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Wild Prairie Flower Farm: Blooming in Merion Village

Katie Sorokas Katie Sorokas Wild Prairie Flower Farm: Blooming in Merion VillageWild Prairie Flower Farm has created an urban flower oasis in the middle of Merion Village - All photos by Marcy Harris-Ortiz courtesy of Wild Prairie Flower Farm
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Wild Prairie Flower Farm is a true example of a dream, hard work, and a golden opportunity for a bit of land coming together to bloom into a gorgeous urban flower farm in the middle of Columbus. Located in Merion Village on a quarter-acre parcel acquired through the Columbus Land Bank, Wild Prairie Flower Farm is a small-scale market and urban farm with a focus on regenerative agriculture and a true embrace of nature in a somewhat unlikely setting.

“The name is a reminder,” said Josh White, one of the farm’s co-founders. “Wild Prairie is a way for us to remember our integral relationship to both the land and the wildlife within…We wanted to use the name Wild Prairie to invoke the possibilities of people, farms, and wildlife existing together as one. These three entities are not mutually exclusive—they can all exist harmoniously. Part of our practice is to strive towards that harmony. We recognize that wildlife (small animals, bugs, birds, fungus, bacteria, etc.) are an important part of our farm and lives, not ‘things’ that need to be eradicated or heavily controlled. We use the name Wild Prairie to remember our connection to this earth.”

White, along with Kelsey Colwell and Jen Radomski, founded Wild Prairie Flower Farm in 2019 after meeting in 2016 and realizing a shared love of gardening and regenerative agriculture. The trio of artists/flower farmers each bring different skills and knowledge to their farm.

“Jen and I both studied permaculture at the Meso-American Institute of Permaculture in Guatemala and are certified Permaculture Design Specialists,” White said. “We met Kelsey in 2016. At the time, she was working as a vista for Franklinton Farms and running her own micro-flower-farm in her front yard. We decided to combine efforts and created Wild Prairie Flower Farm in fall of 2019.”

While flower farming on a larger scale is newer to the farmers, their experience with permaculture, homesteading, and gardening is a strong foundation for the success of Wild Prairie Flower Farm.

“Plants are plants no matter where you go, so it’s been fairly easy learning how to grow them!” said White. “Our passion for farming stems from a desire to responsibly steward the land and to help educate ourselves and others on sustainable practices.”

Not only do White, Colwell, and Radomski grow flowers using regenerative agriculture techniques, they also use their skills and expertise in the arts to create gorgeous bouquets and arrangements to celebrate special occasions and offer flower subscription to members.

“We’re all artists in some fashion, so arranging flowers has come quite naturally…there are techniques we’ve learned, but the process of combining colors, textures, scents, and structure is something we all seem to understand,” said White.

While all three farmers are transplants to Columbus, the support, connection, and love they have felt in their community has made the city a home away from home.

“We’ve really enjoyed the community we’ve found here, and the support we receive from our fellow growers and small business owners encourages us to set down roots,” White said. “The highlight of our experiences thus far has been the overwhelming beauty of flowers—it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Getting to share that beauty with our community has been a true pleasure and joy.”

This support and encouragement inspired Radomski, Colwell, and White to start Wild Prairie Flower Farm and offer bouquets through markets and their website.

“It is super unique to develop a farm in an urban setting and gives us a rare opportunity to grow and distribute all within the same neighborhood,” White said. “The farm-to-table has never been closer. We’re kidding, but also it’s kind of true, as we make bouquets in our dining room and deliver down the street.”

gardening

As Wild Prairie Flower Farm continues to grow, Colwell, Radomski, and White have big dreams for their future in Columbus.

“We’re looking forward to establishing our style as florists and can’t wait to get into some larger projects arranging installments and catering events,” said White.

Future offerings for the farm will include a new option to preorder bouquets for Mother’s Day and other special occasions and edible flowers.

These offerings tie into the trio’s bigger goal, which is easily possible with the support of the Columbus community.

“Our dream is that our farm can become one of many examples of small-scale, sustainable and regenerative agriculture,” said White. “Although we could order any flower we’d like, at any time of the year, from anywhere in the world, our biggest question throughout this process is: How can we grow flowers and make beautiful arrangements without sacrificing the environment? Columbus can continue to support this dream by choosing local flowers and learning with us what seasonal and sustainable consumption looks like.”

While the flower harvest is over for the 2021 season, Wild Prairie Flower Farm will be back in bloom in May 2022—just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day and graduation. You can support Wild Prairie Flower Farm by ordering bouquets online through their website and following them on social media to find out more about their pop-up shops at local Columbus sites like Pistacia Vera, Parable Coffee, Little Light Collective, and Dough Mama.

Wild Prairie Flower Farm also offers a flower subscription service! Sign up on their website for a monthly pick-up or delivery of their locally-grown, sustainable bouquets to your home or office (or the home of someone you love).

For more information, visit wildprairieflowerfarm.com.

All photos by Marcy Harris-Ortiz courtesy of Wild Prairie Flower Farm

working in a garden
flower garden
planting small plants
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