that last push that I needed to know I could
do it myself.”
Back home, she combined her knowl-
edge of creating a high-production flower
farm with her father’s expertise in north-
ern New Hampshire’s climate. Because the
farm is in Zone 3 on the US Department of
Agriculture’s plant-hardiness map, Van-
essa says their harvests are usually “two to
three or three to six weeks behind the rest
of the country. We have to trial a lot to see
what works, but we’re figuring it out.”
The last week of May is Tarrnation’s
annual soft opening, when the father-and-
daughter team offers limited early spring
blooms, such as lilacs, tulips, narcissus,
and lily of the valley.
By the end of June, the season for their
biggest crop — peonies — has begun. “
People love peonies,” says Vanessa, “so that’s
a pretty popular way to kick off the season.” Five days a week, their 150-year-old
barn acts as a farm stand where people can
buy single cut flowers or ready-to-go bouquets. They also can collect their flower
share from Tarrnation’s CSA (
community-supported agriculture) program, order
arrangements, consult on weddings, or just
explore the beautiful flower-filled grounds.
By mid-July, sweet peas, cosmos, zinnias, and snapdragons are blossoming,
while dahlias, their second biggest crop,
come in August.
reggie and vanessa carry dahlias through the
snapdragon patch, which includes a variety
called Chantilly Snapdragon.
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