Local And Seasonal
We grow what we sell
Our commitment to providing local means that we sell 99% of what we grow and forage, finding beautiful natural treasures in the forests and fields that surround our family run farm in the North Okanagan. The remainder, we source from other local growers.
We grow mostly heirloom, unusual and hard to find varieties, along with some more traditional favorites, during our local growing season from April-October. The rest of our season is spent planning, preparing, organizing and dreaming for the following year.
We use what is natural
I was exposed to art history, design and composition from an early age, having grown up with a professional artist as a parent. To hone my floral design skills, I completed Conception and Design at the Catherine Muller floral school in Paris, France, where my eyes where opened to the possibilities of working with flowers.
At Little Flora Gem we use flowers, foliage, herbs and foraged treasures from our farm in the beautiful North Okanagan and let the fields and forests around us inspire our design process. We DO NOT use floral foam, glitter or other additives.
Whimsical, garden style
I love to create wild and whimsical, garden-style bouquets that are a combination of garden-fresh flowers, deliciously scented herbs and foraged natural treasures from the forests around our farm!
Our bouquets are constructed in a delightfully unusual and organic manner. The result is a lovely arrangement that looks and smells like it’s the result of a morning walk through the garden.
We are a family-run farm
My name is Jessica and I’ve always been drawn back to my very first “job”, at age 5. I picked flowers and vegetables in the wee hours of the morning, from my mom’s garden and went to the local farmers market to sell fresh, local produce and flowers. Years later, after completing a Master’s Degree and working in the corporate world of project management and finance, I married a Dairy farmer and started to learn about farming.
I wanted to create my own niche on our family run farm and to get back to my roots and to work with flowers and vegetables. So, in 2018, I converted a ¼ acre of an old horse pasture into a flower field. The next year, I completed the Floret Flower Farmer course and expanded the flower field to about an acre in production. In late 2019, we decided we wanted to add a small scale, high intensity vegetable garden to our farm. We were truly fortunate to find a very knowledgable and experienced vegetable farmer to manage this portion of our farm and to teach us the in and outs of vegetable farming. She is helping us reach our goal of being a truly diversified and sustainably run farm and we are very grateful! I am excited to be continually learning how to be a better farmer.
The Flower and Vegetable Fields
An acre of bliss (each)
Little Flora Gem has just under an acre is flower production, including a large propagation shed and approximatley 1, 700 square feet under a hoop house. We start all our Annuals from seed and transplant most of them into sections of pre-burned landscape fabric. The landscape fabric helps us to keep the weeds in check. We have a large selection of Annuals, Perennials, flowering fruit trees and woody shrubs, along with a huge selection of various bulb, corm and tubers, including Anenomes, Ranunculus and Dahlia’s.
During harvest season, our flowers are cut every morning and evening, placing them directly into water, to ensure that our clients receive the freshest, longest lasting stems. We then sort, process and store our fresh flower in our cooler to maintain optimal freshness.
We have just over an acre of land dedicated to vegetable production, including a 1,700 square foot, unheated hoophouse. Just like the flowers, we are staring all our plants from seed. We are not importing any vegetables and instead are dedicated to growing everything onsite, in a sustainable manner.
Little Flora Gem is all about growing beautiful flowers, vegetables and herbs in a sustainable, responsible and environmentally friendly way. Our three little kids help me work with the flowers and vegetables on a daily basis, so I don’t want to use anything that would be potentially dangerous for them, or the flowers. Therefore, we strive to find natural and organic solutions. For example, the fertilizer for our flowers comes from the cows and horses on our farm! We also create our own compost using discarded material from the cut flowers and other garden leftovers like lawn clippings and leaves, let the worms and heat do the work and then reuse it to feed the next generation of flowers.
Sustainability in Practice
- We don’t use chemicals. We prefer beneficial insects.
- We compost our discarded flowers, vegetables and herbs.
- The weeds are kept at bay by using landscape fabric with pre-burned holes– the flowers grow in the holes; the weeds don’t have space to grow. We use flame weeding and old school muscles.
- We use cover crops and practice crop rotation to protect the integrity and health of the soil.
- Flowers and vegetable are watered by drip irrigation to minimize evaporation and to protect the petals. This practice conserves water and results in better blooms.
- We have a minimal waste attitude, especially as it relates to our packaging. We make sure that our packaging is recyclable or compostable. Our bouquets are tied with twine and wrapped in Kraft paper, with paper labels. Our veggies are packaged in kraft paper bags or in cardboard boxes.
- We do not use floral foam- EVER.
- 96% of our electrical energy needs on our farm is supplied by solar power!