‘Smiles on stems’: Rockwell flower farm lets you do the picking

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 3, 2022

ROCKWELL — If you’re looking for a fun summer stop  while supporting a local business, a flower farm just off of Highway 52 has just what you need.

Church Creek Farm began accepting orders for flowers to use in arrangements, at events and in weddings last year but with more varieties now covering the property, founder Jessica Long is opening her garden to the community to pick their own bouquets.

“I made my first sale last Mother’s Day,” she said. “This year’s Mother’s Day, I quadrupled my sales. It’s exciting and overwhelming, but in the best possible way.”

Long anticipates opening the “you pick” option soon if all the flowers have bloomed. If not, information on scheduling an appointment to visit the farm will be released on the business Facebook and Instagram pages.

Long said she would like to have the first day be open to all for people to stop by, but the days following will be by appointment only with flexible times.

Options available for picking include sunflowers, teddy bear sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, zinnias, hyacinth beans, cooking herbs and watermelon. Church Creek Farm also has a wildflower field near the back of the 100-year-old farmhouse where the garden is located. It will be available for photography purposes once the  blooms are out.

Customers will have the option when checking in to pick a regular sized bucket for $15 or a large bucket for $25.

Long detailed how she’s been able to see her dreams coming to life. Church Creek Farm started in the midst of the pandemic when she was pregnant with her third child and only grew vegetables. Much of her produce went to Bread Riot, which has many of the same visions and hopes for the community. Long had been working  as a nurse for 13 years.

“I just remember coming home to my husband, Aaron, and saying ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ ” Long said. “So he asked what I wanted to do, and I said I wanted to be a flower farmer. I grew up way back in the fields so I knew farming. So I just started to add flowers to my vegetable garden and thought, ‘I could do this.’ ”

Her seed of an idea has bloomed. Now she provides flowers for events, a monthly arrangement subscription and workshops on arranging. This year, she’s providing floral arrangements for seven weddings.

Long has done most of the garden work by hand, but a new feature came in January after the business received a grant from Agventure to fund a tractor for plowing new flower beds. Long named this new piece of equipment Clementine. With the tractor, Church Creek Farm was able to add four 100-foot flower beds for customers to pick their own.

“Coming out of the nursing field, there’s a science to flowers,” Long explained. “You see a lot of negative these days but there’s a power to flower and that makes people feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I tell everybody they’re like smiles on stems.”

Church Creek Farm recently had irrigation installed in to  water the roots. This will control how much water each bed is receiving and will prevent mold that other methods of watering could cause.

Church Creek farm is at 6825 US-52 in Salisbury. For more information and appointments, call 336-239-8886.