I know it can be hard to think about 2019 when we still have three months left in 2018, but the truth is, a flower farmer has been prepping for the 2019 growing season for a couple of months already. I was methodically starting about 200 seeds a day in early September, and now I have thousands of seedlings that are going into the ground for their long winter nap. Part of the thinking and planning ahead requires getting a good idea of how many people I will be growing flowers for in the coming year. That helps me determine how many plants I need in production every week of the growing season, and that helps me know how many seeds I need to order and all sorts of other useful bits of information needed to successfully run the farm.
If you are new to Bloomsbury Lane Farm, you may not know that I sell nearly all of my flowers through a membership program. The membership options are numerous and, thanks to some additional options for 2019, hopefully pretty flexible.
The growing season is broken into three membership periods: Spring, Summer, and Fall. The Spring period is April and May. The Summer period runs June through September, and the Fall membership is for October only. The prices (for summer) begin as low as $72. We have a great group of pickup locations in the area. Beyond the Door in Senoia (30 Main St.) and Sarah’s Home in Peachtree City (308 A Willow Bend Road) will be the pickup locations for Tuesdays. The Chicken House in Griffin (324 E Broad St.) and the farm in Brooks will be the locations for Wednesdays, and Junk Mama’s in Fayetteville (125 Fisher Ave) will host pickups on Fridays. When you sign up for your membership, you just need to pick your first and second choices for pickup locations, and we’ll make sure your bouquet gets delivered there for you on the appointed days.
If you just love to wallow in seasonal flowers, you can choose to get a bucket of flowers every week of the summer season (that’s 17 buckets). Or you can taper back a bit and get a bucket every other week (9 buckets) or once a month (4 buckets). The buckets allow you to unleash your inner floral designer, which I think is pretty fun.
If you are interested in getting mixed market bouquets instead, the options are essentially the same, but there’s a new one I’m adding this year. Just as with the bucket membership, with the bouquet membership you can choose to get your flowers weekly, every other week, or once a month. I also understand that people travel a lot in the summer and might be out of town some weeks, so I’ve added the option of simply purchasing a flexible membership which gives you 6 bouquets over the course of the summer but allows you to pick your dates.
Please know that you are also always welcome to gift any of your membership bouquets to a friend or to the nursing home in Fayetteville. All you need to do is let me know when that comes up. I will say that I very happily delivered a number of bouquets to the nursing home that were donated by members this summer, and I know that they brought joy to the residents.
And finally, I’m really excited about one last new option for next year. That’s the Bloomsbury Lane Farm Flower Club membership. The Flower Club will run from April through November, and it is especially designed for people who have an interest in learning more about seasonal flowers. On the first Saturday of every month (though September’s will be the second week), the Flower Club will gather on the farm to hone our flower arranging skills. These gatherings will be quite relaxed, and I’ll ask you to bring vessels to arrange in and containers for any of your floral share that you don’t use in the arrangements. The membership comes with your very own set of flower snips (the kind I use to harvest flowers all season long), a Bloomsbury Lane Farm apron (because we don’t want to get messy while we’re working), and a 2019 Bloomsbury Lane Farm calendar with little reminders in it for our “dates” together on the farm. If you want to be in the Flower Club but would also like to get flowers more than once a month, you’ll have the option to add weeks to your order.
If you haven’t seen our flowers before, you may be wondering what kinds of things you can expect in a bouquet or bucket. I think you may end up being quite pleasantly surprised. You see, I mostly grow flowers and greens that you would never find in the grocery store. You’ll see mint, oregano, lavender, and rosemary. You’ll find flax and bachelor buttons, forget-me-nots and strawflowers, zinnias and dahlias, celosia and cosmos, ranunculus and snapdragons, corn cockle and millet, and many other things that you’ve likely never seen before. Because we grow in harmony with the seasons, you’ll see how the flowers in your bouquets change over the course of the year.
And speaking of harmony, I believe wholeheartedly in growing in a sustainable, organic way. So I fertilize with fish emulsion, kelp meal, and molasses. Pests are mostly controlled by feeding the soil so that the plants are healthier, so I build the structure of the soil with manure and compost and leaf mold. If I need to intervene with pests, I use organza bags (no kidding!) or organic sprays, but for the most part, I leave things alone. Anyway, the good bugs usually like to snack on the bad bugs. A quick stroll through the fields won’t simply yield a wide array of flowers; you’ll also see a whole host of pollinators and birds that simply love feeding off of plants that are all natural. It’s a sight to behold.
The membership enrollment period begins on 1 November and will continue until 1 February. Please be aware, however, that the number of memberships is limited. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at Becky@Bloomsburylanefarm.com.