Fresh bouquets keep business blooming in Clarence
Inherited objects are wonderful keepsakes. Pam Stenger inherited a shared appreciation of something from her grandmother decades ago. Today she shares that passion with others in a beautiful way. “As a child, I used to walk to my grandmother’s place and we would gather the flowers from her garden together,” Pam says. “She would share big bouquets of daffodils with me and tell me about all the flowers she grew. That’s where my love of flowers came from — their farm named Rolling Acres. I still have heirloom daffodil bulbs and perennials from my grandmother planted on our farm today.”
Decades later as a loan administration specialist for MA Bank in Macon, Pam began to bring fresh bouquets to work, setting them in the lobby for customers and staff to enjoy. As a fan of the fresh-cut beauties, a co-worker soon asked if Pam would provide the flowers for her parents’ upcoming anniversary celebration. “That was my first paid flower order,” says the florist.
Pam says she and George, her husband of 43 years and behind-the-scenes garden assistant, worked together to establish the needed greenhouses and flower beds around their farm in Clarence. After receiving certification as a Master Gardener through the University of Missouri Extension, Pam says she finally felt ready to begin her fresh bouquet subscription business. That was the official starting point for Rolling Acres Flower Farm.
“My father called the farm where he grew up ‘Rolling Acres,’ so the name seemed like another legacy to me,” Pam says.
“I can do this from home, growing my own organic flowers, cutting them as needed and creating unique long-lasting arrangements for subscribers to enjoy,” the Macon Electric Cooperative member says.
Winter may still be lingering, but Pam keeps busy by sowing seeds and preparing for the upcoming six-month subscription season which runs from mid to late April to the end of September.
Bouquets are delivered on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. Prices include the popular $175 option of five monthly bouquets, $300 for 10 bouquets delivered biweekly or a full season of 20 bouquets delivered weekly for $600.
The florist recycles vases and containers and uses them for her subscription arrangements. The next time she delivers a bouquet, she takes the used container back home to recycle for someone else’s order. “Due to the generosity of friends, I have an entire building full of great vases to arrange flowers in,” Pam says. “No two bouquets are ever alike, and that goes for containers, too.”
She began this business with the idea of making it a full-time livelihood upon her retirement. That day arrived this February, giving the flower expert more time each day to devote to the subscription bouquet business and possibly expanding the delivery area.
“Right now if someone outside the delivery area (Macon, Clarence, Shelbina or Bevier) wants flowers, I usually have a specified day and local pickup option,” Pam says. “That seems to work well for those who aren’t local but still want a fresh-cut flower arrangement to enjoy.”
Arrangements may include any of the 40 or so flowers Pam grows at Rolling Acres Flower Farm. Bachelor buttons, bells of Ireland, foxglove, gladiolas, larkspur, tulips, lilies, ranunculus, snapdragons, sunflowers, dahlias and many other colorful options can grace a bouquet depending on when it’s ordered during the growing season.
Carrie Bergfield, vice president of human resources for MA Bank, says she’s always enjoyed Pam’s arrangements.
“This will be the third year I’ve asked my husband to give me a subscription for my birthday,” Carrie says. “I let Pam do whatever she wants and the arrangements are always a beautiful surprise.”
Kay Lucas, president of the Horizon Credit Union in Macon, leaves the beautiful bouquets at work for everyone to enjoy. “Pam puts her heart into her arrangements. We enjoyed her deliveries so much that I doubled our deliveries this year,” she says.
The gardener says she’s open to special orders and wedding commissions but prefers people plan ahead and give her plenty of time to make their requests.
Now that she’s retired, Pam hopes to also begin hosting classes at the farm on gardening topics such as how to arrange flowers, growing a flower garden oasis and how to use essential oils as natural deterrents to pests. She and George also planted 900 Christmas trees a few years ago and plan to add a pumpkin patch this year.
“Hopefully we’ll have something for everyone in the family to enjoy nearly all year long,” Pam says.
For more details, contact Pam at 573-795-3012 or follow her on Facebook or go to www.rollingacresflowerfarm.com.