From School Teacher To Full Time Flower Farmer

Ep.17: From Classroom to Flower Field: Brooke Palmer’s Transition to Full-Time Flower Farming

Join us as we uncover the beautiful story of how Brooke, a dedicated school teacher, found herself taking the leap to become a full-time flower farmer.


In this episode, we had the pleasure of chatting with flower farmer, Brooke Palmer from Jenny Creek Flowers. Brooke, a dedicated school teacher turned passionate flower farmer, shared her heartfelt journey of balancing teaching and tending to blooms on her 40-acre farm in New York.

Brooke’s Background as a Teacher and Flower Farmer

Brooke Palmer’s unique background as a school teacher for over 20 years provided a rich foundation for her transition into the world of flower farming. Her experience in education not only shaped her work ethic but also instilled in her a deep sense of dedication and passion for nurturing growth. This background, combined with her love for gardening and flowers, laid the groundwork for her successful journey into becoming a full-time flower farmer.

Impact of COVID on Brooke’s Flower Farming Journey

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about unexpected shifts in many aspects of life, including Brooke’s flower farming journey. The challenging times of the pandemic sparked a newfound desire within Brooke to incorporate more beauty and nature into her life. This pivotal moment led her to reevaluate her priorities and take the leap into dedicating more time and energy to her flower farm. The impact of COVID served as a catalyst for Brooke’s decision to embrace flower farming wholeheartedly.

Adapting To Growing Zones

Navigating different growing zones, from the Pacific Northwest to New York, presented Brooke with unique challenges and opportunities in her flower farming endeavors. Adapting to the specific growing conditions of each region required a deep understanding of plant needs and environmental factors. Brooke’s experience in transitioning between growing zones highlights the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and continuous learning as a flower farmer.

Forcing Tulips in the Winter

Brooke Palmer’s approach to flower farming includes the practice of forcing tulips in the winter. This method allows her to extend the tulip season and offer blooms even during the colder months. By forcing tulips indoors in her basement, Brooke creates a stunning array of flowers that bring joy to her customers in the middle of winter.

Winter Tulip CSA

Brooke’s winter tulip CSA shares are a highlight of her flower farm offerings. By growing tulips indoors during the winter months, she provides her customers with a delightful surprise of early blooms. The winter tulip CSA shares are a testament to Brooke’s dedication to providing fresh and vibrant flowers year-round.

Process of Winter Forcing

Brooke’s process of winter forcing tulips involves meticulous planning and care. From selecting the bulbs to creating the ideal growing conditions, she ensures that each tulip receives the attention it needs to thrive indoors in her basement. By monitoring temperature, light, and humidity levels, Brooke creates a nurturing environment that encourages the tulips to bloom beautifully and on a calculated schedule.

Benefits of Winter Tulip Forcing

Forcing tulips in the winter offers several benefits, both for Brooke as a flower farmer and for her customers. By extending the tulip season, Brooke can provide a continuous supply of fresh blooms over the course of 12 weeks. Customers also benefit from the opportunity to enjoy tulips during the winter months, bringing a touch of springtime beauty into their homes and lives.

Community Engagement

Brooke’s winter-forced tulips have garnered significant interest and appreciation from her community. Through her winter tulip CSA shares and local flower sales, Brooke has created a sense of connection and joy within her community, fostering a deeper appreciation for the beauty and resilience of flowers in all seasons.

Brooke’s Gardening Experience in the Pacific Northwest

Brooke’s gardening experience in the Pacific Northwest provided her with a solid foundation in cultivating a variety of flowers and vegetables. The wide variety of flowers and diverse growing conditions of the region nurtured Brooke’s love for gardening and laid the groundwork for her future as a flower farmer. Her time in the Pacific Northwest served as a source of inspiration and learning, shaping her approach to flower farming in New York.

Transition from Gardener to Flower Farmer

Brooke’s transition from a backyard gardener to a full-fledged flower farmer marked a significant turning point in her journey. The decision to scale up her gardening passion into a full-time flower farm was a bold and transformative step when her family moved back to New York. By leveraging her gardening skills and experience, Brooke embraced the challenges and opportunities of flower farming, setting the stage for a flourishing career as a full-time flower farmer.

Brooke’s Decision to Become a Full-Time Flower Farmer

Brooke’s recent decision to pursue flower farming full-time signifies a major milestone in her journey. In this episode, Brooke shares that she just recently resigned from her teaching career and will be dedicating herself to Jenny Creek Flowers full-time. Brooke is well poised to follow her dreams and embrace the opportunity to focus her energy on farming. This bold move reflects her unwavering commitment, passion, and vision for the future of her flower farm.

Brooke’s Partnership with Wide Awake Bakery

Brooke’s collaboration with Wide Awake Bakery exemplifies the power of community and shared passion for local, fresh, flowers. By offering her flowers at the bakery, Brooke not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the space but also spreads joy and beauty to customers through her bouquets offered for sale. This partnership truly highlights the importance of fostering meaningful connections with other local businesses in the community.

Favorite Tulip Varieties Recommended by Brooke

Brooke’s expertise in growing tulips shines through as she shares her favorite varieties in this episode. Her passion for tulips and her keen eye for selecting top varieties underscore her commitment to providing exceptional blooms to her customers.

Here are a few of Brooke’s favorite varieties:

  • Columbus
  • Exotic Emperor
  • Palmyra
  • Alison Bradley
  • Negrita


Brooke Palmer’s journey from teacher to flower farmer is a testament to the transformative power of following one’s passion and embracing new opportunities. Through her dedication, resilience, and love for flowers, Brooke continues to inspire others to cultivate beauty and joy in their own lives. Tune in to the episode to hear more about Brooke’s story and her journey to becoming a full-time flower farmer at Jenny Creek Flowers.

In this episode, you’ll hear about: 

  • Brooke’s Journey into Flower Farming: 00:00:57
  • Brooke’s Background as a Teacher and Flower Farmer: 00:01:37
  • Impact of COVID on Brooke’s Flower Farming Journey: 00:03:37
  • Discussion on Growing Zones: 00:06:05
  • Brooke’s Gardening Experience in the Pacific Northwest: 00:08:10
  • Transition from Gardener to Flower Farmer: 00:09:24
  • Brooke’s Tulip Forcing Setup: 00:23:42-00:23:52
  • Winter Tulip Forcing Process: 00:23:52-00:24:03
  • Comparison of Hydroponic and Soil Growing: 00:34:42-00:34:52
  • Brooke’s Decision on Growing Methods: 00:34:53-00:35:03
  • Discussion on Tulip Growing Methods: 00:35:03-00:35:14
  • Brooke’s Decision to Become a Full-Time Flower Farmer: 00:38:08
  • Brooke’s Tubers Sale Preparation: 00:40:00
  • Brooke’s Partnership with Wide Awake Bakery: 00:46:28
  • Favorite Tulip Varieties Recommended by Brooke: 00:48:32

Learn more about Brooke Palmer and Jenny Creek Flowers

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