Roots & Wildflowers
Tucked away in her grandmothers back garden, Roots & Wildflowers took bloom in the spring of 2017. Our urban micro flower farm and e-commerce florist that specializes in vibrant nontraditional fresh cut flowers. Each day we harvest only the best of what is blooming and handcraft design them for you and greater Durham Regions enjoyment. Roots & Wildflowers is owned and operated by Kirsten Katinas, a native of Ajax, a former graphic designer, photographer and passionate farmer-florist. Kirsten brings a background in design and floristry, as well as a passion for local sustainable flowers to her work. Kirsten studied sustainable “field to fork” farming at Durham College in the fall, and has studied floral design and flower farming at Floret, one of the nations leading farmer-florist operations.
Flower Farmer, Floral Artist & FOUNDER
Kirsten is the Roots & Wildflowers founder, she is the passion and heart behind the flowers. She oversees all operations at the farm; from planning, soil health, planting, up keep, harvest, design, and delivery. She is also the head floral artist, creating new designs and stunning arrangements with the flowers she grows. Flowers are her favourite art medium. When she’s not tending to the garden or playing with flowers you can find her behind the camera lens or adorning hats with floral embroidery.
THE MUSCLES AND MOTIVATOR
Tyler is Kirsten's partner in life and crime. By day he works in the trades, by night he's a volunteer flower farmer. Tyler is a key component in garden prep and planting on the farm, as well as over seeing any heavy lifting jobs. He played a large role in getting over half of our 300 plants into the ground this spring. Tyler is full of encouragement and always has an optimistic outlook on life. He can make even the most dull jobs enjoyable with his light hearted personality and sense of humour.
THE INSPIRATION BEHIND ROOTS & WILDFLOWERS
When I was a little girl I remember planting flowers with my grandma in her garden during the summer, she had a lush flower bed that ran the length of her back fence around the pool. One memory that has always stuck with me from my childhood was planting yellow roses and her explaining that different colours of flowers had different meanings. Something so simple, that a flower could have a hidden message intrigued me and created a magical appeal of flowers for me. My whole childhood was spent outside, my family would involve me in gardening as much as they could get me to sit still. Everyone in my family has some sort of green thumb; whether it’s growing roses or tending to indoor potted plants. My families love and appreciation of nature was passed on to me and deep rooted into who I am today. Now in my early adult years I’ve found a true connection and solace with it.
In a very busy world gardening allows me to slow down. Nature forces you to let go of all control and become flexible in life. It has many lessons for you to learn and the reward if you brave the worst of storms is nothing short of magnificent. That is what flowers are to me. I’ve always been so amazed and astonished by what nature creates, Mother Nature truly being the world’s greatest artist. When I tried floral design for the first time in the summer of 2016 it became very evident to me that flowers were the art medium I had always been looking for but never knew. I understand flowers in a way I can’t anything else. When I design with flowers I feel them, in a way that can’t be taught but only experienced through the sensation of touching their petals, smelling their intoxicating scent and seeing their vibrant colours. After that I was hooked, what better way than to spend your days playing with flowers.
But there was something that wasn’t sitting right with my values, flowers in florist shops constantly go to waste. So many beautiful blooms get tossed to the compost because they were not used in time. Obviously it’s a tricky business working with a product that doesn't have a shelf stable life, but the biggest culprit to flower waste is due to transportation. Most of your flowers travel overseas to you, after days in transport by the time they get to the florist they’re already a few days old, so they fade quickly after being received. I couldn’t stand seeing anything go to waste, so I researched and discovered the solution; flower farming. When you buy locally grown, flowers can be cut and in customers homes within the same day. Meaning that you’re getting the freshest flowers possible with the longest vase life. So I decided it was time to be a part of that solution with the slow flower movement, and to begin growing my own flowers. I felt it was my responsibility to do my part, and that it was my communities turn to experience the abundance of the freshest flowers around.
So I asked my grandma if I could use her old vegetable garden and soon after got to planting. You can read more about what we've accomplished and our goals for the farm here. It may be small but it's only our first season. One day I dream of owning a farm and being surrounded by a rainbow of flowers every day. It would bring me nothing but joy to look out my window to see the land I’m restoring and caring for bursting with a sea of blooms, but until then my micro urban flower farm in grandma’s garden will more than do.