Connecticut minister and author Henry Ward Beecher once said, "Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."
If you have an affinity for flowers and enjoy the restful and fulfilling task of picking your own in the fresh air, Petersen Farm in South Windsor is a place you won’t want to miss this summer. The farm offers 2 acres of pick-your-own annuals and perennials from July to September at a cost of $7 per pound.
Susan Petersen, who owns the farm along with her husband, began the business as a pumpkin patch. Since the Petersens both work regular, 9-to-5 jobs, picking and storing pumpkins after hours before Connecticut’s killing frost was challenging and extremely time consuming. In 2003, Petersen made the decision to switch to flowers.
"I enjoy having fresh flowers in the house, so I thought, 'well, if I enjoy them, why wouldn’t others?'" she said. "The farm enjoys many repeat customers, all by word of mouth, along with dogs, grandparents, couples, brides and of course children."
Petersen looks out for young visitors to the farm, as they can be forgetful.
"We always know when children have visited, as they usually leave something of themselves behind – a shoe, a toy, et cetera," Petersen said. "It's similar to a needle in a haystack for a parent to find those things. If I can wrestle them from my young dog, we leave it in the stand for their next visit."
The variety of flowers offered is astounding. Most visitors like a variety of mixed flowers in their bouquets, Petersen said. Some pickers look for a specific color or colors and compose their bouquets accordingly.
"Almost all of what we grow are annuals, which we start in the greenhouse in February and March and plant in May and June so they bloom simultaneously," Petersen said, noting that the flowers die when the first frosts of the season occur, usually in September.
The farm also offers vegetables, which are available in the stand.
Petersen Farm is located at 125 Burgess Road in South Windsor and can be reached at 860-282-1747. They are open daily through September. Clippers and water containers are available for customer use.
For more pick-your-own farms, The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has an extensive list on their Web site.