Last week I spent most of my time playing catch up with everyone and finding out about all that transpired in my absence. I’ve never been more grateful for a team with ‘we’ve got this’ attitudes. The farm was fine and the quiet work of the fields happened without any oversight by me.
As the shop buzzes with anticipation for our upcoming Valentine’s Day events and designs, the farm has its own chatter of planning out the fields for 2022. We have meetings to map out the bigger ideas like our first pick-your-own garden, specifically implementing the layout and design. Our team is gathering the supplies for fencing and working around the melting snow and ice to plan which days to install it.
Our crop rotation is being coordinated with incoming plant orders, seeds we have and need to order, and the addition of more growing areas. I broke down and ordered a few more dahlias (1,000) so nothing to sweat, just a few new rows. I also invested heavily this year in a larger selection of calla lilies after advisement from our design table. Those long-lasting sleek beauties really pack a punch in our bouquets. We are trying some new crops this season too, like gerbera daisies and some oddball perennials and annuals. The test crop lineup is looking strong!
We have also decided to break ground on some new beds and are eagerly waiting for the snow to melt so we can walk off these new spots and figure out if we can squeeze in a tunnel or two while we are at it. Balancing current production flow with future growth is always a job and my primary role as Chief Visionary. As the need swells it becomes a trickier feat to account for tomorrow's demands on today's checkbook balance.
I also have spent some time dealing with different county, state, and national resource offices to take advantage of programs and handle legalities for our upcoming season. From meeting with NRCS (National Resources Conservation Services) about a potential tunnel grant application to installing our second carbon sequestration program to scheduling new projects like a compost station, I look for all agencies that can possibly help. I'm excited about the new native walking trail as this also will be a land clean-up and conservation effort along the perimeter of our current hayfield. The long overgrown bank of our field will be reclaimed and replanted with Virginia native species and include homes, food sources, and habitats for local wildlife. Of course, we plan to share and educate along the way.
We are also entering phase one of construction and it's exciting as we begin to make the calls and await the heavy equipment! We are busting at the seams and more space is becoming a quick reality. As we start to nail down a true construction schedule, the farmers are busy coordinating a growing season among the chaos of building.
With so much new stuff going on, our farm crew has taken on behind-the-scenes roles to help make our season as fluid as possible. From building out databases and overseeing new scheduling software to creating a more technical and automated seeding plan to an in-depth training program, the team here is drilled into creating a map for growth in 2022. I've never been more inspired by the synergy that is already sparking at 201 Little Run Rd.
Achieving all these projects will require more help so our labor meetings have been nonstop lately as we anticipate all the new hands required to pull become the top destination and shipping flower farm in the world (remember I'm the visionary - I’m paid to dream big). We are determining hours and key tasks and will be looking for folks who align with our culture not necessarily those with flower, gardening, or farming experience. We are a company looking to flip the standard on what it means to go to work. If you are looking for a place this summer to feel invested in what you do email email@example.com. We are a high-hustle group motivated by our own ambitions, lots of coffee, and laughs.
This is only the highlight reel of what busy January looked like for our team of flower farmers. Oh, and did I mention I'm turning 40 this weekend? Yeah, that's happening too! I firmly believe in investing in oneself and when I thought of the perfect birthday, it was a decked-out breakfast and a bubble bath. Since the house renovation is still far away from bath opportunities and the kitchen is housing three rooms in one, I had to get creative. I'm going to Smiley's Ice Cream for a breakfast of homemade maple ice cream on top of Belgium waffles and fresh fruit. YUM. Is it a coincidence that my birthday is also national ice cream for breakfast day? I think not! I also booked myself an appointment at the spa for a deprivation float tank. Basically, I *think* I will be floating in a few inches of water and pounds of epsom salt with zero external stimulation. I haven't done this before but I will report back. This sounds like a dream to me and a step above the bubble bath I’d imagined. Outside of that, I'm spending my special day at the place I love most, the farm, and with who I love most, my family. It’ll be perfectly busy to me and just the way I like it.