Looking Forward to the Weekend 12/2/22

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    I hope y’all avoided significant damage with this week’s storm.  It was a rough one.  We scrambled to get our heads away from the window when the thunder started booming in an unsettling fashion during the wee hours.  We’ve both spent time in the hospital from electrocutions (her from lightning, me from a downed power line), so we have significant respect for lightning and do our best to get in safe spaces when it strikes close by. Fortunately we incurred no damage this time around.  Just mucky fields.   We’ve been frantically digging up all our dahlia tubers this week to try and get them out of the field before even more rain comes next week.  It’s already tough enough...

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A Week Off 11/25/22

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Happy Friday, happy Native American Heritage Day, and happy belated Thanksgiving!  Today is an appropriate day to make a book recommendation.  I highly recommend getting your hands on 1491.  A fascinating book on the Americas prior to European settlers.  Truly mind-blowing on so many levels.  A really expansive, yet in-depth, complex and nuanced portrait of the thriving civilizations that proliferated on these 2 continents for so long.  It’s hard to overstate just how profound the information in that book is.  Okay. Back to farm talk. Our crew is all off for the latter half of this week spending time with family.  Our niece is visiting from Mississippi and is currently out with Mandy collecting Cosmo seeds before the rain and...

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Gratitude 11/18/22

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  This week at the farm we’ve been harvesting and processing tons of beautiful mums, prepping and planting more beds in our tunnels, troubleshooting problems with our heaters, playing with puppies, and spending some much appreciated time with my family who are visiting from CA.     My whole family was out in the woods on Monday cleaning up the landscape, moving bushes and logs, and building a roof over the old porch at the cabin.  Wednesday my dad and brother helped me to start building a second porch on the cabin.  This one will be around back and will give us the perfect space to just sit in the woods and take it all in.  No view of the farm or work...

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Floret's Influence

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  Some of you may be reading this for the first time because of Floret’s recent Instagram post about our mums. If however, you love flowers and don’t know of Floret, you are in for a treat.  Arguably the pinnacle of the the family flower farmers in the U.S. she (Erin Benzakein) has been a friend and a mentor since the beginning for us.  Mandy met Erin at her very first workshop many moons ago and the two have stayed connected since.   Floret was the tip of the spear in the farmer/florist phenomenon that swept its way through Instagram this last decade and changed so many lives.  We didn’t even own smart phones until she convinced us to get on Instagram...

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Spring Planning 10/28/22

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The first of Spring’s flowers are beginning their journey here.  The tunnels are starting to get planted with ranunculus and anemones. It’s a long process to getting the space ready so that the beds are perfectly shaped, weeded, and amended.  We often steam the beds to eliminate soil borne diseases and nematode pressure.  It’s quite laborious and time consuming, but pathogens build up quickly in soil in tunnels and there is no other good organic solution to eliminating them.     Conventional farms use synthetic chemicals to kill pathogens in the soil. They can be pretty nasty.  For instance Methyl bromide is a broad-spectrum fumigant that was widely used to control insect, pathogen, nematode, weed and rodent pests in strawberries.  We grew...

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First Frost 10/21/22

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In the flower farming world, some folks call it Frostmas.  I guess the idea is that it’s a gift of sorts to have nature force a break on you, by killing all of your flowers.  Sounds emotionally confusing to read that sentence.  It really is.   There are some years that I’ve felt the relief from it…. a lot of years actually, but this year I’m sad to see them go.  Generally people think of a flower farm as fields of beautiful flowers and butterflies and bees and birds and beauty flowing in the wind.     It's not like that.  Except, lately it has been.    We have a plot of cosmos that we have blown wide open and...

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For the Mum Growers 10/14/22

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We are looking at a potential frost here next week, so it seems like an appropriate time to talk about how to address your mums for winter.      Though the plants are relatively hardy, the flowers themselves do need frost protection.  Whether that is Reemay, Agribon, a tarp, a greenhouse, or sunroom is up to the grower, but unprotected flowers will get nipped by frost.  It is wise to take the insulative fabric off of the plant as soon as temps become favorable again.  Any cover that’s left on too long during a sunny day can cause heat stress and create prime conditions for disease to flourish.   As mentioned, the plants themselves can handle frost, but during a deep freeze, it’s...

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Pumpkins! 10/7/22

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 I know y’all are a fun, creative, festive bunch.  It’s time to harness those attributes and get into pumpkin carving.  Light some candles, play some Oingo Boingo, get a hot mug of something enlightening. Put on a sweater, channel the energy from the huge golden spider web nearby and make the first slice of what will undoubtedly be a masterpiece of fine squash-based art.   If you haven’t already got your pumpkins, you’ll be pleased to know that we just got a fresh delivery from the most adorable tiny farmer and her Dad this week.  The farm store is now stocked with some awesome carving pumpkins, from the classic Charlie brown variety, to the warty ones and the fancy ones.      Ty...

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Spring Flowers! 9/30/22

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People often ask us if we plant Spring flowers in the spring.  Maybe just run out in the first beam of sunlight in a sundress and sprinkle some seeds, dance around with an old tin watering can, and voila!  A field of flowers!     Y’all likely know better though.  I don’t look good in a sundress and Spring flowers should be planted in the Fall.   The more difficult varieties that we grow for the farm (ranunculus, anemones, etc..) require tunnels, supplemental heat, constant management, and years of trial and error, which is why there is a niche for us to fill.  But, there are a ton of easier varieties of flowers that are every bit as beautiful and magical...

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Farm Store is Back! 9/23/22

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Farm store is back!   Tis the season yet again, where the farm store is open and waiting to scratch that itch you’ve been developing for Flowers, Handmade Vases, Wood Turnings, Botanical soaps + Essential oils, Candles, Gardening tools, Seeds and more!    We have many unique gift and self-care items made by other women-owned, small businesses that we're really excited about!   Mandy spends so many evenings out there, curating a beautiful space for your visual pleasure.  She’s out there in the heat right now as I type this. Whether you are coming just to browse and enjoy the space, or looking for that one of a kind item that you just gotta have, she wants to make your visit memorable.  I...

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