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Farmhouse Flowers: A Small-Town Story By Courtney Vondracek

I was honored when Courtney asked if she could interview me for an entrepreneurship class she was taking at ISU. Here is the article she submitted.

Deep in the rolling hills of Tiffin, Iowa, stands a small garden, a contrast to the miles of cornfields as far as the eye can see. Despite it being late October, the remnants of a prospering flower bed can be seen, a maze of faded colors still gleaming in the morning light. Morning and night, this is where you can find Morgan Hibbs, founder, and owner of Farmhouse Flowers.

For Hibbs, owning a floriculture business was not her childhood dream. It wasn't until she was required to take a horticulture class while studying at Iowa State University. “I had to take an introductory horticulture class for my major and just fell in love with working with the plants,” said Hibbs. “It probably helped that it was winter, and I was always in the greenhouse.” After moving back home and taking a job with Linn County Farm Bureau, she was able to further explore her newfound passion. Motivated by her new husband Tyler, Hibbs started a small garden in her backyard, and slowly learning through a long process of trial and error.

In late 2019 Hibbs made an easy decision, she wanted to start her own business. Once again, she was encouraged by her husband and decided to invest in an online course with Floret specifically for beginning florists, which covered everything from how to maximize growing space to setting up a website. Less than a year later Hibbs made her online debut, with an online shop aptly named Farmhouse Flowers.

Despite the unforeseen challenge of a global pandemic, Farmhouse Flowers has flourished, with many people supporting the new local business and following Hibbs’ story. Hibbs has made it a priority to use both her social media presence and blog to give the public an up-close look into the life of a small family farm, going beyond just her flower beds. For her, the most important aspect is to share her story. “I try to show our journey and our day to day whether it be with flowers or cattle, or agriculture in general,” commented Hibbs. “Our farm is

pretty small, so I want to show how our family does things. I feel that it is very important to share your story because so many people don’t know what it’s like to live on a farm.”

As the autumn light begins to fade, bringing in the harsh Iowa winter, Hibbs can still be found between the rows hard at work. With digging up dahlias, pulling up netting, and planting tulip bulbs, the to-do list must seem never-ending. For Hibbs however, it is simply another opportunity to educate her followers on the 24/7 lifestyle that comes with living on a working farm. She pulls out her phone to post a picture to the Farmhouse Flowers Facebook page, captioning it with her signature hashtags, #localflowers and #farmlife.

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