SPRING BAY—Emily Edwards and her boyfriend Isaac Sloss have launched an innovative cut flower business, Blooms Flower Farm, in Spring Bay.
“I have always had a huge passion for it,” laughs Ms. Edwards when asked why she got into the business of cut flowers, but there is also a deeper reason behind her decision. “I have personally experienced the impact of anxiety and depression,” she said, “and I have experienced the impact that flowers can have. I started Blooms to create happiness and health through flowers. My passion for flowers has shown me the strength of flowers on the wellbeing and mental health of myself and others. It is important to us that we provide fresh, local pesticide-free flowers to our community that have a smaller environmental impact on the planet.”
Ms. Edwards comes from a strong land-based arts background, her mother is 4elements Living Arts co-founder Sophie Edwards.
Ms. Edwards and her partner have purchased a small commercial greenhouse, 10 by 20 feet, with a round roof. “The round roof really helps with the headspace,” she said. “In more ways than one.” The round roof will prove very helpful when the snow begins to fly as Ms. Edwards said that they plan to keep the greenhouse up through all four seasons.
Her planting style involves a very dense and tall form of flower cultivation which allows for a very high output in a small space, which also helps to, literally, reduce the cultivation footprint. Ms. Edwards took a six-week course at Floret Flower Farm (located in the Skagit Valley, just 90 miles north of Seattle), one of the top cut flower operations in the world.
“In that six weeks they covered everything you need to know, with textbooks and video presentations on how to start up your own business,” she said. In addition, Ms. Edwards connected with the NOW program that assists female entrepreneurs navigate the world of small start-up business ventures. She received a grant from LAMBAC to get her business off the ground. She also partook in an eight-week course with Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) that helped with the creation of her business plan.
But it hasn’t all been book learning. Ms. Edwards spent the past six years working on various farms during the summer—she could regularly be found assisting with the alpaca shearing efforts at Lobo Loco Alpacas each late spring. “I finally decided to take the leap and start my dream farm, Blooms Flower Farm.”
The flower farm is just the tip of the tulip when it comes to her future plans, however, as she envisions creating a safe space where she can offer workshops.
When it comes to flowers, though, Ms. Edwards is taking a page from many food box subscription programs and grafting it onto the flower business. “I will be at the Kagawong Farmers’ Market, once that is again possible,” she said. “But the subscriptions will be weekly, bi-weekly and monthly delivery of in-season flower bouquets. People can also order special occasion bouquets and I can do custom orders as well.”
Bloom Flower Farm will feature some innovative security features as well—guard ducks. The ducks, which Ms. Edwards describes as “great foragers,” will be charged with helping to keep the ranks of blossoms pest-free, as a natural pest control.
Bloom Farms can be found on Facebook by searching that name, or Instagram through @bloomsmanitoulin, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (705) 210-0703.
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