Bloom Boom

Roses, daffodils, daisies.  Poppies, marigolds, buttercups. From Shakespeare and Wordsworth to Kurt Cobain and Katy Perry, poets and songsters have chronicled the role of flowers in the circle of life. Whether simple wildflowers in a Mason jar, cascading blossoms in a bridal bouquet, or a basket of blooms to cheer a friend, flowers speak.

Some people enjoy floral design; others don’t have the time or talent. Either way, Pisarcik Flower Farm in Valencia, PA can help. Founded in 1990 by Elaine and Tom Pisarcik, the  twenty-acre working farm grows and sells more than 100 varieties of specialty flowers.  Buy the flowers and arrange them yourself or they’ll happily do it for you.

Daliahs, zinnias and other blooms at Pisarcik Flower Farm.

Elaine, who grew up on a farm just down the road, still helps manage Pisarcik in partnership with her children, Mary Winget, Elizabeth Robinson, and David.

“When [my parents] bought the farm, they decided to start with flowers because flowers require less acreage,” says Mary, the eldest of seven. “They had four kids then, and I think [Mom] was looking for a way to work from home.”  Like Elaine, Mary now brings her children, Ella, 4, and Griffin, 1 ½, to work.  Her sister, Becky, is shop manager, and other siblings and family members pitch in.

Statice and echinacea in full flower at Pisarcik Flower Farm.

The family is proud of the farm’s longevity. “Flower farms are trendy now,” Mary says, “but we were at the start of the American floral revolution, where people decided to grow and buy locally instead of importing from Europe.” Pisarcik Flower Farm encourages not only shopping locally but shopping seasonally.  Return visitors often find new flowers in the mix. “Every year we try something new, and if it works out, we add it to the next season’s offerings,” Mary says.

In spring and summer, the greenhouses and floral studio offer blooms such as tulips, anemones, ranunculus and peonies. In the fall, you’ll find sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, mums, and other favorites. Take home an armful of cut flowers or select one of their whimsical garden-style bouquets.

“We were at the start of the American floral revolution, where people decided to grow and buy locally instead of importing from abroad.” The Pisarcki family, Pisarcik Flower Farm.

Enjoy growing your own flowers? Bulbs or flats of annuals as well as hanging baskets and house plants are available for purchase. Planning a small destination celebration? Order an “Elopement Package”—the flowers will be a surprise—to take with you. Want to design centerpieces or learn how to press flowers?  Register for a seasonal workshop. New this past spring was goat yoga, which paired devotees with the farm’s new “kids,” who weren’t big enough yet to tame the grass.

One thing you can’t do is pick your own flowers. That’s because workers are in the fields harvesting flowers every day, April through October. It’s a demanding schedule, as they stock the shop, prepare for farmers’ markets (Saturdays in Sewickley and Ligonier, Thursdays in Pittsburgh’s Market Square), and design for weddings, where they provide everything from bouquets and boutonnieres to centerpieces and cake toppers.

In November, preparation begins for the annual Holiday Open House the weekend after Thanksgiving, where shoppers stock up on everything evergreen. From January to March, they prep, plant, and finish construction projects. Then in April sales begin again.

Good thing the Pisarcik family loves their work,  because there is little downtime in this flower farm’s circle of life.

At work among the sunflowers, celosia and snapdragons at Pisarcik Flower Farm.




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