Meet Our Farmers
Jessica grew up helping her mom grow colorful blooms every year - Zinnias were always in the mix! While travel nursing in Alaska in 2019, local Peony farms inspired her to Google "flower farming" and soon Iron Meadows Flower Farm was born. Now a full-time farmer, Jessica and her team take great pride in being local growers and they strive to respect their land and community by using socially responsible growing practices.
In 2022, Tony turned his love for gardening into a small farm business with the goal of providing his family and community with unique flowers and produce. His “Microfarm” is located next to the Hennepin Canal in Bureau County, Illinois and the name is inspired by the historical Lock House across the street.
Emma grew up gardening with her family and working on her grandparents’ strawberry farm in Ohio. She even grew flowers for her own wedding! After finishing undergrad and grad school at The Ohio State University in horticulture and crop science, Emma realized she wanted to return to growing flowers. In early 2020, her dream of starting a local business that supports the Northwest Indiana community she grew up in became reality. Emma hopes her grandkids might work at her farm one day. Now starting year four, she wants to continue to steward the land well and show more people the beauty of local flowers.
Ali has been growing cut flowers for markets, florist, and special events for over three years. Before that, she grew organic vegetables in the area. She focuses on regenerative agriculture because it is important to improve the land, encourage pollinators, and bring the community flowers grown without any pesticides or non-organic inputs. Ali enjoys this career immensely because it allows her to work outside with nature every day, be part of her community, and make unique and creative bouquets for people to enjoy.
Bud and Adrienne Dow are newlyweds with a passion for flowers, history, and all things creative. It all started with some extra land and a dream to make it a beautiful place they could share with everyone. As a team, they manage full-time careers and dedicate the rest of their time to the farm. They both plant, weed, mulch, mow and cut everything on the 3 acres. It can be a lot, but they are enjoying the journey learning together. They grow cut flowers and also beautiful vintage day lilies which they ship as bulbs.
TT & Susan at Twine Flower Farm have been honing their gardens for twenty plus years. Small gardens became larger gardens... They would share half of what they had with each other so their gardens would double and the rest is “flower math”. They have thousands of plants and flowers speckled all throughout their yards filled with color, texture, and wonder. After years of hearing many versions of “Why aren't you doing this for a living??”, they decided to turn it into the best job ever... and so Twine Flower Farm was born. TT & Susan grow cut flowers locally and without pesticides. They even keep five hives of bees! Twine Flower Farm’s goal is to share what they love with their community to inspire, nurture, and educate!
Becki grew up in Northwest Indiana and has always been connected to farming, 4H, and horses. While studying chemistry in college, she took a horticulture elective and fell in love with growing. She’s had had a farmer’s tan ever since! After graduating from Purdue with a BS in horticulture she had many jobs in the green industry but nothing is better than flower farming! Becky and her family grow on 3 acres and they specialize in dahlias, love to trial unusual cuts, and revel in the challenge of growing in zone 5b. Her team is maniacal about starting seeds, this year over 500 varieties! Green Trail Farm has an abundance of variety June through October.
Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL
Monarch Beauty Farm is a model of sustainable urban gardening. Maru, a certified horticulturist and passionate gardener, founded Monarch Beauty Farm in the bustling urban hub of Chicago's Northside. Her aim was to create an environment that supports the local bee and pollinator population. The project began small, with Maru transforming her parkway into a farmette with raised beds that produced cut flowers. Today, Monarch Beauty Farm boasts several hyper-local residential gardens that utilize regenerative practices, native plants, and integrated pest management. Maru has committed to using no synthetic fertilizers or sprays in her gardens. She grows local flowers eight months a year, including throughout winter, and caters primarily to CSA and retail clients. Maru also conducts floral workshops and enjoys meeting new people at markets.