Vendor Profile: Wild Fox & Flower
Written By Pam Turos
Photography By Breanna Kulkin
Urban farmer. Artist. World traveler.
These are just a few of the titles worn by Meghan Wingenfield, the powerhouse entrepreneur behind Wild Fox & Flower, whose enchanted gardens are surprisingly close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Cleveland, just 10 miles southeast of Public Square. A northeast Ohio native, she has lived all over the United States, but returned home five years ago on a mission to spread joy throughout the region – one fresh, colorful wildflower at a time.
Most of the plants you’ll see at her farmer’s market stand began as seeds in the greenhouse of The Canal Corners Farm & Market, where Wingenfield’s family has deep roots as part of the Countryside Conservancy, a collaborative partnership thatfacilitateslong-termland lease agreements between sustainable farmers and the Cuyahoga Valley National Parks.
This is the first summer Wild Fox & Flower has set up shop at Night Market Cleveland, but you won’t have any trouble recognizing Wingenfield in her signature sundress and boots, surrounded by sunflowers, xenia, cosmos, snapdragons and more – all sustainably grown and recently harvested. “I’ve been to Night Markets in Asia and they’re wild! It’s something I’ve always wanted to experience again,” she says.
“Because of the exciting fast- paced nature of a Night Market, I’ll be selling quick take away items. Bouquets, bud vases you can fill with a few stems, and some arrangements. Nothing too big. “ Don’t be surprised if there are few lettuce leaves or herbs mixed into your fresh cut bouquet. Wingenfeld likes to mix it up, bringing a dose of eclectic flair into everything she designs. Shoppers can also try their hand at making custom wildflower arrangements by stepping up to the Wild Fox & Flower bouquet bar.
When working with wildflowers, Wingenfield recommends focusing on the color palette or shapes, textures and the overall style of the bouquet – instead of any specific flower – because there are no guarantees when it comes to the Northeast Ohio growing season! This is also the same advice she gives to brides who are increasingly eager to support the local economy on their big day by using farm-fresh flowers.
While she won’t promise 100 perfectly tinted (think chemically processed) roses for each of your bridesmaids, this farmer-florist does guarantee that every arrangement is an ethically grown, one-of-a-kind creation. Friends affectionately call her the “Mother of Flowers” and if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Meghan Wingenfeld has found her calling.
She planted her first garden when she was in third grade, grew up, went off to college and traveled the world – before coming back to rejoin the family business. After participating in the Bad Girl Ventures startup incubator two years ago, it was time to take her passion for pretty flowers to the next level. That was when Wild Fox & Flower became a full-service CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and year-round floral business. The concept of a floral CSA is something Meghan brought back with her after living in sunny California. It’s similar to a traditional vegetable CSA, where a group of members subscribe to shares of a local farmer’s harvest, but instead of tomatoes and beets, Wild Fox & Flower CSA members receive a weekly share of wildflowers delivered to their home, office or one of several pick-up locations. During the off-season, Wingenfield designs custom wreaths and arrangements using dried flowers and evergreens from her father’s Christmas tree farm.
A seasoned farmer’s market vendor, Meghan is looking forward to joining the uniquely urban Night Market Cleveland event, with its authentic mix of Asian culture, local artists, diverse food vendors and live music.
I love that Night Market focuses on the culture of the existing neighborhood and celebrates the families and business that have been there for generations, instead of just taking over a neighborhood with a pop-up.
When she’s not busy selling wildflower bouquets or foraging for the perfect petals, you can find Meghan making weekly CSA drop-offs or teaching aspiring floral designers at Salty Not Sweet boutique in Ohio City. From mid-June into the early Fall, she also posts her available bouquets on Facebook and Instagram (@wildfoxandflower) so you can tag and snag a bouquet for yourself or a friend. Visit her online at www.wildfoxandflower.com to learn more.