Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July Monthly Moos {Flower Farming}





Wow!  How did I miss a Monthly Moos post in June?  Could it be because of this... our flower garden?  Keeping us very happily occupied?



I shared with you last year in July about our little honor system farm stand (here) and the idea that my daughter and I were pursuing of growing cut flowers and selling on the farm stand.



I don't think I ever let you know here on my blog how it actually went!   Our little cart got all kinds of attention, the word spread, and before we knew it we were selling every bouquet we could make from our tiny little flower garden.



We learned a lot about marketing our product.




We came up with a great system for getting our bouquets from the garden to the flower cart without spilling even a drop of water!




We rented our flower cart out to a wedding... full of beautiful flowers!  (In the pouring rain, no less.)




We got very good at whipping out 15 to 20 bouquets at a time.  On a folding table in the middle of the garden!




Summer passed and we decked our cart out for Fall and continued to sell flowers until the first freeze came the end of October.




This winter my daughter and I had a long discussion about the next flower season.  We had a big planning session where we decided to expand the size of our garden.  We ordered our seeds, made a huge master plan of  succession planting and what and when we would plant.





Spring came and Eldon did the tilling and hilling.  Justus helped with the layout.  Andrea and I and the little girls did the planting.




And the plants grew.  And we weathered disappointments of no rain, infestation of Aphids, deformed Zinnias, weeds that grew right before our very eyes, and seeds that didn't come up.



But the plants kept growing and beautiful blooms began forming.





Eldon and Justus built us an awesome open air work shed so we can work on our bouquets out of the sun.  And the little girls have a place to hang out and play while we are working in the garden.




The boys help us by keeping the walk ways mowed and string trimmed.  Andrea and I do the hand weeding in the rows themselves.




We've learned the personalities of the many varieties of sunflowers and which ones work for bouquets and which ones don't.




Our second succession of planting is up and doing well.




The little girls play with bugs, butterflies and their dolls!  And Belle, our farm dog,  keeps all of us company.




And every morning, when the dew is on the ground and the morning mist is still in the air, we meet at the flower garden to make the bouquets that fill our cart for the  customers that keep coming to buy our beautiful flowers!




We provide flowers for different events in the area and we even have a reserved box on the back of our stand for those that call ahead and place an order for the day.  And all of this is operated on the honor system.




I think it is safe to say that we really and truly are Flower Farmers.  It is a joy to provide beautiful farm fresh flowers straight from our garden to the homes of people that love them.




Someone recently asked us how we ever leave the garden.  She said, "It would be my happy place and I would just live there".  And we just about do!


40 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Glad it turn out so well after a disappointing start! John found my still unread Flower Farmer book and thought maybe you'd like it. I told him I was pretty sure you had your own copy! Or could write it by now!

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    1. Angela,

      Not only do I own the book, but I pretty much have it memorized! But write my own? NO WAY!!! We feel like we know nothing! :-)

      I'm so happy we got to come visit you in June and that you got our first bouquet of the season!

      - Dori -

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  2. Dori & Andrea, I love what you've done! What a fantastic addition to your community! I dream of do in something like this someday!

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  3. Words can't even express how much I loved this post! ** sigh** Country living at its best...

    Thanks so much for sharing the beauty with all of us!

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  4. What a blessing you must be to the community...think of all the homes that are made more lovely with those beautiful bouquets! It just makes me smile. And you're learning so much! I love the cart and Imlove the work station in the garden and out of the sun...perfect!

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    1. Imlove? typing too fast!

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    2. Thank you Vee. We don't feel like we are blessing at all - but one thing is that we do feel that the community has taken ownership of "their flower cart" and it has become the thing to do!!! :-) And that makes us really happy!

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  5. Just beautiful, Dori, Andrea, and family!

    Take care.

    Emily

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  6. Could there be a more beautiful business? The fact that you get to share it with your daughter and grandgirls would be the icing on the cake! That is the cutest farm stand I have EVER seen what a dream. Thank you for sharing the photos and article. I loved reading about it.

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    1. Kathy,

      I don't think there is anything funner that working in the garden with flowers. I thought of you a lot this spring as we were suffering through some crazy Zinnia things (I mean, seriously weird Zinnias!) and I remembered pictures of your amazing Zinnias last summer before your daughter's wedding. I almost wrote to you a few times to see if you'd experienced anything so strange. Deformed blooms like you would not believe. We were cutting and throwing out hundreds of blooms. Anyway, they grew out of it finally and I think possibly made for stronger, tougher plants in the process! But oh the process!

      And yes, doing this with my daughter and grand-daughters is the best part of it.

      - Dori -

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  7. No wonder we haven't "seen" much of you and your daughter, you're enjoying your new business so much! It is all so lovely! What a wonderful thing you are doing.

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    1. Melissa,

      It is a fun morning when it starts in the flower garden!

      - Dori -

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  8. No wonder we haven't "seen" much of you and your daughter, you're enjoying your new business so much! It is all so lovely! What a wonderful thing you are doing.

