In Charleston, the local food movement is well established in the restaurant scene, farmer’s markets and beyond.
“There are a lot of school gardens here, a lot of community gardens,” she said. “I think flowers are just trying to find their place in that. I feel like maybe we’re not quite there yet. But I’m hopeful. We just need to keep plugging along, the few of us that there are, to keep getting our message out there as best as we can.”
Trudell started her One Wild Acre flower farm in 2017 on the property surrounding the home she and her husband had just bought. The property and farm are something of an anomaly in the area. Such large parcels are unusual within the city limits and flower growers are few and far between in the Lowcountry region where Charleston is located.
Since then, the couple have worked “to untangle, nurture and enhance the soil and land, which is an ongoing process,” according to her website. Her husband, an architect, pitches in and “gardens hard” in the evenings and on weekends, she said.
They’ve cleared the property of overgrowth and invasive species, so much so that houses not previously visible have come into view. They’re replanting with a focus on native plants and increasing biodiversity of their property. And all of it chemical-free.
Trudell planted her first flowers in the fall of 2017 and began selling the following spring. She sells bouquets at a handful of local businesses that share her slower-approach-to-living ethos. She also offers DIY wedding flowers and does pop-up bouquet-making events for big holidays like Mother’s Day. She does some wholesale but that’s not her primary focus.
“I think about texture and shape a lot, but I definitely am not someone who’s growing a lot of blush,” she said. “I do have a lot of color variety, which is good for when I make a retail bouquet. I can make it bright and fun.”
Typically, her bouquets will include about a quarter native flowers. She prefers growing a variety of blooms for retail bouquets rather “than trying to grow 200 stems of one color” for the wholesale market, she said.