(Pictured left to right)Alex Kyger and Andrea McAdow sitting in one of the many gardens at the McAdow homestead. (Photo by Charles Black)
KINGMAN – Some growing businesses are growing, literally.
Tucked back in the mountains off Fort Beale Drive is the McAdow homestead, where Andrea McAdow and Alex Kyger, two young women with a talent for growing flowers and food, are bringing a touch of color and flavor to the community.
The women will be operating separate businesses as part of West of 3rd, slated to open at 224 East Beale Street in April. McAdow will helm Rosebird Gardens, the flower and vegetable growing operation. Kyger will operate Wet Dirt, a plant-based herbal body care venture. They’ll join Sarah Ferry, owner of Southwest Trading Company, a clothing and art boutique, in running the local farmer florist operation Larrea Blossoms.
“What’s important is the collaboration between us,” Kyger said. “This expedition went so much smoother with the teamwork involved.”
“We complement each other in personality and business philosophies,” McAdow added.
McAdow, a former civil engineer, grew up gardening. She moved to Kingman from the East Coast in 2016 when her husband landed a job as a physical therapist. She looked at some of the engineering jobs in the area, took a crack at a garden consulting idea and when all fell flat, decided to start a farm.
“I decided to try to do something I really wanted to do,” she said.
Kyger, a Kingman native, was a dental assistant and also likes gardening. She’s always had a green thumb and has found a way to make it real. She got certified as a medical herbalist and has since turned a hobby into a business.
The women are two of many entrepreneurs who have noticed a need for new life in in the local economy.
“There’s so much opportunity to create new things in Kingman,” McAdow said.
Over the last year, the women have been turning the two-acre plot of land into a checkerboard of gardens. They tend to the plants while their kids and dogs frolic in the desert nearby.
Freshly picked veggies and plucked flowers are stored in an on-site cooler. The McAdow property gets water from a well and uses drip emitters to feed the plants. They also use compost and fertilizer from local outlets. Some of the manure comes from McAdow’s three cows.
“We try to implement as many locally resources as possible,” McAdow said.
She’s already looking for ways to use renewable energy to power the farm. McAdow and her husband have discussed installing a solar plant to power the well and a windmill for electricity.
As of March 28, only a few vegetables have begun to sprout, and a small portion of flowers bloomed. As temperatures warm up, the plants will flourish, and the women will have their work cut out for themselves.
Larrea Blossoms has been providing flower arrangements for weddings and sold flowers at Southwest Trading Co. The small company has also worked in specials for holidays such as Valentine’s Day. They plan to set up a booth and sell flower crowns at the Mohave County Pride festival in June.
Rosebird contributes to the local Community Supported Agriculture program which helps supports the small local farming community. CSA is a subscription-based program where members pay in advance and receive weekly distributions of fresh, locally grown veggies and fruit at a discount over market prices.
McAdow grows everything she sells via the Rosebird CSA. People come from all over the county looking for fresh veggies. At least 25 people have signed on for the first 17-week season which runs from April through July. Another season runs September through December.
The experience is about more than just eating.
“People get an opportunity to learn where their food comes from,” McAdow said.
Aside from the local grocers and other florists in town, Rosebird offers a down-to-earth learning experience.
“When you buy local, you know it’s fresh and know where it’s coming from,” McAdow said. “Plus, the money stays local and helps build the community.”
For more information on Rosebird Gardens or the CSA, visit www.rosebirdgardens.com.