I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was last week to finally get a chance to visit North Field Farm, a small specialty peony operation up near the Canadian border. Hopefully this picture can express the absolute joy of the moment. Two words: PURE MAGIC!
I’ve heard tales of the overwhelming beauty of North Field for years, and have always intended to make the trek, but late May and early June are always a crazy time of year and work always seems to get in the way of visiting. Excuses, excuses, excuses…
But this year was different. After a long hot day in the fields weeding and netting flowers, talking about how beautiful the peony farm must be in full bloom, we collectively agreed that we just couldn’t miss another year of seeing Geraldine’s farm and made a mad dash north. We arrived just as the sun was settling into magic hour.
There’s nothing quite like being turned loose in someone else’s flower patch. Standing on the edge of a 2 acre peony field and being told, “cut whatever you like”. Well, our jaws just about hit the floor.
Vanessa and I ran around like crazy women, trying to see, smell and pick one of every single variety before the sun set. Chris roamed the fields with the camera and captured the beauty of the moment so we could share it with you. If only you could have been there! It was truly amazing.
Row after row of fully blown peonies, sparkling in the late day sun. It was enough to send even the most hardened person into a flower induced fit.
What amazed me the most during our visit, besides the immaculately weeded beds, was the number of varieties in the patch. Geraldine shared that she has almost 60 varieties in production and a total of 400 scattered around the property. There’s a book worth making, right there!
Getting to know the local growers in your area, seeing their farms and hearing about their passion for growing is a life altering experience. Years and years of hard work, love and dedication all in full bloom before your eyes. You’ll never see flowers the same way again.
If you’ve been making excuses about getting out and seeing what’s being cultivated in your area, I want to challenge you to make this year the one you drop your excuses. If there’s an opportunity to take a farm field trip or two, then jump on it! Go and meet the growers in your area (Hint: check out the Farmer-Florist Collective–viewable on Desktop computers). Get to know them. See what they’re up to. Share with them what you’d love to get your hands on in the future.
If we start reaching out beyond sourcing everything through the wholesalers, and the middlemen, and off of spreadsheets and begin to connect with each other (farmers and florists), there is a world of magic to be discovered.
So, here’s to the local flower season, to building new relationships, to learning and supporting each other in our passions and to getting out and seeing what’s growing locally!
I double dog dare you!
UPDATE: After being flooded with requests for more information on North Field Farm, I can now share details. Here’s the scoop:
Tours of North Field are not available to the general public. If you live in the area and want to order cut peonies in late May or early June, call Geraldine at: 360-380-5257. The minimum order is $100. Please note: North Field offers peonies for local sales only; shipping is not available.