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The dahlias dance with color. Bushy blooms in purples, oranges, pinks, and reds exude a kind of warmth.

Sometimes I just stare at hundreds at a time, soaking in the wonder of nature, waiting for that feeling to direct me to the beautiful bunch I’m taking home. Dahlias, distant cousins of sunflowers, are disarming. Your worries and rage alike kinda fall away for a bit when you see them.

Flowers weren’t always my love language. But during the first wave of the pandemic, when the isolation was depressing and society was even sadder, having a vase filled with color kept me calm. It became a kiss of life on days without hugs or even a hello.

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And in Upton, tucked away on a winding road, is 38 acres of fields and thousands of flowers in a woodsy kinda wonderland: Fivefork Farms.

Conceived by the youngest of five siblings, Grace Lam, the farm has been in business harvesting flowers since 2013. The family offers a CSA flower share that often sells out as soon as the list opens. They ship tubers nationally. And they have almost 60,000 followers on Instagram.

Grace Lam, who founded Fivefork Farms, a flower farm owned by five siblings, posed for a portrait inside one of the greenhouses on the farm.
Grace Lam, who founded Fivefork Farms, a flower farm owned by five siblings, posed for a portrait inside one of the greenhouses on the farm. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

For as long as they’ve been growing, they sold at farmers’ markets, but when the coronavirus changed our lives, flowers weren’t deemed essential and Fivefork had nowhere to sell.

So last year, they opened to the public on the weekends, selling dahlias, peonies, and other flowers, depending on the season. There’s even a walking trail that allows you to see a bit of the agriculture free of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. It is a happy place.

For me, that 45-minute drive with one of my best friends by my side became a tiny respite. A break from the city, from the sadness, from the millions of ways I overthink it all.

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“What I like about Fivefork Farms is that I know I am supporting a local family business,” said Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, who often makes the drive from Quincy to Upton. “The dad is always so cheerful and friendly and when I buy my flowers from them I feel like I am making a small investment in an old family friend.”

For as pretty as the petals are, the Lam family put a lot of pivots and dedicated endless hours into farming the land. This was Grace’s dream. She was working on Wall Street, for J.P. Morgan, a clutch position to be in for some people. But Grace was spending every hour off the clock with her nose in farming blogs, not finance news. She couldn’t quit her job.

Charlotte Law, 4, of Wellesley, rolled a basket of flowers behind her after she and her family stopped at the Fivefork Farms farm stand to buy dahlias.
Charlotte Law, 4, of Wellesley, rolled a basket of flowers behind her after she and her family stopped at the Fivefork Farms farm stand to buy dahlias.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

And then she got laid off, the permission she didn’t know she needed to pursue her passion. She returned to New England and in 2012, she found a job on a farm. Soon after, she expanded her mom’s garden, planting a couple hundred dahlias and started selling them. In 2013, the family bought the farm, becoming stewards of land that was preserved through an agricultural conservation provision.

Where did this need to harvest come from?

“Growing up in Randolph, my mom had this huge garden. We were always getting in trouble because we would play soccer in the backyard and break my mom’s flowers,” said Grace, 35. “We would be really scared when we broke them and go find Scotch tape and try to put her stems back together.”

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Grace Lam (right) adjusted the tent at the outdoor farm stand as Wendy Keng added bouquets of flowers to the offerings available at Fivefork Farms.
Grace Lam (right) adjusted the tent at the outdoor farm stand as Wendy Keng added bouquets of flowers to the offerings available at Fivefork Farms. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Her brother Lyh-Hsin Lam, who works the land with her full-time, said it wasn’t a shock when Grace told the family she wanted to start a farm.

“Grace was always my mom’s right hand in the garden. She was at home out there with my mom and my grandma,” said Lyh-Hsin, 36. “But to go from Wall Street and transition into farming? Something about our family, our parents, coming over with nothing and growing something, we have that. And you just have to legitimately be a little crazy or certainly naive, and I say this nine seasons in, to launch a farm.”

But here they are. Grace and Lyh-Hsin anchor the business. Everyone else lends a hand, too. Their dad, Daniel, helps keep the finances in check and is a customer service king. Their mother, Helen, has the kind of green thumb that heals plants. And though the other three siblings — Joyce, Ping, and Lyh-Rhen — have their own careers, they all consistently put in work on the farm.

A bouquet of dahlias were available at the farm stand at Fivefork Farms.
A bouquet of dahlias were available at the farm stand at Fivefork Farms. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

In addition to the family, Fivefork features a staff of about four full-time workers and three part-timers. Even the cats, Sushi and Coco, greet fans. And for better or worse, it’s a family affair.

“We have probably had the biggest fights and arguments of our lives farming,” Lyh-Hsin said. “But we have also experienced our biggest victories together. To go from empty fields to thousands of loyal customers, to see all of our different personalities and strengths work together, it couldn’t happen without all of us plus so many amazing friends who are now family.”

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Like Wendy Keng, who won’t fully accept that Grace calls her chief of operations. When frost came early last year, when navigating the wet season or helping get tubers out, Keng is there to support when she’s not working at Harvard in career services.

“I started helping because it is a refuge for me, too,” Keng said. “This family is special not just because they support one another through the highs and lows of running a small family business, or because the farm grows gorgeous flowers. What makes them stand out is the incredible hospitality and warmth they extend to people around them.”

Wendy Keng adjusted a dahlia on the flower arch at Fivefork Farms.
Wendy Keng adjusted a dahlia on the flower arch at Fivefork Farms. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Sometimes this means a meal or a small kindness. Other times it means making room for a cause. Last month, Fivefork raised over $10,000 for Flats Mentor Farm flood relief. Flats supports immigrant and refugee farmers. In America, about 5 percent of farmers are farmers of color.

“There isn’t much diversity in farm ownership,” said Grace, who was recently named one of Worcester Business Journal’s 40 under Forty. “As Asian people, we knew we would have to work hard, harder to be successful and that was in the back of my mind. There are no minority farmers in my group of friends. And we have privilege, there was the privilege of being able to buy the land. I knew it was going to work but we were going to have to work hard.”

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And give back.

Dahlias grew inside the greenhouse at Fivefork Farms.
Dahlias grew inside the greenhouse at Fivefork Farms. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

“Learning about how the number of Black-owned farms has plummeted, how Black farmers were dispossessed of their legally owned land, these are things they don’t teach in school,” Lyh-Hsin said. “We didn’t start farming with a social justice mission in mind, but flower farming has helped us find our voice. Growing up, my parents they didn’t push us but there was always this underlying thing that hopefully we would find an occupation where we were serving others. And in our own strange way we are.”

Flowers are an affirmation, at least to me. And in ways maybe a little too poetic, they are tiny mirrors of us messy humans.

We have these stunning stems cut from their roots, yet with love and light and attention, they bloom in new environments. And their short lives remind us not to take them for granted. We are grateful for each day they dance toward the sun. Blooming for as long as they can, as beautifully as they can, leaves hugging the air.

Fivefork Farms, 153 North St., Upton. Open this weekend 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Sunday are self serve. Saturday is full serve.

A field of dahlias blooms in front of one of the greenhouses at Fivefork Farms.
A field of dahlias blooms in front of one of the greenhouses at Fivefork Farms. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at jenee.osterheldt@globe.com and on Twitter @sincerelyjenee.