The Farmer-Florist. How this 4-H Farmpreneur turned her passion into a reality

By Laura Goulding

“Our mission is more flowers for more people more often,” says Amber Swidersky, Farmer-Florist and owner of Petals Flower Co. Petals Flower Co. is a full-service flower shop located on a small farm in Melancthon, ON. Born of a passion for flowers, Petals Flower Co. has a one-acre flower field with over a hundred varieties and colours of flowers, along with a flower shop in the garage on Amber’s family beef and sheep farm.

“There are so many awesome things about Petals, I think my favourite is that every day is learning,” says Amber. Amber began growing and selling flowers at the Shelburne Farmers Market in 2015 and in 2017 the opportunity emerged to take on flowers every day. Petals Flower Co. has four part-time staff who help in all areas of the business from delivery, flower field management, designing and much more.

In addition, Petals Flower Co. also offers a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and hosts on-farm workshops. The CSA program provides flower lovers with the chance to fill their homes with fresh local flowers all spring and summer long. “Every Friday you show up and there is a bouquet with your name on it,” says Amber. For those interested in learning how to make their own creations, Amber hosts on-farm workshops throughout the year ranging from field to vase, Easter centre piece workshops, winter outdoor arrangements and wreaths and many more.  

“I always knew I wanted to be on a farm,” says Amber. “When I was young, I took some 4-H projects that were related to etiquette and crafting and took a break from 4-H. Then in my first year of University at Guelph I ended up showing a heifer at College Royal and decided to rejoin 4-H. I joined the South Simcoe Beef Club and it was there that I met my husband. I couldn’t get my heifer broke and the 4-H leader sent him down to help me with my heifer. Now both our children participate in 4-H, everything from paintball club, sheep club, marketing club and the beef club.”

When asked about the impact 4-H has had on her as a farmpreneur, Amber said, “Every day I learn to do by doing. It’s a huge take home for me and something I practice every day here at Petals.”