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Home Blog This Week On The Farm: Week 15
April 6th 2015

This Week On The Farm: Week 15

Written by
Floret

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We’ve hit the tipping point here where we’re all eating and sleeping the flower bounty. Because we had big plans to move to a larger property last fall and scale up our micro farm, I started double the amount of plants to ensure an abundant spring. When our dream farm fell through, we were left with the decision to either plant everything I had started or pitch a bunch of them.

Well, I’m terrible at tossing plants, so in they went, all 12,000 ranunculus, 2,000 icelandic poppies, 3,000 anemones, plus countless biennials and other specialty goodies for the book. I knew this route would make for a crazy spring but neither Chris or I were prepared for how crazy it really would be fitting the abundant harvest around also writing a book, preparing for 6 workshops, manning the in-box while our office manager went on maternity leave and a few other very exciting and very massive side projects that we’re trying to bring to life.

Each morning I have to consciously sit and breathe, repeating, “everything is actually ok, we can do this, I don’t have to know how I just have to keep trying my best”. Some days it works, some days I freak out and yell at Chris for no reason other than I feel beyond overloaded. He has the patience of a saint.

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With so darn many plants, we ran out of greenhouse space this fall. So in an effort to get everything in the ground on time and also do a little experimenting, we planted about 75% of our anemones under low caterpillar tunnels. So far we’re pretty pleased with the results.

While only about half as productive as the hoop house plants (so far), due to tons of vole damage, it’s good to know this is a viable option. I’ve gotten notes from north eastern growers, who went through that crazy winter, reporting their anemones under low caterpillar tunnels came through and are starting to finally flower. What a resilient little plant!

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We get lots of emails asking how on earth we juggle it all. I’ll tell you, it’s not easy. Some weeks we fail miserably and end up working late into the night bunching flowers and packing orders because unexpected things needed our attention during daylight hours. I hate to admit it but more than once last week we finally staggered inside after 10:00pm because there was no other way that we could see to get everything done.

Earlier this winter I vowed that this spring would be different, that we’d achieve that elusive “balance” that all of the self help/business books I read talk about. Well, we’re sure trying but it feels a million miles away. Tomorrow our badass harvest helper Marlee returns which should help lighten the load immensely. Until then, I just need to breathe.

How about you? Are you entering into the crazy zone too or are you managing to stay ahead of the curve? I’d love to know any of your tips or tricks for maintaining your sanity when the volume on life gets turned up to full blast.

13 Comments

  1. Anna on

    Hi there! I surely enjoy your blog! I was wondering if you would mind sharing what kinds of anemones you grow and where to get them? I am having a hard time locating them. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Hi Anna, you can get corms from the Fred C. Gloeckner company. If you go to their site you can find a sales rep in your area. Tell them I sent you!

  2. VillageKid on

    Having had a very mild winter, even more so than last year we are getting pummeled by winds, sleet/snow/rain and temperatures from 29 to the 40s these last few days.

    Lots of starts and items stacked up in every available spot to keep them safe while we wait this out before heading out to plant them.

    We are about a month away from any harvest starting in any earnest and then the floods will come again, just hopefully managed a tad bit better each year.

    We have learned that when our dreams are dashed, even when they were moving so well, it seems we learned more from being stalled that works later as we continue on. Hope things work out so that the dreams were just postponed and all you learned this spring in trying to salvage will make a bigger impact later.

    Reply
  3. Loretta on

    We started a teaching garden at our hospital a few months. All harvesting goes to the hospital kitchen. So far over 50lbs! We have tomatoes eggplant kale cabbage lots of herbs lettuce broccoli and brussel sprouts. It has been great fun. At home I have a small garden with a little bit of everything we love. Its the best way of life!
    L

    Reply
  4. liz on

    OH! And I forgot to say…even though I am retired from the hustle of business level growing – I still grow flowers (more than I should) and YOU are one of my delights! Where were you when I needed you?! Keep going strong!

    Reply
  5. liz on

    When you retire, as I have, you will not remember how stressful this all was! I promise! I feel your pain. Reading your blog brought back all the memories. BUT! You are young and resilient! This is your dream! It wouldn’t be worth it if it was easy.

    That said, once the book is out of the way…time will open up. The right farm will come along. The kids will be fine. Your husband will still love you. And someday, before you even know it, you will retire and look back and you won’t even remember “the crazy”…. you will just remember, fondly, fields and fields of flowers.

