Neighbors unite to support small flower farms

But last week, she saw a message from Nikki Cha, whose family runs the Fall City farm, Blong’s Garden. With Pike Place Market and area farmers’ markets no longer an option to sell the farm’s bountiful flowers, Cha offered to connect with people interested in buying bouquets and meet them at places selected for safe transfers and social distancing approved. Chen contacted to coordinate a depot at Beacon Hill; she gathered 28 neighbors to buy over $1,000 worth of flowers.

Image credit: Alex Crook
Nikki Cha delivers flowers from the family farm in Fall City.

Across town in Phinney Ridge, her friend Dana Bettinger was inspired after seeing Chen’s project come to fruition on social media. She figured she too could rally the neighborhood to support Blong’s Garden. “I think I underestimated how much people were looking for a fun, quick and easy opportunity like this because it took off like wildfire,” Bettinger says. Cha had given him a minimum order of $150 for a dedicated deposit – Bettinger coordinated 90 orders totaling around $2,300.

“It’s not a coronavirus vaccine, but buying these flowers will have a real impact on this POC-owned business,” Bettinger says. “It’s important, and my biggest hope is that people hear about it and reach out to other farmers or small businesses to see if they can do something similar in their neighborhood.”

The idea is definitely spreading like wildfire – wildflowers? – thanks to social networks. Cha says business doubled in a week, depleting her stock of tulips: “I have to thank the community for all the love and support they have given us local farmers.”

A list of regular Blong’s Garden drop-off points is posted on their Facebook page; Cha says to message them there if you’d like to coordinate another neighborhood hangout (again, there’s naturally a $150 minimum order).

Of course, Blong’s Garden isn’t the only producer of incredible flowers; after all, the bouquets at Seattle’s inexpensive farmers’ markets are the hallmark of what makes the city so enjoyable this time of year. Support your favorite by extending your hand.

Terisa K. Carn