Flower Power in full force at Pemberton’s Bathtub Gardens
Meet the newest addition to Pemberton’s farming community, the flower growers. We discovered them through a fresh bouquet at Mt Currie Coffee Co and followed our nose to the sweetest smelling harvest in the Valley and discovered a couple of real romantics.
Who is Bathtub Gardens?
Samuel Casavant and Calida Grymaloski.
How long have you been in operation?
This is season number one.
Where did the name Bathtub Gardens come from?
Last year we were busy preparing the land when the Meager slide took place. The valley could have filled up with water again. One giant bathtub. Plus, with the bathtub trail down the road and the one we found on our property, it just seemed to make sense.
What are you growing there?
Organic specialty cut flowers.
Are you planting from seed?
We grow everything from seeds, bulbs and tubers.
How do you choose what to grow?
Choosing our crops involves a process not to0 different from choosing a perfect date on an online dating service!
The selected candidate (flower) has to:
be good looking
love living in Pemberton
be long lasting (in the vase of course!)
be disease resistant
provide good income
fit in with our friends (our other crops)
and give out lots of flowers!
In spite of that strict process, sometimes we just fall in love with a flower and HAVE to grow it, for better or worse.
One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of potential matches out there and we are always on the look out for something new and unique to grow.
What kind of flowers grow well in Pemberton? Apart from potato flowers?
We are still figuring this one out. Farming involves a lot of trial and error but the options are endless. From what we’ve seen this year, a lot of the flowers which are thriving are in the same family as the weeds which are growing. (And there are plenty of those.)
What’s your expertise in flower-farming?
It’s been many hours of research and visiting flower farms in North West Washington. We sure missed lots of good pow days this winter!
How is flower-farming different from food-farming?
Mainly, the aesthetic part of it. We get to arrange, design and get creative with our crops. Flowers cater to people’s senses in a different way than vegetables do and we get to share that with our customers. From the kids’ amazed eyes in front of our sunflowers to the old lady walking straight across the farmers market just to smell our sweet peas, that visceral connection people have with flowers is very rewarding to witness.
Why should people choose local organic flowers?
Besides contributing to the local economy and avoiding the energy burden of shipping, local flowers are vibrant, fresh and capture the essence of the season in a way that the contrived, standard imports can’t match. The flower industry has a lot to explain in terms of environmentally sound farm practices (who likes dyed flowers???) and local, organic flowers bring back the simple beauty nature has to offer without jeopardizing the health of the planet.
When do people buy flowers?
Anytime is a good time for flowers!
Where can people find your flowers?
We will be sharing Ice Cap Organics booth on Green Road for the Slow Food Cycle.
We haven’t opened the farm to the public yet but you can buy our flowers at farmers markets through the Sea to Sky corridor and at Whistler’s Nesters Market. We offer a weekly delivery service, providing a fresh bouquet arrangement to your doorstep or business front. We also take custom orders for events and weddings.
Why did you choose Pemberton?
It’s awesome here. Almost surreal. Farmland in the middle of a world class mountain range? Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this place actually exists. And to top it off, people here are truly amazing. We wouldn’t be where we are now without the help, support and inspiration from our friends around us.
What do you like most about growing and selling fresh flowers?
I love being in the sweet pea patch in the evening when the wind is blowing. The scent is intoxicating.
What’s the best way for people to stay up to date with what’s fresh?