Wednesday, January 8, 2020

And That's a Wrap!

Is it just me or does the sand escape faster
and faster through the hourglass as we get older?
Oh good...I'm not alone..ha!

2019 was filled with so many treasures for the photo album.
Hubby and I were lucky to enjoy not just one, but 2 major vacations!
February had us soaking up sun from the Big Island, Hawaii.
Days were filled with guided tours, luaus, and ocean front relaxation...it was heaven!
Then from late March to mid August, I was on auto pilot from sun-up to dusk,
seven days a week.  Down time was time behind the wheel...
driving from one field to the next...
planting, nurturing, weeding, harvesting.
And, yes, I do love it, but my body went on strike!
Weekly bouquets went out to CSA members, event designers,
two small grocery stores, not to mention the 3 farmers markets
I vended at each week.
It was a killer schedule.  One that I learned from and will be
making major changes this coming season.
There were new plants trialed and a few taken off the grow list.
These dahlias were grown by good friend and fellow farmer,
Katherine from  https://www.dahliatemptations.com/
Aren't they gorgeous!
 At peak bloom (in July), I was harvesting enough
stems for 130 bouquets a week...it was pretty crazy!
Hence the mid season burn out! 
It was time for a bit of R&R
We ended up here, in the historical district of Charleston, SC
what a quaint and beautiful place!  Such friendly people...and great BBQ!

 Then it was off to Hilton Head, SC.
 A sunset dolphin cruise is a must if you're ever in the area.
Last night of our stay, we had this view from our patio...sigh...
Thankfully, I was rejuvenated and ready to
tackle the last 2 months of hard labor.

With such a crazy growing and market schedule,
I did not have time to take on wedding designs except for one small
intimate party.  But I did get to free-lance with a few stellar local designers.
This was a wonderful learning day spent with
Deneise's team from https://botanicalbox.com/
Perfect backdrop to say "I do"
The growing season finished by the end of October and I was truly ready.
A few weeks of catching up on household chores, paperwork and SLEEEEP,
I was finally able to tackle bulb planting...
so we could start this flower-filled life all over again come April!

Happy Belated New Year, friends!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Year in Review

I seriously had good intentions on keeping the blog more active this past year,
but, as you can see, it takes a lot more than good intentions, my friends.
When the record-breaking wet spring finally came to an end,
every waking moment was spent in the fields...planting, planting, planting. 
This beautiful orchard was a brand new growing space for me and the best part is
it's just 10 minutes from home...yeah!
I bought (and seeded) thousands of plants...every square inch of this plot was filled. 
Notice there's hardly any room in the pathways...a process I'm still learning!
With said weather delays, the first round of blooms were not harvested until late April,
which was 2-3 weeks behind last year's schedule.  Of course once the bulbs started blooming, it as difficult to keep up...sometimes harvesting daffs/tulips twice a day.  How fortunate I was to enter into a great partnership with a local organic grocery chain, and was able to offer their customers weekly bouquets throughout the season.  If you're local, (Hunterdon County, NJ), come find my pretties at the Basil Bandwagon stores.
It was fun trialing many new varieties of plants.
A few favorites were celosias,
Mountain Mint...
 Veronicas...
and pink sunflowers...
aren't they pretty?
Lilies are still a top favorite crop of mine. 
Succession plantings every 3 weeks (150 bulbs) provided enough
stems for farmers' markets, gorcery store bouquets and local designers. 
I plan to double the count this year.  They are super easy to grow and so beautiful!
However, they must be harvested in bud stage,
otherwise opened blooms bruise very easily...a lesson learned the hard way.

In midst of farming madness, I was honored to design wedding flowers
for two very special couples...in two very different styles.

 Farmers' markets remain a favorite outlet as I get to meet new flower lovers
every week and receive such great feedback from regular customers.
Seeing familiar faces every week was the best!  That's flower power for ya!

 End of summer's bounty!
By November, I was ready for a much needed break.
The last 4 months have been busy with on-line classes (on farming, of course),
design workshops, and some fun travels.
Now it's all about indoor seeding and getting
ready for the upcoming season.

Hope you all enjoyed the colorful photos in this post and maybe
it won't be another full year before you hear from me again!
Yours truly~Lynn

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Back to School...

...but hey, it's not September!
I'm talking about the Beginner Growers' School for flower farming newbies, like me!
As you know, I've been a gardener most of my adult life but home gardening practices are much different then gardening commercially.  Oh yes!
The 2-day event attracted many young (and old..me!) farmers from all over the U.S.  We had a wonderful meet and greet reception and it was fun to put faces to names I'd gotten to know via social media in the last year.  It was especially fun to see which of these tags someone chose to highlight his/her personality.  Of course mine read 'party animal'...haha!  
 A floral demonstration came next and wait 'til you see the finale!
Sue from passionflowerevents.com wowed us with her very unique
design style and choice of materials.  
 Each new bloom variety she introduced brought oohs and aahs from my lips. 
And, she made the process look effortless!
   Isn't that just STUNNING!
Another favorite demonstration was this wrist corsage.
Our second day of school included a roll call of amazing speakers.
These are the pros in the biz who's 'been there' and 'done that',
so they truly speak from experience.

The topics ranged from seed starting to how to market your flowers.

The legalese of starting a business and pricing formulas...

...and, even bug pressure!
All in all, an amazing session.  I filled page after page with (hopefully legible) notes.
The camera came in handy too for those quick changing slides.
A huge THANK-YOU to the ASCFG (Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers),
for putting together such a great how-to program. 
I know it will save me many years of having to 'learn from my mistakes'.

I came home fully recharged and ready to start an amazing new season.
Now...if only the snow would melt!!!
IS IT SPRING YET?