Petal Pusher Farms is a top pick for plucking native stems.
When a forester and a soil scientist marry, a thriving farm is all but inevitable. It was 2017 when Jerí Irby, a forester, and her husband, Matt, a soil-scientist-turned-attorney, purchased the land they were leasing in Purcell to start Petal Pusher Farms, a sustainable flower farm with an ironic name. Blooms this brilliant needn’t be pushed onto anyone.
“He knew everything about the soil, and I know about the plants, so we joined our expertise to grow some beautiful flowers. It’s really just a side hustle,” Jerí Irby said with a smile, “but it’s a pretty successful one.”
Quick ticket sales to their summer events demonstrate this as an inarguable truth, and it all started with letting a few people come pick their own flowers.
“We were developing the farm and had some people out to cut flowers and make their own bouquets,” Irby explained. Much like the crops they were cultivating, the concept just kept growing.
What makes Petal Pusher Farms worth the drive to Purcell? Aside from visual splendor, the Irbys are committed to sustainability and longevity.
“Probably less than 15 percent of all flowers are grown locally, leaving a huge environmental footprint from the floral industry across our state,” she said. “There’s less of an impact when you purchase flowers grown down the road.”
Couple this with a focus on seasonal crops and refusal to use chemicals, and Petal Pushers’ flowers — already more vibrant — tend to last longer.
“A freshly grown native zinnia can last seven to 14 days, as opposed to the two days you might get from a grocery store flower,” Irby said.
Unsurprisingly, soil health is key to all plant life, and keeping soil healthy is year-round work. If a field is not being used, the Irbys plant cover crops to keep the soil fertile for the next growing season.
“We use a green manure mix with winter wheat, barley and nitrogen-fixing legumes, but we never let it go to seed head. We just want the green parts so the tractor can chomp it up and add it back to the soil as fertilizer,” she said. Ladybugs are their preferred pest control tool.
With such deliberate focus on natural farming practices, and such exquisite results, it only makes sense that Petal Pusher Farms would offer a Flower Share program. Modeled after a traditional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), individuals have three seasonal options from which to choose and bring the best of the blooms home to enjoy.
For a more hands-on experience, register for one of these events offered July through September:
- Summer Evening U Picks offer a stunning opportunity to browse the farm, cutting flowers you fancy while enjoying the peaceful country sounds.
- Floral Design Classes are an educational and fun way to spend an evening, learning to make your own exquisite arrangements.
- Date Nights on the farm will make you swoon, as you and your partner pick your favorite flowers and then enjoy an evening under the stars with charcuterie by Graze OKC and live music by Grant Scowden.
To ensure people have room to roam, ticket sales are limited — and go quickly. Visit petalpusherfarms.com for details.