Fields of Heather Flower Farm works with local florists
Heather Moore walks down a row of zinnias while pointing out the variety of colors from pink to coral to deep red.
“These ones here are called the Queen Lime series so they have lime and blush or lime with orange. They’re kind of like antiques so I think those are cool,” she said. “I’m like ‘look at the colors on this one.’ They’re so pretty and different, so much variation.”
The zinnias are just one type of flower Moore is growing at her business Fields of Heather Flower Farm, a cut flower micro-farm, in Perry. Others include lisianthus, which Moore said resemble roses, snapdragons, double daisies, mums, sunflowers and more.
Moore has been practicing for a few years but this is the first year she has started selling her flowers to local florists. She started working with Harper Rose’s Floral and Gifts and Perry Flowers by Donna Jean earlier this summer. Another business, Britches 'n' Bows in Panora, plans to get flowers from Moore this fall.
Cherie Welch, owner of Harper Rose’s, and Donna Jean Cronk, owner of Perry Flowers by Donna Jean, have appreciated adding a local grower to their list of vendors. Moore sends a list of what’s available Monday morning and each florist picks what they would like to order. The flowers are then picked that night and delivered the next morning.
“It’s been really nice. It's local, obviously, so she’s cutting one day and we’re getting it the next day which I think is huge even for our customers to know they’re getting super long lasting stuff,” Welch said.
“Of course it’s always nice to support local businesses. And it’s not hard to buy beautiful things,” Cronk said of Moore’s flowers.
The flowers are then put together with others from various vendors into bouquets. Cronk has appreciated having a local vendor she can call if she’s missing a certain color.
“There’s been a couple times she’s just been a godsend. I had a bouquet that needed red and I had no red. I called her up, ‘are you available, do you have red?’ And she was Johnny-on-the-spot there, I mean she was just great.”
Welch enjoys having access to flowers like zinnias that her other vendors don’t typically offer.
“I think that the zinnias have just been a huge hit just because they’re different and they just look so good,” she said. “The colors are just amazing and we’ve ordered them in every color.”
Moore has been happy to see the positive responses as she wasn’t sure how it would go during her first year of selling flowers. It’s gone so well that she already has plans to expand next year. She plans to add a couple 50 foot rows as well as two 75 foot rows for more sunflowers.
“I was surprised at how receptive people were. We’ve been getting really good responses,” Moore said of the local florists. “I always said if nothing came of it then we had pretty flowers so it’s a win-win either way.”
Moore grew up around flowers as her grandma had a cut garden. She also worked for a greenhouse while in college and then at another greenhouse a couple years ago. She started doing research on flower farms after thinking of ways to cut down on mowing.
“I just started reading and I came across a couple people that are doing it, it’s kind of a movement right now,” Moore said. “The local movement is huge. I thought we had the land and we like to do it.”
Fields of Heather Flower Farm is her side business as she works full-time doing IT work for healthcare systems. Though the flower side doesn’t feel like work.
“Just being outside, they’re beautiful and all the different variations. Like I say all the time, ‘look at the color on this one.’ It’s amazing,” Moore said of what she enjoys about being out in the garden.
She doesn’t know what the future will hold for her flower business. She plans to expand next year based on this year’s responses and then go from there. Future offerings could include you-pick bouquets or flower subscriptions but Moore said they’ll just have to see how it goes.
For more information, contact Moore on her Facebook page, Fields of Heather Flower Farm.
“For the most part it’s really peaceful. It’s beautiful, how can you not enjoy it. It doesn’t feel like work,” Moore said of her flower business. “I just feel if it expands in the future and it grows into something more, that's great. But otherwise, I’m just enjoying it and just love the flowers and I love working with them. I can’t go wrong either way.”