Flowers on the farm?

In mid-March, I listened in on the Small Farm Summit.

It was 4 days of presentations all about sustainable, small farm business.  There were 4 presentations each day and they were recorded so that if you could not listen to them live, you could listen to them later.  The best part…it was free!

Flowers I picked from our yard this morning

This morning, I listened to a presentation about Production Flower Farming.  I have to admit that I was going to skip it but since I was just hanging out in the kitchen, making pancakes and washing dishes, I clicked on it and listened.  I am so glad I did!

First, a little background, when I went to college, my first major was Horticulture because I love flowers.  Then, after 1 semester, I switched to Agronomy.  At the time, it seemed that there were more job opportunities in Agronomy so that is why I switched.  Of course, I still love flowers, especially, sunflowers (more background – I grew up in Kansas and there are wild sunflowers everywhere – so pretty!)

The presenter was from Full Belly Farm.  They also grow vegetables and have animals.  However, their organic flowers are one of the best cash crops on the farm!  She said that sunflowers are the most popular and make up a third of their flower sales.  She said that if you were to grow one flower, try to grow sunflowers.  I have seriously considered doing this for our farm (this is one reason I wanted sunflowers pictured in the logo).  She also said that peonies and snapdragons are popular.  I like the idea of growing peonies and snapdragons because they are perennial.  Lots to think about…

I first saw the idea of growing sunflowers as a cash crop at Juniper Hills Farm.  This farm also gave me the idea to have ReMARKable Farms…

Here is some information from their website:  

Juniper Hill Farms is a model of independent living for adults on the autism spectrum.

We are not a group home. We are not a ‘facility’. We are just friends renting in the community, like everyone else. We live on a small farm in southeastern Pennsylvania with lots of animals…. and fields of sunflowers in the summer.
Three of us rent a small three bedroom rancher, and we have support people who come several times a week to help us out with our farm chores as well as everyday things that come up. In another house on the same lane live three more of us, and we have support people that come in most days as well. In this second house, we also have someone who lives with us…. to make sure we are safe overnight, to make sure things happen that need to, and to help everyone get along.
That person is the author of this blog… because really, none of us wants to write or talk about autism much… we just want to live our lives.

Garden Update:

This past week, we had some small hail and it got cool…low 30’s.  I covered my lettuces and they did fine.  My spinach has finally started to germinate but it is not as “thick” as the lettuce.  I planted the lettuce too thick so I went out to thin it a bit and tried to transplant some to a new patch right beside the original seeding.  So, if things work out, I will have twice as much lettuce as I probably need…
The garlic has just exploded!  Lots of nice big green stems.  Kinda hard to see in this pic…

 Finding a local farm update:

I called Deep Roots Farm to see if they had any eggs.  They said the chickens are just starting to lay and that they would have some ready for the Farmer’s Market which starts the first Saturday in May.   So, it looks like I will have to wait for my farm fresh eggs.
I called Omache Farm to get the pastured pork.  I sent in a $100 deposit and they said that when they were ready to take the pigs in for processing in a couple of weeks, they will contact me with the cut sheet.  Excited to get my order placed!
This past week, I went to visit my friend at Meadowlark Heritage Farm.  They have dairy goats and make soap from the milk.  They had babies born about a week ago.  We got to let the babies out for some exercise.  They are very lively…
 You can click on this picture and go to their website.  
See all the different types of soap they have for sale!