News from the Farm | March 6, 2023


One of the rooms in my small farmhouse has been hijacked over the past 10 years by the “Flower Team” for storing flower seeds, notebooks, lists, and planning charts – much to the dismay of other members of the household! What used to be the family ping-pong table for rainy day fun is now covered with mountains of seed packets for over 100 different flower varieties from our favorite seed sources (Wild Garden Seed, Johnnys’, Geo Seed, Adaptive Seed, just to name a few). Strange names like echinops and eryngium are printed on top and we’ve added sticky labels and notes to help us stay organized.  What could be construed by some as chaos actually represents years and of years of calculated research and development from the highly organized team of flower growers here at the farm (tongue in cheek, just a little bit!)


Many of you may have followed the development of our “Flower Team” over the years. What started as a small garden in front of our house with a few bouquets furtively made by the single team member (me) at midnight before the farmers market on Saturdays has grown into a key player in our crop mix with over 15 acres now dedicated to flower production. We have also hijacked a major block in the shop and made it our flower hub where literally thousands of bouquets are hand-crafted each week. We even have our own cooler that is temperature controlled for flowers!  And our team has grown from a single member to include 8 full time planners, seeders, pickers, bouquet makers, and boxers. To say we are proud of all of this would be an understatement!

All of this pride is mixed in with plenty of humility; the flower team has never been more challenged as it has been this winter! Pride cometh before a fall, they say! Yesterday we woke up to yet another wintery scene – all the hills down to the valley floor were dusted white and predictions for another wet week are causing some consternation. Yes we KNOW we need lots of rain but what about getting our zinnias planted??  We now have a greenhouse full of young flower plants begging to be let out and nestled into the soil, but the weather is telling us to hold off another week, or maybe two.

The snow that landed on the farm several weeks ago also surprised the flowers. The tulips and iris were hardy and barely complained at all, while the snapdragons and calendulas sent out alarms of shock and the ranunculus and anemones were not so pleased with all of that white, cold snow clinging to their delicate leaves. Most of the fall-planted flowers can withstand the cold, but not without a little indignation! Soon, we (and the flowers) do know, that spring and warm will arrive – and we will then be yearning for more cool and more wet. Can we never be satisfied?

One of things that has been extremely satisfying over the past 20 years is bringing the language of flowers into so many households. Even here at our farm it is such a delight to hear the words “godetia” and “gaillardia”, “cosmos” and “calendula” roll of the tongues of those farmers who heretofore didn’t know a dahlia from a daisy. Honestly, if nothing more, the flower team is pleased to bring flower knowledge to the produce producers of the world – filling minds with tulips instead of turnips, alstroemeria instead of asparagus. Flower Power is infectious!! Watch out!   

The flower team meanwhile is thrilled knowing that we WILL have a beautiful and colorful spring in just a few more weeks. We hope our CSA members will sign up for a CSA bouquet from Full Belly Farm during our CSA flower season from April 1 and runs through September 30th. The flowers that we pick and send to our CSA members are extra special – team member (and my daughter) Hannah selects each week which flower combinations to send and she has an amazing eye for color. We also send lots of flowers to our Farmers Markets each week. We are excited to bring the joy of flowers into your lives!

-Dru Rivers