It started with a field... In which I pressed my face against the grass taking the sweet smell in, at my family's farm in Maryland. My retreat from New York City. It was the moment I realized I required dirt under my nails, soil on my hands and a life of farming.
To pay bills while attending school in NYC, I worked for Flower Girl NYC, a then little shop in Nolita about the size of a closet, picking up a Taxi-cab full of flowers off 34th St. and creating some of the most intricate arrangements, honing in on the style I adored. Shortly after my stint in NYC I left for Nashville, TN, where a good friend introduced me to some incredible farmers at Bear Creek Farm. I've always had a background in raising animals (mostly horses) but being a lover of food and the fair treatment of animals, I became a livestock farmer.
Spring forward a year, and I was accepted for an apprenticeship at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (Back to NY!) for Livestock, where I discovered my love for sheep and flowers. Although my time was mostly filled with all things animals, my off moments were spent with Shannon Algiere, the flower manager at Stone Barns, her two apprentices Leah and Erin, who all quickly became my flower mentors for the season.
Spring forward another year and now I reside in Nashville, Tennessee with a flock of sheep and a flower patch. Being a part of Stone Barns Center and farming in general has opened me up to the importance of supporting the local agriculture scene and purchasing directly from your farmer. My community of Bells Bend right outside of downtown Nashville has an abundance of thriving farms, run by young farmers hoping to support their dream. Working directly with these farmers has opened up the opportunity to create The Farmers Florist, where we profile the importance of Seasonal and Local.
It will be hard to change the ways of the flower market, but creating this direct relationship between farmer and florist has never brought more joy to my heart.