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Our Story

🎵Faaarm Living is NOT the Life for Me...or Is It?

Have you ever had a dream come true you didn't even know you were wishing for? 

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Hi, we're John and Michele. We fell in love in the 80's when video stores were all the rage, Top Gun was in everyone's VCR and rusty old Camaros were sexy (or that's what John told himself).  We met in a video store one hot August night and it was almost love at first sight. As I (Michele) type this, we have been married for 36 years, have two grown kiddos and five grandchildren. From almost the moment we were married we were making plans. Everyone who knows us knows that we have always said our retirement, empty nester dream was to be a cliché, move to a cottage near the beach in Florida. And we MEANT it!

We're not sure exactly what happened. We've tried to explain it, but the details are murky. A few years back I started casually scrolling farm properties. I don't know what I was thinking or just became kind of a hobby to check out the real estate in the area and to think about what I'd do with this or that piece of property. It's not like I got any encouragement though because every time I'd share one with John, he'd say it was "too far out of the city". But, I kept scrolling.

On the weekends, we like to go for long motorcycle rides in rural areas. Sometimes we'd take trips out to see one of my "finds". Mostly so John could prove to me how far it was and...sometimes he was right. Still...I kept scrolling.


At some point the hobby became a hunt. Something had shifted and we didn't want to move to the beach but out to a place with a little bit of land. We were open to anything that wasn't, per John, "too far out of the city". 

The spring of 2020, I can remember the day very clearly, I was standing in the kitchen of our small ranch house. I looked John in the eyes and told him to "open his mind" and showed him the latest property. He was reluctant, but we hopped on the Indian and rode further outside the city than we'd ever been willing to look. 

John describes the moment he rode up the long gravel drive as the moment "I just knew this was our home". 

That fall we moved into our fixer upper. We were undaunted by the dark, cave-like interior of the home, the overgrown, weed filled pastures, the swampy pond and the nipple pink (or was it anus brown?) exterior siding. All we could see was our HOME. We dubbed our new home The Vaughanstead, rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

One day along the way, I said to John again..."open your mind" (a less adventurous man would have come to be very afraid of that phrase) and I told him about my idea to start a flower farm. Flowers have sort of always been a part of our lives. I started working in flower shops as an afterschool job when I was 16 years old. I spent the next, nearly, twenty years in the Kansas City floral industry and John delivered nearly every holiday that required contract drivers.Looking back we're both a little surprised that this had never occurred to us before. Could we do that? How do you do that? Could we grow flowers here and would people want them? Turns out the answer is yes, yes AND YES!

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And so...yes our nest is empty, but our lives are full and we're living our REAL dream on acreage in Missouri, growing flowers for Kansas City, St. Joseph and the surrounding areas.

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Our dream changed, but our love for each other has only grown. Yes, we're the mushy couple that holds hands when we walk, kisses in public and are each other's best friends. We say every day and to everyone that we're so blessed to have met each other and are loving our life here at Sunrise Hill Flower Farm. 

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