30 Mar Urban Gardening with Urban Buds – Bloomtown TV Ep. 2
Join Mimo & Miranda at Urban Buds to discover how they grow their renowned flowers organically and sustainably in the city. From occasional gunshots to continuous maintenance on their 65 year old greenhouse, nothing stops these remarkable farmers from coaxing beauty from a once-abandoned city lot.
Each 5 – 10 minute episode of Bloomtown features real-life characters who love, learn and live this business everyday, from growers and sellers, designers and supply chain folks, all the way to the end consumer.
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Mimo: I think it’s becoming more and more important that people are aware of their farmer. When you’re given a bouquet, first thing you do is you put your face in it. You smell it. You are so close to the flowers, it’s in our face. I mean, you really should know where that product comes from.
Miranda: Urban Buds, Urban Buds. You know, the urban, because it’s in the city. The buds, because we are best friends. And of course then the flowers are the buds. So a play on words; Urban Buds. And then we started tacking on city-grown flowers because people kept asking us if we were growing weed. It kept being “Urban Buds, city-grown flowers.”
Mimo: We sell flowers direct to florists and to farmers markets and do selected events; weddings, parties, selected events. The flowers are grown right here. We have hoop house, a high tunnel, and this greenhouse here.
Miranda: That’s what we do, primarily flowers, though we do a little bit of food and then, I’m a beekeeper.
Mimo: We grow them sustainably. We use no pesticides. These flowers will never ever see a box between here and the end consumer. Pizza, pizza’s the only the only thing that comes in box around here.
Miranda: When I started imagining myself being a farmer, I was around 19. I’m 34 now. And part of the draw to that was I wanted to have a lifestyle where I was outside a lot of the day. And I wanted to be moving my body. I wanted to be working with soil in a healthy way. You know, taking care of the environment. And I wanted a partner to do that with me.
Mimo: 1989, I hadn’t touched a plant, hadn’t thought about a plant. I was living in New York, my mom was living in New York, we both worked. And she was dating a guy here in Missouri. They had a great courtship. And he bought her a house that 132 rose bushes in the back yard. I was going to house-sit for them while they were away that week. And my mom turned to me and said, “Don’t let anything die.” In that week, I decided to make my mom a scrapbook of taking little leaves of plants to garden centers to try and identify how to take care of them. And then that week, I literally fell in love with agriculture.
Miranda: We are saving what’s left of the farm and farming it. We heard tell that like the mosque on the corner of this street was trying to buy the property at one point to turn it into a parking lot. People thought about putting four-family flats here. I just feel so glad that didn’t happen.When we tilled the first time, we had 8% organic matter in the soil which is very good, very high. It’s beautiful soil. I’m happy it worked out. Who knew, who knew? Not me.
Mimo: This isn’t the country; this is hard-core city living. And yes, on occasion we hear gunshots. Me, I run in the house, Miranda runs outside of the house to see what direction it came in, who’s firing that shot. I keep saying to her, “Miranda, if you found out who was firing the shot, then what would you do?”
Miranda: I don’t know. You got to stop things when you see things that are bad, right?
Mimo: We sold at the Tower Grove Farmers Market here in St. Louis. They don’t just come and buy, but they come and associate with us because they have a real urge to know their farmer.
Miranda: People are connected to flowers and they are with us during every major emotional right of passage in our life. And I don’t think that’s going to stop.
Mimo: I have people drive by when I’m out, they roll down their car windows, “It’s beautiful.” I mean, if I can give somebody that moment of joy, what a great day I’ve had, right?
Miranda: It is exciting to me that we’re farming in the city, that we can be assessable to people who don’t have a connection to agriculture in any way other than as a consumer. So they can come here and see it, have a little bit more of a picture of what it’s all about. So that education component is really exciting to me.
I had a boyfriend yesterday who was buying a bouquet for his girlfriend. He was all excited about it. I don’t need to get into this whole spiel about how these flowers are special because they’re grown good for the earth. They don’t know. But that’s my little special secret gift, like to them, without them even knowing. I like that a lot.