Christie Holloway didn’t begin her career in the flower business. She and her husband, Mark, arrived in Happy Valley in pursuit of other job opportunities when they decided to purchase their own farm. After restoring their 1800s barn to become a wedding venue, and tucking a few growing seasons under their belt, their Bellefonte area farm blossomed into the rolling flower fields we know today as Rooted Farmstead.
“Rooted Farmstead is a first-generation family farm specializing in fresh cut flowers, on-farm events and floral design,” Holloway shared, beaming with pride.
Living on a working farm is a year-round effort, but the bulk of the flowers are only harvested from July through October. Holloway said diversification of their business has helped Rooted Farmstead grow, even in the off-season.
“We get a kick-start on our season by offering seeds, bulbs, plant starts and other growing supplies in the spring. In the fall, we dry our flowers and offer value-added products made with them,” Holloway said. “During the winter, we partner with other growers for fresh cut greens so we can offer and host wreath-making workshops. Partnerships with other growers to supplement our harvests is also critical if we have large orders, specialty requests, or crop failures.”
Along with workshops, events on and off the farm have become a popular offering for Rooted Farmstead.
“We host seasonal celebrations - spring, summer and fall markets - where fellow local small businesses pop-up and we invite the public to our farm and a huge variety of workshops that are almost always in collaboration with other small businesses either as the host, venue, food, beverages, ingredients, or another complementing activity.”
Rooted Farmstead has collaborated with 814 Cider Works – J.L Farm & Cidery, University Wine Company, Board and Brush, The Gourmet Girl, Happy Valley Nomadic Spirits, Weston Workshop, and in February announced a new residency at The Makery. Holloway shared how thinking outside of their own space has enabled them to reach audiences that may not be their primary or traditional demographic.
“Popping up with our bouquets at local clothing boutiques like By a Thread or LOCK expose us to their customers, and ours to theirs.”
Holloway said the most popular workshops have been a part of Rooted Farmstead’s wreath-making series.
“Each workshop is completely different, whether it be the materials we're using, the businesses we're collaborating with, or the location where we are hosting it, our customers could honestly attend each one and have a completely different experience.”
Holloway said her personal favorite event is called “Sip and Snip.”
“As part of ‘Sip and Snip,’ Drinks by Design Bartending uses local ingredients and we crank up the 90s throwback music as our 21+ community gets the most unique on-farm experience in Centre County,” Holloway said. “The flowers and signature cocktails change for each event, along with guest appearances by other local small businesses like yoga with Elite Edge Athletics, coffee with Bee's Knees or jewelry pop-ups with Linked Permanent Jewelry.”
Check out Rooted Farmstead to learn more about workshops, events and planning your visit to the farm!