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April (Szuch) Vomfell '03

English major cultivates a blooming business

When you live a life of curiosity that keeps you learning, you're tending what Professor of English Leonard Oakland refers to as your "cosmic reading list." April (Szuch) Vomfell '03 often remembers Oakland's insight as she harvests dahlias, snapdragons and dozens of other regional and organically grown blooms for her thriving flower farming business.

Flathead Farmworks grew from the quarter-acre garden that Vomfell and her husband, a landscape architect, had plotted next to their home in Kalispell, Mont. They developed the plot into an urban farm, and in 2015 they began selling vegetables and herbs to local restaurants while maintaining their day jobs. Vomfell, who also enjoyed growing flowers, dedicated a small plot to local varieties for cut arrangements. "The demand for local flowers was apparent almost immediately," she says, citing the popularity of the scenic area for weddings.

April Vomfell

By 2019, Vomfell quit her job as a marketing specialist to grow and sell flowers full time. "As someone who is creative yet also organized and scientific, growing flowers and designing with them has been a fulfilling combination for me," she says.

Vomfell's Whitworth English degree and her subsequent careers laid the groundwork for her current entrepreneurship. "I feel lucky to have gained a wide range of skills working in publishing, government, healthcare, libraries and marketing," she says. "I enjoy the business side of urban farming more than I expected – maybe because planning, writing, technology and marketing are familiar skills." New seasons bring Vomfell new experiments at the farm and abundant learning opportunities among the cosmos.

This story appears in the Spring 2021 issue of Whitworth Today magazine.

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