ELK POINT, S.D. (KCAU) — It’s a new flower business on the site of a historic homestead near Elk Point, South Dakota. We introduce the businesswoman behind the blooms in this week’s edition of Siouxland Stories.
“I didn’t think that I would be raising flowers on my own someday and I absolutely love it. I had been doing wedding flowers part-time for 20 years,” said Christy Heckathorn.
Like many Siouxlanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Christy Heckathorn had the time to discover a new hobby. She started growing her own flowers for what had been her side business.
“I learned how to grow flowers and from there, it literally blossomed after that and I am not stopping. I keep finding things I want to grow,” Christy said.
Unfortunately, growing anything during the ongoing drought the last two years has been a challenge.
“We decided that we should do drip tape irrigation, which I’m very thankful we did that. I had no idea it was going to be one of the hottest summers we’ve had in a long time. I was hopeful that this year would be a little different but maybe it’s starting out a little worse than it was,” said Christy.
While Fleurish Farms is one of the newer additions to the community, the property has deep roots. While Christy and her husband added new buildings to the property for his seed business, they decided to keep one of the original structures intact. A shed of sorts that is a century old and once belonged to a woman named Thelma Kalstad.
“So, this is the summer kitchen, and this has been on the property. I found a brick by the foundation in the back that says 1908 on it,” Christy said. “And so, we decided that we needed to leave that because it’s really cute and charming and has vines growing around it that I think have been growing for over a hundred years, or close to that.”
Based on what Christy had learned about Thelma, she would cook and can and give them away to people.
To Christy, the building was intriguing enough to make it a centerpiece.
“I use it. It’s in my logo. It’s my signage and things like that. I love that I can bring something from the past and put a new spin on it,” Christy said.
Her days now begin with early work in the gardens to beat the heat of the day. This one-woman operation requires Christy to wear many hats.
“At nighttime, I try and do some social media stuff,” said Christy. “I’ve really had to learn all aspects of business and I don’t know that I’ve successfully mastered it all yet but I’m trying to get there.”
She’s inviting the public to come and see what the farm is all about.
“I’m able to provide flowers that are not available in other places and they’re also fresh, so they come right from the field to a vase,” Christy said.
Unlike when she had to pick from a distributor, her own field is her palette.
“While I’m arranging, I’ll walk out through the rows of flowers and look at what I have and think, ‘Oh, this will be amazing in here, or this will make this bouquet really unique,'” said Christy. “I love that. As a creative person, how awesome is that to have access to beautifyl, creative things right outside your studio.”
If you’re interested. Fleurish Farms has an event open to the public coming up on Sunday. You’ll be able to make bouquets and enjoy live music and refreshments, all from Siouxland vendors. You can find more information on the event here.