Hi friends! We want to start up a monthly chat with y’all and would love to think of something more creative than ‘coffee date’, but our minds are swirling with planting, growing, harvesting, arranging and pairing at the moment! If you have any brilliant ideas, please share in the comments and the winner will get a shout out in our next post. Enticing, isn’t it? We’ll come up with cooler prizes for future pretend contests.
The goal of these posts is to share the highs, lows and anything in-between from the month and make it feel super casual…you know, like a coffee date. We’re cheating a little this time since it’s the first one and sharing from May and June. Grab your fresh brewed coffee with a splash of cashew cream and let’s get to it…
First, let’s talk about the excitement of selling our flowers at a local shop in town called Market & Domain! The shop showcases local talent selling home goods, fresh produce, homemade soaps, candles and more! We planted tulips last fall, literally the day before the weather turned so cold, and they did really well their first season! We just planted your typical tulip in a variety of colors; the small variations were interesting. The yellow ones were the tallest, the pink the shortest, the purple had the longest vase life and the orange were just the happy mediums of the group! We decided to sell the tulips by the stem so customers could make their own bouquet and they did fairly well, but next time we take that approach we’ll definitely set up a flower bar with more variety and work there for the day to help customers choose their flowers and put arrangements together. Just the thought of people buying our flowers and putting them out in their homes makes us so happy!
In true first year farmers fashion we were a little late to the game when it came to spring planting! We decided to direct seed a lot of our annual flowers, meaning plant the seeds directly into outdoor garden beds as soon as the last spring frost is over…and in the second week of May you certainly hope the frost is behind you for the year! We ordered quite a few seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Bakers Seeds with hopes of the following flowers blooming!
- Sweet Thai Basil
- Persian Cress
- Alpha Calendula (daisy like)
- Bells of Ireland
We also ordered three rose bushes from David Austin Roses which we highly recommend whether you’re selling or just planting for your own personal enjoyment! The roses are beautiful and all come with a 5 year guarantee!
The planting process was time consuming to say the least since we did all the work manually. Lucky for us, we have some pretty nice husbands who helped out with tilling, laying gravel paths and building wooden flower boxes to outline each garden. The prep and planning took place over three different days and it was incredibly windy each time we were out working so after everything was planted we added mulch to the flower beds to help keep the weed fabric down and ‘protect the seeds’. One piece of advice…don’t do this! ha Some of the flowers were okay and popped right through, but it seems the mulch may be the reason some of the more delicate flowers (like the poppies and maybe the daisies, persian cress and basil too) haven’t made an appearance. The good news is we’ve learned that lesson and will certainly take a different approach going forward! First year farming is about learning first and foremost!
The cosmos, zinnias and roses are especially making up for it though and we are swooning over them daily. We also need a cooler ASAP! 🙂
Over the weekend we had our quarterly planning session. Professional sounding isn’t it? It was our first one 🙂 but it was such a great day and we’ll definitely continue to have these planning sessions going forward! We spent the first half of the day working in the flower beds and the second half of the day snacking, researching, ordering and blogging. The biggest challenges with the flower beds right now are weeds (June brought so much rain this year) and unwanted visitors! The pest control is a little tricky, because we’re farming organically. The sunflowers have been the most affected; we have some happy little critters who have thoroughly enjoyed the buffet of sunflower leaves we planted for them to feast on this season! We’ve been using an organic spray as well as making our own mixture of dish soap and water in hopes it will encourage them to move on to their next vacation spot for the summer! Luckily, the sunflowers are still thriving!
We ordered seeds and bulbs from Johnny’s again and can’t wait to do a little summer planting for fall blooms (stock flowers, persian cress (take two) and asters)! And the tulips coming this fall….so beautiful y’all!! We’ll give you a sneak peak of one of the six types we selected. We’re going to be absolutely giddy when these start popping up next Spring!
We certainly enjoyed plenty of coffee in May and June, but from a business perspective really made the decision to put all our focus on the flowers given the amount of work needed to start the season! We still have our regular full time jobs in addition to what’s temporarily a side business 😉 so juggling our time can be a task of its own! We did reach out to a few local roasters in June though to get more information on collaboration possibilities. This is a slight change in direction after we learned roasting coffee beans ourselves just isn’t the most practical approach at the moment. You really have to consider mastering the technique, investing in the equipment and setting aside enough time, because we would only want to provide the freshest coffee! Even with keeping this in the hands of the professionals for now, we definitely wanted to support local business. More to come on that in the July coffee date!
And if we didn’t end these posts with a few random happenings from the month(s), it just wouldn’t be us!
- Game of Thrones ended in May! Sigh…we miss it already haha
- Our favorite countryside winery opened for the season! (Autumn Rush Vineyard)
- Two previous foster dogs stayed with Kryn for a couple weeks (at separate times) while their parents vacationed (it’s important to note she and her husband also have 7 dogs of their own and equally important to note we volunteer with a rescue group called Cause for Canines!)
- Season 2 of Big Little Lies started (we like TV, okay!)
Have a great one, y’all!!