Farmer Profile: Old North Farm


 

Before she became a farmer, Brooke Baucom began with a love of flowers. Her passion for floriculture grew through taking floral design classes, where she became inspired by the local flower movement. “I knew I wanted to grow flowers when I learned that 80% of cut flowers in the US are imported from other countries,” she says. “Flying in chemical laden flowers is not the most sustainable model. “With the goal of growing flowers sustainably, Brooke began studying agriculture and worked for a local farm and native plant nursery to gain hands-on experience. She is now the proud owner of Old North Farm and is in her second year growing at Good Hope Farm.

 

With limited capital and land access, Good Hope Farm provided the perfect opportunity for Brooke to launch her sustainable flower business. As Good Hope’s only farmer that does not focus on food production, Brooke has her own set of unique challenges and opportunities. “I have to make sure I always have a variety of things blooming to ensure I have different colors and textures available every week,” she says. “I enjoy the challenge and planning involved.” Brooke sells bouquets through her three season flower CSA (community supported agriculture) and will be a part-time vendor at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market this year. She also partners with wedding and event planners, and hopes to expand this side of her business in the future.

 

Brooke enjoys learning from her fellow farmers and the opportunity to showcase agricultural production to the community. “It is part of their awareness,” Brooke says about people who volunteer, visit, or drive by the farm. “I think that plays a large role in promoting a local food system, and changing attitudes about buying local agricultural products.” As the demand for locally grown food increases, she hopes that people will also recognize that buying locally and supporting small farmers goes beyond food production. “When you buy local flowers, the product is fresher, and there is often more variety,” Brooke says. “I hope to continue providing local, seasonal, and sustainable blooms to the community.” Decorate your home with sustainably grown flowers by signing up for Old North Farm’s CSA services or by joining Good Hope Farm’s summer CSA! Learn more about the CSA and register for your share beginning May 15th.