An interview with Sow Grateful Flower Farm

We caught up with Aisling McCormick from Sow Grateful!

Tell us a bit about Sow Grateful!

Sow Grateful is a micro intensive flower farm based on the outskirts of East Belfast. Predominantly growing for the wholesale market, we provide a variety of cut flowers for florists alongside edible flowers and microgreens for the restaurant industry. We are a partnership of 2 (Andy and Aisling).

How did the idea for Sow Grateful come about?

Andy and I have shared our love for growing since we first got together 15 years ago! Over the last few years we have taken this more seriously and grown veggies, herbs, sprouts and microgreens for ourselves and to share with friends and family. When we finally took on a bigger plot of land in 2019 we decided we would work towards starting a growing business!

What’s growing at Sow Grateful this summer?

A variety of edible flowers (e.g. nasturtium, cornflowers, calendula, viola, chives) and micro-greens and micro-herbs (initially pea, cress, brassicas, coriander, dill, but skies the limit!)

How can we be more sustainable here in NI?

We are passionate about local produce and were disappointed with how the majority of our cut flowers in Northern Ireland are unnecessarily imported 365 days of the year. There is a lack of understanding of seasonality of flowers and with chemically sprayed flowers only bred to transport well, the flower market is really missing out on flowers which smell and feel amazing!

We want to encourage more people to consider buying seasonal and local and hope to branch out in the future into hosting courses and workshops on flowers and sustainability! Our growing methodology is with nature in mind so we grow naturally (no chemicals) with no-dig principles and with soil health at the forefront.

We design with diversity in mind so as to encourage and support a broad range of wildlife. By choosing Sow Grateful, you are supporting the promotion of sustainable practices in horticulture which build biodiversity, and encourage pollinators and other wildlife.

What other growers are you inspired by?

  • Ridgedale Permaculture Farm

  • Polyface Farm

  • Moyhill Farm

  • Forever Green Flower Company

  • Little Cress Microgreens

Images via Sow Grateful