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April 29th 2014

Spring Farmer Florist Workshop in review

Written by
Floret

Floret workshop

Way back at the beginning of the month, which feels like a lifetime ago already, the most amazing group of ladies joined us for our first solo workshop here on the farm.

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I’ve always been hesitant to have visitors out to the farm. It’s one thing when you share your life openly with the world on the internet but have the ability to edit, spruce up or just not show the shabby or less than beautiful parts. It’s a whole other thing to lay it all out in the open.

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Cropping an image is just like editing your words. You only show or say what you want to.

But having a group of people come to your home and farm at the very beginning of the season when things are still quite ugly and raw. Well, it can be a little rattling.

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I was afraid that when they saw the reality of what our life actually looks like, the beauty and the dirt, the passion and the sheer exhaustion, that it might burst the dreamy bubble they’ve been creating in their imaginations.

And you know truthfully, I’m sure it did a little at first.

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But after the initial anxiety faded, I could see what a gift it was to share the other side of our story.

The side that is hard and filled with toil.

The side that’s really not very pretty at all.

The side where we face burnout and frustration, overwhelm and fatigue.

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I shared embarrassing stories like how I accidentally killed an entire crop of (you name it) because of a carless mistake, or the time I totally blew a major deadline and looked like an ass to a big client or when I said yes to my very first wedding but had never made a single handheld bouquet before.

Yeah, it was scary to share it all but once we got going, I was totally liberated.

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My Mom always says, my greatest asset is my willingness to humiliate myself and I think she may be right.

I know when I find out that someone I think has it all together is struggling with the same fears and insecurities as I am, I feel instantly empowered. Seeing how they found a way around their blocks so that they could create more of the life that they wanted is like unlocking all that wasn’t possible before.

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There were so many breakthroughs, ah ha moments and deep connections made during our three days together.

We were all outside of our comfort zone and each one of us grew exponentially.

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I feel unbelievably honored that I’m able to witness so much growth and transformation firsthand. Seeing others find the courage to go for their dreams is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced.

The fourteen beautiful souls who joined us are all back in their lives, transforming and changing right this very minute.

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In a few short weeks we get to do it all over again, with a new group of budding farmer florists. This time though, I hope I can remember that real growth takes place when we make ourselves vulnerable and drop our guard. Letting them see the “whole story” is the biggest gift I can share.

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29 Comments

  1. Sara -Hoje é Especial on

    I love this post! I keep having the dream about owning a flower farm, but for now it is just a dream!
    I think it’s really important to remember that everyone starts small, and everyone makes mistakes, it’s important to stay humble and not arrogant! Thank You for sharing your embarrassing moments and make a starting girl relate to that!!! :)

    Reply
  2. John Auger on

    Can hardly wait for next year. Hope to be able to afford a class at that time. Seriously considering ditching the dead-end job to get back into design, even with its l-o-n-g days and late nights. Thinking seriously the organic/sustainable grower piece, too, just like my grandfather way back in the 70’s. He was a contrast – a social conservative on the then frontier of organic gardening. Lots of hard work, but the results were amazing. Bought your book and watched the videos. Thank you for the incredible amount of inspiration. Going in head first for a special lady’s 80th birthday this Thursday. Wish me luck!

    Reply
  3. Terri Bowlby-Chiasson on

    Dear Erin,
    Thank you for the courage to be vulnerable with us. In Brenee Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly’, she discusses how when we see someone share their vulnerability, we think of them as courageous. But when we think of sharing our own vulnerability, we think of ourselves as weak. Thank you for sharing your authentic self.
    It is SO wonderful for me to have discovered you…my creative spirit thanks you…as my Grandmama Dora always said, “Keep on keeping on!” Enjoy every moment!

    Reply
  4. Penmerry on

    so wonderful to read such raw honesty, you are a true inspiration. thank you so much for sharing your story… I am lucky to have a sweet man flower farmer in my life and I definitely hope he someday sends me to one of your sessions someday!!!

    Reply
  5. Gretchen on

    What, do I see cardinal bush branches? You mean REAL florists use those, and not just flower-loving mommies who have nothing else blooming in their yard? :-)

    Reply
  6. Dawn Adams on

    Thank you, Erin, for sharing your incredible story. You have been a huge inspiration and I have found strength from seeing how much you have evolved in the last several years in your blog posts (one day I went to the begiing and couldn’t believe how quick your learning curve). It made me realize that you weren’t magically born with your incredible talent, but had work very hard and had improved by doing. Once I eased up on myself, I realized that, I, too had come a long way and had a lot to offer the flower world. Over the last few years, I’ve been so inspired by your mission and want to share with others who may be feeling the same way I once did. Now that I have a shop with garden of my own, I am sometimes approached by people who think I was magically born with a creative approach and I am only too ready to dispel that myth and encourage them to reach their creative potential…to dream! Thank you for sharing with such vulnerability and honesty as that is what true creativity and humanity are about.

