Dan Pearson has the same job today as he did at age 10 when he first sold $1 bunches of dahlias to customers who drove by the family dairy farm in Oakville, Washington. As a young boy, he demonstrated his affection for the flowers that his father Clarence planted along the edges of the vegetable garden by memorizing the names of more than 30 varieties.
By 1984, when he was 11 years old, his parents helped him establish a presence (and a loyal following) at the Olympia Farmer’s Market. “To help with the flower sales, my mother, Colleen, hand-painted a sign that simply read ‘Dan’s Dahlias,’” he recalls. Dan still sells tubers and cut flowers at the market.
By the time he was ready for college, Dan financed his education with the proceeds from his boyhood dahlia sales. He studied landscape architecture and later worked as a licensed landscape architect while also building Dan’s Dahlias. “An education is invaluable, and the degree and the landscape architecture license is an ace in my back pocket in case anything ever goes sideways with the dahlia business,” he adds.
With his wife Mieke, Dan has built the farm into an international source for dahlia tubers. He is a popular vendor at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show and San Francisco Flower & Garden Show each year and continues to sell fresh cut bouquets at the Olympia Farmers market in the fall. Twenty-five years of experience in selecting and growing dahlias has helped Dan raise gorgeous flowers that are long-lasting, have strong stems and upright heads.
Dan’s Dahlias are certified Salmon-Safe. Dan’s Dahlias are sustainably grown without the aid of chemicals or pesticides. Located in the heart of dairy farm country, this flower farm has easy access to organic fertilizer. Dahlias are relatively pest-free and Dan says he has no need to spray for insects or disease, thanks in part to his farm’s distance from other agricultural crops.