Debra Prinzing

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SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet a Young Flower Farmer (Episode 105)

September 4th, 2013

Meet a Young Flower Farmer (Episode 105)

Janell Portrait

Meet new flower farmer Janell Patterson of Flower Forest Farm in Auburn, Washington

Earlier this year I met Janell Patterson, a young cut flower grower who launched Flower Forest Farm, a micro-agriculture endeavor that’s part of Seattle Tilth’s farm incubator program called Seattle Tilth Farm Works.

There's a forest and farm here, which perhaps inspire Janell's charming business name: Flower Forest Farm

There’s a forest and farm here, which perhaps inspire Janell’s charming business name: Flower Forest Farm

Located about 40 minutes southeast of Seattle in Auburn, where there are still patches of agricultural land that the developers have missed, Janell and several other new farmers at the are learning the art and science of growing through hands-on efforts. Tilth instructors provide extensive small farm business training and support. Here is some of the curriculum:

This program provides: 

Peek through one of Janell's pink dahlias catch a glimpse of the nasturtiums and Queen Anne's Lace flourishing beyond.

Peek through one of Janell’s pink dahlias catch a glimpse of the nasturtiums and Queen Anne’s Lace flourishing beyond.

Each participants’ time and sweat equity yields food or flowers that supply Tilth’s weekly Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions. Janell’s Flower Forest Farm is the only flower grower involved and it’s wonderful to see her beautiful ingredients supplying CSA customers and local farmers’ market shoppers. She manages a one-quarter acre parcel filled with beautiful rows of annuals and gorgeous dahlias.

A young mom, Janell brings an eclectic background to her endeavor. She has experience as a professional interior designer and she has been studying horticulture at South Seattle Communit College (which is where I gained my training in horticulture and landscape design). Janell also worked as an environmental volunteer managing a small rural tree nursery with the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa.

Fellow garden blogger Filiz Satir and I visited Seattle Tilth Farm Works in July and walked through the fields on a tour with Janell. You’ll hear Filiz’s voice (and a few of her own questions) on this recording as part of our conversation. See more of my photos below:

The forest looms beyond the Seattle Tilth Farm Works, creating a beautiful setting for growing flowers (and food)

The forest looms beyond the Seattle Tilth Farm Works, creating a beautiful setting for growing flowers (and food)

 

Zinnias on display in straight rows, ready to be harvested.

Zinnias on display in straight rows, ready to be harvested.

 

Another pretty dahlia, one of hundreds that Janell planted this season.

Another pretty dahlia, one of hundreds that Janell planted this season.

 

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas were at their peak when I visited in July, trellised inside the hoop house at Seattle Tilth Farm Works.

 

Basil

Love the dark Opal basil that Janell grows for her mixed CSA and Farmers’ Market bouquets.

Click here to learn more about Tilth’s CSA program, including how to order Janell’s weekly bouquets.

Click here to learn more about Flower Forest Farm’s flowers, bunches, bouquets and custom services.

  

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