NEW 2018 Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois Directory
May 3, 2018
Let's Talk Turkey! 12 Farms Where You Can Purchase a Thanksgiving Turkey in Central Illinois
November 14, 2019
Meet Garrick and Violeta Veenstra of Harvest & Blooms Farm
January 19, 2016
Garrick and Violeta Veenstra share the work of running Harvest & Blooms Farm and raising three wonderful kids. Garrick graduated from Illinois State University with a major in Theater and minors in Accounting and Mathematics. During his activism on campus, the seed of desire to farm began germinating. After some travelling abroad in which he met Violeta, the two returned to central Illinois in 2005.
Violeta began working as a Spanish teacher in the local school district while Garrick sought out an apprenticeship, finding it on a 10 acre organic vegetable farm near Peoria, IL at Henry's Farm. In 2006, Veenstra's Vegetables was established. Soon it was widely known for providing fresh, local, sustainably-grown vegetables in the Springfield, IL area.
While Garrick loved growing fresh vegetables, Violeta immediately fell in love with flower farming. As she began designing with flowers grown at the farm, it drew her into the world of floral designing. Being an educator herself, Violeta participated in many exciting floral workshops with some of the best floral designers in the country, including Erin Benzakein of Floret and Jennie Love of Love'n Fresh Flowers. As well she participated in workshops with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and The Illinois Florist Association. In 2015, the couple added fresh cut flowers and flower arrangements to their farm business and changed the name of the farm to Harvest & Blooms Farm.
“We have made the choice to produce our flowers and vegetables without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides. We work hard to create a balance that fosters the farm as a whole, living organism which feeds itself and in return feeds our growing family of customers,” says Violeta. “We could not do all this wonderful work without the support of our amazing family and friends. From planting, weeding, harvesting and designing to all the different aspects of running a farm, they are such an important part of Harvest & Blooms Farm. Thank you!”