Dear Customers, Subscribers, inquisitive Visitors, and Flower Lovers,
Wind Haven Farm is, and has been small cut flower farm in a little place called Topping, in Middlesex County, Virginia until now. In 2021 we are still a small sustainably grown cut flower farm, but we have worked very hard to move our farm to its new forever home in King William County and onto family land. But to go back to the beginning of our story that led us to today...
A few years ago, I had just graduated from college, gotten married, and I wanted to find a way to be creative, make a living, and reside in the country. Should be easy to figure out right?
After working for some amazing artists and some other odd jobs, I was offered a position at my in-laws' farm, Dayspring. Dayspring Farm is primarily a vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm, but offered their subscribers a flower share where they could get a bouquet of flowers every week with their produce bags. The flowers were a magnet for me with all their beautiful shapes, colors, and textures. Here was where I could focus that creative energy and skills I had been taught! At Dayspring I learned how to truly grow flowers. I learned the basics of crop planning, seed starting, planting, cultivation, harvesting, and bouquet making. After a few years of working for them, Charlie and Miriam told me that they were not going to continue growing flowers at Dayspring. Their son, and my husband, Paul Maloney immediately offered to till up every inch of our small property and turn it into a flower farm! I had never thought of owning our own flower farm, but once I started thinking about it, a concrete plan began to form...
We were going to become flower farmers!
In our 4th season we were finally able to have Paul work full time on the farm, and there were other wonderful individuals who made up our first real flower team! These people allowed us to provide thousands of blooms to our customers all season, and changed us for the better.
Now we are going into our 8th growing season! We have been welcomed into the cut flower market by local florists, grocers, CSA programs, and The River City Flower Exchange and we are so incredibly grateful.
This season, the high tunnels have been moved and are full of baby plants full of promise, walk in coolers moved, starter greenhouses constructed, soil cover cropped, perennials planted, and the barn built at our new farm in King William. While we are sad to leave our little community we have built in Topping, this location will benefit us and our business in the long run. This is the end location, here Wind Haven Farm will have plenty of room to grow into more than we ever dreamed it could be, stay tuned! To our customers, and friends in Middlesex and the Northern Neck, you started our business, and supported us wholeheartedly, for that we love you and have not, and will not forget you! We will still be delivering flowers once a week to the stores, restaurants, and operating the Flower Bouquet Share Program as we have been up over the years. Check out our Flower Bouquet Share page to see updates on how and where we will be selling our flowers for the 2021 season.
We have been planning this move for three or more years now, it just happens that the timing was aimed at the now infamous year of 2020. When Covid 19 came into our lives, we had just truly begun our last season at our farm in Topping, while preparing the land and building our barn in King William. Our house was also slated to start construction in April of 2020, so let's just say our house should start any week now in 2021. When the lock downs came, our barn was framed in but not closed in and water tight yet. The crew working on it went from 4-5 people to Paul and one other person for the next few months, working long days and hours until it could be stabilized and dried in. Here at home we were wondering if we should just stop seeding, shut down the farm for a year and concentrate on moving and start again in 2021. This option, while viable, still felt like it was admitting failure. We don't do failure well. Then something unforeseen came along. When the shut downs came, the global supply lines of wholesale cut flowers fell apart. Wholesale warehouses were having a hard time getting cut flowers of any quality. Our florists, and other wholesale clients couldn't get flowers while they were trying to just survive. If we stopped selling they might have to stop as well. This is where local flower growers like us came in. We had flowers to sell! This, and our customers wanted us to survive as well! We decided to keep going, to fight for the 2020 season. In this plan we decided to try to build our Flower Share Program, build up our wholesale clients, and reach out to the public through online advertising and social media to bring people safely to our farm to purchase flowers. The Wind Haven Farm Front Porch Flower Market was born, socially distant, and honor box style. The reaction was more than we could have ever dreamed, as folks looking for a ray of sunshine in otherwise a very dark and gray world decided to go on road trips to buy our flowers. They came from areas as far away as Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, Richmond, and in some cases Charlottesville, as well as our local flower supporters. These wonderful people saved us this past spring, and we will never forget that magic of people reaching out to people and sharing flowers, hope, and light with each other. Thank you! This growth in our reach and the fact that people were spending so much more time in their homes led to an increased membership in our Bouquet Share Program at all of our drop off locations. The share numbers went from around 40 members in 2019 to 100 members in 2020. We are grateful, and have felt and still feel such fulfillment by sending bouquets of our flowers into their homes, especially during this difficult time.
We have said this before, and we will say it again, as a flower farmer, and farmers in general, we are an optimistic breed of people. We sow seeds, plant thousands of transplants every year on a wing and a prayer, with optimism for a future that doesn't exist yet. I personally am a believer that if you hold that future in your soul to guide you, that is exactly where you will be one day. America is suffering, the world is suffering, humanity is suffering, but if good people believe in a brighter future, (hopefully filled with flowers), it will come.
We are so excited to share all of the beauty of fresh blooms with you this upcoming season!
Thanks to everyone for choosing to support our dream by buying our flowers. You are making our dream a reality, and making a difference in your community by buying locally and sustainably.
Your Local Flower Farmers,
Jenny and Paul Maloney