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Spring Updates from the Flower Farm

Does anyone else feel like Spring has absolutely flown by? My guess is that it feels this way because here in Western North Carolina we've been experiencing warmer than usual spring weather... I'm talking multiple days with highs in the 80s throughout April. I suppose the bright side is that the flowers are blooming earlier than anticipated or hoped.

Photo: Meghan Rolfe Photography

Photo: Meghan Rolfe Photography

We've been able to sell basically every viable stem since the anemones started popping in January - what a vast difference 1 year of hard work makes! I remember last May when all of the snapdragons bloomed at one time (so much for succession planting) and I was scrambling to find buyers. Let's just say that our neighbors and friends loved us since we put buckets of leftovers on the curb in front of our house throughout the season with a note to "make yourself a bouquet, but please leave the buckets." As much as we love doing this, its really nice to be selling as many flowers as we can grow.

A few game changers for this season:

1.  The Hustle: I (Niki) worked NONSTOP to build relationships with local designers, grocery store partners and wedding clients to spread the word about this business. I truly learned the what the word hustle means, and its paying off. The hustle continues just as much now (if not more) and ever as we continue to grow and promote Flourish.

2. Cool Flowers: We're harvesting the benefits from a huge (for a small scale farm) planting of cool season hardy annuals. See my post from last fall What Flower Farmers do in the Fall for more insight into our process for prepping and planting. Thankfully most everything made it safely through the winter and the cool temps made for robust spring flowers. Having flowers throughout the early spring has been awesome... we're all ready for some colorful blooms after winter.

3. Having confidence: I'm learning to have confidence in myself as a small business owner, as a flower farmer, as a boss, as a PR representative and marketer and as a designer. While I definitely drop the ball on lots of small things (my poor dogs rarely get to go on trail runs anymore), those mistakes don't define me. I realize that I the have ability and determination to learn from my mistakes and keep refining our systems.

4. Planning: Putting in the hours to build spreadsheets and make a solid crop plan for this season is well worth the precious time away from farm chores in the early fall. Knowing that the seeds are ready to be sown on schedule, plugs ordered and fields laid out takes away so much of the stress of what to plant and when. We just follow the schedule

5: Hannah: Our amazing farm hand from last year returned to work with us again this season. We are so incredibly lucky to have Hannah working on the farm part time. Not only is she a joy to be around, she's an incredibly thoughtful, efficient and hard worker. More on Hannah later when we provide a proper introduction :)

A few exciting things that have been very encouraging this spring...

This blog has been named one of the Top 100 Flower Blogs on the web by Feedspot. We came in #50!!! Along with all sorts of other amazing flower blogs, we are so honored to be included as a part of this list.  

 

Our very first "Evening on the Flower Farm" workshop sold out! We have an incredible lineup of local artisans contributing to this evening. From catering, to confections and calligraphy, photography, textiles and more, this is going to be a night to remember. Not to mention flowers from our farm and garden roses donated from Grace Rose Farm in California. Because we received such an overwhelming response, we are excited to announce that we're offering another workshop this fall. "An Autumn Evening on the Flower Farm" will be held on October 7 and registration is now open. We hope that you'll join us! 

Photo: Meghan Rolfe Photography

Photo: Meghan Rolfe Photography

There are a few other really exciting things coming up very soon, but I can't announce them just yet :) Let's just say that Flourish Flower Farm is about to reach a nationwide audience through a handful of different print, radio, social media and online publications. I will be sure to post about them on social media and share on the blog.

And finally, I'm heading out to Washington State's Skagit Valley next week to attend Floret Flower Farm's workshop. To say that I'm excited is an understatement! Erin has been a huge role model from afar, and I'm thrilled for the chance to learn from her and Team Floret. I have no doubt that I'll bring back many, many farming and design tips to incorporate into this little farm. 

xo Niki

PS - Check out our Image Gallery as we've been updating the page with all sorts of loveliness from weddings and designs this spring!

