On the back field of a farm on Oregon Road in Cutchogue is a soon-to-be flower farm. The two-acre plot has only about a quarter of it planted, with green leaves just barely peeking their head out from the damp earth.
This is what Cara McBride hopes to grow, literally, into a recognizable North Fork business — Sow and Grow, one part flower stand, one part flower truck.
“I’ve been growing flowers for the past five, six years,” she said. “I just love growing flowers, photographing them, and I love old trucks, so I put the two together.”
The flower stand McBride hopes to put on Oregon Road, where she grows the flowers, will have two options. A make-your-own bouquet priced out per stem used or a selection of bouquets that she has put together with a cash box or venmo for payment options. But the more iconic part of the business, the part featured on her logo, will be the old 1948 international KB5 truck she bought off Craigslist.
“I hope to be able to park the truck at wineries and breweries,” she said. There, she hopes to have a similar setup to a roadside stand where people visiting local tasting rooms can also pick up some colorful blooms from McBride. They can make their own flower bouquets from color-coordinated buckets or she can throw something together for them.
But right now, everything is at a stand still for two reasons. One, she won’t have blooms ready for another couple weeks. And two, Coronavirus restrictions have prevented her from registering the truck.
“I started planting in March in the greenhouse and that’s when [restrictions] were starting to come up,” she said. “But I don’t know, I just kept going. I’m still going to do it. I’m just not going to be able to be out there as much with the truck.”
Even without being able to launch her business in an ideal way, McBride has received a ton of support from the community, and she is not even selling flowers yet.
“I feel like it’s gonna be a pretty big hit,” she said. “Everybody is super excited about it. Because it’s going to be a couple weeks until I’m ready to sell, I had shirts made. In two days, I sold out and had to order more.”
But soon, in a few weeks, she hopes to have some flowers ready to sell. Cosmos, strawflowers, clarkia, globe amaranths, snapdragons, zinnias, sunflowers and china asters are all in the mix.
“They are so beautiful,” she said. “Watching it bud and bloom. It just makes me happy. They just make me happy.”
“And it’s a good pick-me-up for everybody,” she continued. “Especially now with everything going on.”
When McBride thinks to the future about what Sow and Grow will sprout into, all she concentrates on is what brings her joy.
“I keep telling everybody, even if I don’t do well this year or next year, I have fun doing it,” she said. “Obviously, I hope it goes well, but I don’t plan to get rich off of it. I just hope for it to be a well-known North Fork spot, like ‘let’s go to the flower truck.’”