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Worlds End: Flower Farming with Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua

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Worlds End: Flower Farming with Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua

October 7, 2013

When the economy took a turn in 2008 Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua, the esteemed floral design studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, first noticed the changes at the flower market. “The floral industry is one of the first to feel the blow of a weak economy,” says Ryhanen who noticed that, “the unusual, weedy, wild stuff that I was so into and that made my work unique” had disappeared. She turned to local farms to supplement the loss, and even sourced flowers from as far as the West Coast. But when Ryhanen still couldn’t locate favorites (unusual bearded iris, black hellebore…), she decided to just grow them herself.

That was when Ryhanen and partner Eric Famisan bought what is now called Worlds End, 107 acres of farmland located outside of Albany, New York. The two keep busy cultivating rare floral varieties from seed, tending to 19 chickens, raising an entire hellebore garden (a.k.a. living the dream), and feeding themselves from their kitchen garden. The main purpose of the farm? To supply “unusually beautiful flowers to our business, Saipua, and also to our friends who have flower businesses,” says Ryhanen. For more information and upcoming events, visit Worlds End.

Photographs by Sarah Ryhanen from Worlds End (unless otherwise noted).

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: The original barn and house date to 1825.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: “Starting to grow our own flowers has unlocked a great world of unusual varieties,” says Ryhanen.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: The 19 chickens on the farm belong to three breeds: Black Laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, and Arcaucanas.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: Eric Famisan, Sarah Ryhanen, and city-to-farm dog Nea photographed by Jason Frank Rothenberg for Worlds End.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: Budding narcissus in the winter soil.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: Hellebores that were once highly coveted by Ryhanen; now she grows her own in a hellebore garden.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: The farm provides a moody backdrop for floral arranging.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: A kitchen vegetable garden runs alongside the flower farm.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua

Above: Homegrown squash.

Worlds End Farm Sarah Ryhanen florist Saipua solar panels

Planning an event, or are you just a plain old floral fanatic? Sift through all the Floral Arrangements posts in our archive and for more on Ryhanen’s side projects, visit Little Flower School.

N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published on October 7, 2013.

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