Featured in smalltalk Magazine Vol I | Growth
B. Blumen Flower Farm
Photos by Erin Feltman Photography
At B. Blumen Flower Farm, visitors will find an experience that makes the destination worth the drive. These days, families are ready to get out and about, especially in nature. When owners and farmers, Jeff and Robin, started this venture, they didn’t expect their homestead and farm to turn into such a happy place for people to gather, but they welcome it.
On Fridays, be on the lookout for their drive-thru bouquet pick up events. They’ve seen a lot of success with this fun and easy idea. The first one was a success, and it seems to double in visitors each weekend. A great opportunity for the couple to make the most of their perishable product, this event has turned out crowds from Godley and counties beyond.
Robin and Jeff are first generation farmers and entrepreneurs at heart. After a couple various ventures, they were quick to pounce on the idea of a flower farm. Robin is a passionate and patient gardener, and neither one of them is afraid of a little sweat equity.
For example, Jeff built their home with absolutely no carpentry background. He taught himself with YouTube videos how to put together a little farm house for him and his bride, he even added a tiny home in the back for his mom.
As for a business plan, they knew that flowers were the highest margin cash crop and there was a gap in the industry here. There are no farms like it in the area, but there’s a good reason for that, flowers aren’t supposed to be able to grow well in Texas. They started with a test garden.
They’ve educated themselves on the best ways to make the most of their little ⅛ acre of grow space. First, they run what’s called a “no till farm.” Robin explains, “We use a broad fork that helps preserve the microbiome of the soil, rather than throwing a tiller in here and chopping up all the earthworms, also flipping the soil, which exposes the underside to sunlight and kills all the healthy bacteria.”
This area of Texas is known for not having great soil. “There’s nearly no phosphorus or organic matter, it is clay based for the most part,” Jeff says. “I built the house on the highest, flattest, largest spot, but basically we are standing on a giant band of limestone.” This was the hardest part of getting their garden started. Just to get six inches of soil, Jeff had to break apart all the limestone with hand tools.
With the land, the two knew they were starting this project in a deficit. The best approach was to use an environmentally friendly method, that means no pesticides, chemicals, or fertilizers. Organic farming preserves any nutrients in the soil really well, and builds the foundation for a farm that should be sustainable for many years to come. Jeff explains, “While also in line with our personal beliefs, we have to consider that we don’t have the flexibility to move around, we have to make the very most of it.”
In only a year’s time, their organic practices have already paid off, their garden has quadrupled in size and, “When it rains, there’s earthworms everywhere, and our garden is full of butterflies, ladybugs, hummingbirds,” Robin says. She further explains, “I grow everything from seed, other than bulbs or tubers, everything I grow is my little baby seed..” She is so passionate about her plants, when our community endured the hard freeze last winter, she wanted to go lay in the flower beds.
A favorite organic farming story of theirs is when their Celosia was covered in aphids, a common pest that quickly destroys crops. Typically managed by spraying with pesticides, Robin took a different approach. Within days, she found ladybug larvae, and days later, the ladybugs had grown and eaten away all the aphids leaving a fresh and healthy plant. Jeff adds, “Flowers want to grow, sometimes it’s our job to get out of nature’s way.”
JEFF PICTURED with one of the many rocks pulled from their garden. This was the hardest part of getting their garden started, just to get six inches of soil, Jeff had to break apart all the limestone with hand tools.
Robin loves growing atypical, even vintage flowers one wouldn’t find in the grocery store. Her very favorite are gladiolas. She loves flowers that trigger good memories for her customers. Jeff loves the zinnias, a bright and dramatic starter plant for anyone interested in farming flowers.
She still works at a Guerin Nursery in Granbury as the day manager three days a week. The owners have been mentors to Jeff and Robin. “Glen Guerin helped me put together the whole irrigation system,” says Jeff. “I’ve learned so much from him and now I understand how to put together a commercial system.”
It is a challenge running a business and a farm with only two people. The couple isn’t afraid of the physical work, but finding a balance between it all, and their quick success, is proving to be a difficult task.
They are taking it slow and learning to balance demand and growth, even though they’ve already experienced interest from wedding planners, event venues, hotels, and even chefs for their beautiful and organic flowers. This fall, Robin plans on harvesting and selling the seeds from her crop. The couple will continue their Friday drive thru bouquet event at the farm and participate in local farmers markets in Acton, Benbrook, and Granbury.
They encourage and promote fellow farmers and entrepreneurs and hope their farm continues to be a place where people like to gather.
B. Blumen FLower Farm
Farm tours and events are listed on the website. Call to schedule a private tour.
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