Friday, February 9, 2018

Works In Progress

Hello all! Here on the farm lately, it feels like I've been doing a whole lot of "hurry up and wait."

Set up the fans in the greenhouse! Realize that you accidentally only ordered one fan, and proceed to re-order and wait. Set up the hose! Hmm, well, still need to select the right nozzles and faucet, so order those parts, and (...you guessed it) wait. Start the cooler construction! Realize you and your partner-in-building will both be gone for the next few days, so cut the frame, and wait for late February. Build greenhouse tables. Get far too intimate with hardware cloth. Decide to wait until there's another set of hands to help you. Research compost and fertility amendments. Recognize that you should probably wait to submit your order until you've talked to those wiser than yourself, to be sure you're actually adding the right amount of the right materials.

Phew!

I like to wrap up projects efficiently, and tidily, with pretty bows. One project, done to completion, and ready to go. Juggling several different tasks at once- each requiring flexibility and patience- is challenging for me. And you know?  I'm pretty sure that just might be how it goes with farming! At least in year one. If I'm still figuring out standard operating procedures- and tackling projects that are slightly outside my usual skill set- it stands to reason that things are just going to have to take a little time.

I'm learning to sit in the "unfinished," or, rather, the "in-progress." And as trays and seeds start arriving, it feels a little easier to do. Here are some photos of what we've been working on. Enjoy!

Stacy

Drilling holes in the barn for the hose. That drill bit was only slightly terrifying.

Hose #1 is hung up!

Greenhouse table frame- ready for hardware cloth and mounting on cinder blocks.

Many a greenhouse table. The better to develop competency with the driver, eh?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Generosity

Behold, the back of my little Honda Accent! Filled to the brim with a variety of trays and pots that the folks at the Lexington Community Farm were happily giving away to any interested parties. A solid scrub, and I'll be able to put many of these trays to good use this season.



The theme of my post this week (as you may well have garnered from the title), is generosity. Over the last year and a half in this field, I've found that the farmers of New England are an incredibly generous lot. When I was offered my current position, I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn about varieties and cultural growing practices. So I reached out to friends... and friends of friends... who were successfully growing flowers across the region. These growers responded with warmth, and frankness, to my questions, and shared their expertise with such kindness and enthusiasm. It was absolutely lovely. I may have teared up a little at just how lovely it was. Just a little!

If you are based in the regions below, please check out these wonderful farmers and their produce. Many thanks to them!

Ben and Hannah Wolbach: Skinny Dip Farm, Little Compton, RI
Phoebe Poole: Weatherlow Florals, Westport, MA
Ruth Trimarchi: Wright-Locke Farm, Winchester, MA
Dawn King, Insight Meditation Center, Barre, MA
Dee Kanopkin, Land's Sake, Weston, MA
Boston-based grower and food enthusiast Momoko Hirose.
And Leanne Limoges, a former flower grower in Orange, MA.

Cheers!
Stacy


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dreaming of Seeds

Hello friends!

The crop plan is complete... well, as "complete" as it can be on paper- the reality in the field may prove to be a little bit different! But for now, I'm cross-referencing the different seed catalogs, making sure that the varieties I want are in stock and affordable, and dreaming of a field filled with blooms and bees. Here's a general list of what we'll be trialing at Sage Seed Flowers this year- I can't wait to see what flourishes in our soil!  




Friday, January 5, 2018

Snowdrifts

The wind howled all night here on the farm. I couldn't help but get up every few hours. Stand on my tiptoes to peer through the window into the gale. Is the greenhouse secure? Did the snow rip through the plastic? Did the whole thing blow away? Why didn't I attach the earth augers before the ground froze, for heaven's sake?! Luckily, the greenhouse is still intact, and after this cup of coffee, I'll shovel out a path, knock off the snow from the roof, and call our electrician for the final piece of heater installation. We should be warm and ready for seeding by late February/early March.

At this farm, this time of year, the challenges of farming aren't especially physical. We don't have any animals here, so I'm only occasionally involved with the particular trials of frozen hoses and blustery feed and water runs. And any construction projects are on hold while I wrap up my crop plan and put in the seed order. It's slower. It's mathematically and intellectually intense. It's... isolating. I've always had an active imagination, but with huge drifts of snow covering our fields, and an excel spreadsheet that keeps blurring in front of my eyes, it's difficult to picture where all this is going. What if I dream too big? Not big enough? I've never had a winter with so much time to work (and I doubt I will again!). And yet, it feels like there's never, ever enough time to learn all that I want and need to before the season starts. Darn my idealistic and perfectionist tendencies! Shout out to all the other INFPs out there...  

Hope you are staying warm! Here are a few photos of our greenhouse post-snowstorm.




Love,
Stacy  

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year

I'd like to offer a warm welcome to 2018. Here's to steaming mugs of tea, and the chance to renew in joy and good work. And welcome to you, dear reader. I'm so glad you're here. 

And what is this "here?" Well, it's a blog! About my first year as a flower farmer on an acre of land in Central Massachusetts. I've been working hard planning and preparing for the upcoming season- and holding so many thoughts and hopes and fears for this year in my little body. So I decided to share my experiences- messy, sweet, both?- with you. I hope you enjoy learning with me!

Love,
Stacy