LocalHarvest Member Profile: Fertile Crescent Farm
For some people in rural Vermont and the Boston area, Fertile Crescent Farm's wreaths have become a family tradition. Now in her ninth year of wreath production, Susan O'Connell loves hearing customers say things like, "I get one of your wreaths for each of my sisters every year; I couldn't show up at Thanksgiving without them!"
Susan did not start out making wreaths. She made a name for herself and Fertile Cresent Farm as a flower farmer. Then about nine years ago, Susan began selling at the farmers market in Boston. Unlike her home markets in northern Vermont, the Boston markets stay open until Thanksgiving, long after the fresh flower season ends. Susan had been making holiday wreaths as gifts for her family for a few years, and soon realized that there might be room for them at the Boston market. She was right - they were a hit.
What excites Susan about making wreaths is the same thing that makes her wreaths unique: treating the wreath as a palette on which to mix colors and textures. Mixing a variety of types of greens, and accenting them with dried flowers results in a wreath that is, as Susan says, "based in nature." The "masterpiece wreaths" are something that many people find fresh, exciting and beautiful.
One of the great benefits of the wreath business for Fertile Crescent is the way that this short, intense flurry of activity extends the market season all the way until Christmas, and thus improves the economic viability of the farm. As Susan says, "That's important, because the rural area where we live has few seasonal jobs. The wreaths give the farm a quick burst of income for the winter months."
Since introducing her wreaths to the Boston area, Susan has expanded this part of the business in some way each year - one year taking orders from local customers, another year starting to deliver her wreaths to peoples' doors, and two years ago offering them through the LocalHarvest store. To find her wreaths, and other great offerings from wreath makers around the country, go to our Wreaths Department.
Photo: Fertile Crescent Farm