Backyard orchid hobby blooms into beautiful business during pandemic

Spring has sprung and many people are starting to spruce up their yards with beautiful plants. You might not think to start your search for orchids in the heart downtown St. Petersburg, but one unique farm may change your mind.

The St. Pete Orchid Farm is a small, family-owned urban farm full of orchids in all stages of growth, from seedlings to full-size plants. They also grow a variety of orchid-compatible plants and other unusual tropicals. 

The farm is actually two partners’ backyard. Doug and Mike turned their passion for orchids into an amazing unique business. 

Michael Brinkman says they fell in love with orchids because of the beauty and variety among the species.

He suspects that orchids have become so popular with Floridians due to the fact that they are very easy to grow in our tropical environment.

"It’s something that, once you get into the hobby of it, there’s no end to what you can grow," he offered.

The business helped Mike, a sidelined bartender, stay afloat through the pandemic. Business got even better as the state began to reopen, and now they want to continue to welcome people to their backyard farm.

"It’s kind of our hobby that we like to share with people. It’s constantly evolving as things change and grow," he added.

The St. Pete Orchid Farm has a monthly open house and sale that runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month. They are also open by appointment only. 

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