ENTIAT — Scott and Boonta “Bea” Wolf have a developed a new holiday tradition of sorts during the past few years: The Christmas tree comes down and lisianthus seeds go in.
The husband and wife own and operate Bumble Bea’s Garden, a fixture at the Wenatchee Farmers Market. To prepare for spring and summer, they plant early. And indoors.
“In the wintertime, she’s starting all these seeds starting after Christmas,” Scott Wolf said. “So our house turns into a greenhouse.”
“It’s so hilarious,” Bea Wolf added.
The Wolfs started their business in 2014 and are helped by their family. They live in Wenatchee and operate their 4-acre flower garden in Entiat. Rows of dahlias and lisianthus and asters and peonies and sweet Williams are tucked behind orchards beside Highway 97/A.
The two met in nursing school about 15 years ago. Both work in Wenatchee as nurses and then tend to the garden in their off time.
“After a hard day at the office you can come out here and pull weeds to your heart’s content and, you know, you forget about that hard day,” Scott said.
Working the land is in their DNA. Scott was raised in North Dakota where his family raised cattle. Bea grew up in Thailand where her extended family grew rice.
“Farming sticks in a person’s blood,” Scott said. “So we always had that little dream of starting a little farm.”
Much of learning to run the farm and to grow flowers has been done on their own.
“She spends hours and hours and hours researching things on YouTube and the internet,” Scott said. “I always tease. Well, do I tease you?”
“I tease you that you’re watching Thai soap operas on the internet but here she is watching flowers (videos),” Scott said.
“I put two channels together. It’s just a habit — multitask when you’re working,” Bea said.
“Yeah, Thai soap opera going on this device and then flower research going on that device,” Scott said.
Through her research, and time in the garden, Bea’s learned that different flowers bloom at different times of the year: peonies in May, asters in August. And others are a little more… high maintenance. Like dahlias.
Dahlias are planted in spring and then the bulbs are dug up and kept indoors for the winter. Otherwise they’d freeze and go bad, Bea said.
“The dahlia can be very fragile,” Bea said. “So we have to process them before we go and sell at the farmers market.”
The hope is for dahlias — and all the bouquets they sell — to live for at least a week.
“That’s what I want to hear (from customers),” Bea said. “I don’t want them to say, ‘It only lasted for two days.’”
Over the years, Scott and Bea have added weddings and events to their business models. It started organically their first year in business when brides-to-be visiting the farmers market asked Scott and Bea if they make bouquets for weddings.
“We said, ‘Sure!’” Bea said, laughing.
Now it’s a large part of their business, Scott said. One day, city code willing, they’d like to host weddings and events at their garden in Entiat.
But for now, they’re happy to plant, pluck and sell.
“It’s something we enjoy doing and hope to keep doing,” Scott said. “It allows us to be farmers.”