By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
On Christie Road, off Route 29, lie 500 acres, deeded to the McNaughton family in 1763. Erin Luciani and her husband purchased 84 acres of it six years ago, with a plan for Erin to grow flowers from March through October and spend winters with her husband Philip, a Navy fighter pilot, wherever he was deployed. After his retirement, they would build a home on the land.
One night, while poring through historic records that a neighbor brought over, Erin Luciani discovered the land they had acquired was Lot 32. In that moment, she knew the name of her farm: Lot 32.
Lot 32 is the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s newest vendor. Luciani joined the Saturday market in July, after a year of selling flowers at farmers’ markets in Greenwich, Cambridge, and Fort Edwards. She offers cut flowers and pre-arranged bouquets. Stop by her stall on the south lawn and pick out blooms you like. Luciani will arrange them, or give you tips on doing it yourself. The bouquets will stay fresh for a week if you change the water daily and make fresh cuts to the stems.
The freshness of the bouquets is about the freshness of the flowers. Luciani grows all of her bouquet ingredients on an acre outdoors. She starts seeding in March with heat mats and grow lights, and transplants in May. Her busiest seasons are summers and falls when she works 14-hour days, doing four farmers markets as well as weddings and other events.
“It’s a working farm,” she says. “Pretty because there’s flowers, but not glamorous.”
And on a rainy morning, she adds, “muck boots are not a horrible idea.”
Most of her flowers are annuals, planted close together to encourage the growth of tall stems. Many are flowering herbs, vegetables and grains, such as clary sage, millet, kale and basil.
Luciani grew up in Los Angeles and taught math and science for 14 years. Her husband grew up in Washington County. On a family visit in the winter, fell in love with the area’s beauty.
“I love having four seasons,” she says. “It creates a rhythm for flowers, for life overall.”
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at High Rock Park through October 31. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the FreshFoodNY app. For volunteer opportunities, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.