By Carol Mowdy Bond
Kristin and Joel Davenport are headed into their third year with a goal of changing the landscape of cut flowers in Oklahoma, while bringing beauty and hope into individual lives.
Their family-run Simple Acre Farm is another in a current trend of entrepreneurial spirit, ingenuity, and hard work, combined with urban farming. But theirs has a cha-ching twist.
Growing flowers on only one-half to three-quarters of an acre of their two acres in Canadian County, the Davenports hit on something that people wanted immediately.
They’re already seeing a profit, and they’ve doubled what they put into their business. But Kristin said, “It costs a lot of time and money. We sometimes hire part-time help. If not, we do it all.”
A trained physical therapist, Kristin left her career to stay home with their two young children. But she realized she needed something more to do. So, she began planting flowers and creating a business using organic and sustainable farming practices. Simple Acre Farm specializes in unique, seasonal flowers, and sells them wholesale to U.S. grocery stores, and florists and designers. The family also sells to the public, but by appointment only.
An Oklahoma native who grew up on her family’s Mustang hobby farm, Kristin said, “We sell our bouquets to Homeland at 10th and Cornwell Drive in Yukon. And we sell subscription bouquets. People sign up and receive flowers once a month. We only have three weeks left of that. And we also sell at the Piedmont Farmer’s Market and the Mustang Farmer’s Market.”
“When COVID hit, at first we shut down, for our safety and that of others,” said Kristin. “But then we reopened. Our U-Cut Field to Vase has been really popular. People made appointments. We gave them a Mason jar, and for $25 they could cut whatever they want that fits in the jar, and they could take pictures. We did it for six weeks. People wanted to get out during the pandemic and do something. They even drove from Texas to do it. But we only allowed a few people on our farm at a time because of social distancing. So, we couldn’t get everyone scheduled. There wasn’t enough time.”
The Davenports are making new plans for their 2021 u-cut program. And they encourage people to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to find out the changes that will allow more people to participate. A pharmacist, Joel grew up on a North Texas dairy farm. He drives large equipment at Simple Acre when he has extra time, and said, “I am sub soiling. I’m loosening the dirt and aerating the dirt. The problem is this red clay. Roots don’t grow down into it. We brought in other soil and compost to put on top of the ground, but it’s only 2 inches on top. The clay soil is still below.”
The Davenports have chickens in a mobile facility. Kristin said, “The chickens scratch up the ground and fertilize it. When they have scratched up an area, we move them. And then we prepare that area and till it up so we can plant.” Joel said, “The chickens are our employees.”
Kristin said, “We’re also creating a hoop house, which is an unheated green house. We’ll put a green house plastic cover on it. We can extend the growing season by using it. We’re hoping to have flowers into early November this year because of it.”
The Davenports cut their flowers twice weekly, and then put them in their cool room. After a few hours, they assemble the bouquets and deliver them. Joel said, “We keep the cool room temperature at 50 to 55 degrees as a lot of summer flowers don’t like it really cold. But in the cooler season, we keep it at about 40 degrees because the flowers during that time prefer that.”
Connect with Simple Acre Farm by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Instagram and Facebook at Simple Acre Farm.