In the first edition of our grower spotlight series, we talked with farmer/florist Christian Ingalls, owner of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm in Papa`aloa, HI.
GFH: What part of the island is your farm & what elevation are you at?
Christian: Daisy Dukes flower farm is located up mauka in Papa`aloa at about 1,300 feet. We are currently flower farming on about ½ acre of our 15-acre farm and are continuing to expand.
GFH: How long have you/your family been growing flowers or been in the industry?
Christian: We started growing flowers to sell commercially in the summer of 2019, after growing a little bit of everything from sweet potatoes to tomatoes for years on our farm. It wasn’t until we shared our first flowers with others that we knew we had found our calling.
GFH: What’s the biggest challenge have you experienced growing flowers in your location?
Christian: It is hard to share about a challenge, not that there isn’t one, there are several, but we are so lucky to live in the climate that we live in where most plants thrive. We are currently working on growing year-round, and our biggest challenge is disease and pest pressure. We work to be as natural as possible because we know that Mother Nature is our CEO, and all the other living organisms have their place on our farm.
GFH: What are some of the upsides of being a grower here in Hawaii?
Christian: It has taken us a bit to figure out that we aren’t really growing for seasons, but daylight/temperatures and we are starting to tune in on what we can grow and when. For example, chrysanthemums will flush three times a year, which is a fantastic flower with a great vase life. If you love growing flowers, Hawaii is the place to be! We can grow flowers twelve months a year, which is a lot of work, but very rewarding. After all, weddings, birthdays, and sharing a kind gesture doesn’t stop in the cooler months.
GFH: What’s your current favorite flower or variety?
Christian: For us it is dahlias. They are what brought is to grow our own flowers in the first place. We were on a trip to New Zealand and a cute café was filled with the most amazing dinnerplate dahlias. We knew at that moment that we had to grow as many as we could. We now have over 700 varieties on our farm.
To find out more about Daisy Dukes farm or to place an order, go to https://www.daisydukesflowerfarm.com/