 

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Ranunculus Love Affair

This has been a weird winter... very mild overall and remarkably un-winter-like. February brought weeks with highs in the upper 70's (possibly even hit 80 a day or two) and March brought lows in the teens and with a couple inches of snow. Thankfully the ranunculus and anemone, which started blooming in late January, survived, as did the thousands of cool flowers out in the fields. 

Ranunculus have always been my favorite flower (shhh, don't tell the other flower babies) and this year most of the varieties I planted seem to have bloomed pink. I'm hoping that my 2nd succession turns out to be more true to color - - if pale yellow and cream end up blooming pink, then we may have a problem. I haven't been able to help myself from snapping hundreds of photos and simply embracing all the pink. I hope you enjoy!

xox Niki

 

 

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How I Became a Flower Farmer

I get asked this question a lot: "How did you become a flower farmer?" It has taken me over a year to articulate my story. Attending ASAP's Business of Farming conference this past weekend provided me with the structure and encouragement to sit down and really think about how I got where I am today. I can't pretend that this story is just about me however. William, my husband, best friend, love of my life and partner in all things, is the real reason that I had the courage to follow this dream. 

I grew up on the coast of South Carolina and some of my earliest memories are of climbing the giant magnolia trees outside my dad's office and picking wildflowers along the path to the beach. My parents are both plant people through and through. My mom taught me at a young age that to pick lettuce, you don't actually yank the whole plant out of the ground. And that vegetables from the garden are immensely tastier than those bought from the grocery store. I spent hours every summer watering trees at my dad's plant nursery and landscaping company, and I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. Family vacations were spent camping in the same mountains that I now call home. So its no wonder that my heart led me to be growing plants here the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I spent my 20's living and adventuring in the Western states while leading outdoor adventure trips for teens - backpacking across British Columbia, mountaineering in Washington and rock climbing in Northern California. I would save all my money in order to travel (and do the same activities) in places like Nepal, Peru and Costa Rica. I apprenticed on an organic farm in Georgia and fell in love with farming. I eventually became the director of the outdoor program and after 10 years of traveling, I started to crave a home. I got a dog, a cat, some chickens and built a huge garden in the heart of Asheville. I reconnected with a college friend and fell in completely in love. I married that sweet friend, added another dog to our family and built a bigger garden. But I started to feel restless in my professional life. I loved working with kids and wanted a new challenge, so I joined an incredible team of folks who were starting a K-8 charter school. It was a wonderful experience, but my heart was still restless and being drawn even more strongly towards farming.

I knew deep down that I wanted to be growing plants, but vegetables didn't feel right. One day while trail running, I had an intense vision that I needed to be growing flowers. I could see it so clearly in my mind: fields full of flowers. Throughout my life, I've carried with me my parents' love of flowering plants - drooling over dahlias at Pike's Place Market in Seattle before I even had a home, always having vases of fresh flowers in the house, growing them in my yard and designing the flowers for our wedding. I tentatively approached William - who by now was well aware of my professional restlessness and wild dreams - and told him that I wanted to become a flower farmer. I started reading, researching, writing business plans and creating financial projections and spending every spare moment developing this dream. The biggest obstacle (besides finances and actually doing the hard work of farming solo) was that I wasn't sure that I could build a new business and really give it 100% while working a full time job. When I set my mind to do something, I go all in and want to be successful. I wanted to quit my job and become a full time flower farmer. William was nothing short of heroic as he encouraged me to pursue this dream.

So we made a plan: we depleted our savings, I tearfully left my job at the school and found some beautiful land to lease. I was absolutely terrified. Leaving behind a steady paycheck, health insurance, set hours for work and the camaraderie of coworkers felt like such a huge risk. But I knew that in order to make this dream happen, I would have to be organized, focused and work my ass off. 

We humans crave beauty in our lives. Flowers truly feed the soul and are such a unique expression of caring. Seeing the look on someone's face as I hand them a bouquet of fresh-picked flowers is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I love telling people the romantic names of varieties that I grow and feeling proud that when someone sticks their nose into my flowers, they'll inhale fragrance instead of chemicals. With each seed sown, weed pulled and bridal bouquet created, I am literally building our future and living the dream. 

