Chet and Kristy Anderson of Colorado’s Fresh Herb Co. (Episode 177)
January 20th, 2015
It is my pleasure to introduce you this week to Chet and Kristy Anderson, veteran flower farmers and owners of The Fresh Herb Co., based in Boulder, Colorado.
If you’re a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers or if you’ve read the “Rocky Mountain Flowers” chapter in The 50 Mile Bouquet, you’re already familiar with the Anderson name — and their beautiful flowers.
The Fresh Herb Company is a specialty grower of culinary and ornamental greenhouse crops and fresh field-cut flowers, proudly serving the Rocky Mountain West local market for over 30 years.
Chet and Kristy grow fresh greenhouse and field-cut flowers May through October. They market field fresh bouquets, peonies, phlox, sunflowers, zinnias, delphinium, larkspur, and many more varieties to customers throughout the Rocky Mountain Region — including grocery chains, weddings and special events., as well as at the Boulder County Farmers Market,
Warm, intelligent, creative and engaging, this couple has been so generous over the years in sharing their home and time with me. I visited their farm in May 2011, after being part of a lecture series at the Denver Botanic Garden.
We reconnected in November 2012, when Kristy and Chet came to the ASCFG national conference that was held in Tacoma. And when it turned out that I was going to fly through Denver on my way to a conference for professional speakers this past November, well . . . I basically invited myself to Longmont, about 20 minutes from Boulder, where the Andersons live on the most picturesque flower farm.
Chet emailed me back almost immediately, saying “yes.” Hi Debra…..we would love to see you. Let’s count on seeing you here at the farm at 12:ish. We’ll have a bite here and get you on the road in time to make it to the Springs by 4:00. Sound ok? Thanks, C.
I was eager to see Kristy and Chet and to get an update on how things had progressed in the previous 12 months.
You see, in mid-September of 2013, we got word that an autumn storm in their area caused devastating floods from Lefthand Creek, wiping out a huge portion of The Fresh Herb Co.’s farm. Right after the disaster, Chet wrote this in an email:
” . . . pretty bad here. House is fine; greenhouse is mostly OK. Barn and coolers are still taking on water but are mostly OK. Pump house is gone. The pond is FULLY silted in (very amazing!). All roads to and from our facilities are gone and there is only one way out of here to town. Flower fields very rough….not sure what will survive, though the peonies fared the best (ya gotta love peonies, eh?). Biggest bummer may be that I have 3,000 bunches of sunflowers and nearly 500 beautiful bouquets in the cooler with no place to go! Dang! . . . “
And then he concluded with a few words that tell you volumes about Chet’s rather upbeat outlook on life:
“As we all know, things could always be worse. Very thankful that family and friends, and house are all safe. Now simply the cleanup.”
I always say that American flower farmers are tenacious and resilient. Listen to our conversation as evidence.
After a delightful lunch featuring butternut squash soup (so beautiful that I had to photograph it!), we walked the farm, saw the enlarged and repaired greenhouse, now 17,000 square feet in size, admired all the new peonies and perennials that were in the ground, ready to hunker down through winter in anticipation of spring.
Then Kristy, Chet and I sat outdoors on their stone patio. Yes, it was early November in Colorado, and yes, it snowed just a few days later at the conference where I was, at least, in Colorado Springs. But I felt the sunshine on my shoulders and was truly warmed by our conversation. Thanks for listening in . . .
I’d love you to read the entire story about Chet and Kristy, as included in The 50 Mile Bouquet.
Download the PDF of their chapter here: Rocky_Mountain_Flowers_The_50_Mile_Bouquet
And if you are lucky enough to make it to Boulder, Colorado, make sure to schedule a day at their famous Farmer’s Market and stop by to say hello to these intrepid and passionate folks!
Listeners like you are downloading and listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast more than ever before! We have exceeded 30,000 downloads and every time that figure climbs, I’m encouraged that more people are learning about the farmers and florists who are keeping American-grown flowers thriving. So I thank you!!! If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts.