On Wednesday, May 12, the Planning Commission approved a Special Use Permit (SUP) requested by Kimberly Urso, owner of Yellow Petal Flower Farm, for her farm located at 3255 Lone Tree Road. The 32.9-acre parcel is in an A-10 zoning district, however, Urso can now hold public events, farm-related classes, and conduct U-pick sales as an Agritourism facility. Her idea is to provide the community with events and activities that will attract people to the farm to experience the community’s agricultural lifestyle.
In general, commercial ventures are not allowed in an A-10 zoning district. However, Urso's plans for the farm can now proceed, as the current county development code allows for agritourism uses in that district via Special Use Permit.
Originally started in 2018 on a two-acre farm in Dayton, Yellow Petal has just recently moved out to Fallon. According to the website, Yellow Petal is the largest cut-flower farm in Northern Nevada, and although it is not currently open to the public, plans are to open soon. Their primary crops are the flowers, but they also grow a wide variety of tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, lettuce, herbs, beets, kale, green beans, and other produce, all using responsible and sustainable farm practices.
The farm is run by Urso, her daughter Kylie and mom, Sue. “Farming includes everyone,” said Urso. “Quick to get called for muscle and machine work, is my husband, Tom, my son Alex, and my son-in-law-to-be, TJ. We are working on training up our two youngest sons, Will and Ben. Even the smallest of the family participate with small 'jobs' and if you don't see them, you will certainly hear them, affectionately - the littles - they are our grandchildren, Jace, Kallie, and Mariah.”
According to the Planning Office Staff Report, agritourism is defined as, “Agriculture or natural resources facilities or events that support or promote the natural resources operation or natural resources industry (excluding mineral resources), including seasonal or permanent activities, events, tours, tasting rooms, etc., that are related to and on-site with the natural resources operation.” Yellow Petal fits that description, as everything offered there is grown there.
Yellow Petal is providing the Fallon Food Hub with cut flowers for the Farm Share baskets and also sells directly to florists and other retail outlets. Urso offers farm-fresh bouquets and bouquet subscriptions, U-pick flowers, farm stand sales, and the farm is planning to offer on-farm events to promote agritourism. The farm's fields are mostly planted in alfalfa with the flower fields planted closer to the farm buildings. The U-Pick events are held in the flower fields where U-pickers are given very specific instructions including recommendations for the types of clothing to wear and things to bring, which are all included on the farm website (link follows).
“I love Yellow Petal Farm,” said Kelli Kelly, director of the Fallon Food Hub. “This is four generations of women on this 15-acre property along with all their attached men-folk. This is the first time we’ve been able to offer a flower subscription through our farm-share and after delivering the bouquets yesterday, I’ve had multiple people sign up for flower subscriptions. It is quickly becoming the most coveted membership.”
There is also an Apothecary on the farm that offers various medicinal flowers in fresh or dried form, floral design and consultation services, and wedding flower designs and arrangements, all sourced from the farm to the extent possible.
More information about the farm, its offerings and opening plans, can be found on their website, https://www.yellowpetalflowerfarm.com/