Jenny Kenmotsu is a bonafide flower and gardening addict. She's been awestruck and obsessed with flowers, plants, and growing ever since she was a little girl. One of her earliest childhood memories of flowers is of a prized rose bloom she took from her neighbor's yard to give to her mother. She was too young to understand, but she cried rivers of tears when her mother made her return that beautiful flower with the soft petals to the nice neighbor lady.
As a child, Jenny's passion for growing was nurtured by her grandfather, an avid orchid growing hobbyist and gardener, who taught her how to grow strawberries and all about old-fashioned favorites like peonies, irises, and lily-of-the-valley. The natural world has always been her playground and some of her favorite memories of growing up include exploring the heavily wooded property she grew up on and discovering the delicate woodland flowers and plants, making May Day flower crowns with her sister and cousins, and having picnics with her grandmother on a blanket of fragrant wild mint under the boughs of a giant pine tree next to her grandparent's house.
In her adult life, Jenny has worked in various jobs in the horticulture industry including landscape maintenance, garden center and nursery sales, greenhouse plant production, and garden and floral design. Ever since her first greenhouse job back in 2004, she has dreamed of owning a business in horticulture. Over the last 13 years, she has immersed herself in obtaining a horticultural education through schooling, intensive personal study, training with other flower farmers, and trialing the best and most beautiful varieties of flowers she could get her hands on.
She is a member of the ASCFG (Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers) and a supporter of Wild Ones, a national organization that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities.
As a conscientious steward of the land, Jenny strongly believes in following sustainable agricultural practices and giving back to the land she farms. She uses only organic soil inputs, cover crops to support healthy soil biology and reduce erosion, and plants (without harvesting) additional native species of flowers and plants that support and encourage native bees, butterflies, and other wildlife. Her flowers come from non-GMO seeds and she chooses organic flower and plant seeds whenever available. Even though they are usually more expensive, Jenny also uses OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certified agricultural products such as seed starting soil mixes and biodegradable rolled paper mulch.
In 2016, she rented an organic farm in Yorkville, Illinois (barn pictured above). This year, she is renting a little more than an acre from third generation family farmers in Leland, Illinois. She is looking to transition to her own farm in the near future and her hope is to one day open a "U-Pick" flower farm for others to experience the joy of walking through the flower fields, harvesting blooms, and the quiet beauty of nature.
Jenny has always had big flower dreams. It's an amazing thing when a passion and a career come together. Her mission is to connect people with the beauty and magic of nature. She love's the way flowers bring people together and make people smile.
Jenny lives in the Western suburbs of Chicago with her husband Craig, both Illinois natives, and their two farm helper rescue dogs (they're the entertainment), Maui and Dee Dee.