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Dawn, Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me. Totally awesome!

  7. Shelley on

    I wonder where the guys are hiding? Not your guys: the future guy flower farmers of America. Ever wonder why all the wonderful workshops are filled with women?

    Reply
    • Floret on

      I wonder the same thing. The few sweet men out the growing flowers usually send their wife/girlfriend to the class ; )

  8. Bethany Karn on

    Ah, Floret, how I wish we could magically transport you and your farm out to the East Coast, even for a bit. I’m going to need some advice on how to “humiliate” myself too, as I get ready to start a small cut flower patch in an urban farm here in DC – I will be reading your blog religiously as it empowers me too. thanks for the post!

    Reply
  9. Cindy on

    Thank you for sharing the hardest part. I have that tough part, the fear, the feelings of being overwhelmed, and it somehow makes it a bit better to know that we all have those feelings. Maybe the hard parts are what make the good parts so very good.

    Reply
  10. Katri on

    Love this post. It is so true – vulnerability is powerful. I am trying to learn this myself.

    I do hope to join you for one of your workshops some day. Right now it is just the beginning of a dream, but your blog is so inspiring that it makes me a bit impatient. I want that life now, even if I am fully aware that with all of that beauty comes so much hard work and sacrifice.

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. It extends farther than you know!

    Reply
  11. Yvonne on

    Beautiful and thought provoking post. Thank you so much for sharing. xx

    Reply
  12. Susanna Todd on

    Thank you so much for sharing.You are so inspiring.I just love your work and especially loving your information on growing flowers.Thank you Thank you.
    Susanna

    Reply
  13. Nicole on

    This blog really moves me, so real and honest. You are very courageous!
    So hope I can participate in your workshop some day, not too far away! So much I can learn from you, think it would really help me grow as farmerflorist.
    Thanks a billion for sharing!

    P.s. i just said yes to a weddingbouquet and I ‘m totally chickening out right now… They want to see pictures now of my bridal work, only got 2 pictures of bridal bouquets I made at floristryschool and I really don’t know how much to ask.. Ahhhhh! #tryingtostaycool

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Nicole, don’t chicken out!

      Just show them what you’ve got and then wow them with your “vision” for what their flowers will look like.

    • Nicole on

      Thanks Erin! Needed to hear that!
      And a good idea for the approach. Great advice!

  14. Sweetpea on

    Many, many moons ago I thought I wanted to be a flower farmer, so smitten was I for horticulture and all things bloom-iferous. Alas, as life does, I was lead another direction but as I read your words here I can’t help thinking to myself how you would have been a most perfect, inspiring – and REAL – teacher for that enterprise …

    I so love your blog! Thank you for all you bring here.

    Christi

    Reply
  15. Paul Flack on

    The only unique thing we have to give is ourselves. When we don’t share all of ourselves we rob others of our greatest gift. Erin thanks for sharing your gift.
    Paul

    Reply
  16. Corina on

    I’m so glad you are in this world!!!

    Reply
  17. Pinouille on

    Thank you! I loved everything about it, and especially your honesty. Where did you get the vases and containers you used? I loved both the large glass one, and the metal ones. Are those vintage finds, or can you buy them at floral supply places? Thanks…

    Reply
  18. Pam on

    Thanks for this post. It was just what I needed to hear! It is so hard to keep it all inside – but hard to learn how to open up too! Beautiful.

    Reply
  19. Angela on

    As always, many thanks, Erin! Here’s to lessons learned and the courage to create beauty every day xo

    Reply
  20. Tina on

    ahhhh – so refreshing –

    Reply
  21. Ariana on

    Great post, Erin. And I hear you about the vulnerability. I am right there on a regular basis both with my social media workshops, but also with my dream of having my own farm, and the process of learning all the things I have no idea how to do. Thank you for putting thoughts to “paper” and sharing this post with us!

    Reply
  22. Kirsten on

    Thank you for your vulnerability. I feel instantly empowered. So much more is possible to me because of you.

    I can’t wait for the day I am on your coast to take one of your workshops.

    Reply
  23. Terri on

    Watching YOU grow, and following your lead as you “break the code” on this idyllic life, is a pure joy, Erin.

    One of these days I’m going to bring you a bottle of that stolen Pappy Van Winkle whiskey as payment for all I’ve learned from you. In the meantime, I’ll drink to your continued good health, Lovely Lady!

    Reply

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