News From the Farm | March 9, 2015


I remember quite clearly writing my annual “flower article” last year and starting off with a confident statement about how consistent the flowers were despite mother nature’s follies of no rain, warm climate and sudden whacky freezes. Well, this year I might have to rescind that statement  – but just a little. Yes, this year nature’s idiosyncrasies might have fooled us all, including the flowers, with her warm, balmy days all throughout January (the driest and warmest in recorded valley history) then brief flooding in February and then back to a sunny and warm March. How could we not be just a tiny bit confounded to know what the time of year is?

The bulk of our spring flowers were planted months ago, way back in October, which my feeble memory has a hard time remembering. Yes, back when the leaves were turning a golden fall yellow, we were digging thousands of holes for tulips, ranunculus, and iris.  We were transplanting thousands of little snapdragons, godetias, sweet Williams, delphiniums and Canterbury bells. The tractors were loaded up with special seeders and we planted rows and rows of sweet peas, larkspur, nigella, calendula, flax and sweet smelling stock.  Then we waited with anxious eyes for a week or more to see if all of our hours of bent backs and sore, calloused hands would pay off. Slowly we saw the sprouts shooting out of the ground and with a sigh of relief, in several weeks the once-bare soil was transformed into perfect rows of cotyledons leaping up, restoring our faith in the seed’s magic once again. Then came the months of hoeing, tractor cultivating and thinning in November and December. These months were also an anxious waiting game to see if the weather would be gentle enough to ensure these new plants a chance to grow and survive. Freezes that are too hard or too long, pounding rains, gale winds – all can all wreak havoc for young seedlings. This year our winter months were very benign, not too cold and some of the thriving plants were ready to bloom in mid February – a bit earlier than normal!  Last week we picked hundreds of bunches of brightly colored blooms of ranunculus, tulips, anemones and stocks. Our snapdragons are almost 3 feet tall this spring!


This year my youngest daughter Hannah has rejoined our tribe of Full Belly Farmers after four years of college in Oregon. Flower planting takes on a new and exciting twist for me as she starts to develop floral event offerings for the farm. She will be doing the flowers for over a dozen weddings this year and is counting on me to grow enough flowers. It has been such fun to challenge myself to broaden my flower horizon to new varieties, and explore different timings of plantings to ensure her wedding flowers for the summer. I just ordered chrysanthemums for the fall weddings –we will keep you posted on their success!

You can join in the flower fun as a CSA member and subscribe to our flower CSA for the season, which runs from April 1st through September 30th. Or just try it for a few weeks if you wish. We guarantee a beautiful bouquet each week that follows the seasonality of the flowers. Spring bouquets will include all of the flowers described above. As the summer arrives we will move in to sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, asters, cosmos and a many others. We are also happy to help with special occasion flowers (like weddings and birthdays).

Bouquets are $8.00 each. Total cost of the flowers for the whole season is $195 –save 50¢ per bouquet when you sign up for the full season.  Happy Spring!


— Dru Rivers