This time last year I started my first blog, it all started very well with a somewhat regular blog. Well to be honest there were just the three! Then what happened, radio silence……..or in other words a very successful and busy year on my little flower farm. In this blog I am going to try to summarize 2016.
I started off the year listing goals that I would like to achieve in this second year of being a farmer florist. I had decided that I would like to start a Flower Community Sustained Agriculture Share – I thought if I sold 5 shares that would be a great number to start with. Within a week of advertising I had sold 10!! With a CSA individuals sign up well in advance of you actually having produced any flowers, and as this was only my second year of flower farming these 10 people took a great leap of faith in me. I have to admit I was a little nervous, farming is so dependent on the weather or a couple of deer mowing through your crop in one sitting, but at the end of June I was ready to go and then for the next 15 weeks I produced 10 unique seasonal flower bouquets. This is something I am going to be doing again this year, a few slight changes to my CSA program but I am hoping it will be as successful as last year.
I have to say the highlight of my flower farming year was attending the Floret Farmer Florist workshop in May in Mt. Vernon, Washington. I managed to squeak onto a place for this workshop. I has been looking forward to attending this 3 day workshop for so long now that I was worried it was not going to live up to my expectations. How wrong I was. It was way above my expectations. True you can’t learn how to be an efficient farmer florist in three days but I took home with me some very valuable experience, not only in flower farming but floral arranging and marketing. They have an amazing crew up a Floret that are so open and welcoming. The other great part of this workshop was being surrounded by like-minded people for three days. What a great bunch – all from different backgrounds and in different stages of the flower journey. Some folks had not even put their feet in the water yet and some were seasoned veterans but all were happy to share their very personal stories and experience. I know that they will be friends for life.
Weddings – again I set myself a little benchmark on how many weddings I wanted to be able to design flowers for. This bench mark was 5 – a good little safe number I though. By the end of 2016 I had designed flowers for 9 weddings! I was lucky enough to work with some amazing brides and their families.
I finished the year off working with Kelly Welk from Ciderpress Lane. Kelly and I had worked on various projects throughout the year, mainly working together raising funds for Rescue Freedom. This however was a different event. We held a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop. What fun that was, ladies came together to sip mulled wine or spiced cider and create their own unique Wreath. This was such a success that we will start making this a Holiday tradition.
All of this and a lot more kept me away from the keyboard – not forgetting that I’m still working 4 days a week in my regular job, my oldest son graduated from High School last year and left for college in San Diego and not forgetting we welcomed into our home our adorable and VERY adventurous puppy called Charlie, she reminds me of what it’s like to have a toddler in the house again.
Where will 2017 take me I wonder? I have a few things in the pipeline that I am working on at the moment, more of that will be announced in the next couple of months. I am already meeting with brides, planning and working on their vision for flowers on their special day. I really am going to try harder to keep everyone updated with the goings on at Willow & Mabel Garden Co., Your support of my growing business is truly appreciated and I hope that 2017 proves to be everything that you hope and more. Never stop dreaming.