Spring Home: Take your pick, new flower farm near Perham lets people hand-select beautiful blooms

“This is a huge movement in the flower industry, to grow local rather than import flowers.” - Jen Hanson, Grandflower Farm owner

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Women pick flowers at a private event at Grandflower Farm in summer 2021.
Contributed / Jen Hanson

Editor's Note: The following originally appeared as the cover story of the Detroit Lakes Tribune's Spring Home magazine, which was included as a free insert in the April 13, 2022 issue of the Tribune. Read the magazine in its entirety  HERE  online.

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Perham native Jen Hanson has been a fixture of the area real estate scene for decades. Now 60, the married mother of three and grandmother of eight continues to sell, but is in the latter phase of her career, still tending to clients but not living the fast-paced lifestyle she once did.

Instead, Hanson has launched into being the proprietor of a new and ever-expanding flower farm, which her husband helped her name Grandflower Farm.

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Jen Hanson, who's phasing out of her career in realty, has opened a new pick-it-yourself flower farm near Perham, called Grandflower Farm.
Contributed / Jen Hanson

Last summer, she spent her first full season there, growing a wide variety of beautiful blooms and hosting a number of special events.

The Little Pine Lake farm has drawn various groups and individuals out to visit and pick their own stems. At a private “Bloom Social,” for example, guests assembled their own arrangements, with guidance from Hanson, and then had a little something to eat. For these socials, parties can either bring their own snacks and beverages or hire a caterer for an outdoor dining experience. Guests are able to sit and relax and spend time on the farm after choosing their flowers.


Hanson has hosted groups of up to 30, and also holds workshop gatherings. She’s even had brides-to-be go out and pick their own wedding flowers from the farm. She describes herself as a farmer, not a florist, and so encourages brides or anyone else looking for specific arrangements to either share the blooms they’ve picked with a trusted local florist, or, if they’re creative, create their own arrangements.

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Grandflower Farm features 100 varieties of dahlias, plus numerous ranunculus, tulips, zinnias, lisianthus, snapdragons, small sunflowers and filler plants that people can select and pick themselves to create bouquets for their living and work spaces.
Contributed / Jen Hanson

Grandflower Farm developed out of the pandemic, Hanson explained; she wanted to have a place where friends could gather outside and where people would feel socially comfortable. That idea grew into 58 raised garden beds, built by her husband, Robin Hanson, that are filled with a wide variety of flowers in many colors, grown from seed throughout the spring.

After her opening season in 2021, Hanson is increasing the number of beds this year. She charges $1 per stem and provides jars for guests to take their flowers home in. Additionally, paper wrap and pots are options.

“This is something I created so people could come together and have a fun, affordable activity,” Hanson says. “I have always loved flowers, and growing up on a turkey farm with a large family, I have always worked outside and appreciate the time and hard work it takes to make a go of it.” In Hanson’s family, flowers were outside for everyone to enjoy, not brought inside.

Hanson’s currently raising 100 varieties of dahlias, plus numerous ranunculus, tulips, zinnias, lisianthus, snapdragons, and filler plants with the mission of providing options for people to create beautiful bouquets for their living and work spaces. Bouquet-friendly sunflowers in smaller sizes and different colors than the typical large types in bright yellow are also grown at Grandflower Farm.

In addition to continually adding plants to her different garden beds, Hanson is also working on developing more shaded areas for the property, which features seating sections of tables and chairs, including one that seats 24. She’s also working on a traveling Bloom Bar so she can bring flowers to events.

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The raised flower beds at Grandflower Farm were built by Jen Hanson's husband, Robin.
Contributed / Jen Hanson
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Groups that visit Grandflower Farm for reserved events typically spend up to three hours there, picking flowers, making bouquets, relaxing and visiting.
Contributed / Jen Hanson

Groups that visit the farm for reserved events typically spend up to three hours there, picking flowers, making bouquets, relaxing and visiting. Various women’s groups have visited and Hanson has loved watching them smile, learn about flowers, and enjoy choosing stems in an environment that isn’t rushed.

“It is fun as well as peaceful here,” she comments.


Following each event, there are leftover stems that Hanson gathers and creates bouquets from to deliver to nursing homes.

“I love seeing how much joy flowers bring to the residents,” she says, “and their faces just light up when they get a bouquet for their room.”

This season, Hanson has curated the color schemes of her flowers to include many muted hues, and is not as focused on the ultra-bright colors of last year. The dusty tones blend well with one another and offer interesting options to create eye-catching bouquets, she says, and the many varieties of flower types coordinate well.

Her goals this year, in addition to continuing to host events, include partnering with a few area businesses that can serve as local pickup spots. North Threads in Perham is one location, with Nest, which is owned by Hanson’s brother, being another spot customers will be able to collect their bouquets. She is connected with various small-farm owners groups on Facebook and loves the camaraderie and helpful nature of the people she has been able to meet on the social media platform.

“This is a huge movement in the flower industry, to grow local rather than import flowers,” Hanson says. “There are many new flower farms out there, and I’ve found the community of farmers to be so kind and generous. They are eager to offer advice and feedback, and that has made this a great learning experience.”

For information about Grandflower Farm, visit or visit the farm’s Facebook page.

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