Gracie Campbell – Staff Writer
It’s a breezy Friday afternoon and fall is officially in the air. Trees change from their summer green to golds and reds, and fields are bare from harvest. Driving down country roads, Holland Flower Farm can be easily missed. At a glance, the property includes a trucking company with a house directly off the road and a shed on the other end. In between, however, lies a flower garden, still in bloom.
Walking inside the large trucking shed and into the small office, it’s clear that this business does more than shipping. Vases and glass bottles are lined across the counters, and at the back, a door leads to where the trucks are kept. Flower arrangements, mixed with goldenrod, delphinium, and more, are scattered on the floor and across two tables.
Jade Van Holland, founder of Holland Flower Farm, sits at a table holding a large arrangement and adding to it. Van Holland graduated in 2015 from Dordt University with a degree in agriculture missions.
Van Holland has always had a passion for agriculture; growing up on her parent’s farm meant most of her childhood was spent outdoors. Even while working at a landscaping company with her best friend, they would talk about flower farming. In 2018, she established Holland Flower Farm.
“Back then it just sounded like this crazy, far-out dream,” Van Holland said. “But with the algorithms of life, you start researching something or something piques your interest, you kinda start to see it more.”
She started with a dahlia in her backyard, falling in love with flower farming. From making bouquets and playing with arrangements, the “what if” became more of a reality. But she knew what she was getting into with starting a business.
“It’s the late nights; it’s the extra hours,” Van Holland said. “You’re not signing up for a 9-to-5.”
After convincing herself to leave her job at Dordt, she went for her dream. Soon, what started as a side hobby took an abrupt turn when she struggled through a difficult divorce.
“That really stirred this whole new drive to provide for myself and for my daughter,” Van Holland said. “I feel like that’s what really kickstarted [this] from a side hobby to building a company. There’s something about when you become a single parent, although it is very difficult, I just knew, you just gotta put your head down and do this.”
One of Holland Flower’s employees, Kate Viet, didn’t see herself working at a flower farm, let alone having a full-time job at one.
“With a lot of pushing from my husband, I learned that I could step out of what I always thought I would have to be,” Viet said. “I think seeing Jade be the leader she is in the community and business, and how she isn’t afraid to go for stuff, is very inspiring.”
Today, Van Holland’s company has grown from selling bouquets at farmer’s markets to providing arrangements for all kinds of events, especially weddings. Van Holland brings flowers to nursing homes and often speaks at functions, including Dordt’s Bloom event for women, the Farm Bureau Conference, and even her daughter’s preschool. One day, Van Holland hopes to ship flowers from farm to table, extending the farm to include a greenhouse as soon as possible.
“I think it’s amazing how God takes these things that are on your heart,” she said, “and you just don’t really know how they’re all gonna fit together someday.”
Photo credit: Jade Van Holland