How long have you been preserving flowers with freeze drying? When and where did the floriculture life begin for you?
I started in 1988 in California… another business with my Mom & Sister. We were buying our flowers from local growers in Watsonville & also importing from South America. We wanted to find a piece of land and begin growing our own flowers so we would have 100% control over the quality of our products. That began our search which lasted for several years until we found our beautiful land.
What (or who) inspired you to raise flowers and learn to preserve the petals?
My grandparents always had an incredible garden. I remember when I was a very young girl just how special it was to go through the white arch of the picket fence into the back gardens and what a special occasion it always was to have access to their gardens and to be there with them… gardening, harvesting flowers & the sweetest raspberries. My parents both loved gardening as well. The raising of flowers and the preservation of the petals came much later once we found our slice of paradise with our land here in Rainbow Valley, Oregon. Our property sits on the mighty South Umpqua River which is how we responsibly irrigate all of our flower fields using a drip irrigation system. This way, each crop receives the correct amount of water and none is wasted.
Do you grow flowers other than roses?
We grow roses, hydrangea, peonies, lilacs… all of them are lovingly harvested by hand and carefully loaded into our specialized freeze-dry machines used to preserve the flowers and petals. Everything is done right here on our property… the growing, harvesting, processing and shipping. All done with positive energy and wonderful intentions.
What do you enjoy most about the craft of drying rose petals for weddings and special events?
Hands down it is the joy of growing the flowers. We are so lucky to see this stunning beauty we create with Mother Nature’s help. We love all of the bees, the butterflies, lady bugs and the sweet floral scent that surrounds us on our land. Maybe even more importantly is how happy our flowers make all of our customers. We are so grateful for all the love they give back to us with glowing reviews, photos and more … they are incredible!
What are some of the ways folks can incorporate your flower petals into their celebrations?
The uses for our petals are really unlimited. First thing that comes to mind is for a romantic celebration. Valentine’s day is a big one! They are used for proposals, engagement parties, save the date cards, weddings for creating or decorating the aisle, the guests to shower the blissful newlyweds with a petal toss when walking back down the aisle or for their first dance. To decorate the reception tables & couples honeymoon suite, include in thank you notes, gender reveals, babies first photos. They’re also used by resorts and hotels for rose petal turndown and spa services. We have many people that use them to honor and celebrate loved ones for memorials, funerals, celebration of life events. We have had people toss from helicopters, small planes, hot air balloons, military flyovers. Several natural soap, cosmetics and bath bomb companies incorporate our petals into their products. Party & home decorations, the Rose Parade every January. There are unlimited ways to include rose petals into your life… let your imagination have fun creating new ways to use them.
Where can your flower petals be purchased at this time?
Freeze dried rose petals can be used in culinary projects. Have you ever done this?
We have made a number of items with our petals and so have many of our customers. The one that stands out the most is a company that uses our lilac petals in a special microbrew beer they blend. Now that’s creative!
What resources do you find invaluable to the novice flower farmer? Do you have any tips for folks who might want to try freeze-drying their own rose petals from their gardens?
Freeze drying utilizes highly specialized equipment which is very, very expensive. It is something you are able to do at home if you are willing to invest thousands of dollars for the small table top models. There are other methods of drying flowers, however, they will look like dried flowers verses fresh like freeze-dried petals and flowers look. Follow your heart, do what you are most passionate about. Experiment with plants, annuals, perennials, fruits & veggies… you just never know what will inspire and delight you until you try it!
Thank you, to FarmGirlRosePetals (and family!)
We loved hearing more about your wonderful flower farm and, putting together this post, can almost smell the gorgeous flowers! Your farm is bringing joy to so many celebrations and that is something to celebrate, too.
FarmGirlRosePetals and Flyboy Naturals on Social Media
You can keep up with Flyboy Naturals on their Facebook page at Flyboy Naturals Rose Petals and on on Instagram @flyboynaturalsrosepetals. And you can find FarmGirlRosePetals on Facebook, too.
Do you have unique ideas for incorporating flower petals into celebrations? Share in the comments, we’d love to hear them!
Rose petals can add that special touch to just about any occasion, but when the celebration is over, you might be looking to sweep up those sweet blossoms. Solution? If you haven’t already purchased a farm-crafted, sustainably sourced broom from Little John… what are you waiting for? Sweeping up rosy rose petals is just one small task these mighty brooms are good at. And, since they last forever, there will be many more occasions where sweeping with a “piece of art” will bring you much joy!