February has brought us a lot of rain and a bit of warm sunshine as well, bringing the farm into a new season of growth. This year we are not just starting seeds and quietly waiting for warm weather. We are building more caterpillar tunnels, answering event emails, and jumping into the year head on. There are already more flower seedlings started than we grew over the whole course of 2018. I have been asked to teach a mason jar arranging class, do the flowers for a wedding, and make table arrangements for a rice growers dinner all just over the last few weeks. I Accepted all with excitement and am looking forward to each one. Last year at this time I don't think you could have even called us an actual farm but rather a large garden with a business name. To say I am grateful and thankful is an understatement, we have been incredibly blessed by everyone's support! I can't believe that our little back yard farm has grown so much over the past year, and I look forward to the season we are beginning.
'We have been starting seeds just about every week this month. There are so many new varieties popping up every day that it is always an exciting task to water and check on all the little sprouts. We currently are without a greenhouse here on the farm, so I have bombarded my in-laws' sun room with trays and trays of seedlings. Along with seed starting we also went through and pulled out all the heirloom chrysanthemums, dividing them and taking cuttings. It was a process of a few days squeezed in mainly during the girls' nap time and during grandma's babysitting. This turned my twenty or so plants into over 400! I ordered 41 new varieties for this year before I knew that I would be swimming in them. My allotted space allows for 192 mums, so I will be waiting for some good weather after all the predicted rain and will have a mini pop-up plant sale where I will gladly share all my tips and tricks. Last year they reached six feet tall before falling over! This year we will be staking them quite differently to hopefully avoid having so many bent stems this time around.
This month we finally got to eat some fresh lettuce! It has been so nice to just walk out back and cut enough for dinner. Hopefully in another week or possibly two we will have enough to share.
As you well know, February brought us Valentine's Day, which is a major flower holiday. When I was in high school, my class would buy roses, leatherleaf, and waxflower and sell bouquets to raise money for our senior trip. My brother's class took it over, followed by my little sister's class. This year my mom called me up and said the school and my youngest brother's class did not seem interested and wondered if I wouldn't mind taking it over with my sister. I agreed and planned to order a little more than half of the normal numbers but add in a few new things such as tulips and feverfew. I honestly was rather skeptical as to whether or not we would be able to sell them all, since it was no longer a school fundraiser and pre-sales were somewhat low. I was thrilled when we sold out and only one bunch of six roses was left that someone forgot to pick up. Next year it will be structured somewhat differently but I will plan to do it again!
After playing with so many flowers over Valentine's Day, I got the itch to start working with our own blooms again and it won't be much longer before I get the chance. The first buds have appeared and I can hardly wait until they are ready to pick. Far left the tulips are rising up on actual stems this year rather than little nubs like last year. In the middle a few anemones are starting to straighten their necks out, and to the right the freesias are holding on to tightly packed heads, making me wait on their sweet fragrance ever so impatiently. While I wait for my own flowers to start up, I went to my grandmother's house and gathered ideas of what to add to my perennial garden while raiding it of this armful of blooms to brighten our home!
a look ahead
Mid to late March will be the beginning of our spring flower subscriptions! If you have been on the edge go grab one there are not many left!
Mid March we will officially move into the Gathering Marketplace in historic downtown Willows and offer flowers Tuesday through Saturday 10am-5pm.
Some time in late March we will have a small plant sale here on the farm.
April 19th I will be teaching a flower arranging class at Capay's Harvest in Capay just north of Orland.
As far as events go, we will only be accepting one major event per month in order to serve you to the best of our ability and still take care of our family. The only months we are still accepting large events for are June, July, and August!