Luther Burbank, an American botanist and pioneer in agricultural science, once said, “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.” As we creep out of these gray months and emerge hopeful into spring, there’s nothing better than having fresh-cut flowers in the house to cheer us up. Although pickings are slim this time of year (pun intended), and we’re likely stuck with greenhouse-grown blooms, it’s a good time to check out the local places we can visit this summer to cut our own flowers. Like any other pick-your-own venture, selecting and cutting your own fresh flowers is not only a fun way to spend an afternoon; it’s also a wonderful way to support local family farms.
Buhrmaster Family Farm
Located off Route 50 in Scotia, Buhrmaster Farms has been family owned and operated since 1946. They take great pride in featuring Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) fruits and vegetables, as well as pick-your-own strawberries and fresh flowers. They also have a selection of garden plants and premium mulches and soils for purchase. That means they provide the best of both worlds: the immediate gratification of harvesting and buying their flowers as well as providing you with the tools to grow your own at home. They open for the season on April 29th. Flowers are usually ready to pick in July. Check their website for updates.
Black Horse Farms
Black Horse Farms is a gem in historic Athens. A true country market, the farm has a little bit of everything: summer annuals, perennials, garden items, gourmet foods, baked goods, and a fantastic CSA program. While their flowers aren’t strictly “pick your own,” they offer CSA flower baskets featuring their sustainably grown blooms. Here’s how it works: you buy a “share” for 5 or 10 weeks at a flat rate. Then, you can pick up a gorgeous, fresh flower bouquet hand-tied and designed by the farm staff each week.
Unlike many other local farms, Black Horse is open year-round. So, in addition to the CSA flower baskets, they also have 42 greenhouses located at their “home farm” in Coxsackie with plants known to be hardy for the upstate New York growing zone available for purchase , as well as houseplants, perennials, and exotics.
Brittany Hollow Farm
Brittany Hollow Farm is a pick-your-own place with three acres of flowers just north of Rhinebeck on the Red Hook town line. Their model is simple: they provide bright yellow buckets and water near their central gazebo. For $20, you can walk their fields and fill the bucket with as many flowers as you like. (And, if you save your bucket, you can refill it for only $15 on your subsequent visits.) They try new varieties of blooms every season, but favorites you’re sure to find are ageratum, amaranthus, celosia, cosmos, snapdragons, sunflowers, and zinnias. If you’re throwing a big event that requires fresh flowers — like a DIY wedding or the ilk — they are happy to offer advice and assistance with cutting everything you need for no additional cost. Note: They only accept cash or checks — no cards or electronic payments are accepted.
Don’t have time to pick your own? Brittany Hollow will also offer pre-picked mason jars of fresh flowers on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays on their “flower wagon” in front of their fields as available. They generally open in late June, but be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.
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