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New Ipswich

Finding a new life through flowers

After beating breast cancer,

  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opened the business seven years ago after defeating breast cancer left her unable to continue her previous career.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Ara Lynn of New Ipswich, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opened the business seven years ago after defeating breast cancer left her unable to continue her previous career.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich, left, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opens a canister of beneficial insects that the farm uses as pest control instead of pesticides. <br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Ara Lynn of New Ipswich, left, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opens a canister of beneficial insects that the farm uses as pest control instead of pesticides.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich pots a variety of blooming flowers into one of Amazing Flower Farm's unique hanging baskets, each of which use a different combination of flowers.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Ara Lynn of New Ipswich pots a variety of blooming flowers into one of Amazing Flower Farm's unique hanging baskets, each of which use a different combination of flowers.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich pots a variety of blooming flowers into one of Amazing Flower Farm's unique hanging baskets, each of which use a different combination of flowers.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Ara Lynn of New Ipswich pots a variety of blooming flowers into one of Amazing Flower Farm's unique hanging baskets, each of which use a different combination of flowers.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Ara Lynn, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opened the business seven years ago after defeating breast cancer left her unable to continue her previous career.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Ara Lynn, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opened the business seven years ago after defeating breast cancer left her unable to continue her previous career.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Ara Lynn, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, tends to a crop of flowers in full bloom and ready for sale for the farm's upcoming spring and summer selling season. <br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Ara Lynn, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, tends to a crop of flowers in full bloom and ready for sale for the farm's upcoming spring and summer selling season.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opened the business seven years ago after defeating breast cancer left her unable to continue her previous career.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich, left, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opens a canister of beneficial insects that the farm uses as pest control instead of pesticides. <br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich pots a variety of blooming flowers into one of Amazing Flower Farm's unique hanging baskets, each of which use a different combination of flowers.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Ara Lynn of New Ipswich pots a variety of blooming flowers into one of Amazing Flower Farm's unique hanging baskets, each of which use a different combination of flowers.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Ara Lynn, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, opened the business seven years ago after defeating breast cancer left her unable to continue her previous career.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Ara Lynn, the owner of Amazing Flower Farm, tends to a crop of flowers in full bloom and ready for sale for the farm's upcoming spring and summer selling season. <br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

Seven years ago, Ara Lynn of New Ipswich had to say good bye to her old career. After beating breast cancer, her job doing custom tractor repair, with all the heavy lifting involved and the fumes she had to deal with, just didn’t fit with her new health limitations.

But with plenty of farm land and a green thumb, Lynn found a new way to make her living — growing things.

At first, Lynn said with a laugh in an interview last week in her greenhouses, where her flowers are slowly unfurling into full blooms in readiness for the selling season, she thought running a local greenhouse would be less stressful for her. But she couldn’t have been more wrong.

Seven years ago, Lynn hit upon the name “Amazing Flower Farm,” for her new business. And with a name like that, the flowers had best live up to it, she said. Amazing Flower Farm is a seasonal business, and with only a short window to provide its product, Lynn has had to learn the ropes extremely quickly. And if she ever thought the flower business would be easy, she was quickly disabused of that notion.

Constantly, the workers in the greenhouse have to repot plants, rotate hanging baskets, water, check for and treat for parasites, and put together unique basket arrangements, and with a very short time to do all those tasks.

“It is a real challenge holding all the pieces together,” Lynn said. “The labor scheduling, planting seeds and bumping up transplants on time, pinching back plants on time so they grow nice and full, the pest monitoring and fertilizing, keeping the climate inside the greenhouses dry and the right temperature. I like challenges, and this is a big challenge.”

When she first started the business, Lynn didn’t count herself a plant person or gardener, she said, preferring the active work involved with breeding dogs or raising chickens. But the more she learned about the business of raising plants, the more fascinated she became. She truly became enamoured with plants when she first encountered a Sensitive fern, and learned that plants are quieter, they too have a life of their own.

“My mother was always the gardener,” she said. “I always was an animal person. Animals move, and plants don’t. It wasn’t really until I touched a Sensitive fern that I really saw the potential for plants. It’s this little frond, and when you touch it, it curls up right before your eyes. When I saw that, I realized, plants move too. Plants are alive too.”

Now, Lynn works yearly to advance her knowledge of plants and organic growing techniques, participating in seminars on growing healthy plants and managing pest control with natural biological predators instead of with pesticides.

Amazing Flower Farm is located somewhat off the beaten track, tucked away on Poor Farm Road in New Ipswich, which doesn’t get a high amount of traffic.

That means Lynn has to have some spectacular varieties to draw customers to the little farm.

Lynn and the staff at Amazing Flower Farm work to buy local seeds whenever possible. But they also strive to get the best and most unusual plants from the regions breeders, and they have a few that are pretty special.

The farm’s special plants include Tomaccio tomato plants, a variety of tomato developed in Israel that has thin skins which dry very easily without having to cut the tomato. They are very sweet fresh and the tomato flavor and sweetness becomes intense when they are dried.

They’re also growing rare flowers, such as lisianthus, which grows as cluster of rose-like blossoms, often used in florists arrangements.

It is difficult to find because it is a finicky, very slow-growing crop that many growers don’t bother with, Lynn said. She also tries to get a common flower in an uncommon color, such as orange petunias.

All of the hanging baskets sold at Amazing Flower Farm are crafted with hand-picked arrangements of flowers, and very few use the same combination, Lynn said, making each basket unique. The farm has a wide selection of annuals and perennials, as well as vegetable starter plants.

Amazing Flower Farm is currently open for its spring and summer season. To purchase or view the flowers and starter crops the farm has available, visit the farm at 202 Poor Farm Road, or visit www.amazingflowerfarm.com.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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