FOUNTAIN — The future of the beloved Venetucci Farm in Fountain has been reimagined. Forward is as a flower farm. For now, growing pumpkins and other produce has to be in the past.
“Growing flowers is a fantastic alternative,” said Flower Farmer Nikki McComsey. Transitioning the farm to growing flowers allows McComsey to expand her young business, while also reviving the farm that has been shutdown since 2016 when contaminated water was discovered across much of the Fountain Valley. “We were left sort of asking this question of, okay, if we can’t grow produce what do we do,” said Sam Clark with the Pikes Peak Real Estate Foundation. Clark is part of the team working with the Pikes Peak Foundation to oversee the property.
For decades Nic and Bambi Venetucci invited local school kids to visit the farm and pick a pumpkin from their fields just before Halloween. The Venetucci’s had no kids and the farm transitioned to a community asset after their passing. “How do we keep the Venetucci legacy relevant after an environmental crisis that nobody expected,” said Clark. Fearing produce grown at the farm, including pumpkins, could be contaminated, it was shuttered while alternatives were considered.
“Almost everybody I talk to, they have a memory with Venetucci farm,” said McComsey. She wants to honor the farm’s legacy with a plan that also considers contamination concerns.
McComsey’s business Gather Mountain Blooms grew out of her own crisis. She suffered a major concussion and was struggling with recovery. “My husband would bring me these beautiful flowers every week and it was one of the things that brought me so much joy,” The gesture sparked interest in growing flowers. That evolved into a small flower farming business. “I started the farm in my backyard and just started selling to whoever would buy from me and I knew I wanted to expand.” The difficulty was finding agricultural land.
A lease at the Venetucci Farm makes way for McComsey to grow her business and at the same time it continues farming on the property. Flowers will be sold to florists. There will also be a once a week flower stand for the community to stop by an buy a bouquet. Along with the flower business, favorite events like the Pumpkin Festival will return. The barn will also reopen for workshops and special occasions like weddings.