Featurepreneur: The Humble Personality behind the Humble Burdock

Featurepreneur: The Humble Personality behind the Humble Burdock

By Genevieve Allen Hearn

Meet Amanda Muis Brown – flower farmer, florist, and soon to be published author. Amanda is a third-generation farmer and is now growing over a hundred varieties of flowers and foliage on Humble Burdock Farm in Centreville. Growing botanicals in a Maritime climate takes good planning, an innate understanding of our fluctuating growing season, and more than a little courage. Amanda faces these challenges boldly and passes on what she has learned in her book coming out this fall entitled *Humble Burdock Farms – From Seed to Centerpiece, A Floral Journey through the Seasons*. *The Grapevine* was able to catch up with Amanda during a rare moment when she wasn’t in the fields or in her barn preparing flowers for the market or an upcoming event.

Grapevine (GV): How did you get in the flower growing business?

Amanda: I accidentally got into it. I finished my Fine Arts degree and returned back to Nova Scotia, and started by cutting flowers in my mother’s garden. I had always given flowers as gifts when I was visiting friends, and it started from there. It took me a while before I realized that I was painting with flowers – using my love of colour, line, and texture to create something more.

GV: Being a flower farmer/florist can sound very romantic! Is it actually?

Amanda: A typical day is a very busy one! I get up early to check the gardens and cut flowers and then spend time working on our major projects – weeding, transplanting, organizing, and emailing. Then we get to make bouquets or start on wedding flowers. It is romantic, if you can appreciate the beauty while being covered in dirt, sweat, and butterflies.

GV: What is the most common advice you give to clients purchasing floral arrangements?

Amanda: Buy local is the first thing – there are so many flower farmers sprouting up around the province, so take time to appreciate what can be grown in our own backyard. A lot of customers buy our bouquets from the Wolfville Farmers’ Market (at Olde Furrow Farm), but my goal is for you to go home and get creative. You can trim the bouquet and put it in a vase, or you can rearrange and play!

GV: For folks working on their gardens this Spring, what flowers work great in DIY arrangements from the backyard?

Amanda: Don’t be afraid to enjoy the simplicity of small Spring flowers! There is so much to love and that works well in short vases such as blooms like muscari, hyacinth, fritillaria, and lily of the valley.

GV: You have a book coming out! What has the writing process been like for you?

Amanda: Writing has always come easy to me, as well as photography. It was the editing, distilling it down, and actually going through all of the photographs I have taken (over 20,000 last year!) that was the hard part. But it has been really rewarding to share what happens through all of the seasons on our farm.

 

You can find Amanda and learn more about her business at thehumbleburdock.com. If you love having fresh flowers at home but you don’t have your own garden, check out her bouquet CSA program!