A growing trend
“Cape Cod is a very fragile marine location with extremely limited resources,” says Dewey, noting that the Cape and Islands rely on groundwater. Therefore, keeping farming and gardening practices as chemical-free as possible is important, now more than ever. “Sustainability is a movement whose time has come,” she says.
At Dewey Gardens, a hoop house is used to protect a range of fresh, organic vegetables, most notably spinach, but at Sabatia Flower Farm, with locations in West Barnstable and Marstons Mills, the focus is on growing beautiful flowers.
“I enjoy having the ability to grow things that aren’t available through other sources,” says owner Rebecca Perry. “I grow perennials and also some amazing varieties of cut flowers and begonias that you can’t normally find locally. To be able to provide access to things my customers couldn’t get elsewhere is really rewarding.”
Sabatia grows cut flowers in hoop houses for wholesale as well as farmers markets and their own personal retail and flower stand. They also grow annuals and perennials. “We have a greenhouse that we run year round growing oriental lilies,” explains Perry. Sabatia also has a high tunnel that is unheated for those tricky plants that like to stay cool but also need to be protected from harsh weather and frost.
On Cape Cod specifically, “Being able to control the environment is crucial,” says Perry. “One of the benefits of growing our own bedding plants is that we’re not limited by what the local garden centers sell. We’re able to grow more obscure things.” Thanks to the hoop houses, Sabatia is able to bring color to the Cape all year long and make sure that the variety of fabulous flowers available to the community doesn’t suffer because of unsuitable weather or growing conditions.
“Horticulture is just a great industry,” says Perry. “I have always really appreciated being able to start from scratch and produce a product that gives a lot of people enjoyment. Starting the cut flower business was a way for me to transition into locally grown products.”
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