Honor system serves well for flower sales

For 28 years, neighbors Kathy Les and Hal Thomas of Portola Way have been growing a garden of fruit trees and vegetables on their 1/3-acre double lot, which was featured on this year’s Curtis Park Home and Garden Tour. Now Kathy is undertaking a new endeavor turning a sizable portion of their backyard into a flower farm.

Using an honor system, she offers periodic seasonal flower bouquets for $10 each from her front porch. She calls her effort Flowers For Food, with all proceeds donated to the Sacramento Food Bank. Her last round of bouquet sales sold out the first day.

Neighbors and friends on her Flower Fans list were tipped via email to spring bouquets of ranunculus, tulips, bridal veil, daffodils, roses and more waiting on her front porch. Throughout the day, friends and neighbors trickled over, selecting the bouquet of their choice and leaving their payment in the secret location. All bouquets are in mason jars with lids available to reuse the jar.

“This time I raised $130,” said Kathy. “I put out 10 bouquets, and then had requests for two more. One person donated an extra $10.”

“I’ve been wanting to do honor system front yard sales for a long time,” said Kathy.

The city’s new urban agriculture ordinance allows residents to sell what they grow on their property. Kathy fondly remembers growing up in Southern California, where small farmers in nearby towns placed tables out front with fresh produce and a basket for cash payments.

Kathy credits husband Hal with doing the heavy work while she gets to select and purchase the flowers as well as assist with planting and nurturing. “This feels like what I want to do the rest of my life,” she said.

The next round of bouquets likely will be sold sometime in June. Kathy hopes to have two or three more sales this year. She is busy planting a variety of colorful heirloom flowers, including scabiosa, cosmos, calendula, sunflowers, zinnias and more for the coming season.

If you are interested in getting on Kathy’s Flower Fans list, email her at Kathy.les321@ gmail.com.

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