…we had no idea we were going to be flower farmers.
I mean, absolutely no idea. We weren’t even in a place where we were considering being farmers at all.
In many ways, Steve and I “fell into” actual farming, but running underneath the current of our lives all along was our faith, our character, and the grit and determination that grew out of our past life experiences. These things made us great candidates for farming, and in the end, they’re the things that matter about us and about our flower farm business.
We grow some mighty fine flowers at Triple Wren, and we’re not half-bad at selling them, but there’s more. There’s a depth to our story that gives our story its unique flavor, and we’re excited to share it with you little by little in this space.
We started in 2012, smack in the middle of an apple orchard, with four 100-foot rows that we mostly hand-dug the sod from and tilled with our sweet neighbors’ self-propelled tiller. We were in the apple orchard as babysitters, helping friends who had gone on an adventure of their own for a few years. They needed caretakers in a pinch, and after asking half the county to fill in for them, they got to the very bottom of their list of candidates and asked us. We had zero farming experience and were fairly fresh transplants to the PNW from the East Coast, but the allure of a farm experience with our very young children was too good to pass up, and we jumped in with both feet.
Right about the same time we were approached by the apple farm owner, I stumbled across a display of Small Ag Business books in our public library and was stopped in my tracks by The Flower Farmer by
Lynn Byczynski. Never once before in my life had I considered where flowers come from, or who grew them. Although I considered myself a fairly conscious consumer, I hadn’t considered how imported flowers were affecting the domestic market, nor really American flower growers at all.
I was consumed by the idea of helping revitalize the American flower farming movement and market, and started researching every related topic I could get my hands on. We were overwhelmed by generous knowledge-sharing from flower farmers near and far, and with little knowledge but a lot of enthusiasm and perseverance, we dove in head first.
Little did we know that we were just north of the epicenter of the Slow Flowers movement in America, and that soon we would be rubbing elbows with industry-changers. We were such babies, farming-wise, and were awed by the flower giants in our community, but they welcomed us and our little farm began to thrive.
Within 2 years, Steve stopped working off-farm and we began full-time flower farming. This move was a complete game-changer for us, because suddenly we were ALL in. Without other income, making it in the flower farming realm was serious business, and we put our minds to it very seriously. Steve started a 3-year “Food to Bank On” program with Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, WA, and we began to dig into the business side of farming. We made a feasible business plan, built business credit, networked in our community, parented small kiddos, and grew flowers until we couldn’t see straight. Really, we did almost nothing else for 4 years. Sometimes it was boring, often it was frightening, but Triple Wren grew steadily, and frankly so did we.
In 2016, we were able to buy our very own 20-ish-acre farm. I can still hardly wrap my brain around this fact – we own and run a flower farm. In Washington. With employees and interns. Like adults. We’ve been in our freshly-livable farm house for just over one year now, and it’s still surreal. I may never get used to it! There’s an unmentionable amount of physical work still to be done as we mold this land into the vision we have for it, and we are completely overwhelmed by God’s grace in giving us this opportunity.
We really do love our lives, and I feel amazingly grateful to get to walk this beautiful path through life with my little family and our ever-widening circle of friends and “farm-ily!”