Just of a bit of introduction of myself since this is my first blog for The Land Connection.
Kent Miles – Illinois Willows, a specialty cut flower grower located in western Champaign County. My professional background has always been in some form of Floriculture: floral designer, shop owner, fresh cut salesman (wholesale floral house) and cut flower grower. Growing up in a small town, I never imagined living in the country. In my youth, country folks were farmers and my high school classmates were all in the FFA. With my life now, I’m a country farmer growing flowers surrounded by corn and soybeans. I enjoy raising poultry as a hobby.
Back in 1999, I bought 5 acres of a cornfield and that was the start of the farm. I kind of had a few ideas of how I wanted to lay out the farm. Windbreaks went in the first Spring with evergreen trees from the conservation department. Over the years beds have been added for cut flower production.
We offer our product selection to floral wholesale houses in the west and midwest, mass merchandisers, farmers markets, commercial accounts, and direct to the consumer.
As the seasons change, so does the farm’s product selection. Some crops may go all Summer into Autumn. Other crops are only available for 1 – 2 weeks and then they are finished. Generally new additions are planned about 1 or 2 years out. Our basic selection in Spring runs from Allium to Tulips, Summer runs Ageratum to Sunflowers, Autumn runs Bittersweet to Lilies and Winter runs Ilex (winterberry) to Willows. Over the seasons and years, our mix changes to meet our customers’ needs as current Floriculture demands.
You can find me Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market. If you would like more information on how and where to purchase my flowers, follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You can also email me or give me a call at 217-778-8312.