Cathy Olsen of Nurturing Nature Farm smiles as the little girl selects stems of flowers to create a bouquet for her grandmother. The little girl has arranged pink and white snapdragons with white daisies and smiles as she puts her bouquet in a mason jar filled with water. The little girl’s mother asks about how to make the flowers last longer. Cathy suggests trimming the stems and changing the water every day.
Cathy says that she loves to watch people come up to her display because they just start smiling. She also is surprised by the combinations people make: black-eyed Susan blooms with purple coxcombs and white loosestrife; or just a simple bouquet of a single type of flower such as snapdragons. She says that when people put together a bouquet they are making art because they are taking into account not just flowers’ color but also their “texture, form, and shape.”
Cathy wants everyone who comes to the Oakmont Farmers Market to feel like they can afford to buy flowers. It is for this reason that she says, “I sell by the stem so everyone can bring a few flowers home to brighten their day.” She thinks waking up to a bouquet of flowers helps make people a little happier.
Cathy has been growing flowers for six years on an acre or two of land in Boyertown. She starts 99% of her flowers from seeds which she sows indoors using soil blocks. When the seedlings are big enough, she transplants them outside. She does all the work composting and mulching and weeding the flowers herself. She makes her own compost and all of her flowers are grown organically without any pesticides or fertilizers.
Cathy strives to grow unusual flowers that you would otherwise never see available. For example, she grows four colors of coxcomb flowers, threedifferent colors of yarrow, and several different colors of snapdragon including a velvety magenta snapdragon called “Madame Butterfly.” This spring she planted 1500 dahlias, and she expects to bring these to sell at the market starting in September. This spring she planted another 220 old-fashioned roses and 200 more peonies because they were so much in demand. We can look forward to seeing these flowers for sale at the market next spring!
Cathy says that because the Oakmont Farmers Market happens on Wednesday, she brings us a huge variety of flowers which sometimes her weekend markets never see — because we buy them all! You can follow Nurturing Nature Farm on Facebook here!