This year can be summed up in one word for Tillsonburg’s Makkink Flower Farm.
“Challenging,” smiles Hilde Makkink. “In a good way.”
Makkink said community support has been incredible – people have been looking for “local” and that’s what Makkink Flowers provides.
“I am sold out every week.”
Makkink Flower Farm offers “cut your own,” a new service first offered last year at 164604 Kellett Rd. (east from North Street) near Five Points.
“I love to share my love for the farm and I love what I do,” said Makkink. “And I love it if people come to my farm and do the same thing. I just love it and it makes me happy that people get a chance to do it. A lot of people have said, ‘I can’t do that,’ or ‘I’m scared that I’ll wreck your field…’ I said, ‘No, no, no, you won’t. Go ahead and if you have a question come ask.
“We have lots of flowers in the field, and you can pick your own, but it’s too overwhelming to have everyone come at the same time,” she added. “So what we changed this year is that they have to buy a ticket (online) before they come, because I can’t have too many people. And it’s sold out all the time. Hopefully next year we will have more flowers and people are more than welcome…”
The cut-your-own flowers experience, she said, gives people a chance to have a unique outdoor experience.
“We have around 40 varieties of flowers (not at the same time). They start in the spring, like peonies, so we have seasonal flowers and always a good variety.”
Cut-your-own customers are given a disinfected pail and clipper, and Makkink shows them two example bouquets.
“They don’t have to pick those, they can pick whatever they want. In front of every flower row the sign says what kind of flower it is, how to cut it, and what the cost is per stem. Most people buy a $25 ticket, and then they can cut flowers worth $25. When they are done, they always have the whole pail full, and then I make it into an arrangement.
“It’s something different, right? Last year was a tryout, so this year I was really ready… until COVID hit. Every week, it’s challenging to have enough flowers. So next year we will have more flowers and I think there will be just as much interest – there’s always interest in cut-your-own. This year was just so challenging.”