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The Crop Report Week 46 | Turkey Hacks

Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving? I can’t. It feels like November has hardly been on the calendar, but we are about to enter the holiday season. Some years, it creeps up faster than I’m prepared for, leaving two choices: run myself to the ground trying to get it done the traditional way OR look for creative, alternative solutions. I think the newest generation calls these life hacks.

Last week, we talked about my simplified winterization plan for the dahlias and tuberose. This week I'm expanding efficiencies (or life hacks) into other areas and I think you should too. Why not make life easier? 

We discovered last year that the patio propane heaters we use at our Holiday Market allow me extra sleep during the cold nights of mum season. They don’t make the tunnels toasty, but they do keep it well above freezing, which is what I need. Foam insulation boards will be our next step to hacking insulation in these non-heated structures.

Over the years, I've realized I really love to eat at Thanksgiving, but hate to cook, so I hopped on Facebook and found a local couple making prepared feasts. I pick up the staples like smoked carved turkey, baked macaroni and cheese, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Then I'm responsible for just a few other favorites and don't feel stuck in the kitchen on a family-focused day. This hack has worked well for us and keeps the stress load (and dishes) to a minimum.

I also had an unplanned no school day - well, I'm sure it was planned, but I must have missed the backpack slip, 13 emails, 2 app notifications, and personalized phone call. With the kids at home needing to be watched during a regular business day, I took the opportunity to nail down some last-minute orders for spring crops. I loaded up on some of our usuals and ventured out with a few new surprises, and no, I'm not going to share what those are *yet*.

The kids didn’t mind scrolling through pictures and helping me pick, and we practiced a few math skills while we were at it. My other “hack” had to do with some of our direct seeded trials in the FedEx house that just weren’t working. While placing spring orders, I was able to snag a few immediate ship crops to fill the high-dollar real estate space and stay on track!

We are also starting our big first round of ranunculus. We already have one very healthy crop of them growing in the FedEx House, but we want to have them in the spring, so our normal method of tunnel planting is about to begin. We took the “lazy” farmer approach this year and soaked them in a tub with no extra care for 24 hours, then covered them with damp soil and waited for signs of life. This is a much less labor-intensive method than what we have done in years past and is working out quite well. We hope to begin planting right around Thanksgiving!

Another major “hack” this year was giving our crew creative freedom for Holiday Market. We have always brainstormed ideas together, but allowing everyone to have a hand in crafting the goods has lightened my load and empowered them. I'm super proud, and in fact, I am looking to the team to teach me some of the neat “hacks” they have come up with and hoping they can hack my kids’ Christmas list with the same level of zeal.

The Christmas tree toppers, magnets, ornaments, wreaths, and swags are some of the best I have ever seen and the beauty is, many different hands are creating them. We have made so many new and unique items from the bounty of the flower farm and all of us are so excited to see our hard work unfold next Saturday at the first Holiday Market. Can’t make it? Check out what we have available to ship from our Drying Barn at hhfshop.com! We want to help you check off your list with some of the most creative gifts around. Come see us and pick up a hack or two!

- xoxo, Jess

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