News from the Farm | July 11, 2022

Hi Full Belly Community!

My name is Amyah, and I am the flower intern at the farm this season.

Thank you to everyone who brings our flowers into their homes whether through the CSA, farmer’s markets, or one of the stores we sell to! With my role solely in flowers I’d like to share one of my favorite parts of my job, dried flowers and our drying room, the Wreath Room. If you’re not already familiar, follow us on Instagram (@wreathroom) to see what’s happening throughout each week. And I’m excited to share with you all what we’ve been working on this season so far!

We grow 12 acres of flowers and quite a bit of those flowers are dried. As flowers come into bloom in our fields we harvest them for fresh bouquets while also harvesting bunches to be dried. Many of our flowers are used fresh and dried but we have several that we solely grow to dry, like ammobium, wheat, and flax.

Flowers for drying are bunched in the field and hung upside down in the wreath room. This year we are drying more flowers than ever. We ran out of space in the wreath room, so we’ve got flowers drying in an unused greenhouse, where they dry in half the time. Throughout the season what’s in bloom in the fields is also what is hanging to dry. This affords a lot of floral diversity when it comes time to make wreaths in the fall, starting in October, when we have run out of fresh flowers growing in the field. Once dried, we put the flowers in boxes and store in a shipping container until we are ready to make wreaths. Dried flowers are a great season extension for us because they keep us busy when it’s too cold for flowers in the field.

Some flowers that have just started to bloom have new growth with short stems that are not quite long enough to be used in our mixed bouquets so we dry them. Like our fresh flowers dried flowers are best harvested in their prime condition to look the most full bodied and saturated with color. It varies from flower to flower, but how the flower looks when it is dried will often be a more condensed and slightly faded version of itself.

This week in the wreath room we have amaranth leaves, craspedia, poppy pods, black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, baby’s breath, safflower, statice, zinnias, dill flower, strawflower, and more. We also did a lot of organizing in our shipping containers and filled one up to the brim with boxes. And I’ve had even more time in the wreath room this week because the flowers are in what we like to call the “shoulder season,” with a slight lull as late spring flowers are finishing up in the field and early summer flowers just starting to come on. This kind of transition in the field has created a slow in-between time before the big push that August will surely bring!

When I arrived in the spring we were still waiting on the spring flowers to bloom. We only had a few early season flowers at market and a few of last season’s dried flowers at our stand. Now, we come to each market every week with so many beautiful fresh bouquets.

This fall when the fresh flower season winds down we will have dried mixed bouquets and wreaths at the market. In just a few more months, they will become available for you! Maybe flowers are not really your thing, or maybe you love to fill your house with our flowers. Whichever rings true for you, I think dried flowers are for everyone and you should give them a try. Dried flowers are no fuss and low maintenance, created to bring beauty to your home.

Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s newsletter. And if you visit the Palo Alto Farmer’s Market I’m always interested in chatting more about flowers with you!

Have a great week and thank you again for supporting Full Belly Farm!

– Amyah