Well, we're all still smiling, mostly! It's the end of September just like that, and we are ready to rest. To be honest, it's been a long, hot, dry, weather-extreme season, and we're ready for a break. We're so grateful for your support, and the flowers and good food that we've enjoyed from our fields. Now we'll take a break as we do, sleep and sit down more, and plan for next season. Thank you, CSA members, for your loyal support. We appreciate you so very much. Until next season! Retail buyers and restaurants, we'll have a couple more weeks of limited blooms depending the approaching frost. We'll keep you posted. xoxo J,M+E
Why it matters that you're choosing farm field-grown, organic flowers...
Those pretty flowers above are field-grown without chemicals. They came to life from mostly organic or at least untreated seeds, in organic potting mix made from cow manure and peat moss and vermiculite, a very small rock. They were fertilized with fermented fish parts, and organic minerals, and hand-planted in soil that has had cow manure, and cover crop biomass added to it.
We have no bactericides, or synthetic nitrates or weed or insect killers running into the water supply and residing in the soil on our farm. Insects love these flowers - we leave a portion of them in fields to feast upon. We have giant bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbirds, monarchs and countless other birds and beneficial insects flying around our fields and little piece of land constantly.
Our flowers are hand-harvested into clean buckets with no preservative added except a little non-chlorine bleach residue leftover from cleaning. They are put into the cooler to take out the field heat, and kept there for a maximum of three days when they are put into beautiful, handmade small-batch mixes or single-variety bunches and delivered to stores. Most flowers are delivered within a day of being harvested. So they're really fresh. Depending on how they're cared for, they will last up to three weeks. If their water is not changed, they will die much sooner because there is no bactericide in the water killing the bacteria that builds up from the fresh flowers.
We mostly use kraft paper sleeves because we try to use as little plastic as possible in our farm business. It's one of our tenets. The paper sleeves are also a symbol - they mean that these are happy flowers that you can feel good about. These flowers are grown by a family that cares about the environment, and wants to make it better, and produce a beautiful, quality product that is beautiful and healthy.
Most of our flowers are not produced in a greenhouse or completely controlled environment. They may have a few wind blemishes here or there, and they may have a slight curve in a stem occasionally. This comes complimentary with the "flowers that are field-grown on a family farm with love" package. You're welcome. :)
Thank you ever so much for supporting our family flower farm. Hopefully you know that when you choose to buy our flowers, you are buying so much more. The flowers are just a vehicle - a part of the process to build healthy soil and water, and beneficial animal life while making a little living for our family. That's what you're buying when you choose our local, field-grown flowers. Health for the land and the people. Way to go. We love you!
We've been delivering plants like crazy these last two weeks. Has it only been two weeks?! We are so pleased by the response to the plants! They've been flying on the racks, and we're all so happy to get our hands in the dirt.
We've also been planting in the field every other moment we have. And harvesting the spring bulbs, and the beginnings of the other spring flowers. We hope to have consistent flower deliveries in 2-3 weeks.
Oh, and check out the super fun farm event we're planning! Please put it on your calendar - we'd love to share our farm with you. We'll have wood-fired pizza, and music and of course, flowers, flowers and flowers. And, it's Farmer Mike's 40th birthday that month, so we'll have a little celebration too!
Our new employee Sam is awesome. We all think so.
Every mama needs a pressure washer for Mother's Day. Right?!
Thursday morning our neighbor's horses broke out of their fence and came to munch on our delicious hay ground. He came to get them and offered this lucky boy a ride. He hopped right up like a pro, definitely not like it was his first time ever on a horse - which it was. All before breakfast!
The greenhouses are filling up and looking good. We're excited to deliver a few bedding plant flats to stores later this week, then a whole bunch more will go to happy gardens all over the metro over Mother's Day weekend. Yay!
Everything has fared really well considering the April snow and wind. We're grateful for that.
Our soil has dried out nicely, and we've spent the week planting furiously in the field. We will have tulips, ranunculus and anemone soon, but not in time for Mother's Day. Sorry - the long winter didn't cooperate. I'll be in touch as soon as we know better the order-ready dates.
Our new-to-us tractor has made Farmer Mike's life a lot more pleasant. We bought a mini disc plow, and while it's a little light for our clay-based soil, it gets the field prep job done so much faster than the walk-behind BCS. Wowza, what a game-changer.
We're loving this 6th year of farm business - thanks for your support! We can hardly wait to bring you the fruit of our labors so very soon.
Spring is on the way, we promise. We too, are so over this extended winter business. We've been breaking out the old curtains and blankets to give the babies extra warmth during these single digit nights. Ugh.
At least Farmer Mike is still smiling.
Next week the forecast looks more promising. Today, not so much. Will we get the 10 inches predicted? We have another snow day anyway - no school, and we're breaking out the special art projects and dance parties to keep our spirits up.
Starter plants will be in stores early in May, and we have a some available culinary and medicinal herb mixes, and beneficial pollinator mixes and edible flower mixes too. Let me know if you'd like a few for your lovely floral departments.
Otherwise, we're off to a great start. We have a wonderful new employee - Sam, and Susan and Oma are back on Monday fun-days. We have lots of babies just waiting to see the sun and the fresh soil.
Ranunculus and anemone are tucked in to a tunnel and ground cover with high hopes of Mother's Day blooms. We'll keep you posted.
Sam and Susan rocking it out.
Trying something new with some of the dahlias - presprouting for earlier and more blooms.
Hope you and yours are well. See you sooner than later!
As I type Mike is setting up the boiler in the greenhouse so we can start seeding tomorrow. We ordered plugs of some of our longer bloom time flowers this year so we wouldn't have to fire up the greenhouse until after the conference that we attend every year at this time. Once the greenhouse gets going, especially when it's still chilly and snowy, we have to stay nearby to adjust the temp and such as needed. Smaller baby plants are needier just like humans. :) Brand spankin' new plastic makes for happy plants!
Little house inside larger house with heated tables.
Boiler fired right up - it's more efficient to heat tables than the air.
King of the potting soil mountain!
Happy ladies got some treats leftover from the conference. Yuuumm.
I had the honor of presenting on Growing and Marketing Organic Cut Flowers at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference this year. It was great to connect with other flower growers, and talk about my favorite things with others who love it too. Christine Hoffman, Twin Cities Flower Exchange and Foxglove Market, was my co-presenter. We had a mostly full house with lot of good questions, and interested folks. It was good. Laurie of Laurie Schneider Photography took these photos and shared them with us. She's wonderful, and amazingly talented.
The conference marks time for us - it's the last hurrah of the winter and this week is about gearing up to plant seeds and farm this season! We have a few CSA flower shares left, and we're booking a few choice weddings...please be in touch if you're interested. Other than that, we're just gearing up for another season of tons of beautiful flowers in the retail mixed bouquets, and more single variety bunch choices and wholesale florist blooms. Happy starter plants are on their way, and some delicious veggies, all that we will have CERTIFIED ORGANIC this season. WOOT! Please be in touch with questions, or just to connect. We miss you during the off-season, and look forward to seeing all your lovely faces soon. xoxo J,M+E
Hello friends! We are so thankful for your support this year. It's been the fifth year of our farm business, and the first that Mike and I were both able to be on the farm mostly full-time. It was amazing. And crazy, and all the wonderful things that farming, working for yourself, on a dream, are. We put out so many more flowers than ever before - doubled last years' numbers. We're tired and ready to take a break, process this busy year, and plan for next. More of it all next year - our third on this little piece of ground - starter plants, flowers and veggies. We'll be back in the greenhouse in the beginning of February nursing some babies. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn't do it without you. xo J,M+E