We are a family of 4, myself, my husband, son and Maddy(our dog). However we are about to become a family of 5 because I have been sowing the idea of a farm all spring and it is already growing it into being.
My name is Natalie Page and I have always been an outdoor enthusiast, I LOVE BEING OUTDOORS! Traveling the world, exploring, backpacking, hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, diving, surfing, gardening, landscaping, reading, eating whatever it is I prefer to be outside. I just cannot get enough of being out in the wide open fresh air. I started a children’s bookstore when my son was young but quickly realized retail would never be for me I needed to be outside moving my body and in the fresh air.
We chose to move to Bend from Washington in 2013 for it’s sunny, dry climate and because we needed recreation in our backyard. When we bought our house it was the yard that sold the place, it is on an older lot with huge front and backyards plus it had a greenhouse! When I was a kid I dreamed of having a greenhouse. As with any home you start making it feel like your own by landscaping, decorating, and construction projects (we created an Airbnb rental in our backyard).
So needless to say we were very busy creating our little nest in the city along with working, juggling the demands of daily life and parenting. Once our Airbnb started taking off I realized how much I enjoyed, meeting, hosting and designing a space for others to enjoy. It feed that artistic part of me that needs to constantly be creating and connecting with others (just like my dad and grandmother). Hosting Airbnb also reminded me that 15 years ago when my husband and I got married we rented a space on someone’s property for our wedding. While preparing for our wedding we toyed around with the idea of someday having our own venue to host weddings and events at.
It was not until this spring of 2020, while in the middle of the Covid Pandemic, that I finally figured out what my talent is to share with the rest of the world, Farming Flowers! You see I had the gift of time on my hands to grow whatever I wanted in my greenhouse. I also needed my own space to go to since my son and husband were now constantly at home and my jobs were all on hold. I found myself being pulled daily to my greenhouse. Every day all I wanted to do was be out with my plants and in the dirt. I couldn’t stop thinking about what to plant or grow next.
I read an article about a woman named Erin from Floret Flower Farm https://www.floretflowers.com/ who has her own cut flower business and I got inspired, If she can do it, so can I. I realized I have never enjoyed growing vegetables however I have been growing flowers all my life where ever I have lived, even when on a sail boat or on the roof top of our house in Guatemala. In fact flowers are something I am still continuously learning about. So I finally got real with myself, we now have 1 garden bed for veggies and the rest of the beds are for cut flowers.
While getting my hands in the dirt and reconnecting with my roots. I slowly began to realize this has been in my blood all along. My mother is super artistic and was a florist before and shortly after she had me. In fact when I was a young kid I picked wild baby’s breath with my mom in a vacant field because it was everywhere and could be used in floral arrangements. Then one year in high school I was her business partner, helping her sell center pieces to my coworkers and teachers for the holidays.
While growing up I have fond memories of going to my grandparents 40 acres in the woods . My grandfather had the most amazing garden with a hug fence around it to keep the deer away. I can still smell the wet dirt and hear the sound of the sprinkler that would be going in the garden. He would take me through it and explain things to me and how they worked. We would always go home with a bounty of fresh veggies. He even has his own theories and followed moon and weather patterns to decide when to plant and harvest. These “moon patterns”are theories that all the Albert family knows about and the in-laws are soon to hear about.
My grandfather’s garden hat was one thing that I got to keep when he passed and although it is weathered and cannot be worn it hangs in my greenhouse. So it was during this pandemic that my therapeutic hobby helped me realize my roots. I have always been a farmer just never called myself one. In fact, for the last 15 years I have been working with kids, sowing the seeds, tilling the soil and growing the roots for elementary learning.
All these experiences in life so far have composted into fertile soil for the sprouting of a new career. It is with great pride and excitement that I am able to say I am a flower farmer, who will be bringing beauty and connection to the community by cultivating local flowers and events!