The Crop Report Week 41 | Dried Flower Bounty
- Oct 14, 2021
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It's the middle of October, and there is no threat of frost in the extended forecast. I’m all too scared to say anything about that out loud, for fear that Mother Nature might hear. The farm feels really focused as we make good use of the extra weeks we’ve been given. Our crew has chipped away at the daunting workload and the results are impressive. But sometimes when you work on a project throughout the whole year, you lose sight of the magnitude of what you’ve done- that would be the drying barn right now.
There's a great mix of naturally preserved flowers this season, and we've dreamed up some amazing things to use them for. We love our drying barn and dried flower program, but it took some time to figure out what the heck we were doing. It seems so easy, right? Keep blooms in darkness without water, wait a few weeks, and voila- dried flowers! Well, not quite. We have to monitor temperature, figure out the right stage of harvest (not just use the leftovers that didn’t sell from the cooler), and keep the product clean and easily accessible.
It also took us a few seasons to figure out what flowers we dried best, and what the top requests were. We’re already planning crops for the 2022 dried season while still working through this year. It's like having one foot in the present and one foot in the future- a straddle I've developed a knack for. I'm ordering seeds and planning crop maps all while looking at what works and what we might want to scale back on. There are always new crops I want to try, but I'm working to control my seed purchase impulses.
We harvest flowers specifically for drying, usually on Thursdays and Fridays. Our team bunches the flowers and cleans the stems just like we would for fresh, but then we hang them to dry on lines in the bank barn. After a few weeks of monitoring, the bunches will be pulled down, packaged, and inventoried. We found that this method maximizes our space, and made it far easier to fulfill orders and track quantities. As we are now ramping up our dried sales, we feel like some pretty cool worker ants who figured out how to do a difficult job more efficiently.
We have made so many dried bouquets and crafter bits boxes, and it’s nice to have these packaged flowers around. Those of us in the perishables industry hardly ever get that kind of satisfaction. We also decided to up the game this year and offer dried wreaths for shipping! It's taken a good bit of time and effort for us to figure out how to ship such a detailed craft option, but we did it and they are beautiful. Whispers from the team of which one they have dibs on have already begun. Check out The Crop Circle Dried Flower Wreath here!
There are other new things we are excited to make with the dried flowers for our upcoming Holiday Market, but I’m not ready to let the seeds out of the bag quite yet. The drying barn just seems to be a space where ideas are formed and come to life, so we all benefit from hanging out in there on occasion. And we are working to make it a space where everyone will want to hang. We just covered the electric trench that will run power to the barn, so gone are the days of extension cords and darkness! We are also going to install a few fans to help with air movement and outlets for glue guns and coffee pots galore. Fingers crossed you will see these dreams in real life at the Holiday Market on November 27th or December 4th!
- xoxo, Jess