Building a Flower Farm: The beginnings of Common Cheer
Written by Kayla
I’ve always loved the outdoors.
Growing up picking wild blueberries in the bush and gardening with my Grandma really fostered my enjoyment of nature and all it has to offer. Some of my favourite memories as a kid are digging garden fresh potatoes and picking peas in the pod at my Grandparents farm, which is now the home of my flower farm, Common Cheer. My Grandparents were humble farmers; while they experimented with a few different things, they settled on raising cattle.
The time spent on my Grandparents farm was quite influential; as a kid, I remember saying “I want to be a pea, potato, and cow farmer when I grow up.” Insert 6 year old me singing … ♫ These are a few of my favourite things.
Once my Grandparents had both passed on, the fate of the farm that made me the nature lover I am today was uncertain. Maybe it would be rented out – but to who? And if so, would we still be able to visit The Farm? The thought of not being able to freely go to The Farm was pretty heartbreaking and gut wrenching. (Tears are literally pouring down my face as I write this… it’s truly a special place.)
So, Andrew and I got thinking. And talking. And evaluating what’s important to us in this life. The Farm is a magical place hugging the wilderness. It’s surrounded by richly scented mossy forests filled with all kinds of creatures and plants. The creek behind it, and the little lakes around it make great canoeing spots. Instead of leaving the city for 3 blissful days in nature each summer… we could… move to The Farm and spend everyday in a place with the characteristics of our favourite getaways. I’d spent the previous 10 years contemplating a different career that combined horticulture and making people happy. Before my Grandma passed away, she would often say “I’ve lived a good life.” I wondered if I would say the same at 89 years old, if I continued contemplating a life/career change but never acted on it.
We’ve traded in our 3 day trips for a much bigger, longer adventure here at The Farm / Common Cheer. Summer 2020 was spent converting a portion of the cow pasture into our flower field. My Dad got Grandpa’s old dozer running and made a perfect growing area for our flowers from a lumpy, grassy pasture with an 8ft deep pile of well-aged manure at the centre of it. My first major harvest from the flower field was a whole pick-up truck worth of bailer twine!
Building a flower farm is not easy or fast. It takes considerable amounts of sweat, courage and unwavering determination. I want to highlight this for a moment. Many people say “you’re living the dream!” And yes! I am living my dream… it’s physically demanding with long hours spent outside, and equally long hours spent inside planning, ordering, researching, and sourcing materials. It’s exactly what I had in mind and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing with my life. This is my passion.
For me, this was more than just another move. This is the most intention-filled action of my adult life. My intention is to grow something beautiful here at The Farm, and spread the Common Cheer of flowers & nature to the community and beyond. I see flowers as a gateway to so many sweet moments shared with others. Common Cheer is meant to bring people together, and my hope is that what we create here will have ripple effects that adjust your perspective, and remind you to slow down and appreciate this big wonderful world.
The joy and cheer flowers give is something we all have in common.
So here is Common Cheer, a flower farm thoughtfully grown with intention.