This time last week, Jill and I were wearing a dozen layers between us and were driving all over town gathering flowers and plants for the Saint Louis Art Museum Spring celebration, "Art in Bloom." WHOOSH, what a whirlwind. We learned a lot, kept moments of terror to a minimum and met the most amazing community of flower lovers.
Before we even got on the plane, Jill had done a little research to see if anyone was growing any thing this time of year. We weren't expecting much, (re: "wearing a dozen layers," it was 20degrees), but were totally blown away when we rolled up to Urban Buds before sunrise on Wednesday morning. Oh man, do we love these gals.
Mimo and Miranda are occupying an acre of land whose flower history dates back to the 1870's. We're talking major legacy sh*t, people. Always a florist, flower market or grow-space in the south district of Saint Louis, Mimo and Miranda bought the property in 2012 and are growing chemical-free, sustainable flowers in one of the remaining glass greenhouses, a high tunnel and side fields. They are literally growing in the alley; rich, dark rows of soil tilled and ready for the Spring sunshine to bring up zinnias for the surrounding community to enjoy. 70 varieties of flowers and counting are being tended by just the two of them, (who both have full-time jobs), to sell at the Tower Grove Farmer's Market and a few lucky, local florists.
These two redefine what any of us in the industry call a "labor of love," and their product is outstanding. Our brains are buzzing with what else we, and others who support them, can do to help move Urban Buds forward - adding new growing structures, expanding their market, continuing restoration of the property. The oldest wood-frame house in the ENTIRE CITY is on their lot. Beautiful, nostalgic and a little haunting - it's the perfect place for a ag/design classroom, or a retail shop. But, as it's condemned and there's not enough funds to keep the heat going in the greenhouse along with every-other-overhead, it's likely to be torn down.
We know exactly what you're thinking, and we're with ya - "Oh hell nah!" Kickstarter, anyone?