Monday, July 16, 2018

Flower Shares: Week Four

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all having splendid starts to the week. I've just returned from a weekend in my hometown, where I was celebrating two dear friends' wedding shower. I couldn't be happier for them, and I was excited to provide the flowers for the event. Check out this stunning balloon arch, courtesy of my friend and fellow bridesmaid, Courtney! Courtney is an incredible stylist and project manager, and I highly recommend checking out here work here and here.


I love that I'm at the point in the season where I can walk down to the field and have my choice of colors and textures to cut. And that these flowers can survive a two hour drive in the car en route to a hot event! The next wave of successions is just starting to come in, and I can't wait to experiment with some new styles of flowers (...looking at you, Celosia!).



This week in your shares, you'll find a combination of:
Ageratum
Ammi
Bachelor's Buttons
Calendula
Carnations
Cynoglossum
Delphinium
Frosted Explosion Switch Grass
Gypsophila
Larkspur
Nigella
Rudbeckia
Salvia
Scabiosa
Snapdragons
Statice
Sunflowers
Zinnia


Blue-Purple Ageratum



Thank you, and have a good week!

Stacy





Monday, July 9, 2018

Flower Shares: Week Three

Hello all!

The field is flush with flowers- it feels like a new variety comes into bloom every other day. And that a particular flower can take on a whole new personality as its blossoms come in. Check out the lovely "Jade" sunflower below, and the frilly Larkspur. Loving the variance in shapes and colors to be found in the field!




This week in your shares you will find a combination of:

Ageratum
Amaranth
Ammi (Dara)
Baby's Breath
Bachelor Buttons
Campanula
Cosmos
Cynoglossum
Delphinium
Frosted Explosion Switch Grass
Larkspur
Nigella
Salvia
Snapdragons
Statice
Sunflowers (Jade)
Sweet William
Zinnia

The beds have also become busy with pollinators. Bees, flies, butterflies, moths. Finches and hummingbirds feeding from the sweet peas. It's a pretty magical sight, and it makes me happy to know that I'm providing these guys with the sustenance they need to pollinate our vegetable crops as well.



Take a listen to the video below. Lots of humming and chirping going on in and around the Cynoglossum!




Thank you as always for joining us. Have a lovely week!

Stacy
 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Flower Shares: Week Two

Hello everyone!

Oh my goodness, what a scorcher the last few days have been! I hope you all were able to find ways to be cool and comfortable... and that if you're a Massachusetts native like myself, you've found opportunities to say the word "scorcher" (ahem, "s-caw-chuh") as much as possible.

This week in your shares, you will find:

Ageratum
Amaranth
Ammi
Bachelor Buttons
Buplerum
Cleome
Cosmos
Cynoglossum
Dill
Larkspur
Salvia
Snapdragons
Statice
Stock
Strawflowers
Sunflowers
Verbena

I've so been enjoying seeing each variety of flower come to maturity. It was snowing when I first looked through my seed catalogues, so it's been amazing to see what some of these new-to-me plants look like in the field. Some varieties have blown me away, like the Double Click Cosmos. Even the lovely photos from Johnny's Selected Seeds couldn't quite do these blooms justice!



I'm also loving the Xanthos Cosmo, a petite variety perfect for bouquets and tiny arrangements. I'm hoping these guys will feature prominently at my friends' wedding this fall!



Other varieties have offered up other surprises. The cleome plant, for instance, bears a startling resemblance to the marijuana plant. Which certainly never came up in the seed catalogue! A lovely colleague stopped by last week to admire the flowers, and very gently inquired about my 50-foot bed of marijuana. I did some frantic googling, and was reassured to find that I was, in fact, growing "Spider Flower." The flower itself is really quite pretty, but with a sticky stem and strong-smelling leaves, I don't think this variety will make it into my future crop plan!



Thank you, as always, for your support and participation in our Flower Share. Wishing you a happy start to July!

Stacy

Monday, June 25, 2018

Flower Shares: Week One


Welcome, wonderful CSA members!

It's our first week of blooms, and I couldn't be happier to be sharing the harvest with you. Our field has exploded in flowers during the month of June, thanks to some hot days and timely showers, and it feels like we have officially hit our summer stride. In your bouquets this week, you will find a combination of the following:

Ageratum
Amaranth
Ammi
Bachelor Buttons
Cleome
Cosmos
Dill
Larkspur
Ornamental Grasses
Rye
Snapdragons
Statice
Stock
Strawflowers
Sunflowers
Sweet Peas
Zinnias

Each bouquet is slightly different, and designed to be as full and fragrant as possible, so don't be alarmed if you see varying proportions of these special ingredients.

To help your bouquet last as long as possible, recut stems at a 45 degree angle, removing about an inch off the ends, and place into a vase of cool water. Change vase water every few days. There are a number of homemade recipes for flower preservative available, from sugar and vinegar to vodka mixtures, but I can't speak to the efficacy of these techniques just yet. Let me know if you experiment and find something that you love! You can also place your bouquet in the fridge overnight. Cut flowers love cool temperatures! Just be sure to avoid exposure to ripening fruit. The ethylene gas released via the ripening process can cause your arrangement to wilt.

Thank you again for your support this season. Cheers to the start of ten weeks of fresh flowers! Please enjoy these photos of the farm in progress, and do feel free to reach out with any questions.

All the best,
Stacy
Quiet Greenhouse Visitor
Mother's Day Tulips
Broom Corn Seeds
Early June Delights
Bachelor Button Blue
Happy Solstice!
Color Riot
First Stock in Bloom
















Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Full Greenhouse



Hello all! Welp, it's been another month of wet and snow. What the heck, am I right?

Our greenhouse is full to bursting, and I'd love to get our sweetpeas into the ground. But until the weather cooperates, they need to stay nestled inside. Perhaps that's a good metaphor for what we all need to be doing as well. A number of folks in the greater Farm School community are down with a nasty bug... I'm currently writing this post shivering beneath two or three layers of blankets, orange juice in hand. Spring is close, but we're not quite there yet here in Orange, so we'll just have to be patient.


Until we get out there into the world, here are some photos and musings I've had over the last few weeks. Enjoy!

Sweetpeas bein' sweet.

Zinnia seeds, growing like little arrowheads in the greenhouse. They had me thinking about those who stewarded this land long before my Irish family ever made it's way here. Check out this article and map to learn more about where indigenous peoples were living and thriving prior to being forcibly removed from their lands. 

Hello tiny one! Stay warm!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Seeding

Hooray, hooray! 

The Bachelor's Buttons have germinated!
Yes, we may have a serious Nor'easter heading our way tomorrow. But the starts are warm and cozy in the greenhouse, and seeding is well underway.

A lovely morning seeding with friends at True Calling Farm.
This is their first year in action, too!
Check out these Bachelor's Button and Carnation seeds. They're so wonderfully different from one another.


Each spring, when I put my hands into the soil for the first time, I'm filled with such joy. So much hope lies nestled within each of these seeds! And so, I try to give them the best possible conditions for germination: light, warmth, moisture, air circulation, and excellent potting mix from Vermont Compost.

I'm planting exclusively in soil blocks this year, as a means to reduce my plastic use and save space on starts with low germination rates. It's been fun experimenting with this system. Do I bottom watering or mist? What will "potting up" be like? How can I best keep these little mini-blocks moist and upright? Check out two trays of lisianthus below- over 600 starts in two standard trays!

Two trays of lisianthus varieties- with a sprinkle of vermiculite to mitigate algae growth!

I hope you all stay warm during the coming storm. Spring really is coming, I promise!

Cheers,
Stacy


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?