Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 23
Far Left: Vicki and Jack are part of the slow ﬂower movement at their farm in Beaufort. Left:
Vicki exits through an artfully decorated door as she continues a long day working on the farm.
She says the reward for her work comes from seeing the happiness each stem brings to those who
purchase them. Above: Deer ate most of the sunﬂowers grown at the farm before Jack built a
two-tiered fence to keep them out. Now 200 sunﬂowers are harvested here each week.
Franklin County farm. Vicki was having problems with her sunﬂowers becoming dinner for deer. Earlier this summer, Jack built a two-tiered fence. They
now harvest 200 sunﬂowers per week.
Vicki is cognizant of where the sun is throughout the day. Her normal morning starts at the break of dawn with hours harvesting ﬂowers before the sun
stretches too far into the sky. Other duties through the day include mowing,
weeding, planting, delivery, transplanting, chasing away chickens, watering,
renovating beds, mulching, multiple showers and, hopefully, a nap.
When the sun dips below the trees west of the farm it's time to harvest
again. Not opposed to using a ﬂashlight, Vicki races up and down the rows
until there's not enough light left to show what she's picking.
Vicki doesn't eat dinner until 10 p.m. most nights. "People think
ﬂower farming is glamorous," she says. "It isn't."
Vicki sets aside the hottest part of the day for her paperwork. Early
on in the business, she was knocking on the doors of ﬂorists. Now, she
sells to ﬂoral shops throughout St. Louis and for weddings.
Brides pre-order up to a year in advance of their big day. Vicki hosts
a picking party where brides and their matrons can come pick their own bouquets. She also picks buckets and buckets of ﬂowers according to the color
scheme for the DIY brides. "Three times they have told me that the ﬂowers were
the best part of the whole wedding," Vicki says.
Other ventures include ﬂower photography classes, yoga by the ﬂowers and
picking days open to the public.
The most important thing to both Vicki and Jack is that people understand
the importance of what they are doing. "I want people to know that agriculture
is not just their food," the Crawford Electric Cooperative members say.
Vicki is part of the slow ﬂower movement, which is similar to the slow food
movement. It inﬂuences people to buy fresh, local and sustainably grown ﬂowers. According to Vicki, 80 percent of ﬂowers in the United States come from
overseas. "It's one of the dirtiest parts of agriculture," Vicki explains.
The couple wants to end the environmental impact and expense of ﬂying in
ﬂowers from other countries. They want to create conscious consumers and do
all they can to help create a better world. "We take it to heart, the environmental impact. Even though we are small, it matters to us," says Jack.
While ﬂower farming might not be as glamorous as the ﬂowers themselves,
the reward comes from the happiness that each stem brings. "Everyone said we
can't do ﬂowers this way and we can and we do," Vicki adds.
For more information on Flower Hill Farm, email ﬂowerhillfarmgirl@att.net or
ﬁnd them on Facebook.
Below Right: Jack,Vicki's husband, tends to the extraneous matters at the farm. He takes care of the irrigation as well as ﬁnding ways to keep critters away from Vicki's ﬂowers. Before taking on Vicki's
passion of ﬂowers, Jack's main interest was beekeeping.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2017
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 4
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 5
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 6
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 7
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - 8
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Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - September 2017 - Cover4