By Charlene Papasodaro
The Haldimand Press
Windecker Woods Flower Farm operates on a rare business model, using an honesty box for customers to pay; but not only do they trust customers to pay unsupervised, there is no price list for their products.
“The ‘Pick your own Flower’ experience is truly unique,” said owner and gardener Petra Kruis-Daly, who runs the farm with her husband, Tony Daly. Together they have created a distinctive pick-your-own experience where rather than picking fruits like apples or strawberries, visitors get to pick their share of wildflowers.
Once cut, visitors can make their own arrangements from the flowers to bring home. The farm also offers wedding décor rentals and a backdrop for photos.
The farm is open for those looking to pick flowers seven days a week from dawn until dusk. Payment can be made in a drop box on the property or by e-transfer. There is no price list for the flowers. Instead, Petra and Tony ask that people pay a fair price based on the type and number of flowers they choose.
“We agree it is a unique way of asking people to pay,” admitted Petra. “So far we have been so impressed with the honesty and integrity of people who have come to purchase flowers. We believe people are good and honest, and they appreciate the faith we have in them.”
The couple moved to their farm on Windecker Road in 2008. In 2017 the couple began growing flowers and selling them at the Dunnville Farmers Market. During the next two years they attended both the Caledonia and Dunnville markets weekly. It was at this point that they began inviting people to cut their own flowers at the farm and Petra began teaching workshops on flower cutting and arranging.
“The idea of bringing others, especially people from nearby towns and cities, to enjoy our little piece of country was very exciting,” she said. Petra has always fostered a love of gardening. “I love being outside, experimenting with new flower varieties, (and) creating beautiful bouquets.”
She also enjoys keeping flowers in the house but hated to take them from the gardens. The idea of creating a garden specifically for cut flowers allowed her “guilt free cutting”, which spurred on their business as they thought others might also enjoy bouquets of seasonal local flowers.
The response from visitors has been positive. Petra explained, “Everyone who comes is amazed at being able to wander through rows of beautiful flowers.”
Visitors can come alone or with family and friends. The experience offers something for those who love gardens and the outdoors but may not have the time or space to have their own flower gardens. Petra recalled, “We have had many ladies bring their senior mothers who love to reminisce about the days when they had flower gardens.”
While Petra brings a love for gardening, Tony handles the business side. Petra noted that they “make a perfect partnership”, which can be seen in their success. The two are planning on expanding their flowerbeds next year to meet the demand they are getting.
Tony and Petra like how their farm can bring positive attention to Haldimand County and bring people a little joy. Petra concluded, “What is better than having a product to sell that makes people happy!”