I started ZHF years ago in Tiger, Georgia–dedicating the farm to four women in my life who had developed Breast Cancer. On a hot and buggy morning, I was out cutting some zinnias and was struck by memories of my friend–Andrea Schneider, a florist who had died at 41. I knew that she would be so happy to be tending to these beautiful, colorful flowers alongside me. I also remembered my grandmother, mother, and sister, who had all suffered from this terrible cancer. In that moment, I knew that the next year I needed to grow rows and rows of zinnias and let folks come cut and create their own bouquets, hoping to put more beauty into the world and inspire colorful memories of our friends and family–both passed and present.
I am now in my fifth year of growing flowers on ZHF. People visit our farm from all over to pick Zinnias for a cause. I charge visitors $10 for a zinnia and herb bouquet, and just as I have from the very first day, I donate all the money collected to a program related to Breast Cancer. The last two years, I have given to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation because they double all gifts each October.
This farm is my way of giving back! It can be hard to feel that we are able to make a difference in this world, but I believe bright, colorful zinnias (and really, any flowers) create happiness and beauty - and that is something I can share. The donations per flower bouquet are small, but I believe they are mighty because of the intention behind each flower.
Zinnia Happiness Farm is a win-win for everyone... money for the cure and happiness and beauty from each flower. My best day is surprising someone with a bucket of zinnias and knowing we get closer to the cure for Breast Cancer with each flower we grow.