Answering Common Questions I get asked about COWS & FLOWERS
Do you grow all the flowers in your arrangements? All flowers used for summer farmers market, CSA subscription and customer orders are arranged with farm-grown flowers. I will use wholesale flowers for weddings, events or holidays in the off season. I hope to continue expanding the size of our flower farm to better meet all of your flower needs. There are some flowers we just can't grow here in Iowa and a few varieties I haven't mastered. Always learning!
How did you get started growing flowers? I graduated from ISU with a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Communications. My goal was to focus on animal science but many of the classes filled up fast. I took a horticulture class my freshman year and I just felt very intrigued by perishable crops. I continued to take hort classes and my senior year I took a floral arranging class and that was what SEALED the deal! I started to make arrangements my junior year. I had a few orders that year and then I met Tyler! I mentioned to him that it would be pretty cool to plant a cut-flower garden and he was like... why not? LET'S DO IT! The rest is history haha. I would still consider myself a newbie but really we have come so far. I remember thinking it was probably a phase but here we are years later!
Are you a farmer florist full-time? No we operate our flower business alongside our full-time careers. I work for Linn County Farm Bureau as the Education Outreach Coordinator, working with schools to increase ag awareness, appreciation and knowledge and Tyler is the District Grounds Manager for Clear Creek Amana.
What do you offer? Flower subscription in the summer (weekly bouquets), farmers market, individual bouquets, weddings, events, holidays, etc,!
What do you feed your cattle? We raise the mama cows and baby calves until weaning. We then sell the calves at the sale barn where they will most likely go to a farm to be fed out to market size (about 1200 lbs). Our cows graze on grass all summer long and then we feed them hay throughout the winter months. Our calves eat creep feed to help ease the transition to weaning. There are so many labels out there but I just want to ensure you that all beef is good beef! Many farmers work with animal nutritionists to help provide their livestock with the best diet.
Do you give your cows and calves antibiotics or hormone implants? We only give an animal antibiotics on our farm if they are sick. All medications given to livestock have a withdrawal period we have to abide by. Nowadays pretty much all types of medicine have to be prescribed by a vet. We give our market animals a hormone implant but the amount of hormones implanted replaces the hormones lost when we turn the bulls into steers. There is also less hormones in beef then there is in a head of lettuce. #FoodForThought.
Do you own the cattle? Tyler and I are slowly investing into the herd. They are primarily dad's cows. We hope to one day be 50/50!
Do you live on the farm? We do not currently but that is the goal! Hopefully sooner rather than later but we are trying to be patient.
Long term goals? I hope to add a greenhouse and high tunnel to our operation. My goal is to continue to try new varieties, practice my design skills, and raise our kiddos up on the farm!
Favorite part? I love many aspects of farm life but my favorite evenings include harvesting a bouquet straight from the garden and checking cows with my boys.