Alaska Perfect Peony started growing peony for the cut flower market in 2006. Our family arrived in Alaska in 1966. In 1968 we purchased our first 14 acres at the End of The Road and fixed up the existing abandoned log cabin originally built in 1947. With no running water or electricity it was a bit of a challenge with 4 little ones but the memories are good. We were able to get electricity before the year was out but for 5 years we learned how to melt snow, find at least 3 uses for every drop of water and we chopped a lot of ice from Fritz Creek hauling tanks of water pumped from the creek back to the cabin.
Our farm now consists of approximately 27 acres as we have purchased the surrounding properties over the years. In 1996 we opened Fritz Creek Gardens, a retail garden center that specialized in over 500 varieties of Alaska Hardy® perennials, trees, shrubs, roses and vines. As the peony fields matured and expanded we decided to concentrate solely on the peony business and sold the nursery to Danny Stanislaw, owner of Dutch Boy Landscaping.
Rita Jo traveled to New Zealand twice and worked there to learn the growing and harvesting aspects of the peony cut flower business. Since that time, she has traveled widely studying growing, harvesting, packing and marketing techniques.
My Husband Leroy and I were very pleased when our Son, Shannon, who lives next door to the farm, decided to take an interest in the peony production. Up to that point, Leroy and I thought of the peony portion of our operations as our late retirement buffer and only planted out 3,500 tubers. When Shannon came on board we changed our prospective completely. We have about 15,000 tubers in the ground now and with the neighboring farms bringing in their peonies, we have a very large number of stems to offer our customers.
Leroy and Shannon owned and operated Shoultz and Son Construction for 40 years and Leroy comes from a
farming family. These talents are now being used to build pack houses, irrigation systems and clearing
and preparing new fields.
Rita Jo has a background in Commercial Real Estate Development with 30 years of retail marketing experience.
Rita Jo in her gardens.
Alaska Perfect Peony
55640 East End Road
Fritz Creek, AK 99603
Phone: (907) 235-8116
Cell: (907) 299-0261
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