YA Business Mentorship Network – Flower Face

Posted by Melanie Buffel on April 03, 2023

Young Agrarians is celebrating the ninth year of the Business Mentorship Network (BMN) program in BC and the expansion of the program across the Prairies! The BMN offers business mentorships  to a diverse array of new and young farmers. Through one-on-one mentorship, peer networks and online workshops young farmers develop the skills necessary to operate ecologically sustainable and financially viable farm businesses.

YA business mentorships have helped over a 100+ farmers to generate more revenues, grow more food and put more land into production. Immediate results have led to on average of 64% more farm revenue, a 72% increase in food produced, and a 48% increase in land under production. We are thrilled to bring the stories of  these farmers to you for inspiration!

Applications open for Mentees across Western Canada in October 2023.

Mentor applications are accepted year round.

Check out the program page on our website for more information!

Hi! I’m Mayan Vered and I run Flowerface. My business mentor is Kristen Nammour.

Where do you farm? 

I farm in Saanichton, Vancouver Island, on the traditional territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. 

What inspired you to get into farming?

I have a background in photography and found my lens increasingly turning to plants. I started to make connections between plants and their environments but didn’t have the knowledge to understand how it all worked. Wanting to learn more, I took the Horticulture Training Program at the UBC Botanical Garden in 2014. I got involved in the local food movement, landscaped, grew vegetables urbanely and worked at farm-to-table restaurants. After a few years, I came to terms with the fact that I just really loved flowers and leaned into that passion.

 How did you learn how to farm?

A lot of trial and error! Flowerface started in 2017 as a multi-site urban flower farm in Vancouver and was a really steep learning curve. In 2019 I spent 7 months working at Glorious Organics in Aldergrove and learned so much about organic market farming on a larger scale.

What type of business structure is your farm, how much land is under production and what are you producing ?

Flowerface is a sole proprietorship, it’s mostly just me! I farm on one acre of gentle south-facing slope growing a wide variety of annual and perennial flowers and foliage for fresh and dried florals. Flowerface grows flowers for a CSA program, wholesale to florists and floral designs for weddings and events. Each winter I make a limited amount of bespoke seasonal wreaths with fresh greenery and naturally dried flowers from the season. I also plan to host workshops this season.

What types of ecological farm practices and/or responses to climate change realities do you engage in?

I have always practiced no-till farming methods and only use hand tools. I believe that healthy ecosystems are the best form of pest control and try to encourage natural habitats for frogs, bees, beneficial bugs, birds and snakes. I grow naturally and never use any pesticides, herbicides or other harmful inputs. Compost is made on-site, which turns last year’s green waste into this year’s black gold!

 What is your land tenure? 

I found my plot through the B.C. Land Matching Program and have a lease in place with the land owners, Brian and Jane. I had been looking for land for a couple of years and I’m so happy with where I ended up. Brian and Jane have been lovingly tending the plot for the last 17 years and have built up luscious healthy soil and an impressive collection of perennials. They are also huge supporters of young local farmers and there are two other established farms on the land.

Why did you apply for business mentorship?

I have been farming part-time for 5 seasons. I moved to Vancouver Island with the intention to start my own farm and I really want to create a sustainable business that I can eventually support myself on and invest in over the years.

What is the greatest business challenge you face as a new farmer?

Oh gosh, where to start? Start-up costs are piling up with no chance of sales for another month or two. I also work an off-farm job, so, just finding the time to keep up with farm tasks while also maintaining my mental health.

 What is your primary business goal for the season?

Establish a customer base and become known as a local farm with quality blooms. I also want to design florals for more weddings and events this season.  

 What business tools could you not live without?

Excel! I use it for everything from crop planning, record keeping and pick lists to invoicing. It helps me get organized so that once the summer madness hits I have solid notes to refer to so I can stay on track.

If you had a farming robot what would it be?

My farming robot would be named Zava and they’d help me haul large amounts of materials to my compost heap. I think on other farms they call those tractors?

How can we find out more about you, your farm, and its products? 

Looking forward to connecting and sharing some beauty this season!


Insta: @flowerfaceflowerfarm

FB: www.facebook.com/flowerfaceflowerfarm

This program is made possible with the generous funding support of Vancity, Endswell Foundation and Columbia Basin Trust.