Friday, August 2, 2013

The Plan.

It has been months since I've posted on here. Flowers, weddings & life have consumed my time.  Life. Is. Busy.

In case you haven't heard, Celia has a sibling on the way!!...which has made for an interesting start to the flower season.  Guess what nauseated me the most in the first trimester??  Flowers (sight & smell) and bouquet photos...especially bouquet photos! Can you believe it?! I had to change my Facebook cover photo because looking at the bouquet I had posted made me beyond queasy!

Being a flower farmer & designer with a 14 month old and one on the way is interesting.  Travis and I have had some serious talks about how to adjust Seeded Earth to fit our lives. Babies are only babies/children for so long. Before we know it, they'll be flying the coop and we'll look back wondering where the time went. We want to savor our time with our sweet, silly little ones.  After many flip floppy "decisions", we've finally come to one...

We are scaling back.  Flower farming is A TON of work.  To really do it well, I should be putting in *at least* 40 hours (& likely more) in the field each week -- this doesn't include design time.  Well, 40 hours doesn't happen.  My mom helps a lot & watches Celia when she can, but she's busy, too.  And...honestly, I don't want to spend less time with my little girl.  She brings so much joy to my days.

So, the plan is this:

1.) We will only be doing three weddings each month and only one per weekend.

2.) We are adjusting our crops.  Less labor intensive crops, more direct seeded annuals (these are much more self-sufficient requiring less planting and weeding labor), more bulbs & more perennials.

3.) Our large high tunnel still sits empty. We have been waiting to have good, fertile soil brought in. The river flooding four times this season has made our soil source inaccessible. We will get the high tunnel completed this fall so that it is available for next season. Any labor intensive crops that we grow will go into the high tunnel.  It is close enough to our home that I can work in there while our babies nap.

4.) We will likely no longer sell at the farmers' market.  We love seeing customers & friends every week, but the market is very time consuming.  Travis has his full-time job with Arthur J. Gallagher during the week, so weekend family time is very important to us.  BUT...when we do have an abundance of flowers, you may still be able to pick them up from the farmers' market. We are working on the details of this and will let you know as soon as it is all finalized.

I think that covers it.

We are so thankful for all of the support that you continue to show us as our family grows!

Friday, May 10, 2013

2012.05.10 ~ Busy, busy!

Life is busy, hectic, crazy, non-stop.  We are knee deep in our flower season with continuous seeding, bumping seedlings up, planting, cutting, arranging, covering our hoophouse, getting fabric prepared for planting and So.  Much.  More.  I missed last week's blog post because I didn't want to skip or delay taking Celia's 11 month photos...especially since the weather was going to be crummy for the next couple days.  They turned out so great!  I can't believe she's going to be 1 year old in just a few short weeks.  How time flies! 

Right now, all of the perennials are really starting to pop.  Bleeding heart, pulmonaria, brunnera.  So pretty!  And...good news, next weekend's brides will most likely still have lilacs for their bouquets (thanks to some very generous, kind friends who are willing to share stems from their plants) and lily-of-the-valley!  Next week is going to be rockin' with two large weddings and one small wedding.  Keep an eye on Facebook for photos!

My bouquet for this week's Seasonal Bouquet Project will be finished up and posted on Facebook tonight after Celia goes to sleep around 7 p.m.  Lots of pretty happening around here!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

3 Weeks Out...babies are goin' in!

Alright...I really tried posting this last night, but our internet didn't want me to do anything.  So, here it is...just a smidge late...

It's official.  I am declaring Wednesdays blog update days.  This will hold me accountable...and hopefully end the slim {to none} postings.  I'll put a reminder on every device I own!  Pinkie swear.

The weather has been pitiful lately.  Cold, rainy, dreary.  When I say rainy, I mean RAINY.  Our creek was *way* out of its banks last week...although, nothing like the nearby Mississippi...

Photo from Quad City Times - Davenport, Iowa
Our creek - WAY out of its banks!

 In other news, we managed to get our smallest hoophouse almost completely enclosed!  We pulled the plastic last weekend.  Saturday was a fairly calm day.  Travis & I got it all fastened down except for the bottom sides.  Sunday morning came along and was extremely windy.  As soon as I made it home from a wedding consultation, we booked it outside to get the sides secured before the wind beat them up even more.  Blood, sweat & tears that day -- blood from me, sweat from Travis & tears from little miss Celia (our supervisor who was bundled up in her stroller).

 The projected forecast seems to be going in the right direction.  Next week is supposed to be beautiful!  We're about 3 weeks out from our official/unofficial (who knows what's official these days?!) frost-free date.  So, today's the day.  Some of the more cold tolerant seedlings are going in the ground!  Fingers & toes crossed that Mother Nature is kind to us these next few weeks!

In case you missed it on Facebook, here are the photos from this week's seasonal bouquet: 
Be sure to hop on over to The Seasonal Bouquet Project to see more gorgeous bouquets from Love 'n Fresh Flowers & Floret Flowers!  Also, be sure to link up & share some of your own!  

Now, out to the field!  Loads of seeds to be sown & work to get done!
See you next Wednesday!...pinkie swear.

Monday, February 25, 2013

So close I can smell it!

My to-do list is increasing day by day.  I walk outside and I swear I smell hints of spring.  I'm not sure how that can be when it's still so cold and there are about 4 inches of snow on the ground, but somewhere, somehow, the scent of spring is there.  I have the itch to get outside, soak in the sun & work, work, work!  Plugs are ordered for the plants that are just too difficult & time consuming for us to grow from seed -- although, I promise to give a few of these another shot next season!  Seeds will all be here this week and there are just a few more bulbs, tubers & perennials to order.  The high tunnel is waiting to have good soil brought in and then be covered.  Hopefully we can get that project tackled within the next month so that we can get plants in!  SO EXCITED!

