In this business spotlight I speak with Linda Chapman, owner of Harvest Moon Flower Farms in Spencer, Indiana to learn about the history of the farm and a few tips on how to care for cut flowers in your home.
Andrea Lutz: Hi all, it's Andrea Lutz with REMAX Acclaimed Property. For those of you who don't know, I actually owned a flower shop in Bloomington for over 10 years and I've always loved to be around flowers. Today I came out to Spencer Indiana to see Harvest Moon Flower Farms and to speak with Linda Chapman the owner. Linda, give me a little bit of background on what got you started on flowers and just a little bit of history on the farm?
Linda Chapman: Yeah, Andrea. I started this farm about 30 years ago. I had two young children at the time. It was really quite small. We just did flowers for the Bloomington Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. I ended up homeschooling our kids, so this small business really worked into that lifestyle well, gave my kids a good work ethic. And then when they went onto high school, college and became adults the farm started to really grow.
Linda Chapman: At this point it's at about two and a half acres. We do grow 12 months out of the year including the winter time. Generally in the summer-time we're at three farmer's markets a week. We have about 14 businesses that we have flower subscriptions with. We offer culinary herbs and produce to local chefs, and we do between 70 and 80 weddings a year.
Andrea Lutz: Oh my gosh, that's excellent. That's a lot of work too. I remember the weddings and I remember how much work they are.
Linda Chapman: So much work.
Andrea Lutz: So much work, but gratifying as well. Lots of positive feedback that you get back.
Linda Chapman: Oh you know you wouldn't do this kind of work if you didn't love it. I love it. It's always been a passion for me. I love the beauty of living and working on a flower farm. Walking out my front door and all of the butterflies, the ecology has been so interesting around here. Watching that happen over the last 30 years. It was just a cow pasture when we first bought this property, and now just the bird species and butterfly species and praying mantises, and everything that's going on here besides the flowers.
Andrea Lutz: Oh what a gift.
Linda Chapman: Is fascinating. It is a gift. Watching the micro climates, watching the trees, having been small 30 years ago and now are really large, which creates a different shade sun ratio here on the farm that we're always having to adjust to.
Andrea Lutz: I understand you also sell at the farmer's market and also here at the farm, cut flowers as well as bedding plants and plants that you can plant in your garden. Do you have just a tip or two for people at home bringing flowers into the house or planing them in their garden? Just an easy tip.
Linda Chapman: An easy tip, when you buy cut flower bouquets, you do have a little bit of responsibility on your side to increasing the vase life. We feel a lot of pride in our flowers because we put them through a lot of post harvest care, so that our customers are getting the longest vase life they possibly can from our flowers. When you take your bouquet home, it would really help the vase life and increase your appreciation for your bouquet, so changing the water every other day in the summer is a really good tip for having beautiful flowers that will last at least a week.
Andrea Lutz: Thank you so much for taking time with us today Linda. Is there anything else you want to leave with us today?
Linda Chapman: Go to the farmer's market, buy high quality beautiful flowers.
Andrea Lutz: Well, thanks again. This is a beautiful place and we really appreciate it. Thanks for catching up.
Linda Chapman: You're welcome.