Master Gardener blooms with a floral subscription service

Master Gardener Pam Stenger

Pam Stenger keeps memories of her grandmother’s flower garden alive by offering floral bouquets through a Community Supported Agriculture subscription service.

As a child, Stenger loved walking to her grandmother’s house and garden and seeing the 50-60 varieties of daffodils lining the gravel road. “She shared her love of flowers with me and showed me the joy that comes with giving flowers to others,” says Stenger, who is the president of the Missouri Master Gardener chapter for Macon and Shelby counties.

When Stenger worked as a loan administration specialist at Macon-Atlanta State Bank (now MA Bank) in Macon, she placed bouquets from her garden in the lobby. Coworkers and customers began asking about buying the bouquets.

She and her husband, George, built greenhouses and flower beds at their farm, which sits on the Macon-Shelby county line. She completed the University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener online course with extension horticulturist David Trinklein.

Stenger expanded her garden to add new flowers, fruit trees, and berries. She keeps deer at bay with a 10-foot fence. In February and March, she starts planting seeds in the greenhouse and then transfers the seedlings to the garden to nurture until harvest time.

When Stenger retired from the bank, she began selling bouquets for special occasions and expanded her subscription service. Stenger sells weekly, biweekly, and monthly subscriptions ranging from $175 to $600 for the delivery of fresh, seasonal bouquets from April to September. She keeps deliveries within a 15-mile radius of the farm. Each Monday and Friday, she delivers six to eight bouquets, which may include any of the colorful varieties blooming in her large garden. No two bouquets are alike.

During the height of the growing season, Stenger hosts a “Flower Bar” event where customers can make their own bouquets priced per stem. She also participates in local artisan events such as the Macon Fork & Cork Festival.

Stenger takes pride in providing a local product grown naturally without harsh chemicals. She encourages people to buy from local growers who offer fresh-picked flowers that last a week or more.  “My goal is to underpromise and overdeliver,” she says.

Her husband’s plans for retirement also revolve around making the farm a fun year-round destination for families. They planted 900 Christmas trees several years ago that will be available for sale at his Santa’s workshop. They also plan to add a pumpkin patch this fall.  “They always say, ‘Do what you love, and it’s never a job,’ and this is what I love,” she says.

To learn more, contact Pam Stenger at 573-795-3012 or visit the Rolling Acres Flower Farm website.

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