Last summer Jenny Dawson began her journey selling self-grown, organic flowers from her farm in Lantzville. Her enthusiasm for finding a balance between business and sustainability was obvious when I spoke with her on her farm.
“It’s a hobby that will take me into retirement,” Dawson said to me as we strolled around the eleven flower beds behind her home. I was blown away. She offers a variety of tulips, dahlias, sunflowers, perennial flowers, roses, lavender, and eucalyptus—just to name a few.
Jenny’s interest in growing flowers blossomed from her career in aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms and plants.
“I have worked at VIU for 15 years as a part-time technician in the fisheries and aquaculture department and as a senior researcher for The Centre [for] Coastal Health which is a veterinary non-profit, located on campus too,” she told me.
Her bouquets are placed on a quaint blue shelf at the end of her driveway and are available Friday evening through to Sunday. “I live in a subdivision with lots of families walking by and it really cheered people up this past spring,” she said. “Since COVID, the bouquets have been selling like crazy.”
“You can come purchase flowers at the end of my driveway for $5, $7, or $10 a bundle,” she said.
She starts selling bouquets in the spring and continues to offer them until the first frost. “Usually until about mid-October I’ll have flowers,” she said.
“Sales right now are just word of mouth, local community, and a couple of florists,” she said.
I was shocked to hear that a lot of flowers you see in local supermarkets around Nanaimo are flown in from far away. Supporting emerging local businesses right now is more important than ever, so be encouraged to think about how you can support local.
Dawson’s farm is located at 7023 Peterson Road in Lantzville.
Soon her website will be up and running, but until then you can follow her on Instagram @lantzvilleflowers.
Kaleigh Studer is a third-year Creative Writing Major and the new Arts Editor of the Navigator. She grew up in Nanaimo and loves all the opportunities the west coast has to offer. Mountain biking, swimming, traveling and brewery hopping are some of her favourite activities with friends. After living in Berlin for two years her passion and a keen eye for art and culture grew. She is excited to be searching out local stories and events taking place in Nanaimo.View all articles