Ingadi Flower Farm to hold plant sale April 3

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

“Ingadi” means “garden” in Zulu, and is the name for the now local flower farm started by Bill and Rebecca Rowley. Ingadi Flower Farm of Chelsea is in its third growing season and is ready to make its business debut with a plant sale on April 3 on the lawn of Chelsea City Hall.

The Rowleys, former missionaries to Brazil, bought the more than four acres that are now the farm, in 2006 before they left for the mission field for seven years. While out of the country, they rented the property, and as they transitioned back to the states, more acreage was added and it eventually after working as garden directors since 2018, they decided to take their experience to a new level after COVID-19 changed the world.

Rowley a master gardener, has established one acre of the property for farming flowers and built four high tunnel hoop houses, which create a microclimate to help to control temperature and moisture when growing plants. She has applied for grants through the USDA and hopes to expand with more hoop houses in the fall.

Her flowers will all be locally grown.

“These are specially grown, sustainable and regenerative flowers that you won’t find in retail stores,” Rowley said about her product. “Most retail outlets sell mass flowers grown overseas.”

Most of her varieties won’t be found at such markets because they would not withstand the shipping.

Through her website, Rowley has made available flower subscriptions throughout the different growing seasons for very affordable prices. Customers can also reach out to her through her website (ingadiflowerfarm.com) or email (rebecca@ingadiflowerfarm.com) to make arrangements to purchase flowers by the bucket or in simple market style bouquets.

In addition to the business side of her operation, Rowley is making efforts to also uplift shut-ins in her community through a program she’s forming called Flowers for Shut-Ins. Her goal is to bring about a ministry that will provide free flowers to those who can’t get out due to age or illness. This idea came about during the shutdown, where she began to realize the heavy impact of quarantine on those who relied on visitors to stay connected to the rest of the world.

Ingadi Flower Farm invites the community to come to check them out at their opening plant sale on the lawn of Chelsea City Hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 3.

“We’ll have everything from heirloom varieties to houseplants,” Rowley said. “There will be tons of tomatoes, caladiums, and even cut flowers for arrangements.”

Bethany Parnell, a volunteer who works with Rowley, explained what it was she loved most about the flower farm’s plans. “Dostoevsky told us that ‘Beauty can change the world’ and I really believe that. Beauty reminds of truth and hope, and that is what Rebecca is bringing to Chelsea with her flowers. In a time of division, she’s spreading a beauty that lifts spirits and I want to help spread that.”