New Introductions 2/25/22

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Abby (left) and Mo (right) working on curing Hellebore stems!  The farm is starting to pick up steam as the days get longer and warmer.  I got my first mosquito bites 3 days ago and we got our first wasp in the house yesterday.  Spring is coming.   So, as we begin anew, it seems the perfect time to introduce our new crew members, since they’ll be playing such an important role in the flower side of all of our lives.   Mo is coming to us from…everywhere really.  She’s been living on the road for the last 2 years, traveling the country in an R.V., hiking, exploring, and working remotely in the insurance world.  She recently bought a home just across the river from us...

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The Industry 2/18/22

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    We had a wild week getting our first real blooms of the season out to all you lovers and we really appreciate all the enthusiasm for our sustainable flowers grown here in the U.S.  We wish we could get flowers out to everybody, but are pleased to have gotten the early blooms we did. Thankfully, we are seeing more and more signs of life from the tunnels and fields and will be able to send out more abundant beauty as each week carries us out of winter and into spring.  Soon, we’ll be swimming in a sea of flowers that we can send in all directions. Meanwhile, here’s a few fun facts about the flower industry:    The U.S. used to...

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The Best Laid Plans 2/11/22

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    We found a beautiful variety of snapdragons last year.  So excited!  Most of our snaps were anemic and underperforming last year, but this variety was gorgeous and big and healthy and saved our Mother’s Day bouquets.  So, we adjusted accordingly and bought 23,180 plants, nursed them from tiny babies into legitimate plants in our prop-house, then devotedly committed hours and days of shaping beds, amending them with the best organic ingredients as per the results of our soil tests, adding compost, and fastidiously planting up a huge chunk of our biggest tunnel with them.  Last year these snaps were the Biggest, Strongest, and Most Beautiful of all….they flower at the perfect time (right before Mother’s Day). They are the right choice. “Smart planning”,...

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That's Amore 2/4/22

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Valentine’s day is coming!  It’s such an odd time of year to schedule such a flower heavy holiday, so I’m assuming someone in the chocolate industry initially lobbied for the February date to ward off competition.  There’s barely any domestic flowers this deep into winter, so that’s a large reason why roses, mass produced and shipped in from the equator, eventually became such a signature of Valentine’s day.   Don’t get me wrong, I love whimsical, ethereal, fragrant and explosively beautiful garden roses in all their splendor, but I’m not too partial to chemically bathed, fragrance free, dipped in paint, but still all look the same, grocery store roses.    Being one of the southernmost flower growers in the U.S., we tend to come...

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Origins Part Three 1/28/22

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...Continued from 1/21  Time to head south. Our final tour dates were both in GA. Our dear friend Nicky had set us up with her friends...one of whom was Mandy.     I grew up in the suburbs of Sonoma County and knew a lot of Italian ranchers, but Mandy was the first peer I ever met who was farming produce. It was an abstract concept before meeting her.     She rallied a big crowd in Athens to come see the bus and brought sweet potatoes she had grown that we diced, deep fried, and passed out. We then took the fryer vat and poured it into our fuel tank and started the bus for dramatic effect and so they could...

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Origins Part Two 1/21/22

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Continued from 1/14 ………We turned it down. We were too committed to even fathom getting off the bus. Instead, we offered to try to fix their veggie conversion and tour with them as support. Once her managers determined that we were upstanding citizens (an accountant, 2 school teachers, and whatever I was) they agreed.        We spent the day frantically patching up their problems so they could get their bus and crew to Boulder CO for a big conference at the University with Woody Harrelson and Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blond/Talking Heads) the next eve. After many hours of gravel in our backs and grease and oil in our faces, we got it working (Huzzah!) and drove through the whole night...

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Origins Part One 1/14/22

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There’s a lot of new people to this newsletter and we thought it a good time to give y’all the backstory to the farm.  Believe it or not, the seed for this farm was planted on an old school bus that ran on vegetable oil almost 20 years ago.  We named her Unifried.  I originally told this story back in the winter of 16’/17’ while Mandy and I were on a cross country drive from CA to GA to complete the circle and bring the old bus to its final resting place on our farm.  There’s adventure, romance, and celebrities and folks seemed to love it the first time around, so….. This is that story:     Unifried the bus was born in 2003 when...

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New Year and Boom! 1/7/22

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We had an exciting morning this Monday!  You Georgians probably had a few sleepless hours and know what we are talking about.  The winds were incredibly and unexpectedly high and there were all sorts of thunderous sounds jolting us upright in our beds, despite the lack of lightning.    A huge BOOM awakened us at one point and it was different than our normal booms…  random shotgun fire in the night, train car linkage cracking as the slack is pulled out of 100 stopped cars, thunder itself, explosions at nearby rock quarries.  These are all pretty normal to us, but none of it jived with what we heard.  Too dangerous, dark and cold to go outside, we scooted our heads away from the window a bit...

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End of Year/ New Beginnings 12/17/21

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It’s been quite a week! We’ve been a flurry of activity lately with our small crew and the five of us have just been trying to wrap up the “must do” list before the weekend.   We’re prepping the last beds and finally pulling the plastic on the newest tunnel, while Naw and Marry plant the butterfly ranunculus and the last of the Icelandic poppies.  Rachel has been out in the fields planting new Peonies (yay!) and Mandy, as usual, is dynamically running around orchestrating and participating in everything.   The goal is to get everything critical done, so we can give everyone 2 weeks off starting this weekend, so they can spend the holidays relaxing with friends and family or perfecting their pickleball...

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Winter Projects 12/3/21

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  Yesterday we (minus me) began the annual process of digging all of our dahlia tubers.  As much as I love digging up thousands of roots, I got a hall pass because I’m building a hoop house for our poppies that need a home in short order.       I’m happy to say that the ladies made smooth work of it and reported the easiest dahlia dig in our farm’s history, despite having the largest quantity (by a factor of 2 over our previous record) that we’ve ever had.  We owe much of that good fortune to two factors.       The first is a new implement that acts as an under-cutter of sorts.  It’s like a big blade running horizontally that follows behind the tractor...

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