“Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.” ~Author Unknown
If you had told my sister and me when we were growing up that we would someday own an Alaska flower farm in the shadow of the Talkeetna Mountains in Alaska, we would have called you crazy. A peony farm was never in our cards, or so we thought. But the most direct route takes its own twists and turns, and we’ve found peace, harmony, family, and most importantly, love on our little farm.
Before everything, before husbands and babies, wrinkles and smile lines, there was just us, my sister and me. We grew up in Texas, learning to skate at the malls, and being raised in food courts and the fast lane. I married and moved to Alaska, had babies and loved the mountain living. My sister stayed in Texas. Despite the distance, we remained extremely close. Two peas in a proverbial pod.
Sisters Do Crazy Things Sometimes … including starting an Alaska Flower farm
As sisters do, we started scheming. We wanted a way to raise our kids together that would also provide us with a source of income. Mostly, we wanted to spend as much time together as we could. My sister is a school teacher down in Texas, so she has the summers off. It was only natural for us to think about starting a seasonal business.
A tourism operation seemed the most likely opportunity until I stumbled into a meeting about peonies. My husband and I owned a bit of land in Wasilla, and everything fell into place at once. We found ourselves planting peony roots in the early fall of 2011. After three years of carefully tending to our plants, we cut our first commercial cuttings in 2014. We were hooked. Every time we sell to a florist, an Alaskan bride, or a friend, we get this giddy feeling because we feel like we are giving a part of our family to them. There is so much pride in seeing our flowers in a beautiful wedding bouquet or displayed in a gorgeous arrangement by one of Alaska’s many florists.
It’s easy to see why.
Alaska Peonies Are Unique Among the Rest
Alaska peonies are exceptional in every way. They reflect our state—big, bold, hardy, and beautiful. I mean, just look at the variety we can produce on our farm. Alaska Peony blooms are as Alaskan as our salmon and our mountains. We are so fortunate that our unique location and climate provide a unique market advantage—late season peonies and the global market ready to buy them in late summer. Living in Alaska has its ups and downs, but late season peonies are an odd perk that we are happy to embrace.
Woman Powered: In Muscle and In Love.
We are a woman-powered farm, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We pour ourselves into the flowers. We work hard, and we aren’t afraid to get dirty. From laying the peony beds to sleep for the winter, caring for the plants in the spring, and hand-harvesting our flowers in the summer, Alaska Blooms peonies are handled every step of the way with the utmost care and love. Careful handling ensures Alaska Blooms peonies are healthy, beautiful, and long-lasting. We love our flowers almost as much as we love our families. It is this love that sustains us.
On late summer evenings when the field is in bloom, it is deeply satisfying to put our feet up, pop open a cider, and look over a field in bloom with our kids running amuck. This is a good life.