Home Scene with Jaimi Pennell

Flowers are one of the most widely recognised gifts for all occasions. While most of us would have purchased flowers in our lifetime or been lucky enough to be on the receiving end, how many of you know where your flowers come from and what they’ve been treated with? I was lucky enough to spend some time with Jaimi and her blooming home garden recently.

Holding a baby on her hip, Jaimi floats through her garden completely in her element. A natural green thumb with a keen eye for all things beautiful, she laughs while telling me the story of how she birthed her new little business Oh Flora Farm.

“I’ve had this really romantic idea in my head of being surrounded by flowers on a farm and I’ve had that idea for about ten years. When I sat down and really thought about what I wanted to do as a job, I really wanted to contribute positively to the community.”

With a tight-knit community that supports local businesses, the Scenic Rim was the perfect place to settle her family and start her life-long dream of growing cut flowers.

“Flowers are there for so many big moments in peoples lives; Weddings, a new baby or a thoughtful gift. They are also there when you need comfort; a bad week or recently lost a loved one. I wanted to be able to bring just a tiny bit of happiness to other people but doing it in an environmentally responsible way. If I can do those things together, that’s something I can be proud of.”

With a goal to bring awareness to seasonal flower farming, Jaimi wants to make the community aware of the risks when buying flowers that aren’t local. While the flowers you are purchasing may seem pretty at the time, there are hidden dangers with many flowers being chemically treated or coloured with toxic dyes.

“So many flowers we see at the supermarket or florist have travelled thousands of miles, are not locally grown and have been fumigated so they look perfect. I want to l leave the land I’m using in a better way than when I got it by using all organic practices and only growing flowers suited to our climate. This makes for healthier flowers and stops the need for nasty chemicals.”

Currently, Oh Flora Farm is a ‘micro flower farm’ sitting on 350m2. With a goal to double their flower growing space, Jaimi would like to get to a stage where she can provide local florists and event planners with buckets of flowers so they are not only using something local but are also supporting environmentally friendly practices. Her main goal by Spring 2019 is to provide flower subscriptions to the local community with options to purchase weekly/fortnightly seasonal flowers or to gift someone special with a subscription.

With a dream of doing flower workshops in the near future, Jaimi would like to bring women together by doing something beautiful over the next spring/summer season when our most gorgeous flowers grow.

“I’m trying not to think too big while I’m still only little. But if you’re not trying to push hard and big then there’s no point. The workshops will run throughout the spring/summer season approximately every 3 weeks because there are so many beautiful flowers that grow well in our climate during that season and lots of native foliage available.”

With a dream that started as her own, it has quickly grown to become a family event with her husband, Matt, digging garden beds and her boys running wild and free through the garden.

“I often see them (the boys) out of our lounge room window walking through the isles, stopping and smelling the flowers and touching them saying ‘mummy, there are bees here’. They love being out there which makes me really happy and it makes me happy that they know how things grow and how much time and love goes into it. Sonny, my baby, is usually in the ergo while I’m watering or sowing seeds. My husband is fairly good at digging so it’s a family affair.”

The name Oh Flora Farm came to Jaimi after she recently gave birth to Sonny. While trying to think of something that meant a lot to her and also honouring her son’s name, the idea of Oh Flora came to her which stands for Oak Hill as their little farm sits on a slope. Jaimi laughs that Sonny gave her the push.

With the website as the main place to purchase subscriptions, Oh Flora Farm is mostly on Instagram at the moment connecting with locals and local businesses.

“I love how the Scenic Rim community puts so much emphasis on supporting locals, more than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. I really want to be part of that. We buy pumpkins from the bridge in Canungra, local honey or local jams from cafes and we don’t think twice about it as it’s just what you do. I just really hope that locals can get behind Oh Flora Farm.”

You can help support this beautiful little new local business and stay up-to-date by heading to Jaimi’s Instagram business page @oh_flora_farm.

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