“She bought a what?? [She bought] A FARM,” reads Sarah Adams announcement on her blog, Alberta Girl. The announcement came in the summer of 2017, shortly after she purchased a 5.5-acre farm in Vulcan, AB. With help from her boyfriend, Nathan Linford, her family and her farm manager, Kendra Scanlon, Adams has since renovated the farm and started up Alberta Girl Acres, a cut flower farm and budding plant rescue centre.
Led by a compulsive need to plant and inspired by other farmers on Instagram, the artist-turned-flower-farmer recently left her life in the city to tend to her farm and growing business. As of this March, Adams has been living on her farm full time, along with her two kids.
While the road has been long and the work has been hard, Adams says the payoff has been well worth it.
“There are lots of things you can farm, but flowers… being able to go out and harvest arm fulls of something that are purely to bring joy to others is amazing,” she says. “There is something so romantic about putting all that work in and then having an arm full of flowers to share with everyone.”
Alberta Girl Acres has been operating mainly as a cut flower farm. Focused completely on local and sustainable growing practices, Adams provides beautiful fresh cut flowers to the people of southern Alberta through orders and, recently, through Alberta Girl Acres’ new flower trailer at the Farmers & Makers Market.
I was very lucky to have multitalented photo wiz @kendrable at the market today! As Farm Manager, not only can she wrassle weeds and plant beds like it ain’t no thang, but she’s got a heck of an eye. Thanks so much for capturing our debut so well lady! I love these pics! – #flowerfarm #flowerfarmer #localflowers #yycflowers #calgaryflowers #flowercart #flowertrailer #convertedhorsetrailer #grownnotflown #bucketsofblooms
Outside of the cut flower business, Adams also hosts a unique plant rescue program at Alberta Girl Acres. After seeing gorgeous, healthy plants left for dead after moving or after a property is sold or taken down, Adams knew she wanted to do something to save these plants.
“I can’t be in a place and not plant something. When renting, I would always be planting everything. It was always so heartbreaking to leave the plants behind,” Adams says.
Through the plant rescue program, Adams has already rescued 500 irises, and she hopes to eventually grow the program into an entire “plant orphanage”.
500 replanted irises that were donated to Alberta Girl Acres.
“I want to run a plant orphanage where we’re rescuing plants, we give them a good home and we’re also re-homing them,” she explains. Ideally, Adams says, the rescued plants would be sold cheaply to people offering to re-home them. “[It would be] something where we kind of become a resource for people who want to add to their garden but don’t have the funds to do so.”
The program is meant for like-minded plant lovers who are “passionate about flowers and beautifying the place that you’re in,” says Adams. In terms of what plants are accepted, the farm will take just about anything.
“If the person who contacted us thinks it’s worth saving, we’ll definitely consider it,” Adams says.
Alberta Girl Acres is open to donations of almost any healthy plant from coveted rose bushes and other flowers, to berry bushes, apple trees and anything in between. You can swing by their website to organize a donation or ask about a specific plant.
If you are in the Calgary or Lethbridge area, they can come pick up the plant from you and bring it back to Alberta Girl Acres. The farm also accepts drop offs of healthy, disease free plants if you are outside of the area.
Unfortunately, the farm is not able to transport plants over six feet tall or dig up large, established trees. However, if you are able to dig up and transport a tall plant or large tree, Adams is more than happy to adopt and replant it at Alberta Girl Acres.