This month we are thrilled to feature Russell Akiyama of Sunflower Farms, a family-owned & operated nursery & landscaping company located in Torrance, as our Neighborhood Spotlight.
We had the chance to explore Sunflower Farms and were blown away! The Nursery is set up a series of gardens creating the feel of a peaceful botanic garden except ALL THE PLANTS ARE FOR SALE. The displayed plants are not only gorgeous, but also provide examples of “plant pairings” and generate inspiration for those who are planning out their own gardens. We were also blown away by Russell who has huge plans for the Nursery!
Sunflower Farms has a rich history within the South Bay community and Russell is passionate about continuing to expand the nursery’s reach and offerings. While actively working to keep the physical nursery thriving, his vision is to bring the farm & garden into the next generation by offering a subscription garden box delivery service. He is also eager to plan community events at the garden and to continue to live up to the Sunflower Farms’ tagline: “We are in the people business where plants happen to be the catalyst.”
Lauren put together this video to provide a glimpse of the Sunflower Farms’ experience, but we absolutely suggest checking it out in person!
Read on to hear directly from Russell:
1.) What is your involvement with Sunflower Farms?
My involvement with Sunflower Farms has many layers. Like most who grew up in a small family-owned and operated business, I spent much of my youth helping out at the nursery, whether it was loading soil into a vehicle, providing guidance to a pest-related question or taking a delivery of large trees, I have been involved in many aspects. Presently, my role at Sunflower Farms is as one of its owners (the other two being my parents). We are excited as we prepare for the future and continue bringing top-notch service and selection in new and creative ways.
2.) How long has Sunflower Farms been around?
Sunflower Farms has been around since 1975, before that it was one of several nursery yards that dotted the south bay since the mid-1950s.
3.) Can you tell us about the power lines that we saw at the nursery?
The power lines that can be seen at the nursery go all the way down to PCH. They are part of Southern California Edison’s electricity transmission infrastructure that was built in the post-war era. When they were built, SCE wanted to find the right tenants and partners to occupy the space underneath as there were particular restrictions to consider. A group of young, enterprising Japanese American war veterans became the first generation of individuals to
successfully use the land to grow plants for use in nurseries and landscaping. One of these young men was named Tom (Tsutomu) Akiyama, he was my grandfather. After two generations of nursery ownership, we are now moving full-steam into the the third and couldn’t be more excited for what the future will bring.
4.) What are your future plans with Sunflower Farms? (ie. Garden Box)
There are many plans and ideas for the future of Sunflower Farms! We are currently focused in a couple areas of development that we hope to bring new life and creative passion to gardening here in the South Bay. The first is a program we are calling Garden Box. Garden Box is a subscription service we are offering that will bring the best of what we have right to your home. When you sign up with Garden Box you will receive one of our boxes complete with care instructions, small plant, soil and pot, and any additions you may need for your planting space. You will also receive a special free token of our appreciation in your box! Sign up today and start planting!
Our other main area of development has been in showcasing our gorgeous and lush grounds to people across our community. From hosting dinners to classes and meetings, we want to invite the community to Sunflower Farms to experience the serene quality of our grounds and entertain the idea of our gardens being the setting for your next event. Stay tuned, this summer is shaping up to show us how evening garden parties are coming back…
5.) What is something you would like everyone to know about Sunflower Farms?
Something I would like everyone to know about Sunflower Farms is that we are here to be your resource for your gardening needs and curiosities. One of the most amazing aspects to this world is how frequently you can be surprised and enlightened by something new. As someone who has grown up around plants I still to this day am routinely surprised and delighted by what diversity nature creates. Our awesome team here shares this passion and are always
ready to assist and support you in discovering your garden.
As an invitation and token of our appreciation, we would love to extend a
15% discount on your subscribers’ next purchase*
here at Sunflower Farms.
Please be sure to mention the Weber Accetta Promotion to redeem and enjoy your plants!
*Single use only, limit one per party, offer valid until 8/31/17