Lina Jumper says her farm is a place where she can watch families in peace.
Lena, who recently moved to the area with her husband, Shane, worked as a first responder near Chicago, Illinois. After a career helping people on their worst days, Lena worked to build a place for people to have their best days.
“When I was in the fire department, I saw people’s worst days. The worst days people ever had, and that’s why we were there. Now my goal is to see people at peace, having fun, making memories with their families. (…) Just to get out, as You know, something that people can come in and have a great day and go home and say it was fun. “It was different,” Jumper said.
She created a U-Pick farm, called Elle’s Flower Farm, on 14 acres outside Salem on County Road 5170.
“It’s a U-Peak flower farm, and I know there are a few in Missouri. There aren’t many within 50 miles of us; my flowers are probably on an acre, maybe a whole acre,” Jumper said.
The farm features several types of flowers that Lina planted. She charges $15 for a 22-ounce cup, which patrons can fill with flowers they cut.
“Ninety percent of everything starts under grow lights and indoors, and then they are hardened off and then moved into the field. A lot of what we have are annuals, so I would have to plant them every year,” Lena said. “But they are prolific producers like zinnias and cosmos and whatnot.” till then. Then I have perennials as well, which will come back, and I have lavender and all kinds of perennials that will come back next year and they will be bigger. “I plan to double production next year.”
This season the farm has 10 80-foot rows. She worked hard to prepare the space for families and photographers. It was not easy, as Lina faced some challenges such as crop failure and deer. She said the soil in the area is very different from what she is used to, and she has had to make some adjustments to her soil.
Along with locally grown organic flowers that are ready to pick, the farm also features photo props. Professional photographers can negotiate the price with Lena, but families are also welcome to take photos. One prop that Lena seems to have a special connection to is a 1967 Volkswagen pickup.
“It was in about four different colors — when it came to me, it was white, but you could see all the colors. I started polishing it and started finishing it a few weeks later, and it was like, ‘Wow, it had so many colors.’ I painted it with this Beautiful green color, with daisy badges on it. The families that have come to take pictures so far have been like, “Ah!”. They love Daisy Bugs, so I’m excited about that. I also bought an old camper. It’s like a 1960’s Playmore or something Kind. It’s red, so we decorated it for Christmas to take pictures too. We had some really cute pictures last year.
Lina said she would be bringing a professional photographer to the farm soon to give her advice on ways she could improve the farm design for photography. She was working on photo boards with flowers for the kids to take pictures with.
“I started with three-foot rows, thinking that if I made it wider, people wouldn’t be able to reach the middle. But what I’ve learned now, from some farmers I’m friends with, is that I need to double the width of the rows,” Lena said. “People can definitely get through.” “But if we double the row production, it will also be more luxurious for taking pictures, so people can put up a chair or a blanket, and the photographer will be able to say, ‘Oh, it looks like you’re in a field of zinnias, not just a three-wide row. Feet of zinnia plants. I’ve started a honeysuckle vine, so next spring, my two existing trellises will be covered in flowers.
Jumper wants to make the farm a place where families can get out, be together and enjoy the outdoors.
“We have a beautiful area with tables, picnic tables for the kids and shade, and on weekends I give out free lemonade and cookies. The kids love it, and the parents love it because while they’re making the bouquets, the kids will put some cookies in their mouths,” Lena said. “We We provide everything, scissors, everything.”
Elle’s Flower Farm is located at 3183 County Rd. 5170, in Salem, off Highway B, down Hwy. 19 south. Updated hours are: Saturday. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday. Noon to 3 p.m., weekdays by appointment only. More information about the farm can be found on the Facebook page or at ellesflowerfarm.com.