Monday, September 20, 2010

Finely Feathered Arrangements

What to do when the season slows down, and there is time to "play"? Make arrangements! Typically, my market prep is as follows: count, bunch and store. Last Friday afternoon I decided on a change of pace....I slowed down enough to enjoy the field, flowers and "played" a bit. The arrangements' finishing touches were the addition of pheasant feathers- hunted by a local Northfield friend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm in Love! with (False) Queen Anne's Lace 'Black Knight'

It's official: I'm in love, head-over-heels, & have completely fallen for one of my 'trial' cut flowers: (False) Queen Anne's lace 'Black Knight'. It was so beautiful today that, when I arrived at the delivery location, I almost couldn't part with it!

In addition to the cut flowers listed on the wholesale availability list in quantity, I've trialed other cut flowers in smaller numbers. Some have worked out well, and made it for sale like the special Salvia, and unusual Sunflowers. Others have preformed well in the field but need tweaking in timing or handling like: annual Monarda, herbal basils, Crespedia, Cerinthe, and finally the D. 'Black Knight' (I'll have to plant more and earlier!) and learn...Nearing the end of the summer season, I have been hurriedly making notes about this year's crops, planning for the next, and asking for feed-back and wish-lists from florist and designers alike. In short, if you have an opinion on a crop I'd love to hear it, good or bad. Seriously. Or, if you are looking to fill a wholesale wish list, I'd love to hear from you too!

Several months ago, I received very good advice from a florist who has been in business for many years...She said (I'm paraphrasing) that to be successful in business you have to be a good listener...well, I'm all ears!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Holding onto Summer with the September Harvest

September brings a change in the air... nights are cooler, shadows are longer, and late summer crops are ready to harvest. In the field sunflowers don't grow quite as tall before they begin to flower in shorter days, and Anne's CFS painted corn has been picked and dried.

At market, dried flowers hung in the CFS barn might make you think of fall, but to me, they are just a way to hold on the beauty of summer a little longer....enjoy the late summer pictures from field and barn!

The Metal "Rainbow": the High Tunnel is Framed!

Very exciting news for the Community Farm of Simsbury and First Bloom Farm (by extension!): last Friday, a new high tunnel frame went up at CFS ! To paraphrase Anne, the CFS farmer, "when it went up, I thought it was like a rainbow".... I couldn't agree more, Anne. What does this mean for us farmers? Season Extension! High tunnels are essentially tall unheated greenhouses that allow warmer temperatures in early spring and late fall- perfect for growing at the extremes of our New England seasons. In the high tunnel, farmers have the benefit of planting directly into the ground in an environment higher than outdoor temperatures!

Flower growers use high tunnels for crops such as larkspur, sweet William, lisianthus and spring flowering bulbs. Break out the fall catalogues!