Biologist-Turned-California Flower Farmer

 

Photography by Anna Delores

Text by Hannah Jones

Tucked away in the Santa Ynez Valley in California sits a family of four on their picturesque flower farm. But surprisingly, that wasn’t always this couple’s plan. Dubbed Ballard Canyon Farms, the luxurious garden was the brainchild of field biologists Molly Sarquilla and her husband, Joseph. The couple first met while working in Puerto Rico as biologists for a sustainable forestry project. They later returned to Molly’s home in charming Solvang, California, to begin their farming journey together. “We had this science base before we both started farming, and around the time we both turned 30, we decided we wanted to go home and start a family,” Molly says. But the couple never could’ve imagined ending up where they are now. “We just kind of fell into flower farming. It was kind of accidental.”

Photography by Anna Delores

Molly and Joseph originally started a vegetable farm, but a twist of fate led them to switch their focus from food to flora. Though she had no experience in growing flowers or arranging them, Molly offered to grow and arrange the flowers for her good friend’s wedding, and from there, her passion bloomed. “After we did that, we were just like, ‘This is what we should be doing,’ and it just kind of went from there.” Three years later, Molly and Joseph made the official transition to become a flower farm, growing vegetables only for personal use.