The Spirit of a Farmer - My Cut Flowers

If you're an avid Novelties and Trinkets reader, you may have noticed that I have been a little off the grid recently.  There are a few factors that go into the lack of writing: 1. I'm nearing finals and school got a lot crazier than expected this semsester, 2. The Farmer and I are busy scurrying around planting and transplanting and selling everything in our greenhouse, and 3. we have started a new venture: cut flowers, and I have been incredibly busy researching, planting, and, what I do best, worrying about every bit of it *insert sarcasm here*. 

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The greenhouse has been doing really well. We embraced advertising more this year and it has really paid off, and it also helps that we have an amazing church family and community who are all willing to support us! 

Our new venture, cut flowers, has taken up the most of my time.  I've been making trips to the library, reading book after book, talking with florist after florist and planting plant after plant into the ground all month long.  It's a bit disheartening at times; flowers don't grow as quickly as vegetables do, so I feel like I'm just kicked back, waiting and waiting, and waiting and waiting for something - anything - to happen. Although it's been a pretty stressful and worrisome time, the hours that I go out to plant are some of my favorite times of the day.  It's a time for me to push all other things out of my head and focus on the task in front of me all while enjoying the sounds of nature. 

One thing I've learned since marrying into a farming family has been that farming without faith is the single most stressful career on the planet. Will it rain? Did the roots take to the soil? How much is irrigation, again?! Wait, no one wants to buy my product after I've spent months growing it? Thoughts like these have all entered my head at one point in the last two years.  Growing a living organism from the ground to make a profit off of cannot be done peacefully unless you have faith in God and His sustaining power. We can't make a seed germinate.  We can't make someone buy our flowers. We can't make it rain.  I have to put my full trust in God: He makes a seed germinate, He inspires someone to buy, He makes it rain.  I know the stress is real, but I also know that God is bigger than this stress and He's bigger than our business.  This is the spirit of a farmer. The ability to step back from the field, knowing that my fate is in the hands of God. 

A Day in the Greenhouse: The Beginning of the Season

Agriculture has only recently become a part of my life.  Before dating The Farmer, I had never seen a tobacco plant before, and I had never set food in a field or greenhouse in my life.  Now that I'm a farmer's wife and we have embarked on the adventure of owning a greenhouse, I can't imagine living a life without watching plants grow.  

Last week we planted our first plants of 2015.  My project of the year will be growing cut flowers to sell to florists and at the farmers markets. We have tons of seeds to plant and we have about half of them completed.  

When I'm in the greenhouse, I feel incredibly fulfilled.  Being able to cultivate life and watch such beautiful creations grow is a gift from God.  It is quite funny to look at how my life has turned out: I used to dream of living in a large city, working in an office; now I'm dreaming of flowers to grow and finding more and more fascinating parts of farming each day.  I love how God has such great plans for our lives that are better than anything we could ever dream up ourselves. 

I start each day by watering the plants and cleaning up a bit.  There's a lot of trash involved in our greenhouse for some reason.  Right now, we have all our plants on a heating pad.  We are putting off turning on the heat in an effort to save money.  During the day, it heats up nicely so we are not worried about this decision at all. 

Once I finish planting each row, I label them with a popsicle stick so we can keep track of each kind of flower we grow. Soon we will get a shipment of flower plugs that will need to be planted as soon as possible after their arrival.  Once these plugs arrive green will fill the greenhouse and then my impatience for spring and summer will increase.

I love spending my days in the greenhouse.  There's nothing like it! I also really like my visitor, Sissy (my in-laws' dog).

January 2015 Update

We have been so busy planning and trying to come up with creative ways to sell our plants. We're looking at radio advertising, newspaper advertisements and trying to branch out into a new sector of greenhouse sales. I love owning and running this greenhouse and right now, I'm so ready to get going again. 

As of now:

> Our cut flower seeds came in the mail

> The second, larger greenhouse is almost complete and ready to be used.

> We are expecting our plugs to arrive any day now

> We will begin planting THIS WEEK

>We are going to sell our cut flowers to local florists (so so so pumped about this) starting in April

We are so close to getting started and we couldn't be more excited!

The End is Near

This has been the best first year of owning our greenhouse I could have asked for.  We've loved meeting our customers and traveling to different locations to set up and sell and we've totally loved the Farmer's Market!  We have closed the doors to the greenhouse and moved all our extra merchandise outdoors and we have dropped the prices in an effort to get rid of what we have left. It's sad seeing it empty again...but this first year was awesome and I'm already thinking of what we'll plant next year! Thank you to all who supported us and our new endeavor; we appreciate you all more than you know!

