Agriculture, Business, Environment

Sustainable Flower Farmer Thea Folls Creates Art from Nature

Thea Folls owns the sustainable Folls Flower Farm.

By Turquoise Jackson OWASCO, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)—The art of flower farming can be challenging and delicate just like the art of flower arranging. Folls Flower Farm in Owasco, New York is a sustainable farm where almost any flower can be found. The owner Thea Folls grows everything from poppies to snapdragons and creates colorful arrangements. For Thea Folls growing flowers is a family affair.

“My father enjoyed growing roses and my mother also gardened some as I grew up,” Thea said. “I always loved flowers.”

Thea’s grandmother also kept a small garden, but growing up Thea didn’t go to school to study agriculture. Thea went to study art and technology at the State University of New York at Oswego. Years later, Thea and her husband Hal moved to a one-story house after her father in-law broke his hip. This one-story house eventually would become Folls Flower Farm, but not until Thea received a gift.

“My girlfriend Gina came and helped me clean the barn before we moved in and that Christmas she gave me the book The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczynski,” said Thea.

The book gave Thea the idea of starting a flower farm. Thea started out small by selling flowers at markets until expanding into wedding arrangements and taking to organic practices.

“I’m pretty much organic so I use sea weed and I use fish fertilizer,” said Thea.

Horse manure is also used outside on the numerous rows of flowers. Taking to organic practices can be difficult and Thea is conscious of the materials she uses in her flower arrangements.

“We have a big pile out back that’s a compost pile for just flowers, stems and woodies,” said Thea.

Folls Flowers provides a weekly bouquet delivery service where the vases are reused.

“We use a plastic delivery container that they have to put out the next week when they get the new one,” said Thea.

The vases are reused, but Thea owns a limited number of vases and encounters problems when they are not returned.

“It’s difficult, yeah you want to be totally sustainable so if they give it back to me and I reuse it, we’re not wasting any materials,” said Thea.

With wedding season around the corner, flower arrangements will be in high demand. Thea will continue being sustainable just as she will continue loving flowers. Thea is taking care of numerous seedlings inside her house that are growing in what she calls “hot spots.” When wedding season arrives Thea will have more than enough flowers in bloom.