U-pick flower farms in Manitoba are becoming more common

Farms that allow their customers to pick their own flowers straight from the ground and create a bouquet are popping up all over Manitoba.

Hazel Thorne, owner of Floral Affair, is completing her first year in the U-pick flower business. Her farm is located between Douglas and Shilo and she takes clients by appointment.

“Come here, you can choose a vase and I’ll give you some clippers, I’ll take you for a little tour of the garden and explain a few little cutting tips,” says Thorne.

Thorne was inspired to start her own farm after learning the concept from her friends.

“I studied greenhouse technology in college and worked at the Peace Gardens for four years, and that kind of started my passion for wanting to grow things and garden,” she says. “And from there, it’s always something that I sort of leaned on.”

Other local business owners have seen the benefit of buying from pick-your-own farms rather than wholesalers.

“When they come from a wholesaler, they’ve been shipped in a crate everywhere, and sometimes they’re in pretty sad condition and need a little TLC when you get them,” says owner Ruth Loewen. Enchanted. Moments Couture and wedding planner for six years. “U-pick would be really nice because you can actually get them much fresher.”

Thorne’s customers have been very pleased with the work she has produced and the quality of the flowers she grows.

“We were there early in the morning, it was 6:30 a.m., so we still had a bit of fog, but the colors of the flowers were already so brilliant,” says Amber Vickman, owner of Amber Vickman Photography, recalling using the Thorne Farm. as a backdrop for a photo shoot. “There were rows and rows, lots of variations and gorgeous colors.”

“You couldn’t find a happier place,” says Susan Kerr, a customer who enjoyed her experience. “You’re surrounded by all these beautiful flowers, and it’s so cool and relaxed.”

Thorne has some ideas on how to improve the business next year.

“I would like to offer workshops, because I’m a florist, and so I would like to be able to do arrangement workshops, maybe fall wreath workshops,” she says. “As I weed, I brainstorm ideas and ways to grow the business for the next year. Because I will definitely do it again next year and hopefully we will have a longer season.

The province says there are ten full-time floriculture farms across Manitoba and about 15 farms that grow flowers alongside their main horticultural crop.

Terisa K. Carn