The calendar announced that it is officially spring last week, yet looking outside at the lingering piles of snow and ice, it is sometimes hard to believe. Spring certainly takes its sweet time in the North and you sometimes have to know where to look to find it. Here on the farm, we have jumped into full spring swing and are surrounded by the hope of a snowless spring to come.
Seed sowing began in February and is ramping up as the days pass. We nestled the first trays of seedlings under lights inside, and when we outgrew that cramped space, we fired up the heater in the hoop house. Benches are now brimming with trays and trays of seedlings.
There are a handful of plants that we don't start from seed, and instead buy young plants that arrive by mail. Lisianthus, mums, scented geranium, and succulents fall into that category. A beautiful array of succulents arrived this week and it was so much fun potting them up and imagining all the bouquets, boutonnieres, and arrangements they would grace this season.
Thousands of tulips sprung up in early March and continue to stretch upwards with the bright warm sun. Several times a day I circle around them, checking to make sure each variety has made it up and there are no signs of critter munching. Last year we had an army of mice move in and chew on the stems. After a few weeks of trapping, the situation was under control. This year, I'm ready!
Spring is also the time for propagation, and we have been busy getting new willow, currant, and succulents going. Stem and leaf cuttings will never cease to amaze me -- pop a stem in the soil and a whole new plant is born, so cool!
photo by JMEG Photography
Wedding photographer pictures take so long to process and it is usually months before I am able to see any. But the wait is certainly worth it! It has been such fun to receive a bunch of 2017 wedding photos in the past few months. Wedding planning for 2018 is in full swing -- lots of emails back and forth, phone calls, cost estimates, and general dreaming about all the color and beauty that will frame the celebration of love for these couples.
Whatever version of spring you are experiencing, we wish you a Happy Spring!
I once read that entrepreneurship is an exploration of self, of manifesting personal change in the form of creative projects, for all the world to see. One of those creative projects that has sprung out of this flower farming adventure is our on-farm workshop series. Flowers have a way of begging, even demanding, to be shared and it is from this origin that our workshop series was born.
As 2017 comes to a close and we reflect upon a bustling farm season, there are lists and lists of things to improve upon, things to change, things to keep just as they are, and then there are things that fall under the category of "TBD, a work in progress, and yet to be figured out." Farming with Children ranks as #1 in this special category for 2017.
We wrapped up our 2017 wedding season this past weekend, and my heart is full as I reflect upon the many couples that invited me into their lives for this amazing milestone. From the small and intimate woodsy ceremonies, to the larger events bustling with family and friends, our flowers graced the hands and tables of 20 weddings this season.
The end of the growing season is always a busy time on the farm, as we hustle to savor the last bits of summer, begin fall clean-up, and look ahead to planning for next season. Cooler temperatures and shortened day length slowly turn the once vibrant flower fields to a patchwork of brown and bright color as plants do their best to hang on despite the inevitable frost.
Last week we hosted a Flower Photography Workshop here on the farm. What a great way to spend a summer evening! Everyone had so much fun, learning some new skills, meeting fellow photography friends, and spending time in the flower fields. We were honored to have Karen Brennan of Artful Eye Photography teach the class - she is an amazing photographer with a wealth of information to share.
As July winds to a close this week, we find ourselves firmly planted in the long awaited season of harvest. All those months of planning, seeding, planting, watering, and anticipating have made way for the harvest. Cutting, cutting, and more cutting.....
A few weeks ago, we hosted our first Field to Vase workshop on the farm. We had so much fun with this awesome bunch of ladies (and one 7 year old gentleman)! Just look at all those smiles with their masterpieces!
As we near the summer solstice and officially welcome our long-awaited friend, Summer, we say good-bye to our spring blooms for another year. While we may not have enjoyed the cool wet spring this year, the spring beauties growing in the hoop house loved it. Cool temperatures and grey skies made for amazingly long stems and lush blooms of ranunculus, anemone, and stock.
We marked the beginning of our wedding season a few weeks ago as we made our first bouquet of spring blooms, buds, and greens. Being asked to participate in such a large milestone in a couple's lives is truly an honor and a humbling experience. As I cut, collect, and assemble the elements for a wedding, my mind and heart is tuned to these turning moments in life, over and over again.