I just returned from a serendipitous Sunday Stroll around the farm with my six-month old grandson, Rowan. He was bumping along in the farm stroller as I pushed in any direction that the dogs were going, making my companion squeal in delight. The day was gorgeous – a quintessential one on the farm – with soft white clouds in the spring sky and a hint of rain coming in the air. Everywhere I looked today made me proud to be a farmer: clean neat rows of broccoli, arugula and spinach are bursting out of the dark earth in the fields next to the house; cover crops are everywhere, stretching out above and below the ground with nitrogen fixing vetch and oats that will soon be turned in for fertility for the summer crops; peaches and apricots are in their full pink and white regalia of blooms with bees buzzing thick in the air. Hours earlier we witnessed the birth of three baby lambs from a new ewe – yes, a very wonderful Sunday indeed here at Full Belly Farm.
The walk was serendipitous because we eventually made our way to the flower fields where I was aiming to get some inspiration for this article to you about our flowers. And lo and behold a fire was lit under me to write a VERY urgent letter because my lord are we going to have a LOT of flowers this year! All together there are four acres of spring flowers planted. In the first field the Tulips are already a riot of color with Ranunculus and Anemones not far behind. The Snapdragons are all horizontally trellised along side the Godetias, and the Dutch Iris beds are jam-packed with green sword leaves gaining strength for the flowers to come in April. The Poppies and Wheat are waving young shoots up to the sky and Sweet Williams are just about to push out stalks of color as well. There are Canterbury Bells and Delphinium here in this field that have loved this warm spring weather and are doing better than I have ever seen – these will come in May and June with their glorious blues, whites and pale rose colors.
As my young companion and I make our way to the second field of flowers, my mind is racing. What was I thinking planting all of these flowers? How will we ever sell them all? Will the market still want our certified organic flowers? These are common anxieties of the flower farmer a few weeks before the flower flood gates open, but none the less my walking pace had picked up a notch or two. The second field foretells much the same as the first – long beautiful rows of Sweet Peas that are starting to twirl and twine around their vertical stakes; Larkspur and Bells of Ireland all looking too good to be true! Calendulas are already starting to bloom, Stocks and Scabiosa are peeking out a tiny bit of color and the Nigella is a verdant green. Here the tiny seeds that were all started in the ground way back in October have grown, despite the frosty months of December and January, into a lush sea of flowers about to pop. Yikes I say to Rowan – we had better race home and write to all of our friends to get ready for the flowers of Full Belly because they are not just coming – they are here!
Please join our flower CSA by signing up for the full season (April 1 -September 30th) or on a week by week basis. You will be guaranteed a beautiful bouquet each week following the seasonality of the flowers. Spring bouquets will be a mix of all the above mentioned flowers – these will continue through the middle of June. The summer flowers will be a mix of Sunflowers, Zinnias, Marigolds, Ammonium, Lavender, Aster, Cosmos and many more. Let us know if you happen to have a favorite flower and we would love to try growing it. We are also happy to help with special occasion flowers such as parties and weddings. Happy spring!
– Dru Rivers
Full Belly farmer, Dru, and a bouquet of our beautiful tulips.