Episode 578: Accidental flower farmers share their roots, with Tracy Yang and Nick Songsangcharntara of JARN Co.
October 5th, 2022
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Today, you’re invited to join me on a quick visit to JARN Co., a 2nd year flower farm based in Monroe, Washington.
Even though they are based in my own backyard, I had to travel all the way across the country to the Boston area to meet flower farmer Tracy Yang, co-founder of JARN Co., at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers conference this past August. I recognized her nametag because Jarn Co. had recently joined Slow Flowers Society as members. As we talked, I heard enough of Tracy’s story to prompt me to invite myself for a visit before the season ends.
Tracy farms with her partner Nick Songsangcharntara on four acres of land leased from a former bamboo nursery off of Hwy 2, the route that I’ve taken many times on trips east across the Cascade Mountains to places like Leavenworth and Wenatchee.
We filmed a quick tour of the dahlia fields and then sat in the shade to record this interview. Tracy and Nick say their story is rather peculiar because they never intended to be farmers.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything and suddenly, they found themselves understudies of Tracy’s mom (Mama Yang), learning everything they could about floriculture and agriculture. Jarn Co. was born — and you’ll hear the story behind their business name in today’s interview.
Thanks so much for joining us today. It’s clear that these two are passionate about local flowers and agriculture as they develop their business to supply the Seattle area and their local community with beautiful, sustainable flowers. Although not certified, Tracy and Nick use sustainable, organic practices to cultivate flowers and produce and they do not use pesticides or any kind of synthetic chemicals on their crops.
Turns out, I’ve been mispronouncing JARN Co. — It’s “Jahn” not “Jarn.” (so so sorry!)
As Nick and Tracy explain on their website: The ‘jarn’ in JARN Co. is pronounced “jahn.” ‘Jarn’ is the English romanization of the thai word “จันทร์.” จันทร์ translated means ‘moon’. The inspiration for our name came from Nick’s last name ‘Songsangcharntara’ which means ‘moonlight.’
Find JARN Co. on Instagram and Facebook
Subscribe to JARN Co.’s Newsletter
Thank you to our Sponsors
This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
Thank you to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.
Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.
Thank you to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.
This Week’s News
It’s October and we’re kicking off this month as our Slow Flowers Member Appreciation Month. Check out more details in our October newsletter – that just dropped this week. Top things to note:
Tuesdays in October, you can join me on IG Live at @slowflowerssociety noon Pacific/3 pm Eastern.
Thursdays in October, join our membership and community engagement manager, Tonneli Gruetter of Salty Acres Farm, at the same time — noon Pacific/3 pm Eastern in the Zoom Room for a lunchtime membership chat.
As we say in our Welcome to October video, We are so grateful to our Members like YOU — because Slow Flowers Society members ARE the Slow Flowers Movement!
Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.
If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com and consider making a donation to sustain Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button at slowflowerspodcast.com.
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time.
Capering; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
In The Field