THIS WEEK ON THE FARM
Two weeks out from our first average frost date and Elsa has frosted the ground just once; and barely that! We were expecting a frost this past Monday so I hurried to cut every last stem in the field and get them to the cooler. I always rush out to the field early on the morning of our first frost to snap photos of the gorgeous, glittery flowers before they turn to brown mush when the sun hits them. This week I got the sparkly photos but they never really turned to mush so we're still waiting on our first killing frost of the season. At this rate, it looks like our flowers will last through November this year!
Although the first frost signals the end of the growing season for this years flowers, it's not the end of the working year for me as a flower farmer. I'm busy tending to the fall transplants (they're looking great!) and am now working to get the bulbs, corms and perennial roots into the ground. I'm also starting to think about the holidays and having nightmares about sticky, sappy hands that come with wreath making.
TO DO LIST
What I'm focusing on this week around the farm...
- Planting anemone and ranunculus corms. They've been pre-sprouting for a few weeks and it's time to get them into the ground and under the low tunnels! (Find my favorite varieties here and hold on to them until spring.)
- Field cleanup: tearing up fabric, ripping out dead plants and digging dahlias tubers for winter storage.
- Planting bulbs and perennials. Tulip bulbs arrived this week and they're chilling in the cooler until I plant them in crates for forcing and in the ground for spring. Peonies should arrive this coming week and will be my final fall project since they can be planted as long as the ground isn't frozen. (Grab extras from my peony order here!)
IN THE WEEDS: THE FLOWER BIZ
Sharing tips, downloads and inspiration for succeeding in the flower world, whether you’re a flower farmer, florist or just daydreaming!
Social Media Prompts
1. Rather than sharing your fall field cleanup, provide your customers with ideas for displaying fall blooms. Share a dried flower arrangement or a tutorial for using fall branches and leaves foraged from the backyard.
2. Get ahead of the holidays by sharing wreaths, porch pots and centerpiece arrangements you've done in the past. If this is your first year, use this time to practice and share your journey. You might be surprised when orders start rolling in!
3. And speaking of the holidays, this is a great time to start selling subscriptions and CSAs for next year! I sell the majority of my summer subscriptions at Christmas and Mother's Day. Share photos of summer blooms now that they've faded and talk about the benefits of gifting local flowers!
Off-Season Flower Sources
My flower business is a year-round business which means that I have to get creative when sourcing flowers to use in the winter months. Here are a few resources to check out if you're doing flowers year-round as well!
The Floral Source American grown flowers 365 days a year!
American Grown Flowers Find a grower close to you who might be able to provide flowers when yours are hibernating.
Local Wholesalers Research wholesalers in your area and create an account with them. (You will need to be a legally registered business to do so.) Many wholesalers are prioritizing American-grown flowers. Work with your rep to determine how best they can fit with your business. (I use Schaefer Wholesale Florist.)
That's all for this week's weeds. Let's continue the conversation in the chat, below!