Jude Crawford, Zannah Farms

Jude Crawford, Zannah Farms

Roadside farm stands were once a more common sight in Sonoma County, inviting passerby to stop in and shop for farm-fresh products amid the fields in which they were grown. It fosters a stronger connection between farmer and consumer, and a deeper appreciation for the love and labor that goes into agriculture. When Zannah Farms opened their flower farm in 2021 on Occidental Road near the Laguna de Santa Rosa, all eyes were drawn not only to the abundant and colorful flower fields but also to the charming farm stand combining rustic and elegant touches. Open sunup to sundown, all year round, with peak season spanning from April to November, Zannah Farms is run by farmer Jude Crawford and her dedicated team. Offering fresh-cut bouquets, flower subscriptions, wedding and special event florals, and special experiences, Zannah Farms is part of a new wave of high-quality, sustainable flower farming making its mark on Sonoma County. In this Member Spotlight, we chat with Jude to discover the beauty and principles of Zannah Farms.

5885 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa | zannahfarms.com | Member since 2022

How did you get interested in farming/start your business?

I come from a farming community with an agriculture background and was considering a second chapter for my life. My partner and I were super interested in farming of some type so we took a sustainable ag class at the Santa Rosa Junior College. After considering all types of things we could grow, we landed on flowers, which align to creativity, community, and connection as an expression of our values.

What do you grow?

Farm-fresh flowers such as 20 different types of sunflowers, amaranth, zinnias, nigella, ranunculus, roses, anemone, lavender, marigolds, delphinium, scabiosa, dahlias, statice, strawflower, lisianthus, pumpkins, celosia, daffodils, lupine, foxglove, snapdragons, and more!

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

Seeing the magic of the growth process and getting to experience the day to day of seeding to blooming. Also, the creative, community, and connection of our farm stand that is open year-round It’s so fun to be able to offer something so beautiful to the community. We offer floral arrangements, DIY buckets for special events, and farm-to-event florals for local weddings and special occasions. It’s really rewarding being able to add to the aesthetic of local gatherings.

What do you value about being a member of Farm Trails?

The integration into the Sonoma County farming community and sharing the value of farming within the agritourism industry.

What are your hopes for the future of your business and/or Sonoma County ag?

My hope is that the community will choose to buy flowers locally for their daily and special event needs, as opposed to buying flowers offered by mainstream stores that get their flowers from very remote locations that don’t use sustainable farming practices. We commit to the sustainability of the land organic practices, and selling locally.

What advice would you give to a new farmer?

Identify your market and sales channel prior to planting. Make sure you have a solid business plan and a three-year runway to be profitable. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to work with the land and also be able to contribute to the community in such a special way.