After a card, flowers are the most purchased gift for moms for Mother Day. This year support local farmers by buying mom a fresh local bouquet.
Ashley Johnson in Lillington specializes in local cut flowers. Her farm, Foxhound Flower Farm, offers in-season fresh cut flowers in bouquets at the farm and at locations through out Wilmington. Last year was Johnson’s first year as a farm, and most of her sales were directly to florists.
“This year we tried the CSA-concept for selling flowers,” Johnson said. “We were surprised to sell out for the spring season. Our community has been responsive to the delivery concept and the fact that we partnered with popular retail stores in the Wilmington-area for drop off locations. We have been very fortunate to have developed relationships with other small businesses.
“For Mother’s Day we partnered with Love Lydia Bakery to offer an all NC-grown bouquet with fresh-baked goods. Mother’s Day is a huge flower holiday. I ended up partnering with other local flower farms and Piedmont Wholesale in Durham to help meet demand.”
Johnson plans to expand her farm to include another greenhouse, and she’s gearing up for her summer season for the CSA. “We still have some subscriptions available for the summer weeks.”
Although Foxhound Farms only offers on-farm pick up in Lillington and the delivery to the Wilmington area, Johnson hopes to expand to other communities including Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina.
The farm relies on word of mouth and Instagram to help build its customer base. Johnson feels buying local flowers can have similar benefits as buying local food. “My hope is you’ll see, for example, ranunculus flowers and instantly feel the relief of spring upon you, know summer is finally here when you receive a bouquet of lisianthus, and mark the transition between summer and the new year by the deep hues of autumn dahlias.”
“I always knew I wanted to do something with the family farm,” Johnson said. “My great-grandfather started the farm and grew tobacco and cotton and then my grandfather had hogs. My grandfather got out of farming and my dad didn’t farm either and the fields were leased out. I am excited to come back to the farm and combine it with my passion for flowers.”
There is still time to get flowers from mom for Sunday. Johnson suggests asking your florist if they offer local bouquets, as most do. Also many farmers markets offer fresh cut local flower arrangements.
She also offers advice for keeping your flowers fresher longer. “As soon as you get home cut the stems at an angle and place in cold water. Also, keep under the air conditioning and watch the water level. Flowers drink more than you think they will. Finally, change the water and snip the stems every day.”