Type of business: Flower farm
Contact information: 209-648-8995, @blumen_209
Specialty: Over 20 rose varieties
History of business:
What began last year as just a hobby in a 50-foot flower bed has bloomed into a business for Abi Dirkse, owner and operator of Blumen Flower Farm in Denair, which is now home to nearly 20 flower beds that nourish some of the freshest, locally-grown flowers in the Valley.
After interning for a flower farm in Ripon and taking care of a flower bed at her home, Dirkse decided to begin her own flower farming endeavors. Dirkse finds time to care for her flower garden between the classes she takes at Modesto Junior College and sells the flowers out of her home, where customers come to pick them up. She will soon be offering bouquets at the Central Park Evening Market on Thursdays in Downtown Turlock.
“I think I offer something a lot different than grocery store flowers,” said Dirkse. “I grow natural flowers, rather than some of the bright, dyed, neon flowers you see at the store. It’s nice to see a change and I think it fits with the natural farmers’ market style.”
Dirkse is currently growing her spring crop of flowers, including ranunculus, anemones and daffodils, but will soon have a wider variety to choose from once summer rolls around, meaning she can plant other blooms like zinnias, sunflowers, roses, cosmos and more. During the hotter months, there are so many flowers on Dirkse’s farm that she harvests them at least once a day.
“During the summer, all of the beds are planted,” said Dirkse. “I’m confident that this year I’ll have buckets and buckets full of flowers.”
Dirkse sells her flowers by the bouquet, picking and arranging the bunches herself. In order to decide what flowers to grow, she has had to research what types grow the best in hotter weather like we experience here in the Central Valley. On top of picking which varieties of plants will flourish under the sun, Dirkse is also responsible for the upkeep of her garden, keeping tabs on irrigation, fertilization, pulling weeds and planting seeds.
“It’s a lot of work and takes up a lot of time,” said Dirkse. “When I’m not at school I’m outside working in the garden.”
Those interested in purchasing Blumen Flower Farms bouquets can either message Dirkse on her Instagram account, @blumen_209, or contact her at 209-648-8995. She lets her customers know what flowers she has to choose from that day, and arranges for their pick up from there. In between selling her flowers from home, Dirkse is looking forward to providing the Turlock community with blooms at the downtown market.
“I love seeing how excited people get when they see their flowers,” said Dirkse. “It’s nice seeing the pictures they post of them and seeing my hard work go into someone’s house.”