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Young Farmer Focus: Becky Fraser and John Kennerley

A double bill this week!
Our first young farmer is Becky Fraser. While studying zoology at university, Becky found herself decorating a church with British flowers for a deeply personal occasion. The experience stayed with her, and on graduation she returned to work with the growers who had provided those flowers. She is now embarking on her own flower growing and floral design adventure.


Describe your business in a sentence

My business is called RJF Flowers and I provide seed-to-vase floral design, growing in harmony with
nature and the changing seasons, without the use of harmful chemicals, airmiles, or excess

What motivates you?

Sustainability, mostly. My background in zoology gives me an ecological perspective on my farm –
the soil, the animals I share the space with, and how I can support my local biodiversity whilst
making the most of the space for growing cut flowers.

Why should people care about locally grown flowers?

Buying locally grown flowers isn’t just about the ethical movement towards low air miles, seasonal blooms, and the energy saved in not using hothouses. Purchasing locally grown flowers means your flowers are the freshest they can possibly be, have a better scent than imports and often a longer vase life too. Buying flowers while they’re in season means they are at an abundance, which is why you can purchase high quality seasonal blooms at generally lower prices. It’s a savvy choice that supports local businesses and your local biodiversity, because beautiful flowers shouldn’t cost the earth.

How could we engage more young people in sustainable flower growing?

Younger generations stand out in their climate change activism, and their passion for and engagement
with sustainable lifestyle choices. I believe young people will naturally bring a sustainable mindset to
flower growing, and would suggest that showing young people that flower farming is a
career option, through college courses or apprenticeship schemes, is the most crucial step. There are
some great schemes and opportunities FFTF members could look at supporting, such as the WFGA
WRAG scheme.

Becky’s impressive greenhouse on her new plot.

How did you become a career flower farmer?

I was in my final year of university when my dad passed away, and I contacted Caroline Beck of
Verde Flower Co. to help with his funeral flowers. The way we decorated the church together, with
British stems supplemented with flowers and foliage from my mum’s garden, stuck with me. It felt
so natural and beautiful and a proper celebration of life. I contacted Caroline again when I
graduated, just to volunteer once a week or so. I found that growing flowers grounded me and
ended up working alongside her in growing and event floristry for three years. I found my own little
growing spot this year and am very much in the ‘setting up’ phase. I’ve loved every second.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

One thing I love about flower growing is it provides me with all the ingredients to get creative with
floral design and photography. I’d love to do more of that, more work in event and set styling and
collaborative photoshoots. Another passion of mine is natural dyes and textiles, so being able to
provide florals and dyed textiles to events is a big dream that will hopefully come true within the
next 5 years!

If you could only grow one crop, what would it be?

I’ve always loved lavender. Ever since I was a child and trying to create perfumes by putting my
mum’s favourite flowers through a garlic press, the scent of lavender captivated me. And the sound.
That gentle hum of pollinators feasting away. Long stems and flower spikes nodding in the breeze,
it’s always endearing (and a bit funny) to watch bees try to land on them. You asked where I see
myself in 5 years, but if I had my way, you’d find me in a Tuscan lavender field in 10 years’ time.

What does FFTF mean to you?

The sense of community and togetherness Flowers from the Farm brings is something I value so
highly. The daily grind of flower farming can be quite lonely work, and FFTF is a good reminder of
how many wonderful and kind people I’ve got in my corner, rooting for me.

Dappled light and white walls create a beautiful working space in Becky’s greenhouse.


Our second featured farmer is John Kennerley, of Grown & Made. John started experimenting with cut flowers to help diversify his family farm. He’d soon caught the bug, and now sees his own future in flower growing.


Describe your business in a sentence. 

I’m a Cheshire based flower farmer growing seasonal cut flowers with nature in mind.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by the the uprising of British flowers! The growing side I also find really motivating, with the excitement of all the new flowers coming from tiny seeds to magnificent blooms.

Why should people care about locally grown flowers?

People should care about locally grown flowers because when they buy them, they are supporting not only local businesses but also a positive environmental impact on their local area.

How could we engage more young people with sustainable flower growing?

I think that’s a tough one, but it’s important for other young people to show them it’s a viable career, and to let them know that there is plenty of help out there for them.

How did you become a career flower farmer?

By chance really. I started by experimenting with growing a couple of thousand tulip bulbs looking for a way to provide the family farm with a future income. The tulips sold well during the spring so I decided to have a dabble with some annuals, and so it continued!

Not bad for a dabble! A striking crop of orange marigolds on John’s plot.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I’d like to see myself with a good base of loyal customers and also at a stage where I can start to receive a crop from my foliage plants.

If you could only grow one crop, what would it be?

That’s a difficult one! I’d probably have to say tulips!

What does FFTF mean to you?

Flowers from the Farm is one big group full of help! All the members are so helpful, from words of wisdom to sharing the best local supplies, with lots of tips along the way!

Commitment to the cause: John braving the winter elements in his customised mobile shop.