Budding Plans

Friday, February 28, 2014

Flowering Almond

I think it is safe to say that we are officially going to try our hand at cut flower farming this year.

The first batch of seeds have been planted under lights and I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of seeds I still have sitting in a binder waiting for me to plant them.  Those 72 slot trays filled up alarmingly fast.  All the fun and easy work has been done, pouring over catalogs and websites picking out the most beautiful flowers, now the real work begins...

Plant started from seeds labeled "Collected Dianthus" in my dad's handwriting

This idea started innocently enough---the old garden spot is going to become field and road so the new garden spot is moved to a awkward patch of field in front of the house.  At 150ft x 120ft it is not small, which led to idle dreaming.  How many tomato plants would fit in that space, how many bean plants, how many berry bushes?  Really nothing in the glossy seed catalog could be denied due to lack of space...

I began to envision a cutting garden.  Lovely beds of flowers I could cut from generously and never have to show up to anything empty handed.  It would be like growing presents out of the dirt, for what is a more perfect gift than a jar of flowers?  Universally liked with one size fits all, they come with no obligations for long-term use or storage.

May Day bouquet of lilac, columbine, rosemary and other bits

Even still I would probably have extra space so the ideas turned to cash crops, because who can really expect to eat all of the produce off of that size of garden?  I asked myself what was already being sold at the farmers market, looking for that niche.  Is there a heirloom tomato grower?  Yes.  Peppers of every shape and color?  Yes.  Blueberries?  Yes.  Strawberries?  Yes and yes again.  Cut flowers?...wait is no one growing cut flowers?  I realized that other than some veggie vendors that grow a few blooms on the side to sell sporadically, there is no one dedicated to selling cut flowers at our Farmers Market.


I carefully voiced the idea out loud.  Did it sound crazy?  When I started asking my family if they thought it would work I quickly gained business partners in my two sisters.  They were excited to jump in with me and see if we can make this work.


Am I worried about the learning curve?  Honestly that is the most exciting part!  Checking out a stack of books from the library, pouring over variety information both in books and catalogs and online, and researching each step gives me a thrill.  A new craft to master is an exciting thing.  I am looking forward to meeting new people and learning new things in this new adventure.

Mr. Valentine

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

 #19 had a nice heifer calf with no problems.

 Ironically #14 had her baby on the 14th, Valentine's Day.  He is a nice looking bull from one of our best cows so Mr. Valentine may get to stay a bull.  I think the name is appropriate.

Snowy Days

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bailey's favorite thing to do with snow is to bite it and throw it in the air.  She cracks me up.

Some shots just as the sun was rising.  I am glad I don't have to sleep with snow covering my back, but I guess it is insulating.

I fed hay one of the rare times this year.  Normally we can get away with almost 100% pasture year round, but they can't graze with this much snow on the ground.

Silver Linings

Thursday, February 6, 2014

So first the bad news.  This sweet little girl had a twin sister.  She died at birth.  I felt so guilty for not seeing that #11 was in labor soon enough to pull the calf, but sometimes these things happen.

The good news is that this little girl made it.  She was weak when I found her, but I got her up and told her she had to live and she did.  We gave her a second dose of the probiotic because she was pretty weak, but this morning she was up getting breakfast no problem.

Calves #3 and #4

Monday, February 3, 2014

On January 31st I woke up to falling snow and hurried outside before it melted to get these shots of the two newest calves.

 We noticed Cookies had a calf with her when we checked cows Thursday night, but I couldn't wait to get a good look at his coloring in daylight.  It is always so interesting to see the mix of the black and white.

#13 had her baby right before I left for work on Thursday.  We decided the mom must have had a red gene in her lineage somewhere because this is the 3rd red white faced calf she has had in a row.  Normally I would expect the black coloring to be dominate, but every time she is bred to a Hereford bull the baby is red.