Flower farms are bringing locally grown beauty to Baton Rouge
From the city proper to the outskirts, a crop of passionate individuals is returning to their roots through the growing of flowers. The patient art of planting, cultivating and collecting is a signal of a return to a simpler time. Sunnyglade Farm owners Agnes and Ross Collins began working full time to revitalize Agnes’s family’s farm in July 2019. Now, amid fields of vegetables and flocks of sheep, there are rows of vibrant blooms waiting to be cut and sold to local florists and the public alike. “It is a great opportunity for us to grow things locally that may not ship well, like sweet peas,” Agnes says. “This is bringing back access to old garden varieties, allowing more floral designers to provide the lush, loose garden look that many customers are now looking for.”
Mist & Mallow
Rather than on acres of farmland, Jaclyn Williams’ micro flower farm is cultivated in her Mid City backyard. For this molecular biologist, gardening is a hobby that has quickly turned into a side hustle, as she has gone from sharing bright blossoms with neighbors and coworkers to selling the fruits of her labor at Local Pop-Up markets, as well as to florists. “My goal has always been to grow flowers that cannot be found at our local grocery store,” Williams explains, “and to educate my customers and garden enthusiasts on how they could do the same in their own backyards.”
Piper Scout Farms
Laura and Nick Taylor have also taken their backyard and reimagined it into a floral oasis. Business wasn’t the goal, though. They just wanted to beautify the landscape and support local pollinators and wildlife. “There’s just something special about fresh-cut blooms that brings life and joy amidst the craziness of our modern world,” Nick says. “With expanding our growing beds, we decided it made sense to grow some extra and share the joy with those around us.” Their blooms are available through floral subscriptions that run June through August.
It was an empty lot next to his Mid City home that was the inspiration Dustin Smith and his partner Sydney needed in the midst of the pandemic. Smith’s “quarantine project” has grown from simply upgrading the curb appeal of the property to selling a few small blooms at restaurants and now to selling bouquets, along with potted plants and even vegetables, at pop-ups all over the city. “I love all things gardening,” Smith says, “but there’s something irresistibly cheery about a vase full of fresh, homegrown flowers.”