Blooming Acres Farm is a small flower and blueberry farm located in the Lower Harpeth Watershed in Dickson, Tennessee, on nineteen mostly wooded acres. Farming on a previously logged ridgetop is challenging, but Kirby and Kelsey Davis have risen to the occasion and built a thriving regenerative farm with approximately one hundred flower varieties and blueberries that customers can use for events or enjoy in their homes.
The property they purchased in 2019 was compacted and degraded from logging, meaning any tractor equipment would be ineffective at working the land. Instead, they developed a permanent-bed system, which has enabled them to build healthy topsoil and keep it in place. They set out to grow in a way that is in harmony with nature and to share their earth-friendly products with their community.
Fast forward to today, they have more demand for their organically grown blooms than they can keep up with. Kirby left his position as a firefighter to farm full-time. Kelsey works on the farm whenever she can while also working for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC), a job that enables her to teach Tennesseans about the importance of caring for the environment.
The movement for locally produced food gets a lot of attention, but purchasing flowers from local farmers is just as important for the environment. For starters, farmers like the Davises use regenerative practices that replenish and even grow natural resources. They don’t use chemicals, so their soil and water stay clean from pollutant runoff. Their beautiful blooms travel a short distance to their customer and have a low carbon footprint.
The Davis’ flower farm provides diverse forage for bees and insects, and their efforts to keep the soil covered and mulched reduce sediment runoff into the creek that follows the base of the hill where they farm. Biodiversity plays a big part in maintaining healthy plants that don’t need much in the way of pest management, so chemicals are never used on their farm.
River Friendly Farm Certified
In 2023, Blooming Acres was certified as a River Friendly Farm by the Cumberland River Compact.
“We wanted to apply to become a river friendly farm as soon as we heard about the certification because we understand the important role that waterways play not only in our local ecosystem, but to every single one of us. At Blooming Acres Farm we believe that healthier ecosystems contribute to a healthier planet – and at the center of every ecosystem is water.”
The River Friendly Farm certification program with Cumberland River Compact recognizes farmers who are good stewards of water and land resources, connecting them with consumers who value a healthy environment. As a River Friendly Farm, Blooming Acres is ensuring cleaner water, healthier soil, and a more resilient climate for the people and creatures living in the surrounding environment.
River Friendly BMPs
For the health of the creek that runs through their farm, as well as that of their soil and the ecosystem at large, Kelsey and Kirby use minimal disturbance techniques to prepare soil. For example, a broadfork is used to loosen and aerate the soil in lieu of mechanical tillage.
Kelsey explains, “The broadfork acts as an aerator to the soil while keeping the layers of the soil microbiology intact. We choose to broadfork the beds, as it is more beneficial for the microbes in the soil and helps your soil biology stay healthier and in balance, which in turn produces healthier, more resilient plants. We also don’t use a tractor in our beds to prevent soil compaction.”
The broadforking, silage tarps, and heavy mulches used at Blooming Acres are a handful of techniques used in “no-till” agriculture. This type of regenerative farming is excellent at building soil with a good structure. Roots stay in the ground rather than being ripped or tilled out. The roots not only feed all-important microorganisms but also hold soil in place during precipitation events.
Controlling erosion is important because sediment is one of the main contributors to pollution of waterways in the Cumberland River Basin. Sediment makes waters inhabitable for aquatic life by clogging their respiration systems and destroying habitat. No-till regenerative farming keeps soil where farmers want it; this approach is a boon to farmers and our shared waterways.
The Davises also support an ecologically diverse farm with a small flock of chickens. The free-range chickens keep pests in check and provide a source of nitrogen. Nitrogen pollution can become problematic on farms if the stocking rate exceeds what the land can support. In the case of Blooming Acres, the number of chickens is in balance with the scale of the farm. They contribute to soil fertility and aid in pest management.
How to Support this Farm
Everyone deserves the beauty of flowers, so treat yourself or someone you love to Blooming Acres’ offerings. Purchase a seasonal flower subscription, or head out to the farm to pick your own bouquet or blueberries. Florists and wedding coordinators should also reach out to the Davises.
Find them at the 12th South Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m. and at the Westhaven Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m. Flower pre-orders and their CSA shares have pickup locations at Boardable615 in Dickson, TN and at the Sage Refill Market in Nashville.
Keep an eye out for one of their workshops, such as the Mothers Day Floral Arrangement class or Dried Floral Wreath Workshop this fall.