Blackbird Farm began in 2007 when Kristine Albrecht planned to reclaim a half acre on the east side of Santa Cruz. The weed-choked plot had been fallow for several years. Kristine planned a diverse dahlia garden and planted over 1,000 tubers.
Today, she is president of the Monterey Bay Dahlia Society and travels with her blooms to local and national dahlia shows. In 2014 she won the best small bloom at the National show as well as winning both the Derrill Hart Award and the Lynn P. Dudley award for her own cultivar, KA's Cloud. In 2012 & 2016 Kristine was awarded the trophy for the largest dahlia shown in the U.S.
Locally you can see many of her blooms at the Santa Cruz County Fair each September and at the Monterey Bay Dahlia Show. This year's local show will be held at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz, August 25th and 26th, 2018.
Jan Palia and Iris Wallace
Blackbird Farm would not be what it is today without the help of my dear friends and farmers Jan Palia and Iris Wallace.
Jan lends her artistic eye and talents to most of Blackbird Farm's arrangements and bouquets. They are absolutely beautiful. Besides arranging for the farm, her breathtaking arrangements win awards each year at both the local and bay area dahlia shows. In her own garden, Jan grows the smallest of the dahlias, the mignon singles.
Iris Wallace (our unofficial farm CEO) brings to the farm her wonderful organizational skills. She is instrumental in keeping our farm on track when we plant, label and store our dahlias. She is our spreadsheet queen! Iris' own dahlia garden is one of the best in Santa Cruz where she grows organic award winning dahlias each year.
Jan with her arrangement of KA's Cloud.
Kristine Albrecht staging her blooms at a show.
Kristine and Iris.
Jan at the farm.