FREDONIA – You may have heard of farm shares or vegetable shares, but the folks at Willoway Farm are trying something a bit different.
“It's going to be onions, tomatoes, basil, apples, carrots, beets, cucumbers,” Dan Bertram lists off the vegetables he’s preparing for the farm’s weekly customers. Meanwhile, his wife Jacqueline Fulcomer is picking flowers in their large garden. “I don't think I'd be doing flowers if it weren't for Jackie, but I totally appreciate it, it adds a lot to the farm,” Bertram tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka.
"It just works for the farm, flowers, herbs, vegetables, it lures in the pollinators and a lot of companion planting and just look at the color it provides in the garden, it's not just green, everywhere you look you can find a nook of color and that is just appeasing to us,” Fulcomer adds.
But she’s not just gathering the gladiolas for their kitchen table; in addition to their crop and egg share programs, Willoway Farm has a flower share. “It begins the first week of June and it lasts all the way through the end of September, being that we typically get frost in late September. There's always just more stuff to look forward to, some flowers don't come usually til late July and in August and everybody likes cheery sunflowers!”
Jacqui creates all the arrangements and delivers the fresh flowers each week to several pick-up locations in Ozaukee and Milwaukee county, “They last about a week I've always been told, I've never had any issues with it.” Because by the time the week’s bouquet begins to wilt, the flower share program has another array of fresh flowers ready to be picked up by the customers.
It costs about ten dollars a week for the 17 week duration of the flower share and you get a deal if you order early, Fulcomer explains. But it’s not always about the price she adds, “The people who purchase flower share bouquets really are people who really just want to support the local economy and I think they like the fact that it’s all organic. Some businesses are getting our flowers as of late because I guess the word's getting out.”
Growing the business with a bit of help from Mother Nature’s natural beauty, “You're bringing inside something beautiful, natural and there's really nothing ugly about it,” Jacqui says.
Fulcomer knows a thing or two about flowers, she also creates wedding and special event arrangements with her other business Waggle Dance Flowers.
The flower share is full for this season but you can order your bouquet for next year starting in January, 2015. In the meantime you can find Willoway Farm at the South Shore Farmer's Market on Saturdays through October 11th.