BASKING RIDGE, NJ — The delay of overnight frost has made Basking Ridge cut flower farmer Kinga Erdelyi of Florasylva extremely grateful for the continued harvest of one of her specialty products, dahlias.
Erdelyi is just completing her second year of micro farming and is passionate about what the future holds for her flower farm.
Erdelyi spends each day maintaining soil, fertilizing, watering and carefully looking after the rows upon rows of fresh flowers and greenery in her yard. Erdelyi, a Floret Flower 2019 graduate, began gardening as a hobby after moving out to the suburbs. Her passion for sustainably growing seasonal flowers quickly grew, along with the size of her garden. “I started buying tubers and before I knew it, I had 350 tubers. I thought oh my gosh, what am I going to do with these? Where will I put them?“ explained Erdelyi. Florasylva was originally established in Peapack, but to save on time and increase her sustainability, Erdelyi brought her plants back to her very own yard in Basking Ridge earlier this year.
Florasylva specializes in a wide variety of lisianthus and dahlias, but peeks and pops of cosmos, zinnias, roses, eucalyptus, sunflowers, amaranthus and other blooms can also be found at the micro farm. Erdelyi prides herself on practicing no till sustainable farming methods and growing chemical free flowers to share with her local customers. “People go mad for the flowers. They are so beautiful and their eyes are drawn to them, they are just so drawn to them. It helps me forget about all the hard work. I don’t think about the hard work anymore,” said Eldelyi.
“I like being home and the idea of doing a part time job. But I quickly learned that this is not part time, this is a full time job,” said Erdelyi. As the dahlias grow, Erdelyi places sachet bags over each bloom to protect against the bugs eating the petals. “Some varieties are very prone, other varieties the bugs leave alone,” she said. Each storm that rolls through is also a threat to the well being of Florasylva’s product, the rain and wind can snap the stems and ruin the plantings.
Erdelyi is focused on making a difference in the lives of others through her farming. “I use all local soil and compost. I don’t mind paying the nurseries, especially if they are family owned because I know I am supporting their family, even if they are pricier,” she said. “I bought my lisianthus from a female farmer in Pennsylvania. It is really important to me who I buy from. The female farming community is very helpful and empathic. We all try to support one another and share tips”.
As this season is winding down, Erdelyi is looking forward to cutting back her plantings and enjoying the stillness of the winter months. Her winter plans include reading up on soil management and a quest for finding more local land to expand her micro farm in 2021.
Florasylva flowers can be found at local farmers markets in Bernardsville and Bedminster, at local flower shops and sold wholesale at the Garden State Flower Coop. More information can be found at https://www.florasylva.com/, you can also view Florasylva’s beautiful flowers on their instagram page @florasylva_cutgarden.