An Eventful Spring 5/10/24

An Eventful Spring 5/10/24

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on

Happy Friday y’all.

   It’s been a full and interesting week out here.  Mother’s day bouquet harvest, making, packing, and shipping is always enough to fill our plates, but this year we had 200 mum plant orders to add to it and a couple of crazy storms come through and throw a few wrenches in the gears.  

There was talk of a hail storm on Monday, but we have a tiny microclimate where hailstorms historically never affect us.  Neighboring farms have reported hail multiple times over the years, but we’re always spared despite being 10 minutes away from those farms.

We decided not to worry about it and after the crew left, Mandy hopped in the van to go into town and get supplies.  5 minutes outta the gate, she got word from Sarah that hail was dumping hard and coming our way!  Thousands of baby mum plants, sunning and breathing happily on tables outside, had no idea they were about to be destroyed by tiny icy projectiles.  Hundreds of eager customers were about to be let down if the ice had it’s way.  Mandy flipped a U turn, called me and with no time to move so many trays of plants to shelter, I sprinted to the barn and grabbed large sheets of greenhouse plastic and tarps hoping they weren’t sheltering any copperhead snakes.  Dragging heavy plastic at a half run, Mandy pulled in to meet me just in time and we began to frantically cover everything as the first tiny ice bits began to fall.  Literally within seconds of covering the last of about 15 long tables of plants, a flurry of one inch hail started pelting us and with the plants protected, we took shelter.  Mandy ran to the van and I ran to the house.  It was so loud pounding on our tin roof and I can only imagine how loud it was for her trapped in a hot and humid van getting pummeled by ice cubes.

The tarping worked.  Damage prevented.  Crisis averted.

   On Wednesday, we had about 200 boxes of mother’s day flowers being shipped as well as 200 boxes of plants. Day over, crew gone, Fedex overwhelmed.  We had 2 Fedex trucks arrive late Wednesday eve with barely any time to spare and Mandy and I raced like crazy to get 400 boxes carefully loaded into the pair of them.  When they finally got on their way, we had to sit in the walk in cooler for 15 minutes to stop the sweating and calm the heart rate.  We finished harvests, answered emails, prepped the farm store for the following morning and finally went to bed. 

BOOM, BOOOM, BOOM!!! Jolted upright out of a dead sleep to the eerie experience of absolutely no rain, yet constant booming lightning and thunder.  By constant, I mean constant.  Not one strike every minute, but closer to every 3 seconds.  We moved to the center of the house for safety (she’s been struck by lightning and I’ve been electrocuted by a downed power line, so we’re unpleasantly familiar and respectful) and immediately all I could think about was the mother’s day bouquets in transit.  Stress.  Hail falls again.  Then 2-3 inches of rain in the course of an hour.  Power is out.  We have lots of work and many more bouquets to prep and ship.

   The day is intense and full.  We have to close the farm store.  There are 4 walk in coolers, automated misting systems for thousands of baby plants, 2 wells to provide water for flowers and plants, 6 freezers for icepacks and fruit storage, fans to keep plants healthy, lights needed to work under on a dark stormy day, and labeling machines that need to connect to shipping software to print hundreds of labels.  We’re doing everything we can to take care of all the orders meant to convey love and appreciation to all the mother’s out there.

I’m out in the rain dragging a huge generator out of storage and shutting down the grid connection, cutting off what I can to minimize draw, and finally getting the beast started.  I throw a few plastic tables on top of it to protect the electrical from rain water.  It can barely power what needs powering.  I spend the rest of the day running from one project to the next, trying to get critical power to everything that needs it, but breakers keep tripping.  We scrape by, but have no extra time or resources to do flowers for, or give power to the farm store and had to close it for the day (sorry for the inconvenience if you missed our email/IG/FB post and tried to come by).

Fortunately, we got all orders filled, packed, and shipped out at almost 6 p.m. last night and then went back to harvesting more flowers and answering emails.  Mandy was out until dark last night harvesting flowers to fill up the farm store for our local customers, so there will be lots of beauty available for you to pick up for your mother today and tomorrow. 

We will have the hand wrapped bundles like normal and they’ll be in little baggies of water for you to protect them while on the road.  All the handmade vases (by Mandy’s lovely and talented mom Linda Rovolis) in the store will also be filled with flowers.  If you buy the vase, you can have the flowers that are in it as well.

It’s been a looong Spring (It starts in October for us) and we are grateful to be passing our last major seasonal landmark.  Our crew has poured their hearts and energies into providing the best flowers and plants possible to our customers and we are extremely grateful to have a team that cares so much.  We are incredibly fortunate in many ways.  We’ll be ending their work week a little early this afternoon and treating everyone to tacos, beers, bocce ball, and music to say thanks for being so wonderful.  If you’re at the farm store and hear some giggling in the background, it’s probably just Naw Dee Poe and Marry kicking my ass at bocce ball.  

It seems like we got lucky with shipping still progressing well despite the storms, but if your order was effected by a delay, please let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to make it right.  

Thank you all for all your support and kind words and for letting us be a part of the good will and love that you send to each other.  It’s such a blessing to be a conduit for the love people share with one another, so thank you all for that tremendous honor.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Happy Mother’s Day y’all!!