Black Dog Meadows Flower Farm arranges custom wedding bouquets. Courtesy | Kate Beno
Black Dog Meadows Flower Farm arranges custom wedding bou­quets.
Courtesy | Kate Beno

Black Dog Meadows Flower Farm is home to farmer Dana Hicks, two black labs, and bed upon bed of fresh flowers.

Since 2019, Hicks has owned and run her flower farm entirely on her own. Prior to this business venture, Hicks was a high school teacher.

“I really just needed a change and I’ve always been a grower,” Hicks said. “It was kind of a thing my dad and I always had. We would go cut flowers and make bouquets.”

Hicks said dahlias are some of her favorite flowers, but sun­flowers are by far her most popular.

“They’re just so happy,” Hicks said.

The farm is named for her two black lab dogs, who Hicks said love living on the farm almost as much as she does.

“I think it paints a picture. If the dogs were out here, they’d be walking through the gold­enrod,” Hicks said.

Hicks offers many floral ser­vices, including hand crafted bou­quets, holiday wreath kits, ser­vices for wed­dings and other events, and edu­ca­tional work­shops. She also par­tic­i­pates in Com­munity Sup­ported Agri­culture, through which she receives financial support during the off-season and her members receive fresh bou­quets every week.

“Pay­ments are typ­i­cally made in the fall to help pay for all the expenses,” Hicks said. “My CSA members are the backbone of my farm and help me finance my flowers each season.”

Jackie Stader is a friend of Hicks and a member of her CSA. Stader said she admires the cre­ativity and thought­fulness Hicks puts into her business.

“She makes a lot of people happy just by growing flowers,” Stader said. “I don’t know too many busi­nesses that you can say just by growing some­thing you make people happy.”

Stader also said Hicks’ work­shops are a reflection of her inven­tiveness and skill.

“She’s not wanting to hoard infor­mation, she’s wanting to share it and to me, that’s a suc­cessful person,” Stader said.

In honor of her roots as a teacher, Hicks offers a variety of work­shops, many of which are held right on her property. Some past workshop topics include func­tional floral design, floral cen­ter­pieces, and holiday wreaths.

“I love teaching. It totally fills my bucket,” Hicks said. “Any time I can teach anyone any­thing about what I do it’s a good day.”

Lately, a large portion of her time has been ded­i­cated to wed­dings and other events. Kate Beno hired Hicks for her wedding floral arrangement this past June.

“She did my bouquet, brides­maids bou­quets, bou­ti­neers, she did cen­ter­pieces, an arch for our gazebo,” Beno said. “She did every­thing I could have imagined and just brought every­thing that I had thought of to life.”

Beno said Hicks worked closely with her throughout the process.

“She really cares about what you think and what you want and takes that into con­sid­er­ation,” Beno said.

With a full cal­endar of wed­dings as well as an increase in exposure, Hicks’ business has grown significantly.

“This is my third growing season, and it’s changed a ton since I first started,” Hicks said. “The third year has been by far the most suc­cessful year.”

Unlike many small busi­nesses, Hicks actually had more business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year, when COVID was very fresh, people sent flowers because they couldn’t see each other,” Hicks said. “My business grew tremendously.”

Stader, a longtime cus­tomer, said she enjoys watching Hicks succeed.

“It’s nice to see a business blossom,” Stader said.