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The Crop Report | The Last Project of 2023

Middle of December folks and Christmas is right around the corner.  Here at the farm, we have all compared Christmas recipes and gift ideas while finishing the last of our holiday wreaths and decor.  It's been such a delight to see folks stop in and snag a little Christmas cheer and it fills the hearts of our team to see so many wreaths leave the farm this year, more than twice last year's total!

While the wreath table no longer needs our attention the next big farm task was our winter plan for our Mother Chrysanthemums.  While they have lived a lovely season over at what we call The Motherland, our secondary location for producing our specialty mums, we will be harvesting all of our cuttings and keeping the mothers under close eye and heat here on the farm.  

While moving the motherstock sounds laborious (and yes it is) it has actually created a much healthier rhythm to our collection and is maximizing the volume of plants we can create.  We have curated a seasonal rhythm with our Chrysanthemums that will have us replicating fresh mother stock annually and returning in the spring to the Motherland location. This is the first step in our journey of having certified clean genetics so we can confidently grow better mums together.

I've jumped in with our amazing farm team to be the Re-pot Queen as Elizabeth systematically organized the varieties. It’s given me the first look at how these varieties perform in the winter and takeaways for next year.

Two varieties that have intrigued me this year are Annie Girl and Zembla Brazil. While Both will require protection. They both grabbed my attention this year for different reasons. They are *definitely* worth adding to your collection, which you can grab pre-mum launch/early bird access to right here. 

Annie Girl

This lovely variety has always won my heart and has been one of mine and Erin Benzikain at Florets favorites.  It's a golden peach in the bud that opens to a really lovely soft peach/pink disc bloom.  We have never disbudded but I could imagine she would be quite impressive if grown out that way.  The color is on track with River City and she is always a request from designers.  While her bloom window is late October to the first of November she will require the protection of a tunnel or be brought inside if frost hits before this window as it does for most of us but man is she worth it.  As I clean the mother stock she is also an aggressive rooting mother, meaning you can get lots of little cuttings from this stock plant and lots of usable stems from plants. You can add Annie Girl to your collection here.

Zembla Brasil

Though it's a new variety to us, and this is the first year I’ve seen it bloom, this one is unique and that's always something I like.  She blooms a soft yellow with green tips.  I think disbudded she would be very impactful and would be a fresh flower option at the holidays.  It doesn't scream Christmas but could be worked into holiday designs.  The stems are nice and sturdy and overall it's just a good eye grabber.  We won't have many as this isn't as strong of a producer on cuttings however that also lends to the rarity. If you are looking to differentiate your flowers from others. Not many folks will have this one.  Due to its super late blooming, I do suggest growing this one exclusively with protection as it naturally is one of the latest to bloom. Check out Zemla Brasil here!

I'm finding I have lots of thoughts and comments on the different mums in our collection and I'm doing my best to “document, document, document,”  as Elizabeth reminds me so that I can share them in our mum newsletter. If you want to discover more about the world of specialty chrysanthemums make sure you've subscribed. (It’s *almost* formerly known as the Mum Waitlist!)

We are all working hard to knock out this last big project before Christmas so that at the farm we can sleep through the holidays and get back to comparing successful recipes and favorite gifts given.

XOXO, Jess

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