2 min read ·
Brimming with bright bouquets of summer blooms, Color Fields Farm at the North Hills Farmers’ Market is hard to miss. On a recent Saturday morning, North Hills Live could not resist stopping to learn the story behind the amazing array of beautifully arranged flowers. Chloe Johnson, a self-described farmhand, was manning the market while the farm’s founder, Kelly Morrison, a floral designer, prepared for a wedding. Morrison started the farm to provide locally and sustainably grown seasonal flowers for her floral design business. Here are excerpts from North Hills Live’s conversation with Chloe.
Tell us about Color Fields Farm?
Chloe Johnson: We are at the Breeze Farm Incubator in Orange County that’s run by the cooperative extension. There are three farms there now, and they offer very low rent, which is great. It’s difficult for beginning farmers to get access to land to grow on—especially in the Triangle region where land prices are going up. For young farmers, financing can be tight—especially in a business where so much of your money goes back into expenses—so it’s a big issue getting young farmers on land.
Does Color Fields grow anything in addition to flowers?
CJ: This year we are focused on flowers for Kelly’s design business. We have grown vegetables in the winter months in the past, but this year it’s about space. Some flowers you plant in the fall and if we planted vegetables too, we would not have enough space for the volume of flowers we want to produce.
What do you enjoy about being a flower farmer?
CJ: I used to grow vegetables, and I never thought I would be a flower farmer, but when you are on the farm and somebody drives by with a big bucket of flowers, you must smile. Flowers make people happy.
I imagine there is a creative element to growing flowers for arrangements.
CJ: Growing food is great, but flowers are all about beauty and aesthetics. The floral design work is a fun element. I never expected when I got into farming that it would have an artistic side too—it’s nice that there is a creative outlet!
What do you like about the North Hills Farmers’ Market?
CJ: We love the customers here and seeing the other vendors—Raleigh is a good market for us. This is also social time. I spend most of my workdays alone in the fields listening to podcasts, so it’s nice to come here and talk to other farmers.
What are some of the trends for wedding flowers?
CJ: Soft, nice, blush colors are always popular for weddings. Kelly has a modern aesthetic with her arrangements. They are very wild and garden-like. People just love them.