Liza Teixeira’s Flower Farm in Hanford
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Fresh PickedOctober/November 2014
By Fache Desrochers
Photos: Jacki Potorke
It’s the end of summer on The Flower Farm in Hanford, and the sun is just about to rise. The approaching cool of autumn is still merely a suggestion in the blue morning; the bees that are now curled up sleeping inside the stately sunflowers will be awake soon, and the dew will vanish in the heat of another Valley day.
But for now, the air is gentle, and Liza Teixeira is moving through her rows of blossoms and picking the day’s best. “We always gather early in the morning or late at night, because it’s better for the flowers to be picked when it’s cool,” Teixeira explains. “And I think people just love that aspect of our flowers. I mean, they’re not a week old when you get them; they are picked fresh that morning just for you.”
The Flower Farm is less than two years old, but Teixeira’s penchant for coaxing beauty out of the earth has deep roots. She has a degree in agricultural science from California Polytechnic State University, but her family’s small Hanford farm is where her love and understanding for growing things really began. “I remember going to the nursery with my mom, choosing plants, and then coming home with her and planting them. She had so many beautiful flower beds around our house, so I think I got my appreciation of flowers from her.”
It seems that for Teixeira, flowers are a family affair. It was a casual conversation with her relatives that first gave her the idea to carve out a plot on her parents’ acreage. And now, from late night plantings to days spent at the farmer’s market, it is the participation of her loved ones that makes The Flower Farm possible, and fun. “All of my family has been very supportive. Sometimes I’ll have thousands of seedlings to transplant, and so we’ll set up a light outside and order pizza, and everybody chips in and before I know it, we’ve planted 4,000 snapdragons in a night,” says Teixeira.“We just have fun and laugh. There’s nothing bad about getting your family together, getting your hands dirty, and planting a bunch of flowers. Everyone’s excited to watch them grow.”
With her talent at getting flowers to thrive, it comes as no surprise that Teixeira is just as skilled at growing her business. After getting her feet wet by selling blossoms at the Hanford Farmer’s Market, Teixeira quickly expanded into doing custom arrangements for special events, making deliveries, and even selling bouquets at shops like Visalia’s Embellish & Restore. Teixeira attributes a large part of The Flower Farm’s success to the personable ease of her ordering process. She can be contacted through email, Facebook, Instagram, a phone call or text, and she’ll tell you what’s fresh and available. The Flower Farm also offers a custom planting service for special events, where Teixeira grows gorgeous blooms just for the client, a service that is especially popular with local brides. “We even keep people updated on the progress of their flowers,” smiles Teixeira. “And they seem to love that; as they are getting ready for their wedding, so are their flowers.”
As the custom order side of her business expands, it’s a wonder that Teixeira is still able to maintain her Thursday night presence at the Farmer’s Market. But she has a soft spot for the personal interaction that this venue affords. “I love when people come up at farmer’s market to get flowers for someone,” confides Teixeira.“My favorite was this one time when a little boy came up to our booth. He had a fistful of money, and he looked at the flowers and said, ‘Help me, I don’t know what to get, but I want to buy flowers for my mom.’ So we arranged a bouquet for him right there, and he took it to her.”
From their first bloom to their final arrangement, flowers seem to possess a certain contagious joy, and spreading that delight is at the heart of what The Flower Farm aims to do. “Flowers are very inspirational to me; they just look so beautiful and make people so happy,” muses Teixeira.“I think that’s what kind of draws me to do this. When people see flowers, their faces light up.”
The Flower Farm • (559) 816-5979