We started our farm after our son, Brandon, approached us about how Alaska was beginning to be a growing industry for peony cut flowers. He was attending the University of Alaska at the time, and some of friends were doing their thesis on the "new and upcoming agricultural industry" for the state of Alaska. He suggested that we should grow peonies, since we had 5 acres that our house was on. We only wanted to grow 100 plants, but our son said to "go big or go home!" So, in 2012, we broke ground, and planted our first 1000 plants in our back yard! We decided to try 5 different varieties to see how they would take to the Alaskan winters. Much to our surprise, they all did well! We were very excited, so we decided to expand. In 2013, we purchased another 5 acres next to our property, and prepared the land by clearing trees, hand drilling all the holes for each plant, and adding soil. In 2014 and 2016 we planted an additional 1000 plants to give us a total of 3000 peony plants. We now have 9 varieties of peonies. In 2018, we wanted to try some coral peonies, so we only planted 50 since they are difficult to grow in Alaska.
We currently have no well or water source on our additional 5 acres, so we decided to put up a large pool. We keep it full during the summer months by hauling water to fill it. This is not unusual for Alaska, as many people will haul their water for their homes. We use the pool to water our plants by sprinkler pumps to pump the water to our irrigaition lines. Our grandkids love the pool and will often come over to swim when the weather is warm. Our peonies do well during the Alaskan summer, especially with the 24 hours of daylight.
We enjoy our peony farm as it has brought our family closer together to do activities. Our 3 children, 8 grandchildren and sisters have all help with the peony farm, whether it's weeding, picking or preparing the flowers for shipping. It's been a joy to have them all help to get our farm up and going. We have added building next to our pool that holds all our supplies for the peonies and pool. We have dubbed it our "pool house" as it has a deck attached to it. Half of the pool house will soon to be our chiller for the flowers. We also have bee hives that we place on our property so we can enjoy the "peony" honey.
We are very busy starting in April, after the snow melts, to when the snow finally returns in October. In addition to our peony farm, we both have full-time jobs. Dawn is an ICU nurse at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Steve has a business, Rosie Creek Enterprises/Sharpening where he does carpentry, tile work and sharpening blades, saws and scissors.
We hope you will stop by and see our fields of peonies. Everyone is welcomed!!
Steve and Dawn Brefczynski