I am a first generation farmer in a long line of gardeners. It seems that I was surrounded by those who loved the natural world my entire life. I can remember my Great Grandmother's beautifully painted botanicals in oil pastels and her intricate carvings of herbs and flowers on linoleum blocks which filled our home. And then there were the trips to Grandma's house where I could not wait to go into her secret garden. I can remember going through that curved arbor draped in vines and grapes and being transported into a special place. The garden was surrounded by a vine covered fence and filled with flowers and fruit trees. An enchanting place indeed.
Our west coast friend and flower farmer, Hedda Bronstrom , describes what we do as flower farmers perfectly. "Farmer Florists are like peanut butter and jelly. The dirt and grit of cultivation and the beauty of putting it all together are really two jobs. Some highlight either the farmer or the florist, but I am happy to give them both full dedication. Sometimes these jobs feel like being a chef who grows all their own food, but who better to make a dish than the one who loved it from seed."
The Farm Crew
We are forever grateful for our community and for the staff on our farm. Farming is a team effort. Go team!
After exploring her garden, I always loved walking through her greenhouse that lead to her basement. Beautiful violets and lush plants lived there. The basement was filled with loads of dried flowers which hung neatly in a rows in that magical place. I suppose the love of nature and flowers continued to run through the blood as both of my parents loved to work in the garden and tend their flowers. I am forever grateful for all of their inspiration.
Fast forward into my adult life, soon after Rick and I married and settled into our first home, the first thing on the list was a garden. This love for flowers has finally evolved in the ultimate garden which we have the joy of tending right here at Happy Trails.
I manage the day to day operations on the farm which includes everything from starting seeds to transplanting as well as harvesting, designing and delivering the flowers. It is a labor of love and I can not imagine doing anything more satisfying.
by day a mild mannered Chiropractor by night the Director of tools and equipment, head of acquisitions, chief tractor driver, efficiency expert and most important the greatest supporter and encourager of his wife and partner in this flower farming adventure.
He is overflowing with entrepreneurial charisma and mechanical know how. He literally keeps the wheels greased and the business on track. He entertains us and our customers with his wit, plus he is the guy who lets the dogs out!
The farm at work.
Welcome to Happy Trails Flower Farm. Home to Rick and Tanis Clifton, nine dogs, two cats and a vast array of wildlife, bees and other critters. We've been blessed with 31 years of marriage and are lucky enough to be able to work side by side. My love for growing and Rick's interest in tools and equipment evolved into the most wonderful decision 7 years ago. We took the leap into flower farming and haven't looked back since.
Happy Trails Flower Farm was established in 2010 right here at our homestead in the scenic hill country of Northeast Mississippi. We also grow beautiful blooms right across the state line in the peaceful town of Red Bay, Alabama.
We grow hundreds of different flowers as well as greenery, vines, pods, cotton and other unusual vegetation, supplying discriminating florists, event designers, grocery stores, flower lovers and the fabulous Pepper Place Farmers Market in Birmingham, Alabama.
Our belief is similar to the slow food movement. We strive to give our customers an alternative to imported and everyday flowers. We envision an opportunity for our region to have access to flowers that are of superior quality which are grown seasonally in ways that do not harm the environment. We also endeavor to offer our flowers at fair and accessible prices.
Happy Trails Flower Farm is part of a growing flower movement which intends to provide slow flowers all over the USA. We are committed and compassionate about supporting local flower farmers, like ourselves, thereby providing seasonal and local blooms to designers, florists, grocers and lovers of flowers.
We are proud members of The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), and had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors representing the Southeastern region of the US. The ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It does this by providing production and marketing information; connecting members through events and communications; supporting floriculture research; and encouraging the purchase and use of locally grown flowers by the public. Its mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product.
Our farm is located on 19 acres of lush mostly forested land. We cultivate approximately 3 acres and also grow specialty crops in one greenhouse.
ASSOCIATION OF SPECIALTY CUT FLOWER GROWERS BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
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