YOLO COUNTY, Calif. — In Yolo County, you'll find a quaint farm filled with...free flowers!
Mezger's Zinnia Patch is a flower field just off Interstate 5, outside the little community of Yolo. The parking is free, the water is free, even the flower vases are free. It’s a tradition Woodland native Mark Mezger has been growing for nearly a decade.
"We are open sunrise to sunset," Mezger said. "There is no gate and it's completely free."
Mezger insists these truly are free flowers, but there is one stipulation.
"If you pick them for yourself, you have to pick them for someone else who can't pick them for themselves," says Mezger.
The story behind the zinnia patch started eight years ago.The Mezger family was cleaning up after a party they threw and instead of throwing the flower arrangements away, they gave them to a senior living home.
"The response from the rest home was just great," says Mezger.
The Woodland farmer figured he could put a lot more smiles on people's faces if he grew the flowers himself, then got others to help pick and distribute them.
The idea worked.
Volunteers now deliver Mezger's flowers to senior living homes all over the county and visitors frequently leave used vases at the zinnia patch for those who need them.
Getting to the flowers is easy. The address is 12410 County Road 99W, north of Yolo. The flowers are in season from July to September.
Zinnias are unique, the more flowers you cut, the more they will grow back. The patch is the ultimate form of paying it forward.
Continue the conversation with John on Facebook.