years ago. There was an old house nestled among towering oaks on the site and a garden that had the benefit of decades of fallen leaves.
We made the decision that the house was too far gone to be renovated, so we began to dismantle it to use the material on a new house — a dogtrot house very similar to the old one. And, as soon as the temperatures began to warm, I headed to the garden. The first year, I reclaimed about half of the garden, and the second year, the entire garden was filled with vegetables and zinnias.
I love every part of gardening — but through the years, I have found that what sends me out into the cold or the heat and makes me work just a little harder is the possibility of sharing produce with others. When I discovered the local flower movement, the idea of a flower farm became irresistible.
On our drive home from west Texas a year ago this month, the reality of a family flower farm germinated and began to grow. We talked about everything from the name of the farm to which days we would deliver CSA orders…it is a long drive from Alpine, Texas to Carthage, Mississippi.
As we drove along we happened upon a place called Wildseed Farms near Fredericksburg, Texas. We stopped, bought a few seed packets, picked up a catalog, and went on our way. As I began to peruse the catalog, I realized that it was the same company catalog I had found on my mother’s kitchen counter after she died 14 years ago. Mother had written on the front page (only days earlier) “This catalog is for Beth.” Realizing that connection between my mother and the flowers I hoped to grow transformed the idea of a flower farm into something much deeper for me than just startinga micro-business. It began to feel then…and has continued to feel like a calling.
Our hope is that through our work at Little Bluestem Farm we can continue to send the joy we find growing and arranging our flowers into the lives of others.