8 Months In & Deliveries are Rolling

Hedy delivering to the CELA team at Microsoft.

Hedy delivering to the CELA team at Microsoft.

Okay first, just wow, this has been an incredible year full of learning!

It all started with my beautiful daughter, Hedy.  When she was just a year old, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. She had to undergo multiple surgeries on her spine and we were told she would be developmentally delayed.  Since then, it’s been a long journey of  therapies, special schools and holy cow, endless doctors.  It was hard for all of us.

Fast forward 20 years and in February, she turned 21 and has grown into a beautiful young adult! I had a ton of anxiety about what she would do with her days now that she was done with school. And that’s when this crazy idea began.  I could start a small flower farm (something I’ve never done before) and have my daughter deliver bouquets to brighten people’s days.  Did I mention she loves pushing carts?!

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My daughter now delivers flowers 2 times a week and absolutely loves it.  She connecting with the community, she’s out in the world and is most happy when out giving beautiful, sweet smelling bouquets to people. Turns out people don’t see her as different, they see a cart of beauty and her wonderful smile.  As a parent, who could ask for more?

Looking forward, I have a few goals. First, I intend to build every part of the business first asking “could someone with a disability do this”?  Rather than make people fit in, I am growing from the ground up (so to speak) by creating a job or activity that can be done by a person with a disability. Second, I hope to develop a partnership with the local high school transition program in order to give the students there actual job experience doing work for 5-Leaf Clover. Our plans for this project are hands on experience like box assembly but we are also waiting on approval for their own spring bulb garden! This will be exciting to see the project grow to accommodate on-site job training at the school.

And finally, a huge shout out to the amazing folks over Floret Flower Farm, my fellow flower farmers who’ve been so generous sharing information, and the early subscribers to our flower deliveries.  Farming is hard, but I’m constantly encouraged by the smiles and exclamations of the  people who see my daughter pushing her flower cart full of beautiful blooms! 

Here’s to creating communities no matter who you are, how you identify yourself, and what physical or mental struggle you may be dealing with.  We are all one!

Patty Mulligan