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Food Influencer Holly Haines Grows Insta-worthy Edible Flowers

How self-described "recipe developer" found solace at Rio del Rey bean farm
Ariana Drehsler

By Seth Combs

Holly Haines - Rio Del Rey

One of the edible flowers that Holly Haines grows at Rio Del Rey

Ariana Drehsler

With three cookbooks under her belt, 50,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok, and too many TV appearances to list here (Food Fighters and MasterChef, to name a few), it’s safe to say Holly Haines is busy these days. Still, the local food influencer and self-described “food bully” and “recipe developer” needed some solace in her life.

She found it at Rio del Rey, a local heirloom bean farm on the banks of the San Luis Rey River in Valley Center. What began with a fermentation class at the farm soon sprouted into a friendship and, eventually, she “passive-aggressively nudged” the farm owners into giving her a plot where she now grows rare edible flowers. Her recent flower tostada recipe went viral on TikTok, and while she says that “73 percent” of the reason she began growing edible flowers was to make her tacos look Insta-worthy (“My camera eats first,” she likes to say), her experience in farming has her feeling altruistic about the future.

“My new life goal is to have a place where people, specifically Black women, can come and start something from a seed. Watch it grow. I literally sit in the middle of my edible flowers and just listen to the bees.”

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