“Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” – Rumi
Greetings, Friends –
It is November and I have now been in a post-season, downshifted gear for (a glorious) four weeks. My last blog post was in April while we were packing up our home in Alaska. We’ve since had an epic cross-continental journey back to the farmhouse (photo highlights here) AND I’ve officially completed my very first flower farmer florist season. The idea of capturing the past 6 months in a nutshell blog post feels overwhelming to say the least, so going with a top 10 list.
2018 Flower Farming Season Top 10 Highlights
1. Partnering with Nature Intelligence. Having an awareness of nature intelligence has changed the way I think about this Earth & my place on it. Using a pendulum and the art of kinesiology to ask yes/no questions, nature intelligence guided every farming activity, enabling me to move confidently through my first season’s learning curve. Most of my time in the garden was spent pondering how to best share this experience with others. Will attempt to do this in a blog post soon.
2. Spending time with flowers. I can’t get enough of them, they are so freaking awesome.
3. Receiving serendipitous arial videos of farmstead & garden. Three guys just happened to change out their drone batteries outside of our barn lane one afternoon in June. I’d been desiring an arial view of the garden a couple weeks before this, so of course I drew additional meaning from the timing and entire orchestration of this occurrence.
4. Receiving mentorship from Violeta Veenstra, flower farmer partner at Harvest & Blooms Farm. In addition to absorbing helpful hands & eyes-on learning from Violeta, I am grateful for a lovely new friend.
5. Receiving family support throughout the season. Steve took on the primary parent role that enabled me to dedicate 10-14hr days to farming. My parents provided additional kid and market/harvest support. My younger sister, Kate, joined me for an entire harvest & market day and then captured her experience in a lovely blog post. Uncle David helped with perennial plantings and rototilling. Uncle Jim dropped off found treasures that we put into use. These provided the keystone that held the season together. Much to learn from this season to inform work/life balance in future seasons… for example, I need more hands on deck!
6. Returning to volunteer sunflowers & surviving perennials. I planted over 45 perennial plant species in March and then flew to AK for 2 months. It felt like a gamble. It was more than awesome to return in late May to surviving perennials underway AND volunteer sunflowers throughout the garden.
7. Making it to market for 13 consecutive weeks. I attribute this primarily to Nature Intelligence guidance as I would not have been brave enough to start when I did. I consistently sold at the Monticello market & I also had the opportunity to sell at one Champaign and two Mahomet markets. Exposure to different markets, audiences, vendors, and harvest windows was very informative and helped me get over my trying-new-things nerves. I am so appreciative for the patron support and enthusiasm for flowers! Without this, I would not be able to continue pursuing this work.
8. Receiving exciting opportunities beyond the market: Farm to Table dinner, Artisan Cup & Fork, special orders, weekly subscriptions, & corsages. I love making miniature, intricate bouquets for corsages & boutonnieres. The awareness of pre-ordered bouquets for weekly subscriptions was awesome! *I am developing a CSA flower subscription for 2019, stay tuned* It was great to make more local connections and exchange flowers for food with Triple M Farms and The Land Connection. All of these opportunities also provided awareness of associated work load and what I can handle/balance.
9. Observing aspirations coming into reality. There is no better metaphor than planting seeds and observing the phenomenal growth that can occur. Backyard Beauty coming to Be is full of this ‘evidence’, inspiring me to pay closer attention to the details of the unfurling. The Backyard Beauty name and logo visual both reflect aspirations that I want to support coming into reality. Much like a cocoon, transformation is underway.
10. Practicing the art of allowing. One of my life lessons. Goes hand in hand with #9. Patience is not one of my virtues (I’m made aware of this every day) and I greatly benefit from the garden’s daily reminder to observe and allow the gifts that surround me to unfold. Pursuing this relocation to central Illinois, developing new business ventures, and bringing about the resulting life changes is an intentional leap into trusting the Divine. I would not have used these words even a year ago. Details of the unfurling becoming more clear… lovely. “Let the beauty we love be what we do…”
Cheers to our finding ways to kiss the Earth –
This blog’s musical inspiration: If You Wanna Sing Out by Cat Stevens