Where can you find fresh local flower bouquets in September? While many of our yards and farms are slowly dying back this month, a source of great flower colors, shapes, and sizes can be seen growing on the corner of 40th street and 42nd avenue in south Minneapolis. Once the Tiny Diner Urban Farm, it is now home to one of the only organic flower growers in the region: Northerly Flora.
Northerly Flora is owned and operated by Longfellow neighborhood resident Molly Gaeckle. She uses the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model to distribute her flowers to customers, where the customers prepay for 3-5 months of fresh flower deliveries each week. This is her first season with her CSA at the urban farm and all appears to be growing well (except for a few bunnies mowing down tiny flower seedlings). If you would like to see the space and how she has changed and improved the former TD urban farm, or if you would like to reserve flower bouquets for next season, please contact her Facebook or Instagram @northerly.flora.
Here are is a 2017 mid-season reflection from Molly:
Northerly Flora’s first season has been a blast so far! It started last year as a new found excitement in
flowers and a plan to incorporate more into my large garden. But it quickly spiraled into renting a plot in Longfellow and really diving into a Flower CSA business. I am a ‘learn by doing’ person, so this first year has really been about experimentation and research. I was inspired to grow cut flowers as an effort to bring some beauty into my community in a very tangible way. Flowers are a gift, they make people happy and feel special, and I felt really motivated to bring some of that into people’s lives this year.
So far we have had 2 months of beautiful bouquets, each week showcasing new and interesting blooms. There have been successes and failures, the snapdragon crop was bountiful, and my CSA members loved the plum sunflowers in the most recent bouquets. However, I was so excited about these China Asters that look similar to peonies, but Aster Leafhoppers showed up this spring, and infected a lot of the crop with Aster Yellows. The highs and lows are a farming reality, it’s all part of the process.
I’m grateful for how well the season has been so far! It’s great being on this plot in Longfellow because my members can stop by weekly to pick up their bouquets and see the work that goes into creating it each week. I think folks are enjoying that direct connection to the garden, and learning about the flowers showing up in their homes each week.
– Molly Gaeckle, Owner and Operator of Northerly Flora
Thank you Molly for growing wonderful flowers that not only brighten our human lives but also feed our neighborhood pollinators. Also, thank you for using chemical-free (organic) production methods to keep our waters, soils, and communities free of pesticides/herbicides and other carcinogens. We can’t wait to peek in on your production next year and see what you have growing!