Facts of Leaf Flower Farm
Facts of Leaf Flower Farm is horticulture club established at our school by students who wish to combat climate change by growing specialty cut flowers that we will cut and arrange into bouquets to be donated to care homes and other organizations. We will also produce blooms in time to have at our graduation ceremony in June. While we will still grow some vegetables, the choice to prioritize cut flowers will allow us to have a greater impact and reach in the community. By densely interplanting diverse plant varieties and under-cropping with vegetables, we can produce an incredible amount of produce and flowers.
While producing beautiful flowers is the product most people will see, the environmental impact and planning of the garden are equally significant. Our garden is planted and maintained using regenerative agricultural principles. This essentially means that to produce healthy plants, we are focused on supporting the soil food web, respecting how our gardening methods impact greater ecosystems, and planting native species.
To establish our garden, the club converted over 2100 square feet of lawn into a garden space. Since early March, we have planted almost 8000 plants. Almost all our seeds were planted in 3/4″ soil blocks that were formed on to cafeteria and takeout trays that we diverted from the landfill. Starting seeds in this manner allowed us to save on materials, avoid purchasing almost any plastic products, and fit up to 5000 plants on a single grow rack.
While we rototilled the space to prepare the garden, we are now operating as a no-till garden. There will be absolutely no use of pesticides or herbicides, and we will avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers. To provide nutrients to plants, we are focusing on using cover/under crops, crop rotation, and interplanting diverse species. We are utilizing “pulse watering” which is essentially just using a drip system to water little and often to provide consistent moisture to plant roots. By using pulse timing, we will cut our water consumption in half.
Through our plant choices and growing techniques, we have calculated that we will be able to donate 50-100 bouquets a week to members in our community needing a little joy! We are documenting our journey through our instagram page.
Reflection & Celebration
While we knew we had an ambitious plan, it is still incredible to see our garden come to life in just over 2 months since our first seeds were planted. We have also been blown away by how involved our entire school has become in this project. We have physical education classes moving soil and mulch, our SRC getting our help to host a school-wide grow challenge, the Entrepreneurship class running a fundraising plant sale, our robotics class designing and installing our irrigation system, and so much more! We are constantly blown away by the health of our plants and were excited to recently have our first flowers bloom out in the garden. We knew we were starting something special, and it is so encouraging to have the whole school rally around this project. We can only imagine how many people our garden will impact when it is in full bloom.
Check out our Instagram page for updates on our flower farm!