Marshall Miles Interviews Jenny Elliot and Luke Franco From Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake, NY

Tiny Hearts Farm of Copake, New York, with a new showroom and studio that opened May 2018 in nearby Hillsdale, is what germinates when two classically trained musicians are set loose in a new creative medium: 15 acres of gorgeous Hudson Valley soil managed by organic practices.

We—Jenny Elliott (above) and Luke Franco—are farmers, not florists, first. We’re committed to being growers of an ever-wider palette of high-quality, healthy-for-the-land, healthy-for-people flowers.

More on how we became farmers is below, but first, what we do, in brief:

  • We are wholesalers of homegrown, sustainably grown, seasonal flowers and foraged materials, with prominent NYC florists and others among our loyal customers. Learn more.
  • We do event flowers: Brides & other event clients expect our unexpected style. Whether a whole wedding or merely a centerpiece for a party, ask us for help. Learn more.
  • Want more flowers in your life (and live nearby)? Our effusive weekly CSA bouquets will delight those who want to subscribe and pick up weekly in season. Learn more.

The Backstory

Jenny Elliott and Luke Franco started what would become Tiny Hearts Farm in the late winter of 2011, when we were offered an acre of land in Westchester County, New York, to grow on. Jenny had been farming vegetables for four or five years at this point, after getting a Masters in musicology and wondering what to do with it. Luke was (and still is) working as a jazz guitarist.

The land belonged to Dick Button, the Olympic figure-skating gold medalist, and Jenny is a winter Olympics fanatic, so it was clearly a good idea to start a farm there, even though we didn’t own so much as a shovel.

The first few years had its challenges—lack of water, fencing, equipment, and housing, being among them—but we were able to start a small, organically managed, hand-scale vegetable and flower farm and saw a measure of success. We quickly found a niche and love for the flowers and switched to growing flowers exclusively by our third year, the same year it became clear that we were fast outgrowing our little farm. To grow the variety and quality of flowers sustainably that we envisioned, we needed more space and better farm infrastructure.

In the spring of 2014 we moved an hour and a half north to become part of the new Copake Agricultural Center. Here we have so many important things—a lifetime lease on 15 acres (a big deal for flower farms—many perennials are expensive to install and take years to establish), a house on the edge of the field, a barn for packing out orders, and four neighboring farms who have become our best support system. Our first two years here, we invested in much-needed infrastructure—a greenhouse, walk-in cooler, two tractors, and delivery vans—and we’re only just getting started! We now work with a team of four to six employees, all passionate about flowers and invested in becoming great farmers and designers.

To better serve our event clients and grow our business further, we opened a studio and showroom in nearby Hillsdale in May 2018; at 2643 State Route 23. Hours are Thursday-Saturday, 10 to 4, and by appointment. Classes, CSA pickup of weekly bouquets, and some seasonal retail will happen there, too.


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