We're busier than we've ever been with weddings!  It's a great feeling, but comes with A LOT of "paper" work.  It will all be worth it.  It's so much fun to work with so many fun, neat people and to see the final products come together so beautifully on their wedding dates!

On today's agenda: finish up wedding quotes, go through the dahlias to see which ones are still viable for sprouting and work out the details of our planting schedule for this season.  Better get busy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Keeping up?

Things are getting busy around here.  The Jaycees Bridal Expo was a huge success!  We met so many brides who were interested in what we do and loved the idea of using locally & sustainably grown flowers for their wedding day.  All of the interest has kept me on my toes.  I've been busy trying to keep up with e-mails, meetings, quotes & contracts.  We are really starting to get dates booked!

Can you believe that I'll be getting the first of our seeds started this weekend?  We're going to be knee deep in field work before we know it!  As soon as the weather allows, we'll be getting our high tunnel covered and bringing in soil to get growing!

Today, I'm ordering mums!  These aren't your typical garden mums...they're fancy, antique & gorgeous!  I cannot wait to see how they perform for us!  They are going to be so awesome for wedding work!!  We'll grow some of in the field and some in our high tunnel so that we have some variation in bloom times.  Here is one variety that we'll be trying:
(image credit: 

 Beautiful, right?!  Ready for spring?  Me, too!!!

Oh, and of course...I can't leave you without a couple 8 month photos of our little Celia!  :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Back in the groove!

It's been forever since I've posted (what's new, right?!)!  We are kept insanely busy (& sometimes sleep deprived) with our sweet, little Celia!  She is so much fun & is growing so quickly!  It will be fun to have her toddling through the flower field with us this year!  

I'm busy getting ordering completed today.  Very, very soon, we will be getting all of our seeds started!  This time of the year is still so cold & dreary, but it's also so exciting because I feel like we're finally over the darkest part of the year and we really have something to look forward to.  We really do have a great season planned already!  We'll be growing many new varieties this season...and really up-ing our flower quantities.  There are so many beautiful weddings planned for 2013!

Oh, & I really need to get outside to take some photos of our great news...THE HIGH TUNNEL IS UP!  We don't have the end walls or the plastic on, but as soon as the weather allows, we'll have it ready to go for this season!  It is going to be so wonderful to have the covered growing space!  It will allow us to grow some more exciting flowers and really extend our growing season by providing the extra protection from the unpredictable Iowa weather.  Travis, my stepdad & some friends really worked hard to get it all constructed!  I'm so thankful!

Well...I should get back to ordering flower seeds & supplies!  Really looking forward to our 2013 season!

Don't forget!!  
The Jaycees Bridal Fair is on Saturday, January 26th from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at The River Center in Davenport, Iowa.  
Here's the link:  
We'd love to see you there! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

That time in the season...

I can hardly believe it, but, here we are, again.  It's that time in the season when we start dreaming of next year.  The drought has made growing flowers a bit tricky, but I am so, so thankful that Travis insisted on spending a 100 degree day getting irrigation setup in our field.  I felt horrible knowing that he was working so hard out in the heat.  He kept saying that he had to get it done and that it just couldn't wait.  He was right...from that point on, any minimal rain that we had been getting stopped.  Our flowers would have been very, very sad had it not been for Travis coming to their rescue!  It was amazing to watch the dahlias!  They went from being pale with dried up flower buds to bright green beauties full of nice, plump buds!

 I'm diving into planning for next season -- what to grow, how & where to grow it and how to sell it.  We've been very fortunate this season (not only to be blessed with our amazing baby girl!) to have had many business opportunities come our way.  Wedding dates for 2013 are filling up very fast and we continue to receive many wedding inquiries.  I love this part of what we do!  Also, we've had many florists and floral designers interested in purchasing our flowers.  We'll be working hard to meet their needs next season.  One more exciting opportunity, Bark & Bloom has contacted us about selling flowers in their shop at The NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  They will be opening in late October of this year.  Our supply to them may be a bit limited starting out, but early next spring should be wonderful!

Our high tunnel was delivered this past week!  I'm so crazy excited to get it built so that we can begin growing in it!  I desperately want to grow ranunculus & anemone, but am unsure about how they'll do without heat.  I'm exploring this with some members of  The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers...hopefully they'll have good news!  We may need to just do a small trial batch this year to see how it goes.  Wish us luck!  

What else?  What else?  There's so much going on & so much work to always.  Weeding, planting (lots of perennials to still go in the ground), transplanting, tilling, watering, ordering for 2013, building the small & large high tunnels...the list goes on & on!  If you're ever bored.....  ;)

One more thing!  We have a new stall at The Freight House Farmers' Market!  We are located in the large lot in the row closest to the railroad tracks -- right next to Iechen's Tomatoes & Beacon Woods Farm.  So far, this spot has been great for us!  We receive a lot more foot traffic and have made many new friends!  Today, some of our sweet customers brought us each a John Deere hat & their little girl, Laura, made the cutest card for our little Celia!  So sweet!

I have to show you the cutest video of Celia that I can't stop watching...I love her and her adorable little laugh!  It's a little long...I love the whole thing, but maybe that's just because she's ours.  You can find the video here: Celia's Video.  Enjoy!!  :)