Seasonal, sustainable flowers represent a growing niche in the floral industry.
Hot weather is hard on growing flowers -- and hard on flower growers. Last week, when temperatures hit 100 degrees, Robin Trott, co-owner of Prairie Garden Farm in Starbuck, Minn., spent about four hours every day, drenched in sweat, hose in hand, watering fields of blooms.
She forced herself to take her time by singing waltzes in her head. "It slows me down," she said. "If I rush, the flowers pay."
The flowers need to look their best because they're Trott's livelihood. Every week, Prairie Garden Farm delivers its freshly cut flowers, in a refrigerated van, to florists in west central Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
"It's a challenge to be a flower farmer up here," said Doug Trott, Robin's husband and farming partner. "It's a short growing season, but during the season, things work really well."
Mom-and-pop flower growers like the Trotts are a rare breed, even in an agricultural state like Minnesota.