My friend and neighbor Colleen Kohler, shared her expertise in agriculture with me for many years as we raised chickens, gardens, and kids together. My yard never looked so good, as it did in the days when Colleen lived close by. She shared seeds, starts, bulbs and advice with me on a weekly basis. Colleen’s parents came for several weeks in the winter from the cold country of Idaho, and together they farmed several acres of beautiful flowers here in our desert. It was all a wonder to witness. Colleen moved, with her family, back to Idaho several years ago, but we keep in touch, and I wanted to feature her inspiring “Business of Home” on my site.
Colleen has been in business with Canyon Farms for 16 years. When I asked her what drove her to step out into this venture, she replied, “I grew up on a farm and I just couldn’t get the dirt out from under my fingernails, nor the callouses off my hands. Every time I think I might be ready to stop, the seed catalogs begin to arrive, the weather hints of spring and my mind begins to imagine the seeds sprouting into their potential lives of beauty. No one in the world is more optimistic than a farmer in the spring.”
Colleen currently works full time as a paralegal in Boise, Idaho but still maintains her flower business part-time. Since the passing of her father, Kenneth Romriell, aka. cowboy poet and farmer extrodinaire, she prefers to keep the farming seasonal. She spends about 25 hours a week in growing and selling in the spring and summer on top of her paralegal responsibilities.
Colleen’s advice to beginners in the growing business is, “Investigate your market in advance. Many people can grow many things, but it doesn’t pay if there is no market for it. Put some thought into the marketing.”