A local farmer works hard to bring her flowers from the field to your vase.
Kira Santiago has always had a love for flowers. A descendant of organic food farmers, she says that a flower farmer was needed in the family.
From her small one acre farm in East Peoria, she’s been pursuing her dream of raising her own home grown blooms. With nearly 60 different kinds of flowers, Santiago creates boquets for markets, weddings and local customers.
Santiago says the choice to grow organic on her farm was an easy one.
“About 70% of the flowers you get in the grocery store are from South America, where there are little or no regulations on pesticide use,” Santiago says. “What is the first thing you do when you get a bouquet of flowers, you put your face into it and smell it. And you don’t want all those chemicals right on your face. And it’s better for me working in the field.”
As a one woman operation, Santiago has plenty to do but says she wouldn’t have it any other way. She calls herself a farmer florist, adding that the job allows her to pursue not only her passion for agriculture – but her passion for art as well.
“Flowers are very powerful things,” She says. “They strike people emotionally a lot. They’re kind of like a natural piece of art. Art work that comes from nature. It makes people happy when they get their bouquets from me and that makes me happy.”
You can catch Santiago at Peoria’s Riverfront Market every Saturday morning.