We are Michael and Kimberley Howell and we've been building our farm, which started as nothing more than a pasture, since 2002. Someone once said "buy a farm, don't build one." Now we know why. You never stop building a farm - it seems there's always one more thing to build! But seriously, it's been a labor of love for us.
We both worked long public service careers in federal government. Michael retired in 2001 and shortly thereafter we bought our acreage here on Little Island, which was where we intended to settle down after we both retired. A job opportunity for Kim to transfer to Vancouver, WA in late 2002 allowed us to begin building our retirement home much sooner than expected. We started developing our property by planting fruit trees. A home and shop soon followed. We bought three goats and then put up some fencing around our pasture. We thought we'd raise beef, but discovered our pasture that lies inside the dike around our island was too wet to support the weight of cattle during the winter months. We developed a garden space and Kim began growing vegetables and berries.
In 2005, we partnered with locals Rob and Diane Stockhouse to open a farmer's market on Puget Island. For the next 8 years, we ventured into pastured poultry and egg production; raised meat goats and sold USDA retail goat cuts at the farmer's market; and purchased local grass fed beef and sold USDA beef cuts at the market too. When Kim finally retired in late 2013, we decided to also retire from the farmer's market. Then we took a year off to figure out how we really wanted to build our full-time farm business.
Kim's need to keep her hands in the dirt and love of 'all things flowers' led to a new focus on growing specialty cut flowers. Her first flower season in 2015 was a success and ended with direct wholesale sales relationships with several florists in SW Washington and the NW Oregon coast. Kim also loved sharing fresh floral design creations with friends and family. In 2016 our flower business grew and we finally finished the landscaping around our home. In the process we built a wedding venue for our daughter's July 2016 wedding.
Entering our ninth year of flower farming in 2023, we're excited to offer our outdoor event venue rental, wholesale specialty cut flowers to floral designers, along with seasonal flower bouquet subscriptions (CSF) and bulk flower buckets for events.
Our goal is to grow a large variety of specialty cut flowers and foliage for both wholesale and retail floral trade while being trustful stewards of our land and the resources we use for production.