In March of 2022, Brenna and Paul Nystuen became the official owners of a homestead in the Nystuen family for over 100 years. Situated in Minnesota, the duo now run the homestead as 1908 Flower Farm.
“Paul grew up coming to his grandparents’ dairy farm every weekend and working on projects with his dad and grandpa,” explains Brenna. She originally bonded with Paul over a shared appreciation of the outdoors and farmland. “He thrives in this environment.”
We spoke to Brenna about discovering a passion for flowers and how they successfully transitioned from growing produce to producing flowers. We also touched on the charms of Madame Butterfly Snapdragon Mix blooms.
Finding a Focus in Flowers
Recapping their path to running a flower farm, Brenna says that in 2020, she and Paul moved to the family farm. But that same week she lost her job due to COVID-19 cuts and circumstances.
“I was devastated but motivated to find something new and more in line with my love of the outdoors,” she recalls. “I got a job at the local flower shop in town.”
By 2021, the Nystuens had devoted their garden to vegetables. But, Brenna says, they found “we couldn’t keep up with how big it was and how much it produced. We had big dreams on canning and freezing things, but it just didn’t happen. We ended up donating most of it.”
However, in 2022, Brenna’s boss asked if they had any interest in growing a few flowers for her business. “So in that moment, our passion grew,” says Brenna.
Read more: These old-fashioned flowers can bring something “new” to the garden.
Finding Popular Blooms
“Since we are still new to the flower farming business, we are still trying to find what is the most popular,” says Brenna, when asked about the 1908 Flower Farm’s offerings.
“As a flower shop, we try to carry fun and not-your-standard-everyday flowers,” she continues. “Cosmos and Forget-Me-Nots were my personal favorite to grow and to use in arrangements. The customers that come to the flower shop love that we carry local and fun flowers in general.”
2023 Flower Plans
For 2023, Brenna says that she’s personally excited about adding Madame Butterfly Snapdragon Mix flowers to the collection, along with Sweet Peas. She adds that Paul is “excited for our Tulips to bloom,” plus Celosias, Poppies and a range of Sunflowers.
Just Do It!
Looking back at their formative attempts to grow flowers, Brenna says, “The biggest lesson we learned last year was that it is okay to fail. There was a lot that we didn’t do right and failed at. But we just went back to the drawing board and researched what went wrong and made notes for next year. The other thing we learned is, just do it.”
Read more: You can transplant perennial flowers at the end of summer. Here are some tips.
Farming for Magical Moments
“Every night we would take farm walks and walk around the farm so we could have a moment as a family and enjoy the farm while we weren’t working, weeding or harvesting,” says Brenna. “Taking those moments to stop and enjoy are so special.”
“Overall, it’s scary, exciting, hard and rewarding,” she adds about running a farm, “but the journey is so worth it. And you will learn so much. When you see the buckets and buckets of flowers that you have harvested, it is so magical.”
Follow 1908 Flower Farm at Instagram.