We started our farm in 1981, a few days after we were married. Jim was a school teacher at the time and had the summer free; I needed to go back to work. The day I went back to work, he went to town and got the business license and signed us up for the farmers market. I had been gardening all my life. Jim was a city boy, and gardening seemed like a big expense which he felt would never be recovered. I told him we could make money selling at farmers markets, he took me seriously. The first item on his agenda was to put this garden to work making money. He has never been a procrastinator, without him I would still be thinking about getting a business license. Our first farm, close to the Everett, WA city limits, was only about an acre. We sold at the farmers market, did custom picking for local customers, and had a florist who bought most of what we grew.
We were really enjoying growing flowers, so next we bought 20 acres in the Snohomish Valley. It was all sub-irrigated, was awesome soil, and grew beautiful cut flowers. We specialized in plants that loved damp peaty soil, like the Giant White Calla. We soon became know for the Callas, although we also grew dahlias, pussywillows, cosmos, Queen Anne's Lace, and many other unusual cut flowers.
The circumstances of life often change, and the need for us to change occured after Jim suffered a stoke in 1998. It became clear that life would be simpler in order to be closer to family, so we moved south back to my roots in Lewis County Washington. We found a beautiful field near Onalaska, WA, on the Newaukum River. We purchased this land in 2001 and started shaping it into our current farm. Giant White Calla are still our specialty, but we are also growing roses, garden flowers, and clematis. We grow over 200 varieties of flowers, and have flowers available most of the year.
THE STORY OF THE GIANT WHITE CALLAS
Our Callas have been in our family for over fifty years; they are the same ones my grandma grew when she was a cut flower grower. She gave starts to my mom and my aunt and many other people too. She was very generous with plants. My mom gave me several starts, which I preceded to kill because my soil was not right for them. Then one day I found the perfect spot for a calla. It was at the end of the wash machine drain, which did not run into the septic tank like most are suppose too. It was very damp. I went and found my last withered calla root; the smallest you ever saw. I tucked it into its new wet spot and it was all history from there!