Petal Pushers

Keep an eye out for monthly blog posts featuring vendors from the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmer’s Market, written by Market Manager Julianna Lisuk.

Farmer’s Market season has arrived in Northern Michigan! The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmer’s Market began on May 2 with an idyllic Saturday of fresh food and flowers. Customers showed up with their baskets and bags eager to get their hands on the first local produce of the season. Alongside the meat, cheese, bread, and produce vendors were locally grown flower stands overflowing with stunning arrangements, bringing much needed color and life after a cold winter. We recently visited one of our vendors, Petal Pushers, to get a look at where all their beautiful hanging baskets and vegetable plants are grown.

IMG_8322Petal Pushers consists of five 95 ft. long greenhouses located on ten acres of lush farmland. Rick and Colleen Ankerson have lived in their farmhouse for 23 years. They originally grew sweet corn, but had the opportunity to start growing flowers thirteen years ago when they noticed a couple greenhouses for sale at The Children’s House. After purchasing the greenhouses and growing flowers for a few years, Petal Pushers started attending the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market.

“It’s a great way to advertise and connect with community members who can also visit the greenhouses for more choices,” says Rick.

Walking through the Petal Pusher’s greenhouses feels as though you’ve been transported to a tropical oasis. Colors, shapes, and textures of all kinds fill up every square foot. Many of the flowers were started from plugs and seeds back in February, when most of the community is convinced spring will never arrive. Two greenhouses are heated by woodstoves and must be kept stoked throughout the night. It is this dedication that allows Rick and Colleen to take care of the 10,000 plants they estimate currently reside in the greenhouses.

IMG_8299Colleen says her favorite parts of running Petal Pushers are putting the flower baskets together and being able to walk into the warm greenhouses on a cold day and instantly feel like it is Spring. Whether you are looking for a gift for a friend, a hanging basket to spruce up your own home, or vegetable starts for your garden—Petal Pushers has what you need!

Petal Pushers is located at 6277 Herkner Rd. in Traverse City. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 10-6 and Sundays 10-4. You can also find their beautiful arrangements and vegetable starts at the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market.

Find the listing and more information for Petal Pushers at

Juliana Lisuk wears many hats working at SEEDS. She is a food educator for their after-school programs, VISTA Americorps Leader, oversees the SEEDS Farm at the Historical Barns Property, and is the market manager for the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmer’s Market. She loves being involved in numerous parts of the local food system! Connect with her through email: [email protected]