MINDEMOYA—When a you arrive at Island Roots Flower Farm, you are greeted by a rural paradise of greenery and wildflowers, tranquility set in a rural setting. Entering in off Cress Road just outside Mindemoya, in addition to many stately rows of flowers, a quaint farm shop appears, with a large wooden bridge overlooking the stream that runs through the property off in the distance. Additional flower beds can be accessed by taking the bridge across the stream.
Co-owners Alexa Tipper, Cassie Wilson, Leslie Taylor and Nassim Naour built Island Roots Flower Farm on over five acres of land, planting over 30 varieties of flowers with plenty of help from family and friends. The farm boasts multiple varieties of sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, calendula, bachelor’s buttons, baby’s breath, everlastings, marigolds, strawflowers, stactice, dianthus and much more, although not all are in bloom at the same time. Gladioli are also available by the stem.
Ms. Wilson and Ms. Tipper first began partnering on ventures while students at Manitoulin Secondary School, raising $15,000 for charity by selling squash, baked goods and running various fundraisers. Fast forward a decade later, after spending a few years working on their respective careers, the duo decided to start this new adventure in their spare time. By enlisting their partners and family, they soon had enough combined experience to take on this big venture.
“Just last year, Island Roots Flower Farm was a cow pasture,” said Ms. Wilson. “Now, you’ll see it bustling with visitors on a busy day and see rows of colourful flowers decorating the fields.”
“It’s truly taken a village to get us to this point,” agrees Ms. Tipper. “This was way too big of an operation for just one or two people. What you see when you walk over the bridge or browse the rows of flowers is really a culmination of all of our family and friends working together. What’s awesome is that’s what Island Roots is about, coming back to your roots and just enjoying nature with the people you love. We just can’t thank our loved ones enough.”
“All of our parents and siblings have really stepped up to help,” said Ms. Wilson. “We could not have done it without them. A huge, huge, huge, thank you to them for their never ending support.”
Ms. Wilson explains that for $30, guests can purchase a harvest experience which includes a mason jar that’s yours to keep and the freedom to explore the fields and fill your jar with whatever flowers you like. “For guests that would like to tag along and help someone pick flowers, walk around and take photos, or just visit the farm for a picnic, there’s a small entry fee of $5,” she said. “This is a true family friendly activity—kids 12 and under are always free and pets are welcome!
The farm doesn’t stop when summer ends, though. The partners and their army of family and friends have planted over 300 pumpkins for a new pumpkin patch that will be ready for picking in October. Behind the pumpkin patch is a growing wall of sunflowers that will be ready for photo ops for the whole family. Island Roots Flower Farm is planning to sell squash and fall harvest displays for people to decorate their homes or doorsteps, perfect for Harvest Glory Days.
This year, the partners’ goal was to do a soft-launch due to the changing nature of COVID-19 and their new business model. “This year is all about testing the waters and growing our farming know-how,” said Ms. Wilson. Next year, the partners plan to invest heavily in marketing and farm upgrades.
Work in progress or not, Island Roots Flower Farm is well worth the visit for anyone who enjoys stopping to smell the flowers in these challenging times.
“Our goal isn’t just a flower farm,” said Ms. Wilson, “it’s a whole experience. We’re going to add to it every year to make somewhere great that both Islanders and tourists can enjoy.”
To keep up with Island Roots Flower Farm, follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@islandrootsflowerfarm).