Farm Update March 2020

Hello everyone!

We have been M.I.A. for awhile, and we apologize for that. This winter was a great time for family and general relaxing time from our busy first year.

We are excited for 2020 for several reasons:

  • New flowers and/or varieties
  • Experience from last year that will help us better prepare for some small expansions
  • …and a new addition to our family! Baby GIRL Sievers #3 is due at the end of June 2020.

That being said, we have some adjustments from last year that we would like to share!

First off, we will not be attending a farmer’s market this year, which is unfortunate. We realized with our growing family that the market is something we will have to cut out for now. If we do make it to a market, it will be later in the summer.

Secondly, we ARE still offering flower subscriptions and bouquets/arrangements for the general public. We are excited to serve you in that capacity, but we ask that you PLEASE be patient with us as we try to navigate life with 3 kids under 3. Also, for those wanting to order between mid-June and early July, we will still have flowers (we have to cut to keep the crop going), but delivery and availability is going to be spotty (as you can imagine with the arrival of a baby). I will be relying on family and friends heavily during the 2020 season, so we will do our best to serve you!

Third, I am hoping to have flowers EARLIER this year. Last year, we made our big announcement towards the end of June. I did have flowers blooming, but not regularly. If all goes well, I will have flowers by the end of May ready to go (and maybe even sooner). I’ll explain more about some of the cooler season flowers we are trying out this year later in this post. That being said, I will make an official announcement when we are open for business. Stay tuned!

Fourth, you can order a flower subscription in advance (meaning you can order NOW)! I’ve already had a few orders for subscriptions as gifts for people. You can get more details about our flower subscriptions on our “What We Offer” page.

Lastly, we are hoping to use this year as a year to build relationships with florists and designers. If you are a florist or designer, we are happy to provide samples throughout the season and get to know you. As always, I would love feedback on flowers you would love to see us grow that may be hard to obtain from a wholesaler or that you have issues with shipping damage. We are open to trying anything at least once.

Tulips planted using the “egg crate” method. We won’t save these bulbs, which is why they are planted so closely together.

Now the fun part! I’d like to talk about and show you what we’ve been working on thus far.

In the Fall, we planted close to 500 tulip bulbs. It seems like a lot, but once placed in the ground and planted using the “egg crate” method, it doesn’t seem like a lot. This is more of an experiment year with them and a way for us to have earlier flowers.

We are hoping to put up a high tunnel within the next year (fingers crossed), and tulips would be a great candidate for the high tunnel so we can control moisture content and have earlier blooms.

Another new flower we are trying this year is lisianthus. Unfortunately, starting from seed takes a REALLY long time for these beauties. We started these seeds in early January, and the seedlings are just now getting their second set of leaves and taking off. Most growers will order plugs because germination is tricky and because they are such SLOW growers.

Lisianthus seed is so small that it is pelleted for easy seeding. We use a moistened toothpick to place the seeds on the surface of the seed-starting medium.

Some other beautiful flowers we are trying this year are anemones and ranunculus (Persian buttercup). Anemones resemble poppies and ranunculus can resemble some roses if you are wondering what these flowers look like (a quick Google search will help as well). To grow these, you have to soak the dried-out looking corms (bulb-like structures) for a period of time and then pre-sprout them in trays filled with a potting mix. I kept them in my dark basement for a few weeks, and eventually they start putting out roots. When they have a nicely developed set of roots, it is time to plant!

In our climate, we have to plant these corms in a high or low tunnel to protect from our varying temperatures throughout the Winter and early Spring. Some people choose to plant in the Fall, but we decided to pre-sprout them starting at the end of January, and plant them at the end of February in a low tunnel (also called a caterpillar tunnel) that we formed out of bent EMT conduit. We also planted them into a raised bed that we made using cinder blocks, because we feared the corms would rot in our wet, clay soil.

Now that all of the aforementioned projects are completed, we are now in the stages of starting the rest of our transplants for the field. Things are on track so far! We are, however, running out of shelf space in the basement for all our seed trays!

We are so looking forward to Spring and Summer again, and we hope that you will have an opportunity to enjoy our flowers during this 2020 season!

God bless!