Sustainability Blooms in Brooklyn with Barnard College
In April 2022, a writer and videographer fromBarnardMagazine (monthly mag put out by my alma mater) reached out to say they hoped I would participate in a story they wanted to do featuring alums that went on to farm flowers or pursue floristry. This meant a lot to me --Barnardwas where I became an English major, made a few lifelong friends, and where I learned to think critically about my privilege and how racism, colonialism, and sexism came to shape and continued to shape my life and the lives of communities all over the world. However, despite the ample supportBarnardprovided to graduating seniors, I was lost when it came to career. Perhaps because at the time at least, the types of networking and information sessions about next steps were all designed around traditional high earning paths - grad school, law school, med school, non profit, etc.
After college, I wound up falling in love with the organic farming / food justice movement, and with growing food and flowers. I continued on that path for 15 years - and along the way founded Molly Oliver Flowers. But I felt a disconnection with my peers fromBarnard, and for years, I would open the magazine to see profiles of classmates and other alum who had very shiny careers in politics, as non profit directors, as lawyers and scientists doing groundbreaking things.
So, it was really special to have been one of a few farmer alums highlighted in an article in 2018, and then again when the magazine reached out last year!
Carrie Glasser, Director of Multimedia Productions, visited our studio on a Tuesday morning when we were bunching Anemones from a Hudson Valley farm for our subscription bouquets. Nicole Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, interviewed me that month, and also visited the studio. They got to see the abundance of fresh, locally-grown flowers we receive, how we process them (remove lower leaves), photograph them, and assemble the bouquets. They also observed how we make special hand tied bouquets and vase arrangements for people who want to send flowers once (instead of receiving bouquets every week).
This was a really special moment for me, and I was so happy to haveBarnardcontinue to champion women, and all the many and varied careers they choose to pursue. For me, our subscription program is much more than sending beautiful, fresh flowers to New Yorkers (although it is definitely about that!): it's about supporting a growing network of young flower farmers who are working hard to build back the tradition and community of flower agriculture in the US.