True Leaves Floral, a woman-owned flower farm in Bushwick, Brooklyn, wants to sell the best seed-to-vase blooms to local people, businesses, and markets.
Once up and running — the company is in Kickstarter mode right now — True Leaves Floral will feature CSA-style subscription service bouquets in gorgeous, hand-picked, vintage vases.
Organic Authority recently connected with Jessica Balnaves and Ryann Mead, True Leaves Floral's founders, and discovered how they dreamed up the seed to vase concept.
Organic Authority: Tell us about True Leaves Floral's founding and when it happened.
Ryann Mead: Born out of a desire to cultivate beauty, community, and a connection to the natural world, Jessica and I have been hard at work to launch our first growing season this Spring.
Jessica and I started TLF in 2015 after connecting at the local food co-op and realized we had a very similar dream. We're a couple of gals who love to get our hands dirty, love this neighborhood and are excited to grow beautiful flowers!
Jessica has urban farm experience working at Brooklyn Grange, Roberta’s Garden and Slow Food Urban Harvest, and currently manages Bushwick Food Co-op.
I spent a season at Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, California, and then another at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. I'm also the operations director for FINE & RAW chocolate.
Additionally, we felt that while there is a thriving urban vegetable market, there are only a few organizations growing local flowers, so there might be a space for what we are trying to do. We are very excited to see what comes of it and are enjoying every step of the process.
OA: What do you do, and how do you grow and operate?
RM: We are, at this very moment, growing all our own flowers from seeds under grow lights. We are tending to them night and day to make sure they survive their transition into flower beds in Brooklyn so we can create gorgeous arrangements for people in their homes, businesses and lives.
We will be selling subscription based bouquets (in vases found at antique markets) to local businesses, restaurants and homes, as well as cut flowers, flower crowns and bouquets at market on weekends. Our bouquets will be a direct reflection of our uniquely beautiful growing environment: herbal bouquets, our signature black bouquet, and edible bouquets (they help us attract pollinators and are beautiful in the home!) to name a few. Additionally, we will be offering a True Leaves Botanicals line featuring floral waters, tea blends and dried arrangements as the season goes along. Finally, we will also be offering wholesale flowers to local florists!
We have hand-picked all our favorite varieties based on their beauty, function and growth potential. Our first season will be us doing a LOT of learning through trial and error, and we can't WAIT to see what happens!
OA: Tell us about how your company is sustainable.
RM: Absolutely! Down to the smallest detail, we are as sustainable as we can possibly be. We are hand growing everything, and only buying seeds and soil through purveyors that we completely trust. All of our raw materials are organic, and even the wood that we are using in our beds is non-pressure treated. None of our flowers are poisonous. We also plan to bicycle bouquets to buyers. We are fully committed to creating a sustainable business and business model.
OA: Where do you see the company in 5 years?
RM: Ideally, we would have a much larger growing space and proper greenhouse to really be able to produce as much as we can, have a storefront to sell our items and also host events, have created healthy wholesale flower sales channels, and within all of that, have an educational component to our growing practices for the community. But, one day at a time, one step at a time. We are just so happy to be doing what we're doing right now and we're off to a great start.
Checkout the company’s " target="_blank">Kickstarter. You can contribute until May 4.
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Image via True Leaves Floral's Facebook page