Tracey Rae Farmer Florist | Dorothy Lane Market

Tracey Rae Farmer Florist

  • POSTED Mar 27th, 2024
  • BY Dorothy Lane Market

Tracey Rae began growing flowers for her wedding in 2011, and roots for an eventual new career started to take shape as she enjoyed the process. "Seeing where the business is today is really a dream come true, "says Tracey. We were able to ask her some questions about her flowers and farm, so see below to learn more! 

Food Story Slide
Food Story Slide
Food Story Slide

Photos provided by Tracey Rae Farmer Florist.

What is your typical day? 

Every day is a little different, especially depending on the season. During the active growing/harvest season, our mornings generally begin with picking. It's best to harvest early in the morning before the heat of the day so that flowers make it into the cooler as quickly as possible. This ensures that they have time to hydrate before we arrange them and that they remain fresh until they are delivered. Following harvesting, we generally have planting, weeding, or other farm tasks to complete. In the afternoons, we might be assembling bouquets, making deliveries, running a market, or working on flower arranging for weddings or special orders.

What is the process behind each bouquet? 

Our bouquet recipes and the color palettes are always changing, so it's fun to come up with what bouquets will look like each week. Over the winter we spend a good amount of time crop planning for the upcoming season. Then, we take pictures and make notes of what we are harvesting, when we planted it, and when it was seeded. By taking good crop records we are able to improve our timing each season and plan for exactly how many plants we need to be planting each week. Every flower has different needs, and the time you plant them depends on their days to harvest and also the weather conditions they do best in. It's really a giant puzzle but it's fun trying to figure it out.

How do you navigate the challenges of Mother Nature? 

We've definitely had challenges, scares, and crop losses over the last 8 years we've been growing. I'm thankful to have a Bachelor's in Horticulture & Crop Science and a Master's Degree in Plant & Soil Sciences, so having that background has really been helpful with becoming a grower. I am generally able to recognize insect, disease, and nutrient issues quickly and can figure out the best treatment option when we have an issue. Weather is hard though because we have no control over that so it's just learning from prior mistakes and figuring out which flowers do best where and how to protect them or prevent potential losses. For sure it's a lot of trial and error, and it's great to have friends in the industry who you can ask questions. 

Are there misconceptions about flower farming?

I think some people may romanticize it or think it's a glamorous lifestyle. It's really hard work and a lot of manual labor, with weeding, staking, planting, netting, etc. The fantastic part is you are always surrounded by the beauty of the flowers or little green plants as they grow, and I do think there is something therapeutic & magical about that.


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