Well….it’s been approximately two days since our last monthly chat and now it’s August! In other words, July went FAST! It was filled with some seriously hot days, running through a sprinkler in between weeding on said hot days, a couple coffee breaks at our favorite cafe, Fox in the Snow, for the very tasty new orleans coffee and of course planting, harvesting and finally taking the next step with coffee orders. So grab your drink of choice and let’s dive in!
Last month we gave everyone a sneak peak of the cosmo buds, but they are in full bloom now and looking gorgeous right beside our zinnias! They’re getting quite tall so we took a tip from our Floret Farmer’s book and added stakes and netting around our cosmos in anticipation a couple weeks ago. This setup will keep our cosmos standing straight and support long lasting growth and healthy flowers! It’s best to do the staking and netting after harvesting so you’re not bumping into blooms which is why you’re just seeing pretty greenery in our photo! Kryn cut all the fresh flowers right before setting this up!
We ordered ‘sea shell cosmos’ from Johnny’s Seed so when it comes to color we have a variety! We’ve decided this pink little pom pom (in addition to that light lavender beauty at the start of our post) are probably our favorites! For today anyway 🙂
And we’re not the only ones swooning over these flowers! We caught the prettiest butterfly enjoying them the other day which makes us super happy, because we certainly plant flowers for more than just our own enjoyment. Pollinating bees, and even butterflies, are a sight we like to see!
And finally, the happiest flower of all…our sunflowers! We had our doubts early on, because the insects and animals will not stay away! First, and quite honestly still, we encountered the pesky little aphids we read so much about in our online flower group! They were eating our sunflower leaves like crazy and we sprayed a soapy water mixture on them repeatedly. When things finally started looking better, something strolled buy and ate the entire leaf and bud right off the stem! We were beginning to think our local neighborhood groundhog gang liked to stop by for dinner in the evenings, but the majority of the sunflowers persevered and we are relishing in their glory…lacy leaves and all 🙂
We also got a fridge for our garage in July to store our fresh cut flowers! An actual flower cooler would certainly be better and the fridge is FAR from fancy, but we’re playing around with temperature and making it work. The zinnias and sunflowers last really well while the cosmos don’t seem to keep as long. We’ve labeled the cosmos as must have fillers, but probably wouldn’t do a bouquet of them alone. In August, our little fridge should be full of cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers and gladiolus!
Remember those flower beds we mentioned last month that didn’t do so well, likely because the mulch we put down stunted the little seedlings growth? We decided to dig up one of the flower beds all together and clear a little space in another where tulips were blooming during the spring to start fresh.
In the flower bed we dug up, we mixed in good soil to go with the lovely clay we have naturally and planted Asters (tower custom mix), Stocks (Quartet White, Iron Apricot, Katz purple, and Katz formula mix) and Persian cress. And now we wait impatiently for them to grow! The space that previously had tulips in the second bed now has gladiolus; we took a little bit of a chance planting these bulbs pretty late (end of June actually), but you know what? It just greatly reduced the waiting time and they are looking fabulous! We’ll chalk that up as a brilliant win.
And if planting seeds isn’t tedious enough, we’ve also been doing so much weeding! We’re keeping everything organic so there’s no harsh chemicals ‘helping’ us out in this area. One of these days, we really are going to try spraying the weeds that come up on our gravel paths with a white vinegar mixture to see if that kills and keeps them away! We’ll also research and look to purchase a more sustainable garden fabric to keep the weeds in our flower beds under control when fall and spring planting roll around. Because let us tell you…some of the weeds, like thistle, are a pain in our…well, you fill in the blank. We were going to say hands 😉 Coffee refill, anyone?
We made some exciting progress in the world of coffee last month! We met with a local roasting company, Backroom Coffee, and got to learn more about their company, their coffee and opportunities for private label selling. Most importantly, we also did some taste testing and particularly enjoyed their latest addition, cold brew coffee! So good, y’all! We didn’t even add creamer to it! A few things we fell in love with…
- Can we mention the cold brew again already?
- The Elevation blend was also delicious (we’re guilty of adding creamer to this one)
- Two of their “employees” are rescue dogs (Olive and Rocky)
- The lead roaster is really passionate about coffee and ensures the beans are always of highest quality; he looks for interesting flavors from lesser known producers and finds superior versions of the more familiar origins
- They have burlap coffee bean bags they could sell to us (to wrap our flowers in!)
- They’re community focused and looking to work together with fellow businesses in such a relaxed, open and helpful way!
We’ll be planning our first order soon and even heading back on site to see the roasting process first hand! It should be a cool experience and we’ll be writing a post on our experience that day! Don’t worry…it’ll include photos of Olive and Rocky!
In the meantime, we have a few tasks that need competed first.
- Finalize our logo so we can use this on the coffee bean bags
- Determine what kind of coffee bags we’ll sell the beans in and where we order from (Backroom does offer kraft bags, but we might want to look for something more customized)
- Design the coffee bags (our logo, the coffee blend and additional information)
- Decide which blends will work best to offer our customers
(Luckily, Kryn is quite artistic so she’s been working on these design elements and has probably drawn at least a dozen cosmos, peonies and poppies over the past couple weeks!)
As always, let’s end with some random chit chat, because July was pretty fun!
- As you know, we volunteer with a local rescue, Cause for Canines. We coordinated a fundraiser at Pies and Pints (local pizza shop) and were able to help raise funds to support our cause through proceeds from food orders, a raffle table and t-shirt sales!
- Kryn took in two puppy fosters who were dumped by their previous owners in Kentucky 🙁 They’re now loved and referred to as Veronica and Mars 🙂
- Sara had a birthday! The big 3-2 this year!
- One of our favorite local markets opened for the season, Lynd Fruit Farm
- We got together with old work friends from our last corporate job for happy hour and were reminded of how good it is to catch up with your favorite people!
Cheers to August!