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This is the time of year that we are filled with anticipation, the ordering completed. The greenhouses are overstuffed with starts wanting to bust out of their little cells, and the smell of dollar bills coming our way is in the air!
I have never considered myself one of those creative, artistic types who with a simple touch can make anything beautiful! To be that person has always been a dreamed deferred. But this past winter as I sat for days on end with spreadsheets sprawled on our dining table and two computers running, and bifocals hanging off my nose, Miranda took a picture of me.
And for the first time I did feel the artistic flair of what a composer must feel. Creating the symphony of flowers in “F” major!
I do this by planning the successions, creating the tones, and the pairings as I turned the pages, envisioning the art of flowers moving throughout our growing seasons. As we all know, sometimes our best-laid plans on paper don’t consider the wild variables of nature. It’s the act of planning that get us closest to where we want to be, and the vision for our farm growth. This process comes with time and experience on our own farms, in our own grounding microclimate of our farms.
It is concerning to me that many novice farmers want planting guides and planting schedules from others who have created these documents, over the years, and based information that is farm specific. I see it as the difference between the creator of the music and the DJ who plays the song. The nuances of microclimate and personal preference can get lost in translation. The novice’s best bet for starting to understand the orchestration of the farm is from copious note taking! I believe one of the most valuable tools we have is our past year’s records. Taking the time to make daily notes is the key to successful succession planting and having a bountiful season.
For us at Urban Buds, spring came in mid-March with a bumper crop of ranunculus, stock, freesia, and anemones. It seemed like overnight our daily chore list went from “ten things to do” to fifty. It can be daunting when the first flowers of spring come in after our months of rest. But those first sales sure do feel good. When the farm chores overwhelm me I take a moment to step back and prioritize the list. At the top is always seeding, because if you get behind in seeding your symphony falls flat. Priorities are as follows, in order of importance: seeding, harvesting and planting. These basic tasks always help to keep me focused. And they will help you too. May your symphony of flowers be brilliant!