Meet Lyndsay Biehl. A graduate of The Ohio State University and a Marietta native, Lyndsay is the founder and owner of Wildroot Flower Co., a 27 acre flower farm just outside Marietta, OH. After spending 13 years working in Landscape Horticulture, Lyndsay discovered what she loved most – gardening and growing with her hands in the dirt. Putting her passions before her fears, she turned this passion into a blossoming business, planting her first seeds in 2016.
“My first job in Horticulture/Agriculture was with Greenleaf when I was 16. I fell in love with plants at an early age and knew then that I wanted to make this my career,” Lyndsay said. “I love sharing the knowledge with other people. Farming for me is such a wonderful marriage of plants, education and the outdoors.”
Lyndsay grows specialty cut flowers using sustainable growing techniques, often times referred to as ‘slow flowers.’ “Most people are surprised to learn that over 80% of the flowers sold in the US at grocery stores, to florists, and online are grown thousands of miles away in South America, where working conditions are poor, wages are low and employees are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis,” Lyndsay explained. “Cut flowers over the years have gotten a bad rap for their short vase life. But understanding they were cut likely 7-10 days before being shipped out of water, it is impressive they even live a few days.”
It brings us joy to see the honeybees enjoying our hard work as much as we do!
Locally grown flowers rarely if ever leave water post-harvest, and are grown with sustainable or organic growing practices. On the farm, flowers are often cut the same day they are purchased or delivered. Although these growing techniques require more work and time, Lyndsay is proud to be part of the locally grown flower movement. “We are proud to support the environment that so graciously supports us,” she said. “It brings us joy to see the honeybees enjoying our hard work as much as we do!”
While Lyndsay knows that flowers are not a necessity, she believes giving and receiving flowers brings undeniable joy. “Most of our flowers last between 7-10 days. With local flowers you get to enjoy the flowers as they evolve throughout the season,” she said. “Understanding where their flowers come from allows the consumer to make a conscious choice to support the local economy and the environment.”
As a way to create ongoing support for the farm, Lyndsay launched a CSA program in 2017. The CSA (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture) was a unique way for Wildroot Flower Co. to provide lots of flowers to multiple customers at one time without managing individual deliveries.
“CSAs are traditionally more common with the vegetable farming community. As a member of our CSA, you pay for a set share of our flowers and you will receive them at the partner location of your choice. Your CSA share purchase allows us to invest in seeds and supplies before the growing season takes bloom.”
In its first year, the program generated so much community interest that it was both exciting and overwhelming. “No bloom was safe near me last year. My parents enjoyed a few less blooms in their own yard because I had so many orders to fill.”
You can find Lyndsay’s locally grown flowers at the Farmers Market on Front Street (on Tuesdays) and the River City Farmers Market (on Saturdays) throughout the summer, as well as at partner pick-up locations such as Wit & Whimzy and Scott’s Garden Center.
My summer favorite is actually a common flower, Zinnia. It’s so dependable and you can cut from it all summer long.
When asked if she had a favorite flower, Lyndsay had some difficulty narrowing it down. “If you asked me this question every month, I would probably give you a different answer each time,” she laughed. Admirably, she still gave it a try. “For spring, it has to be Ranunculus. It’s new to the farm this year and I am so excited to start harvesting them. My summer favorite is actually a common flower, Zinnia. It’s so dependable and you can cut from it all summer long. Towards the end of summer, my favorite is definitely Dahlias. If you look at my Instagram feed you might think I only grow Dahlias because I post so many pictures of them.”
Driven by her desire to share her passion with others, Lyndsay also offers a variety of workshops and special events throughout the year. Last year’s line-up included hands-on demonstrations in floral jewelry creation and wreath-making. Lyndsay looks forward to hosting several new events this year, including a Field to Vase Workshop, Wildflower Yoga, and Farm Open House. “I am most excited about our Design & Dine event. We are hosting Chef Mike Cichon from Cochocton, OH for a fun evening of creating and dining on the farm.”
This April, she hosted a Container Gardening Workshop at L.E. Huck and Son Greenhouse where participants learned about annual container design and maintenance and had an opportunity to create their own beautiful container. “My love for horticulture and the outdoors has always been a fondness I wanted to share with others.”
For updates and upcoming events, check the Wildroot Flower Co. website or sign up for the email list. And be sure to follow along on Instagram for daily doses of dahlias, daffodils, and daisies!