Back in February my daughter and I were brainstorming ideas to make a little money, not leave the comfort of our gardens (smile!), and involve the whole family in the process. I've always dreamed of a farm stand and we've talked about it a whole lot in our family.
We always come back to this, "We have too much to do to man a farm stand every day. And selling vegetables has tremendous challenges."
So, in February when Andrea said, "Mom, how about cut flowers? We could grow and sell cut flowers". And once that idea was out, there was no going back!
We chose and purchased all heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds. We walked the farm with Eldon and he pointed out some options on where we could grow our flowers. We chose a location and he tilled and prepped the soil for us. We showed Justus (Andrea's husband) pictures of every cute farm stand on internet. We researched running a farm stand on the self serve, honor system. We talked about how to do it with hardly any money going out. We went to auctions and looked at farm wagons. And we talked and talked and talked flowers. I even attended a Farmers Market Boot Camp Class!
One day in March Justus got a phone call from his parents, "We think we have the perfect farm stand wagon for you". Andrea and Justus were already headed there for the weekend and when they got there they agreed that yes, it was perfect. Eldon and I hitched up the truck and trailer and away we went and brought home this old truck bed. It was a bit beat up with red paint chipping off to the yellow paint beneath it. The tires were worthless. It didn't have a hitch on it. It needed a lot of work. IT WAS PERFECT!
New tires, a hitch welded on, and Justus's creative imagination and willingness to put ideas to reality, (along with all salvaged things from his parents farm), and we have a farm stand! We can even move it down the road if we want!
I painted some signs, Andrea designed the labels, blog, and Facebook page. Eldon and Justus positioned the flower cart at our farm entrance and we went to work on our first cut flower arrangements! (We even bagged up some left over garden veggies!)
And we are in business!
It's a huge learning process and fun? WOW! We hang out down in the flower garden bright and early every morning listening to the bees buzz around us, the bull frogs bellering in the pond, butterflies everywhere and my darling little grand-girls running around helping us. (Jillian is catching on fast. She said, "Gram don't you think this bouquet needs some Cosmos?"!)
We've been in business a week. It was pretty crazy how quickly the word started spreading. We actually made many special order bouquets and it was so much fun.
We sold many bouquets off the farm stand and discovered that so far, the honor system works. People are amazing.
We've learned a lot about flowers. What works, what doesn't. What we need to plant for next year (yes, we are already planning for next year!).
Please visit our Farm Fresh blog here and follow along with the flower business (Andrea and I take turns writing)! That's where we'll be posting updates and pictures!
And we're open to any suggestions on heirloom flowers for next year! We are learning as we go and appreciate all the help we can get!