There’s nothing quite like a bouquet to brighten up a typical day or special celebration. And just like the in-season fruits and vegetables we get to enjoy during the summer months, we can also find fresh florals grown, quite literally, in local farmers’ backyards. We’ll share where to find them and tips and tricks for lovely arrangements featuring flowers grown in Southwest Ohio.
While many flower farms and shops are selling locally grown florals, two growers sprouted up last summer in Washington Township and Springboro.
BrownTrout Acres, located on nearly four acres of land in suburban Washington Twp. is owned by Tracy Trout and Zach Brownlee. Tracy, a registered nurse, and Zach, a ceramic artist, moved back to the area after twenty years and immediately wanted to find a way to make use of their land and build a community.
Tracy shares, “We decided that growing cut flowers was a way to merge our love for gardening and natural beauty. Last year we offered a handful of flower subscriptions to test the waters and we were hooked! It has truly been a joy to share the flowers that we have grown and nurtured from seed to vase.”
Under the Pines Flower Farm, a five-acre farm in Springboro owned by Liz and Jake Cassinari came about in a bittersweet moment. Liz, who was widowed with three children (LillyMae 14, Zoey 10, and Ever Pieniazek 8) was starting to heal after remarrying when she and Jake decided to go on a camping trip for their honeymoon. They happened upon a flower farm that offered Liz the seed for the flower farm idea.
“We saw a beautiful field of colors and stopped for a closer look. It reminded me there is so much beauty even in the pain. The owners let us cut flowers to bring with us, and an idea was planted. Jake wasn’t sure at first, but we dipped a toe in last year with a flower cart and the community loved it,” shares Liz.
They have since added Journey, now age 2, to the brood. All of the kids are homeschooled and taking care of the farm is a family affair, with daughter LillyMae helping run the U-Pick operation this year.
Both farms grow many varieties each season, but they have a couple of favorite flowers.
“Our favorite flower is probably the Zinnia. We love how many varieties and colors there are! They are truly such a giving flower. Zinnias are a must-have in any cut-and-come-again garden,” says Liz.
”Dahlias are breathtaking and spectacularly diverse. It is hands down the most asked-about flowers when we have them in our arrangements. They also multiply over the growing season so you can often get five or more new plants from a single tuber at the end of the season. Both of our grandparents grew them so we feel it’s in our blood to love and grow these dazzling flowers,” Tracy enthuses.
There are key benefits to buying local flowers, going far beyond their freshness and beauty.
“Many cut flowers available in stores and floral shops come from Central and South America and may be full of pesticides and fungicides while also carrying a big carbon footprint,” explains Tracy. “When you buy local flowers, you support your local community and farmers while also promoting healthy soil.”
Liz shares, “Being around flowers has been shown to increase dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin levels in your brain! Not only is it amazing for you but it also supports farmers, families and ecosystems that are right in your community. We are firm believers that a community needs to support its community.”
These local flower growers are just starting their farming journeys, but they have goals for how they might continue to expand their offerings for their neighbors.
Under the Pines is considering a flower CSA next year and would love to offer farm-to-table meals amongst the flowers using crops from their family vegetable gardens, as well as photography sessions as a perk for their subscribers. Says Liz, “We want to help foster a love for neighbors knowing neighbors and we want to do that with flowers.”
At BrownTrout Acres, they plan to create more offerings with each season while staying small-scale. They will also be offering tulips in the offseason through indoor bulb forcing next year. Tracy explains it’s not only about what the land does for them, but how they can support the land as well.
“We strive to be good land stewards and are committed to building the soil and putting nutrients back into the earth. Our goal is to create a regenerative farm with cultivated growing areas as well as areas of natural habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. We intend to bring back a little ‘wild’ to the suburbs!”
Where to Find Local Flowers
Under the Pines Flower Farm
833 East State Rt 73, Springboro
419.722.2823 | email@example.com
Check social media for updates.
Flower Varieties: Zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, celosia, marigolds, linaria, bells of Ireland, Iceland poppies, snapdragons
9501 Paragon Road, Dayton
Seasonal flower subscriptions that include local delivery within a 10-mile radius of Centerville. Individual arrangements when available.
Flower Varieties: Sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, lisianthus, snapdragons, rudbeckia, goldenrod, yarrow, celosia, feverfew
Dorothy Lane Market
6177 Far Hills Ave, Washington Township
937.434.1294 | DorothyLane.com
Local growers: That Girl’s Flowers, Peach Mountain Organics, TraceyRae Farmer/Florist, The Flower Fields, Hungry Toad Farm
Flower Varieties: Mixed bouquets, dahlias, celosia, spring ranunculus, sunflowers, specialty tulips, single variety consumer bunches (snapdragons, lisianthus, etc.)
70A Westpark Rd, Dayton
937.433.8610 | FlowermanFlowers.com
The walk-in cooler offers florals sourced locally and internationally, varying week-to-week.
Flower Varieties: Celosia, cosmos, gomphrena, marigolds, scabiosa, zinnias, and other mixed assortment florals
Pro Floral Tips
Cut: “A clean, sharp cut allows the stems to take up water. Dull cuts and mashed stems will shorten the life of your flowers,” says Stuart Delk, floral director at Dorothy Lane Market.
Arrange: “Narrow-mouth jars and vases will hold your flowers more upright. Wide-mouth containers will require more stems and generally gives a more relaxed presentation,” explains Stuart. “Start with larger flowers first and build around those creating balance but don’t worry about perfect symmetry.”
Maintain: “Keep flowers cool, out of direct sunlight and away from fresh ripening fruit. Changing water daily, trimming stems at an angle and removing blooms as they fade will prolong your bouquet,” shares Tracy.
"Our goal is to create a regenerative farm with cultivated growing areas as well as areas of natural habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. We intend to bring back a little ‘wild’ to the suburbs!”