    Reply
  6. Tonya on

    Nothing planted, nothing but rain rain rain and more rain. I honestly just wish that I had some experience at this point. Part of me feels like I’m doing really well, and the other part is yelling at me to get my **** together. :)

    Reply
  7. Audra Wyant on

    Oh, I can only imagine what you must be feeling with your dream farm falling through. When we purchased our farm, something similar happened. We fell in love, made an offer, only to have the seller change their mind and back out on us and then call us 24 hours later with a counter offer. The roller coaster of emotions is enough, so I can’t imagine handling that on top of all the other amazing things that you’re doing. Thank you for your honesty in your business ventures. As we’re starting out, we have moments every day where we feel so overwhelmed. Please know you’re not alone and you have lots of good people rooting for you!

    Reply
  8. wasabi honey bee on

    Oh I’m so sorry your dream plummeted : ( Hopefully it will bring good in its own way…

    Cheers and good luck with all those thousands of flowers!!! Can’t wait for the pictures of them…

    Best,
    Marica

    P.S. Launching a new blog: http://dearcountrymouse.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  9. Amy on

    Your photos are just stunning as usual! I’m a bit jealous, we’ll be lucky to have anything in the ground within the next two weeks since we’re still a tad bit frozen! I can’t offer much advice on the topic of balance, other than to take a little bit of time for yourself.

    Reply
  10. Elaine on

    A great blessing has (albeit) forcefully pushed me into learning about balancing my “life garden”. I have been learning more in the last year, than I have in my entire prior existence! Turns out, this “balance” thing is simply eternal practice. Any notion of “perfection” is just an illusion created by the human mind. A nice goal, but also painfully insatiable. So, I have two thoughts that help remind me of this.
    1.) Shakespeare mentioned, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” By that I mean, what you might think may be bad (voles, late on a delivery, chapter deadlines, etc.) is merely a learning opportunity (like patience, creative adaptation, trust, letting go) for other beautiful souls. What a gift! It may seem painful, but all worthy life lessons are.
    2.) This is really silly, but… physics!! Throughout my “practice”, I slide way back into old habits of anger, anxiety, and depression, and I think that I will never see that calm again, no matter what actions that used to make me feel better (happy movies, puppies, hot bath, etc) and now don’t! What I do when that is happening is start with recognizing colors. Sounds weird and silly, but the notion that colors are merely the varying wavelengths of light (whose magic of being both matter AND energy is still not explained by science) reminds me of the miracle of great, universal, interconnected life. So, when you are out in the garden, or bunching, or decapitating blossoms, or cooking, see that those red tulips are absorbing the frequencies of the all colors of the sunlight except the red, which it reflects back to you, like a gift. Why? How does it know? Why does it choose red, while its relative reflects lavender?
    The recognition of control as a perception (not a truth), and theses notions of uncertainty helps put things into perspective, and thus allows me to “see”.
    Please take three deep breaths… slowly (because physics tells us that “time” is just a human perception also). You are worth the moments you take to find your true peace & connection, because we ALL benefit from each others’ peace, love, light, and happiness.

    You are never alone, your fans are always with you.

    May all your weeds be wildflowers.

    Reply
  11. Killoran Moore on

    I just watched your American Made video on Martha Stewart’s YouTube channel! It was so great getting a little look at everything in video. Well done!

    I’ve still not got anything in the ground. At all. In Victoria BC, where it is warm. Even though spring was early the yard remained underwater. If it rains even a little bit this time of year.. it floods. We’re working on it, though! And I’m learning a lot even though this year is not at all working out haha. Like, I’ve learned that we have loam! Wahoo! Clay based? Is that the term? Clay leaning.

    Reply
  12. Nicki Farrell on

    I know how you feel we run a small nursery and flower farm we sell out of the farm from April 15 to June 15th as well as doing extra sales in town and farmers markets. One of the drawbacks to combining the nursery and flower farm is you are super busy in the early part of the season getting annuals and veggie starts ready when we should be working on getting our cut flower starts in and of course every year we always want to add more to both parts of the farm. We always feel behind we are now 9 days away from our opening day at the farm and I just keep telling myself we will get as much done as we can. I do also take tons of pictures even if they are just quick ones with my phone so that next year if I feel really behind I can see where I was the year before. And for what ever reason as soon as the calender turn to a new month it makes you feel even farther behind you were fine on March 31st but now it is April and the pressure is building. Love your posts and pictures :)

    Nicki in Medical Lake Washington where it is snowing this morning

    Reply

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