Just like her name implies, Nellie Gardner was born with a green thumb. She owns and operates Flower Fields, a cut flower business.
Her farm in Spencerport is where the magic happens. But it didn't always look this way. "You had to have the vision for what it could be because otherwise you would have run away" says Gardner.
She just bought this property in the spring of 2009. In just over two years she has replaced overgrown brush with a field full of flowers. "I saw that the soil was excellent and I knew that I could if it had good soil it had a good foundation," Gardner says. "It was originally a flower farm, so I had to buy it. There was no choice."
The house and barn on the property are getting a fresh start too. "I can live basically on what other people throw away." "I also went to a place in rochester that recycles house parts and I took all of the things I could get. I got lights for the house, doors, windows, door knobs even the sink in my house the stove is from 1920."
Gardner uses old leaves to help make her fields fertile. She also conserves water by using a trickle irrigation system. She doesn't like to use pesticides, so instead she focuses on keeping plants healthy from the start.
"I placed the rows so that the wind will go down through the rows and dry the plants out. Most of the disease prone plants are on the outside, so they dry out quicker and it makes an amazing difference as far as disease goes," says Gardner.
Gardner makes sure everything she grows on the ram has a purpose. Sure it's beautiful, but nothing there is just to look at.
"Once you start doing that you see everything in a different way. Oh how can I use that?, what can I do with that? Once your eyes are trained like that, it's wonderful," adds Gardner.