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April 13th 2015

This Week On The Farm: Week 16

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Floret

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The last of the narcissus were in flower last week and I was having an impossible time staying focused on the task at hand, harvesting flowers. Chris and I got majorly sidetracked and unknowingly spent three hours photographing them before we realized it and got back to picking. It was worth it though. The photos are to die for. More soon!

Our new equipment shed is finally finished. You can see the back wall on the right hand side of the photo. It has a big ole chicken coop on one end and I can’t wait to give you an official tour soon. First we need to move in and organize though. Right now it’s just heaps of everything that was in the flower studio, basement office and scattered around the farm. The bare dirt between it and the hoop house is to become the chicken run. What lucky girls to have so much protected space.

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We FINALLY got all 300 garden roses in. I hate to admit it but they’ve been in the cooler for almost six weeks, waiting for us to make them a priority. I hope we didn’t screw things up too bad getting them in so late, but it was the first window of time we’ve had available in weeks. I’m dying to see all of their incredible blooms this summer.

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We successfully documented all 40+ ranunculus in the variety trial. Measured, evaluated, graded and photographed. What an undertaking.  But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; every single second was heaven. I love ranunc’s and I love trailing even more! I’ll be sharing the findings later in the season, so stay tuned.

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All of the field sweet peas are finally in! A little later than I wanted, but Chris reminds me that I always want everything yesterday so we’re actually doing alright. There will be seven, 70 foot rows total, not all are pictured here. The frost cloth is to protect the little guys from hungry spring robins who can decimate a patch in just a few hours, pulling their seeds from the ground and leaving the baby plants to die on the soil surface. We’ve had it happen too many times to not take precautions.

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The ranunculus are going absolutely nuts in the hoop houses! We harvested over 500 bunches last week and this week should be even more abundant. It has been all we can do to keep up with them! If you’re in Washington state you can find them at area Whole Foods stores and The London Plane. Be sure to call ahead though because they’ve been flying off of the shelves.

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The Icelandic poppy trial is going great. There are some real winners in the mix and I can’t wait to share more with you about it later. The blow torch, photographed above, is what we use to sear the stem ends of poppies. When you’re doing 75-100 bunches at once, it’s a huge time saver and life saver. Seared poppies will last nearly a week in water compared to just a few days when unseared. Another option to extend vase life is dipping the bottom two inches of stem in boiling water for five-to-seven seconds.  It seems counterintuitive, but these tricks really do work.

How about you!? How’s your week going? Any big surprises or good news? Any frustrations or struggle? I’d love to hear it.

8 Comments

  1. Viv on

    Beautiful spring flowers!!!! We actually had a couple of warm 70 degree days, here. Now it is pouring and going to get down into the 30’s by the end of the next week. I managed to get out and get some things done, cleaning up, mostly. I have limited seed starting time and space, and a small window to get ‘er done. Sooo, still waiting for the checkered flag to drop!!! That being said—my flowers are very much SLOW flowers–because I can’t get to farmer’s market until the 1st of July. Still trying to figure out this growing for market stuff, but , “it’s a good thing” as Martha would say!!! I need to get something ready to go for June,–but we can’t even plant out until after May 15th. My spring bulbs are done by then….hmmmm must think harder!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see the roses!!!!

    Reply
  2. VillageKid on

    Reading of all the things others are doing since their spring comes before our’s gives me hope the ground will thaw, still again, and we will actually get going.

    Lots coming up in the HTs, and still nursing more sensitive things in somewhat warmer places. Our rose order is hardening off and I cannot wait to get them in the ground!!

    Peonies are coming up, despite the cold and waiting for all the spring things to arrive. Can’t wait too see the new coop (we have a batch of chicks due any day) and workshop.

    Reply
  3. ajepsen on

    Beautiful!! I can’t wait to hear about your ranunculus trials. :)

    Reply
  4. Andrea Heffernan on

    You are such an inspiration! We moved from our little home in L.A. to a small farm outside of Portland half a year ago, and I’ve been just dreaming of growing flowers. In the meantime we had our fourth child join our family, and I homeschool, and I’m left wondering, “can I do this, even on a smaller scale???” Well, I have some seeds started – some of YOUR sweet peas, too! – and we’re eager to get our hands dirty. I’m scared that we waited too long, but we’re waiting for our black plastic sheets to kill the weeds on 2 x 1,500 s.f. patches. Starting small, but we all have to start somewhere, right? Just please tell me how you homeschooled and did this, too. Pretty please. :) Congratulations on all of your awesome hard work!

    Reply
  5. marica thompson on

    I love this post, I am swept in… I want to live in the hoop house : )

    Over here I am excited because my second children’s book has finally been released!

    Happy spring to you!

    Marica

    Reply
  6. Shelley Yoshiwara on

    We’re getting our garden in this week and my husband is making arches out of field fence to grow all the vine type veggies on which I’m so excited about. I’m going to have 6 40ft rows of sunflowers, 4 rows of zinnias and 4 8×4 boxes with more sunflowers and zinnias. I’m in Redding Ca and it get extremely hot and these two have proven great in the summer. Going to do more cool flowers this fall. this is our 3rd year her and each year it’s gets better. And I’m looking forward to trying the cool flower thing this fall/winter. You are pure joy to follow!!

    Reply
  7. Tonya on

    We’ve had almost 10″ of rain this april so far! If the ground could dry just a little I would be a very happy camper :) At least I have tulips!!

    Reply
  8. Julie on

    We just had a bunch of volunteer trees dug up plant some fruit trees in their place…something more productive! Now to clean up the mess. Plus have 10 bareroot roses to plant, taxes(UGH), prom flowers for son and his date, and 3 dozen cookies to bake and decorate this week!

    Reply

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