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Flower Farm Journal

"More than anything, I must have flowers always, always" Claude Monet

Catching Up

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three whole months since I’ve posted in this space – possibly the longest break I’ve ever taken. Between pouring over the last rounds of book edits, teaching four workshops and working on some really special new projects, I’ve been a bit short on words lately. After getting a string of concerned emails about the silence in this space, I thought it was time to finally get back on the horse. So, in no particular order, here’s what’s been happening around the farm. This year we planted our dahlia tubers earlier than ever and have been experimenting with some season extension strategies like putting hoops over the young plants to push for an earlier harvest. These efforts, combined with a warmer than normal spring, led to our earliest recorded field harvest ever. With over 6,000 plants coming into bloom, I’m excited, and a little nervous about […]

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Weekend Giveaway: Eyes Open E-Course

For the last several days, I’ve been racing around getting the farm all gussied up for the kickoff of the Floret workshop season.  Everyone here is filled with nervous excitement. Tomorrow morning bright and early, we’ll be welcoming a small group of folks from across the U.S. and Canada to our Flower Farming Intensive, a three-day workshop where we’ll be sharing some of our very best growing tricks, design techniques and tips for building a flower-based business.  Among the many tips I’ll be sharing, is the emphasis on good photography to document and share the beauty you are growing and designing. A few years ago, Chris and I took the Eyes Open Creative Photography E-Course and it was a real game-changer.  As I’ve shared previously, completing the e-course is what enabled us to hone our photography skills and really take Floret’s blog, website and social media posts to the next level. Erin Little is the talented photographer and blogger, who created the course.  She has a […]

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Tools of the trade: 7 essential farmer-florist tools to cut, snip, chop, prune and lop

I have a pretty laid back approach to most things, but there are a few hard and fast rules the team and I abide by when it comes to the tools we use for day-to-day operations.  One of them revolves around the importance of using the right tool for the job, especially when it comes to sharp objects and anything used to cut, chop, snip or lop. I learned it the hard way.  In the early years, I was pretty sloppy with our tools.  I would grab whatever was closest to harvest flowers, trim stems, and snip wires. I ruined a lot of expensive clippers in the process.  And I also almost ruined my hands.  I was young and felt invincible, but after hours of repetitive work, day in and day out, carpel tunnel slowly started to creep in.  The pain was a real wake up call and I knew I had to […]

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Farm Updates + new #GrowFloret winners

The farm has been buzzing with activity over the past two weeks.  Last Thursday we finished planting close to 5,000 dahlias, dug a 100 ft trench for a new waterline, plus cleaned and organized our tractor shed and propagation house.  We have been implementing a number of ideas we learned from reading The Lean Farm and are doing our best to purge the clutter and really hone in on what we do best.  The busy season is bearing down on us fast and furious and we’re rushing to get as much done as we possibly can.  Our field and hoophouses are already  brimming with color and we’ve harvested buckets of pretty parrot tulips, ranunculus, narcissus, anemones and giant Iceland poppies in luscious sherbet shades (check out my Instagram feed for a few fun shots). Gardeners and farmers across the country are busy prepping fields, starting seeds and even harvesting early blooms. Here are just a few images tagged with #floretseeds or #growfloret […]

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Announcing Floret’s Farmer-Florist Collective

I’m excited to share with you a a little project the Floret team and I have been working on for a while now: Floret’s Farmer-Florist Collective. The Collective is a global, publicly-available map and directory of many of the flower farmers and floral designers who have participated in one of our workshops (Floret & Seasonal Bouquet Project) and currently grow flowers and/or offer floral design services.  Although separated by many miles, we are all kindred spirits, united in our love of local, seasonal flowers. The Farmer-Florist Collective Directory is viewable here and can also be found under the FIND FLOWERS tab and features an interactive map and photos of each member. We created this directory so that flower growers and designers who have participated in one of Floret’s many workshops can connect with one another.  We also want it to serve as resource for consumers seeking seasonal flower designers, farmers and growers in their […]

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A huge thanks

Did you happen to hear me shout “Wooohoo!!!!” this week?  I swear I shouted loud enough for half the continent to hear. The first “Woohoo!” was uttered when we divided the very last dahlia clump, bringing the total to 11,008 dahlia tubers sorted, labeled and ready to ship to flower lovers starting in April.  It was all part of what we affectionately called “The Great Dahlia Divide” of 2016. It was all hands on deck to tackle this monster of a project.  One of our former team members, Vanessa, even flew in from her flower farm in New Hampshire to lend a hand for the week.  A serious hustler, she made quick work of organizing everything and everyone to make the process go smoothly.  With some hip hop blaring in the background and a greenhouse full of helpers (big and small) we busted out the project in a matter of six days. The next big step:  prepping […]

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