by NICOLE MCPHEETERS
Three years ago, Laura Deck had left her teaching career and was feeling lost. She grew up in a family that farmed livestock, but she always had a different type of farm in mind: a flower farm. With time on her hands and 3-year-old twins and a 4-year-old daughter to care for, Deck decided to see how far that dream could take her.
During her first year growing flowers, she hand-planted 5,000 sunflowers. An especially wet spring washed away a majority of those seeds, plus most of her financial investment. By the end of the season, however, Deck had managed to produce 50 seedlings and enough zinnias to fill vases for the entire duration of the summer farmers’ markets.
“It’s a lesson that we can only do what we can do, and then just have faith that it will all be what it’s supposed to be in the end,” she says.
Deck’s farm continued to grow through hard work, learning from her mistakes, and listening to her mentors, she says. Deck’s husband, Logan; her extended family; her crew of “garden girls;” and her assistant were the boots on the ground that enabled the small farm to grow into The Seedlings, a name Deck chose to pay homage to her children and her personal growth.
Deck and her husband also purchased a vintage Chevy pickup and converted it to “meet a unique niche as an on-site venue flower truck,” she says, allowing her to drive to different locations around Monroe County as a pop-up flower farm. The Seedlings Flower Truck is available for both public and private events.
The Seedlings also offers arrangement classes, U-pick opportunities, wedding arrangements, and Christmas wreath workshops. “Long term, we hope to create a space indoors at our farm for guests to attend floral design classes year-round,” Deck says.
This year, The Seedlings has planted 100,000 sunflowers and 10,000 other varieties of blooms. Laura insists that this would be impossible without the support she has received from their community, customers, and family.
“I feel like the farm and my family are one and the same. This is what we do and who we are, it’s a way of life,” Deck says. “I truly feel that we were made to do just what we are doing.”
Visit theseedlingsflowertruck.com for more information.