Flower farm survives historic winter, pandemic

NORFOLK, Neb. - Despite a complicated year, a flower farm manages to survive one of the worst winters in state history, and the pandemic.

"As a small business, yes we were very fortunate," said Lori Petsche, owner of Simpler Thymes. "Both that we were chosen to be on the passport and that we're an outside activity."

Even as the pandemic eases with the vaccine rollout, 34 percent of small businesses are still closed across the nation, according to the World Economic Forum. 

Luckily for Petsche, her flower farm lives on.

"Last year we were on the Nebraska Passport," said Petsche. "We had close to 2,900 people come through 

This year, parts of the state endured record snowfall and low temperatures dropping into the negative 20s.

"With it as cold as it was still into May, it kind of put me back a little bit," said Petsche. "We've covered the rows with plastic to help keep them warm."

She is preparing to open for the season in June. 

"Everybody's always excited for fresh flowers in the spring and we really are not ready until usually the end of June."