[Got Flowers?] Oliver Retzloff shares about his flower growing enterprise at Wild Nectar Farm, where he and his husband Eric Knutson farm, ranch, and educate aspiring new and young regenerative farmers. In this episode, we are treated to the visually rich flower farm, and to the myriad ways in which growing and enjoying the beauty of flowers is central to the regenerative movement, to stewardship, and to creating a saner, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing lifeways on planet Earth.
ABOUT THE FLOWERS
We discuss Dahlias, Zinnias, Cosmos, Marigolds, Snapdragons, and others, and learn about their amazing healing and wellness properties as well as their roles in enhancing the vitality and balance in the regenerative farming context. Called the “unicorn of flowers” by Oliver, Dahlias are the national flower of Mexico, and their tubers are traditionally used by the Aztec people as a substitute for potatoes, a way to transport water, and as a natural sweetener. Zinnias are said to have antioxidant, antifungal, phytoremediative, and antimalarial properties, and are traditionally regarded by the Navajo people as sacred life medicine, and by the Pueblo people as enhancers of intelligence and eloquence. Cosmos are said to symbolize order and harmony, and to represent balance, tranquility, peace, love, modesty, innocence, joy and beauty. Marigolds are known to repel damaging insects from the rest of the garden and have traditional uses ranging from dyeing to treating jaundice, conjunctivitis, and fever. Snapdragons are native to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region, and are said to alleviate minor burns, detoxify the blood, purify the liver, and help reduce fever. As Oliver mentions, these flowers and many others make excellent pollinator habitat, and natural flower farmers who don’t use dangerous pesticides will often encounter the sight of bumblebees sleeping inside the blossoms of Snapdragons and other enveloping flowers.
ABOUT OLIVER, ERIC, AND WILD NECTAR FARMS
Wild Nectar Farms is located in Colorado, nestled up against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in rural Boulder County. While Oliver is tending to the flowers, cutting and arranging bouquets for special events, and coordinating deliveries to local boutique flower shops, Eric can be found ranching, grass farming, and stewarding grass-fed cattle and the working horses and dogs employed to tend the herds. In their stewardship work, Oliver and Eric have learned to listen, observe, be patient, and above all, to recognize that nature is in control. Through the Flatirons Farmers Coalition, they teach practical skills to up-and-coming regenerative farmers in the region. They radiate and embody the special LOVE that is experienced in close intimacy with nature and encourage others to cultivate this deep connectedness with life.
Oliver Retzloff was born and raised in Boulder County, Colorado not far from where our farm is located. He grew up on an organic farm where his family grew vegetables and fruit and raised chickens, rabbits and horses. He graduated from SAE Expression College in CA with a BAS in Sounds Arts. Oliver is a farmer, floral designer, foodie, and artist. His life goal is to help cultivate love, happiness, and peace on Earth.
Oliver and his husband Eric moved to their farmstead in 2013. For the past 9 years they have been stewards of the land working to rehabilitate, rebuild and regenerate the diverse microcosmic ecosystem that has blossomed into Wild Nectar Farm. Their focus is regenerative agriculture utilizing organic and biodynamic methods and building biodiverse habitat for native pollinators, birds and insects. In addition to growing specialty cut flowers and herbs, they also grow organic vegetables and medicinal herbs, raise organic chickens for eggs and hogs for meat and also keep honeybees! Wild Nectar Farm offers floral design services for home, business and special events, like weddings.
LINKS, RESOURCES, & RELATED EPISODES
Episode 03 – Brook Le Van, Biodynamic Farming & Soil Stewardship
Episode 06 – Stephanie Syson, Biodynamic Botanicals Herb and Flower Farm
Episode 19 – Brigitte Mars – The Power of Herbal Medicine
Episode 29 – Courtney Cosgriff – Honeybee Herbals
Episode 110 – Brigitte Mars – Cannabis as the Tree of Life