Winter Update 2019

Hey guys!

So I just thought I would be spontaneous and update the journal for once. I don’t have anything prepared but it’s a rainy Saturday and I feel like writing. So here we are.

I have noticed many other farms talk about this and its funny because I have wanted to talk about it as well. What do farmer’s do in the winter? Honestly, up until the past few years I had the impression that I would have time to take it slow and read all the books. But that has not been the case in these beginning years, nor do I think it will be the case in future years. My schedule is different, yes. We get to clean our house a little more, and the dishes usually get washed pretty quickly so that is definitely a plus. Our focus and the type of work just changes.

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This winter we have spent a lot of time working with our potential brides on their floral design plans for their weddings which is very exciting. I love this time of year because its like I get to gather up a new circle of friends. Its my job to see how we can fit their needs during the season and so this break from the seasonal hustle allows me to think more creatively for them. These are the first plans that start to shape what our year will look like and it gets me excited. It stirs up dreams of warmth and green and unique, new flower varieties that fit into bouquets just right. If you are thinking of reaching out to us to see if we are a good fit for your floral design, head on over to our Contact Page! We have gotten more inquiries this January than in years past and spots are filling up but we still have dates available! I would love to hear from you!

Another big task for our off-season is to focus on the business side of things. It gets so hectic during the growing season that we have little time to sit at the computer and go through systems and workflows, so its important to be able to focus on that now while we still can. To me, this also means locking myself away and dreaming up how we want 2019 to look like. This is our fifth year growing flowers (if you count the experimental first year). Looking back on 2018 and seeing areas of opportunity and growth and knowing where to clean it up, systemize and organize. And let me tell you, there are lots of things to clean up. I haven’t yet set my goals for 2019 but I do know that one big focus will be on ORGANIZATION! Jumping full steam ahead on that Kondo train.

2018 Anemones

2018 Anemones

I think the biggest surprise people have when I tell them what we do during the winter is the actual seeding and planting. Most of the first flowers to bloom in the spring are cold hardy, which means they can withstand our winters. We seed late summer to plant in the fall and those plants are busy growing roots underground during the cold, winter months. Then we start seeding again in January! This gives us another succession of those beautiful, ethereal spring blooms in the spring. And its a great way to get some green time in during the dead of winter. We sow things like lisianthus, stock, sweet peas, campanula, poppies, some perennials that I am excited about, and more. Soon we will start filling our instagram feed with pictures of the little babies and track their progress as they head out into the field in February.

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Truth is, the winter is still a busy time on the farm. Our focus and schedule shifts. We do get to breath a little deeper, maybe sleep a little later, and wash our dishes. But it’s also a very exciting time when we get to make concrete plans from our big, big dreams.

2018 Dahlias

2018 Dahlias

How would you like to see Southerly in 2019? I love hearing from everyone during this time and learning how we can serve you better?

Sarah

Farm update - March 2018

Well, I have just recently realized that the one and only post on this blog is from 2015. Wow. It might be time to share more on this blog thing. I have never thought of myself as a writer and I am a bit of a perfectionist so mix those two together and you get a long, long span of silence on a blog. Our season is just about to start (despite the temperature going into the 20's tonight) so I thought I would sit down and write an update on the farm. And really, I think it would be fun to share more pictures with you all in this way. Who knows, maybe opening up this avenue will be just what I need creatively and in turn, motivate me to create more. I mean, I was pretty good at Xanga so this should be a piece of cake.

Anemones - the first flowers of 2018

Anemones - the first flowers of 2018

Anemones and narcissus are always the first to bloom on the farm and a very, very welcoming sight. I have kept myself inside, in front of a computer, for most of the winter and I think at this point my skin is translucent That's not to say we don't have anything in the ground. There are quite a few rows in our field of hardy annual flowers that were planted last fall so they could develop a nice, strong root system and be ready to bloom as soon as it warms up this spring and the days get longer. But for the most part, its computer work and getting ready for the season to come. So to say spring is much anticipated, is an understatement. I am pretty sure an invisible, yet heavy, cloud lifts from my face and brain when that first sunny day arrives. I find it hard to concentrate even when we start working back in the field because it feels so good. I usually find a time to lay down between the rows on the warm soil because HEAT. I was the kid that loved to hang out and sometimes sleep in hot cars (dont worry, I was old enough to get out when I needed to). I just love the heat, and summer, and all of the good stuff that comes with it. Except bugs. Four years farming and I still dislike bugs. Although, I know how important many of them are, even spiders, so I will pass it by. But if a bug comes straight at my face, I will lunge away unnaturally.

Where were we? Flowers. Our ranunculus are starting to bud up and show color and even though our Icelandic poppies had a difficult winter, they are starting to bud up too. At the moment, we have layers of thin row cover over each row of flowers because we are expecting a pretty low freeze the next few nights. Fingers crossed they are hardy enough to survive. We knew it would come for us. February was way too happy.

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Once the weather gets consistently warmer, the flowers will begin to throw up more and more blooms and we will be able to make it back to our beloved little market - Main Street Farmer's Market. If you follow us on Instagram, you know that I post about the market a good bit. Its because I really believe in it and what it stands for. The people you buy from are this city's group of loyal, sustainable farmers and they supply us with that amazing, fresh food. I am super proud to be a part of this group and we have really enjoyed getting to know the customers that come every week.

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Anyway! That wasn't so bad! That's just a little sneak peak for you! For those that stuck with me, Thank you! We are super excited about the 2018 season and cant wait to crank out the blooms!

 

Sarah