Now that we have closed the greenhouse and are planning for next year, we wanted to share some of our plans for this coming Fall!

We have decided to start growing chrysanthemums that will be ready sometime in the Fall of 2014; the flowers are ordered, the pots are ordered and we are ready to plant these beautiful flowers to sell to you!  We don't know what colors we will receive yet and we don't know how much we will sell them for yet, but we are excited to keep you updated in the growth process of our mums just like we have with the greenhouse!

April 2014 Update

April was an amazing month for the greenhouse! Our flowers finally bloomed, our tomato plants grew huge, (basically) over night, and we have so many vegetable and herb plants it's not even funny. We also sold our very first plants to some amazing customers and we have finally gotten the hang of things; I think we have a sense of routine in that place now.  I've loved my experience working alongside my husband for this greenhouse.  Yes, we've had a couple arguments, but it's so neat to see how God has been using these moments of frustration to show us how selfish we are and how to become selfless for each other.  

We have sold quite a bit, but we have SO much more to sell!  We are starting our trips to the market this week:  we will be going to the Murray Trade Show every Thursday from 7 AM-1 PM and the Murray Farmer's Market every Saturday (times vary) and we will keep going until there is nothing left.  Here are some pictures I took in early April of our plants.  It's funny because these pictures are already so out of date; everything is almost full grown and there's no more table space left!

March 2014 Video Update

We started our relationship with March 2014 in a very antagonistic way.  She gave us an ice storm, we gave her our frustrations; she pushed back the construction of our greenhouse, we pushed our hatred at her.  After our exhausting and rocky relationship with March 2014 had reached it's peak, she began to soften her touch; she began to show us kindness and even though she came in like a lion, she is definitely leaving like a lamb (and with our acceptance and love).  Here is what the end of March looked like to us and our finally finished greenhouse:

Planting, Planting, and More Planting

We have been planting seeds like crazy around here!  Our greenhouse is mere hours from being complete and we have been eagerly planting each, individual seed with love and care throughout the past week.  We still have a whole lot more seeds to plant, but we are enjoying every step of the way!

The only things left to do to complete our greenhouse is to layout gravel, finish building the front, and layout plastic over the top of the structure. These jobs can potentially be done in the next day or two.

Here's what we did a couple days ago:

We set out trays on one of the greenhouse tables and began filling them all with dirt.

Once the dirt was put into the trays, we began planting one seed at a time in each of them.  It still amazes me that plants can come from the smallest of seeds.

To do this, we used the eraser side of a pencil to grab the seeds (it's "sticky-ish" and can pick up the seeds better than our fingers) and pushed the seeds into the dirt.

This took a couple hours but with the right company, it can go by very fast!

Winter Progress

This winter has put us back quite a bit.  Each week we continue to face cold, snowy weather that forces us to push back the building of our beloved greenhouse more and more.  Although we have faced many trials with building our first greenhouse, we've been talking about how faithful God has been through all of this. We are so thankful to have been given the chance to have this greenhouse and to be used by God in this way!

Because of our weather issues we started planting seeds today in my in-laws' shop.  It's so exciting to finally have made it to this point! 

 

We started out by planting JetStart tomatoes, Big Bertha Tomatoes, Sweet Banana Peppers, and Hot Jalapeño Peppers (and there's more to come!).

We started the seeds on a heating mat that way the soil can warm up and encourage growth.

The heating mat works by setting the temperature on the control box and then placing an attached thermometer into the soil.  When the temperature has reached the desired number it will stabilize and keep the soil warm so that plants will have the energy they need to grow.  We will keep the plants on the heat mat until they are old enough to transplant into their very own pots where they will grow until you all come to pick them up for yourself!

We created ruts in the soil for the seeds and covered the seeds with dirt  and then labeled each tray to make sure we knew what each tray held. 

Once we planted all the seeds, we covered them with tarp to keep the heat surrounding the plants.

And of course we couldn't have done it without the help of our little friends!

Wade's Creek Greenhouses: Construction

Our beloved greenhouse is now being built.  The beams are being laid out and the parts are all here.  I love watching each part of it come together.  I am in                        the process of ordering our sign and planning out the plants we will order. The only set back we are facing is the inability to order any propane; because of the abnormally low temperatures, there is a propane shortage and it can only be used for home use.  Other than this minor issue, we are ready to get going!

Be on the look out for more posts and photos!