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    1. Melissa, Yes... the flower farming fun-ness sort of keeps us out of the blogging loop! :-)

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  9. You are so blessed to be doing this with your family!! I love everything about it! :D

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    1. Thank you Nancy. Doing this as a family was one of the things that made it so appealing to all of us. We girls are so lucky to have the helps of our guys!

      - Dori -

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  10. Hi Dori, I think more than anything is seeing the grandgirls out in nature enjoying the family flower business and working together to bring beautiful flowers (and extra veggies?) to appreciated customers. With Belle over seeing the production:). Have a flowery day, Kathleen in Az

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    1. Hi Kathleen,

      Yes, I would say you are right about that - working outside together is so nice. And watching the little girls loving it really makes it extra-special.

      No, we don't see any extra veggies. First of all, it seems we hardly have any extra. And secondly, just about everyone here has a veggie garden so we can't seem to even GIVE the veggies away!!! But flowers is a different story for some reason! :-)

      Yes, Belle has to over-see everything! She loves the garden.

      Hugs,

      Dori

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  11. Love the covered work space!! Gardens look great! Summer is already flying by! So cute your granddaughters have their dolls there!
    Patty

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    1. Hello Patty!!! The covered work space saves us, let me tell you! And summer does fly by way too fast.

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  12. Pretties post you have ever made. I love reading every word and enjoying the beautiful photo's.
    Beautiful flowers, mason jars, cute cart, fields of flowers what a LIFE!

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  13. Wow. They are beautiful. And how tender and sweet of your husbands to build that special place to put together your bouquets! It's all just so charming! :-)

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    1. Yes, those guys are pretty special to us. We all pretty much love the flower garden.

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  14. What a beautiful flower business. The flowers, the honor system, the simplicity, I love it all. You and your daughter are flat our geniuses!!! If I lived close by, I would certainly be a regular customer. And I just love your cart and also how it looked in the photo from last Fall. So old fashioned and fun!

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    1. Hello Winnie,

      I think one of the things that our customers love the most is the honor system. They can stop at the stand, they can stand there and take all the time they need to make their selection, or they can jump out of their vehicle, grab some flowers and leave all in a matter of a few seconds... not having it manned by someone I think is a big draw for people. Young and old alike. The biggest drawback for us is that we don't get to physically meet too many of our customers. Mostly it is through notes left for us or emails and Facebook messages. Thanks for writing!

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  15. I'm happy your flower garden has turned out so beautiful after getting off to a bad start! You have such a nice variety of blooms and I love the step ladder next to the TALL sunflowers! Your photographs are always just the best.

    Esther

    Esther

    Esther

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    1. Hi Esther,

      We are lucky our garden has done so well after it's rough start! Now our first batch of sunflowers are heading out and we're wishing we could hurry along our second batch. The life of a flower farmer huh?!

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  16. Sorry about all the names, not very computer savvy ! ha ha

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  17. Oh my... Loved that you shared this all with us... so beautiful and those flowers surely would brighten anyone's day... and the honor system such a wonderful thing to see. Yes, not many ladies are as lucky as some of us, having the guys help... BLESSED...

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    1. Hi Connie,

      Oh you are so right about that... we are very lucky to have the help from our guys.

      Hope your summer is going good!

      Dori

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  19. If I lived close, I would be your number 1 customer!! It would be so wonderful having a fresh bouquet everyday to look at to brighten things up!!! I could have used a dozen of those bouquets this last week!!! It was a HARD one!!!

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  20. Dori, this post just makes me happy! I do wish I was your sister or daughter or neighbor.....or something! I have to get back into blogging. xo

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  21. Curious what kind of flowers you would recommend for a beginner. I'd love to plan on a 'cutting garden' for next season - just personal use. I planted some Dahlia and Zinnia this year but they were on the small side - I'd really like longer stemmed flowers. Any suggestions? Where do you order your seeds?

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    1. Hi Jody,

      Zinnias are a really great cut flower, but you do need to get the seeds of the giant zinnias. Some of them are so small their really don't work well for cut flowers. Here is a good one to order: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8065-benarys-giant-mix.aspx

      I would also recommend the Sunflower. There are so many varieties and they are so beautiful. Some of them are great for cut flower arrangements and some are not. So it is good to read the description of each sunflower seed to find out the size of the flower, etc. Here is a good link for all the kinds of sunflowers that we love: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-106-sunflowers.aspx?source=W_flowers_ddcat&

      Also on Johnny's Seeds there is a tab for cut flower suggestions here: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/v-19-use-for-cut-flowers-and-bouquets.aspx?source=W_flowers_ddShopBy

      Maybe that will give you some ideas! Probably the biggest recommendation I can make to keep your garden blooming is to cut, cut, cut!!! If flowers are left to go to seed on the plant, then it will stop producing flowers (all the plant's energy goes to making seed). So, make all the bouquets and flower arrangements you can! :-)

      Feel free to email me if you have any more questions.

      - Dori -

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