I met these two wonderful ladies many years ago… and we share an Obsession for Dahlias! They have taken it to a whole new level- and it’s an amazing story. A Story of Hope- and an obsession turned reality. Let’s start at the beginning… it’s always a good place to start.
I have frequented the Fulton Street Farmers Market for over a decade- and in the late summer- Hamilton Dahlia Farm would set up a stand- and sell their cut dahlias for $1-$3 a stem- this was incredible- and I would come every week and fill my buckets with dahlias. I became so fascinated with Hamilton Dahlia Farm- that I wanted to do a documentary about them… and there was a rich history- and stories that involved the Kellogg’s Cereal Company- you can watch the documentary here… and learn more about those stories… Alas- all good things come to an end- and Hamilton Dahlia Farm is now closed. That’s a bit of ground work…
In or around the closing of Hamilton Dahlias- I ran into a beautiful young lady one day at the farmers market… she was selling dahlias from a Farm called Hope Dahlias. This young lady was Kristen Farmer- and her mom – Barb Esch- had recognized me from my local TV appearances- and local home and garden shows… and Barb was a fan… and wanted to meet me- so she sent Kristen over to introduce herself.
It’s important to note- that Barb is the behind the scenes lady… she LOVES Growing Flowers- it’s her passion- she was (until last year a full time Nurse) She is sweet, quiet and hard working… she doesn’t like the “spotlight”- a camera or video crew… that is why you will only see Kristen on Life in Bloom! Barb hides when I get out my phone- just sayin’ but at the same time- this is the kindest- most down to earth- generous woman you have every met… We always share a hug- and visit about my travels and escapades… we laugh and giggle- and she always tries to give me free flowers- and tries not to take my money for flowers…It’s all the things I love about Barb… she’s My Dahlia MOM!
So back to the story- Kristen introduced herself- and her Mom- and her dahlias- and that was that… I was head over heels in love with Hope Dahlias… and their concept… They are flower growers- and they LOVE to grow flowers, make bouquets and sell them at the farmers market. For them it’s full circle- doing something they love- creating something beautiful- and sharing it with the world.
I asked- “why is your farm called Hope Dahlias?”- Kristen said that the idea of starting to grow dahlias- was part distraction- and part money maker- as stated Barb is a full time nurse- an Oncology Nurse- very stressful- and Barb’s husband- (Kristen’s Dad) was an over the road truck driver- so the Flowers Farming helped relieve stress for mom- and provide a little extra cash from time to time…
What she didn’t tell me immediately- was Barb would often invite or encourage her oncology patients – to come and pick some dahlias in her backyard – partly for fun and mostly for distraction during difficult times (the farm is located- right behind Barb’s house… it’s not a commercial farm- it’s a private residence with a HEAVENLY garden… filled to the brim with Dahlias) Barb would share her flowers freely – to give her patients HOPE… Barb knew full well the power of flowers when it comes to health and wellness benefits- and that’s why she started Hope Dahlias .. to offer Hope- to Share Joy… to create Flower Power!
There is always a bucket under the table at their stand- with a few blooms- special ones- that Barb has picked for me… she knows I love the Laceniated Varieties (the ones that look like they have been shredded… ) or a NEW variety she’s trailing- that’s what I mean when I say she’s my Dahlia Mom! She’ll tell you straight up- “those aren’t for sale- they’re for J”!
Kristen is a dental hygienist – busy during the week- but Flower Bouquet Maker Extraordinaire – she also loves the Market – telling her customers about the flowers or trying out a new recipe and seeing how the crowd reacts… she’s the outgoing one… and we have coffee dates every once in a while and just talk about the world of flowers- or New Ideas- promotion ideas… or life and raising two little Bright Girls… they are my friends- and my flower farmers.
Hope Dahlias- is a special place- a personal residence and flower farm- where two Beautiful Powerful Women- cultivate their passion for flowers- quietly creating magical memory filled bouquets- you can take home! Flowers that impart happiness, health and wellness… Bunches of Dahlias – filled with joy- and HOPE!
I love these Ladies- and I hope you enjoy meeting Kristen- and one day get a chance to experience your own bunch of Hope Dahlias- they’ll quickly find a place in your home and in your heart!