Making Leaf Mold

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close-bosom friend of the maturing sun-John Keats, "To Autumn" I'm pretty sure I haven't always loved autumn. If I'm remembering correctly, I thought of it as a precursor to winter, and I can assure you that I have never liked winter. In fact, as a child, one of my favorite books to read was The Penguin that Hated the Cold. I could empathize with Pablo the penguin's irritation with the cold and his assertion that "Cold weather...is for the birds. The other birds. Not me." At some point, though, my perspective shifted, and I'm almost certain that it started happening ...
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close-bosom friend of the maturing sun-John Keats, "To Autumn" I'm pretty sure I haven't always loved autumn. If I'm remembering correctly, I thought of it as a precursor to winter, and I can assure you that I have never liked winter. In fact, as a child, one of my favorite books to read was The Penguin t...

Stuffed with Peppers

I am not known for making reasonable, measured planting decisions. Take, for example, the flower farm. It came into being because I wasn't wild about cutting flowers for the house from the flower beds around the house. The reasonable solution would have been simply to create a cut flower garden. Instead, I plowed up a flower farm and started a business. The result was that I grew thousands of flowers for other people but was rarely able to keep any for myself. Flowers destined for a wedding I am aware of these tendencies toward the grandiose, and I do try to manage them, but I couldn't tell you that I'm ...
I am not known for making reasonable, measured planting decisions. Take, for example, the flower farm. It came into being because I wasn't wild about cutting flowers for the house from the flower beds around the house. The reasonable solution would have been simply to create a cut flower garden. Instead, I plowed up a flower farm and started a bus...

The Future of the Farm

It feels like an eternity since I last posted any dispatches from the farm here. It is something that has distressed me a bit because I really love to write, and I especially enjoy writing about the hours I spend with dirt on my hands. The reality of running a farm completely on my own, however, is that I haven't had time for many of the things I enjoy doing--you know, besides growing flowers. This summer has been an incredibly challenging one in the fields. In May, we had nearly two weeks of highs in the 90s, which is almost unheard of. Then the deer had what I consider an amazing progressive dinner one night i...
It feels like an eternity since I last posted any dispatches from the farm here. It is something that has distressed me a bit because I really love to write, and I especially enjoy writing about the hours I spend with dirt on my hands. The reality of running a farm completely on my own, however, is that I haven't had time for many of the things I e...

2019 Flower Memberships

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 kno...
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 l...

Who I Am Growing For

I've never been a business woman before. This is my first foray into that arena. Though it is different in many ways from my career as a college professor, I have seen one significant similarity, and it has to do with the reason I am doing this work. As a professor, honestly, I did the work because one of my college professors made me feel like I was more capable than I had ever imagined. He made literature fascinating and fun, and I wanted to be like him. I wanted to make other students feel exactly as he had made me feel. So I learned all of my students' names, tried to remember what their interests were, and w...
I've never been a business woman before. This is my first foray into that arena. Though it is different in many ways from my career as a college professor, I have seen one significant similarity, and it has to do with the reason I am doing this work. As a professor, honestly, I did the work because one of my college professors made me feel like I w...

The (Sometimes) Ugly Truth

I had written at the start of the season that I wanted to post something twice a month here. I haven't done that at all. The truth is that the season has been brutal for countless reasons. Most people wouldn't even begin to suspect that was the case, and that is largely my fault. On Facebook and Instagram, I try to post the most lovely photos of my flowers and the fields. The reasons are honest enough. I'm in my second year of starting this business, and I am trying to attract bouquet members so that I can actually keep running the business. I also don't want to depress anyone with the uglier aspects of farming. ...
I had written at the start of the season that I wanted to post something twice a month here. I haven't done that at all. The truth is that the season has been brutal for countless reasons. Most people wouldn't even begin to suspect that was the case, and that is largely my fault. On Facebook and Instagram, I try to post the most lovely photos of my...

Is It Spring Yet?

What a very long winter it has seemed this year. Although today is the Spring Equinox, I'm wondering when spring will actually arrive. I'm still tucking plants in under frost covers at night and running up to the greenhouse to check the temps and consider turning on the heater to keep all of my seedlings warm. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I haven't told you about all that I've been doing in the last few months. First, we finally completed the greenhouse. I really thought I would collapse from exhaustion before we made it, but after working in the biting winter cold day after day (and developing a w...
What a very long winter it has seemed this year. Although today is the Spring Equinox, I'm wondering when spring will actually arrive. I'm still tucking plants in under frost covers at night and running up to the greenhouse to check the temps and consider turning on the heater to keep all of my seedlings warm. But I'm getting ahead of myself her...

It’s Time to Sign Up for Bouquet and Bucket Subscriptions

I don’t know about anyone else, but all I can think about lately are the warmer, brighter days of spring and the beginning of our growing season. Every time I pick up another seed packet to start sowing, I can see in my mind’s eye the flower fields teeming with beautiful blooms. My fingers are itching to start making bouquets filled with unique flowers again. If you have ever gone to the grocery store to pick up some flowers to add a little extra beauty to your home or office, you may have been a little disappointed by the selection. For the most part, the choices are the same all year round. At Bloomsbury...
I don’t know about anyone else, but all I can think about lately are the warmer, brighter days of spring and the beginning of our growing season. Every time I pick up another seed packet to start sowing, I can see in my mind’s eye the flower fields teeming with beautiful blooms. My fingers are itching to start making bouquets filled with unique...

The Real Power of Flowers

In the early days of 2003, as I was preparing for my doctoral exams, I began to think about several classmates who had become really sick in the semester they took their exams. Determined not to follow them, I picked up a copy of Dr. Andrew Weil’s book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health with the goal of boosting my immune system. The program breaks the journey down into manageable increments, adding lifestyle adjustments each week. In the first week’s “projects” under the heading “Mental/Spiritual,” Weil writes, “Buy some flowers to keep in your home, where you can enjoy them” (49).[1] I remember ta...
In the early days of 2003, as I was preparing for my doctoral exams, I began to think about several classmates who had become really sick in the semester they took their exams. Determined not to follow them, I picked up a copy of Dr. Andrew Weil’s book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health with the goal of boosting my immune system. The program breaks the jo...