Our Team

While in the Veteran to Farmer internship program, Kate studied under Melinda O’Briant all things flowers, from growing, flower arranging, harvesting, etc.; Kate was hungry to learn all that she could about specialty cut flowers. She attended conferences, workshops and continued to sharpen her skills under Melinda’s tutelage. After completing the Veteran to Farmer program, she completed Floret Flowers online training course, a very successful flower farm in the Pacific Northwest.

She was also one of the featured flower farmers in Floret’s book, Small Farm, Big Impact, now in its second year of publication. Kate also completed the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) Heartland Farm Beginnings Course in early 2020, which helped her map out the details of her farm and build a solid business plan. Kate continues to learn the subtleties of her farm, working on improving methods to increase and grow the farm’s product lines.

She is thankful every day she is blessed to put her hands in the soil, watch God’s miracle of life emerge from a seed and live her best life following her heart. Her greatest hope is that everyone is blessed by her flowers and herbs, but more importantly, know that you have a purpose. Step out in faith, it is never too late to follow your heart and pursue your dreams.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did.”

-Mark Twain
Kate Martin
For more than 20 years Melinda has been a passionate advocate for Turner Farm’s mission of stewardship and building community. She is known on the farm for loving vegetables and flowers with equal enthusiasm. An ag school graduate of The Ohio State University, Melinda has worked in flower shops and greenhouses from Indiana to Denver to North Carolina. But her natural talents as an educator led her to teaching horticulture classes to university students at Vincennes University, the oldest higher education institution in Indiana.

After returning to her home state Melinda taught horticulture to vocational high school students. When that job was combined with a another and Melinda found herself back on the job market, she took a chance on a handwritten flier she found at a greenhouse tradeshow in Cincinnati. The handwriting was that of Bonnie Mitsui, Turner Farm’s founder, and Melinda soon found herself growing vegetables as part of Bonnie’s small garden team.

As the farm grew, Melinda was promoted to garden production manager before being offered the opportunity to return to teaching. As the farm’s Director of Adult Education, Melinda brings a lifetime of practical growing experience to her classes, which are aimed at members of the local community who are interested in learning more about the basics of gardening and Turner Farm’s seasonal apprentices. Melinda also handles all of Turner Farm’s flower business, including our popular flower CSA.
Amy recalls taking an aptitude test in middle school and scored highest in agricultural careers, which at the time, she recalls, rolling her eyes. Instead, she pursued fine arts in college, which has helped her with flower bed design. Amy and her husband married in 2000. After they bought their first home, she remembers having a strong desire to grow plants to beautify their new home.

Since then, Amy spends as much time as she can in her working in her yard and flower beds. For the past three years, Amy has worked for The Rose Doctor. The more time she spends in the gardens, the greater her desire has grown to build her own flower business.

Amy joins us as a two-year intern where she hopes to gain the experience and expertise on starting her own flower farm. Amy is excited to join the Arise & Shine Gardens family and we are grateful to have her.
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