Following your dreams is never easy - its hard work, sore muscles, fear of failure, loneliness, mistakes and lots of dirty laundry. But having the courage to step out of my comfort zone and explore that restlessness, with the unfailing support of William, led me to start this little flower business. Its the best risk I've ever taken. 

P.S. This is the long version of my story :) My next homework from the conference is to write the short version. Why is it always harder to condense stories and edit? Wish me luck!

 

 

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Give a little love

Valentine's Day has never been about red roses and sugary treats in our house. My husband rarely bought me flowers even before I had a flower farm and design studio, and of course even less often now. Perhaps its because no matter how thoughtfully he displayed them, I always wanted to rearrange them, put them in a different vase, move them to a new location - basically to put my own touch on the arrangement (sorry honey!). William and I tend to shy away from the consumerism surrounding most holidays, but use February 14th as a day to celebrate our marriage, to reflect on how grateful we are for each other and to plan an extra special date night. 

In the spirit of thoughtful gift-giving and celebrating the person you love (friend or sweetie), I wanted to share a few ways to experience the magic happening at Flourish Flower Farm this coming season:

Workshop

I am so excited to invite you to the farm, which is usually not open to the public, for "An Evening on the Flower Farm." After receiving so many requests to visit, requests to bring a friend or mother out to the flower farm and seeing the desire in kindred spirits to get their hands on our beautiful flowers, I created this evening to satisfy those cravings. 

We'll begin the evening with a short stroll through the flower fields and then we'll move into designing a compote centerpiece. You'll receive a demonstration with tips on simple design principles, and then have your turn at creating your own. The beautiful ceramic vase is your's to keep. Our goal is that you express your creativity using flowers and feel empowered to buy a bundle of flowers from a farm or grocery store, and have the confidence to create something spectacular. 

Its the perfect opportunity to plan a date with a friend and spend a beautiful evening amongst the flowers. The workshop is June 10th from 3-6pm and cost is just $105. All flowers, supplies, tools are included, plus light snacks and beverages. Adults of age are welcome to bring their own adult beverage. Space is limited - register here

Bouquet Subscriptions

Flower bouquet subscriptions, also know as a flower CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), are the perfect way to enjoy fresh, local flowers throughout the growing season. At each pick up, you will receive a lush, hand wrapped bouquet of seasonal flowers. Rather than giving just one bundle of flowers on Valentine's Day, give a season's worth of gorgeous, local, organic flowers. Gift certificates are available.

For Asheville folks, our Spring Bouquet Share is currently open. Space is limited. Details here.

Waynesville friends, we are so excited to partner with our dear friends at Fiddlehead Farms this year for our pick up location! Fiddlehead Farms offers a vegetable CSA from May through the Fall. While you don't have to be a member of their veggie CSA to participate in our flower bouquet subscription, you won't want to miss out on the incredible bounty from their family farm. The Waynesville bouquet subscriptions run from May through August, with one pick up per month. More details here. 

Whether or not you choose to include some magic from Flourish Flower Farm in your Valentine's Day, I hope that this season finds you surrounded by your favorite people and lots of love. We can certainly all use more beauty, kindness and flowers in our lives!

With love, Niki

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Snow on the farm

I LOVE snow! After spending many years living in the West, snowy winters and especially skiing are what I miss the most now that I'm in the South. But this year I found myself dreading the possibility of snow. The anxiety of cold temps, collapsed hoop houses and buried plants had me feeling just fine with a snow-free winter.

Well, we did get some snow this past weekend... and I'm happy to report that everything made it through! I added some extra layers of Agribon over the ranunculus and anemone in the hoop houses since we were expecting lows in the single digits. I knew there wasn't much to do for the field crops, except hope the snow would provide enough insulation (it did!). 

I even found a little surprise in the hoop house as I was uncovering everything... the first anemone bloom! 

Hope your snowy days are filled with sledding hills, cozy fires and warm blankets. 

xoxo Niki

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What Flower Farmers do in the Fall

Contrary to what most people assume, fall actually is the busiest season on a flower farm. Even though most of the flowers are done blooming, the backbreaking labor of fall clean up and planting is only just beginning. 

This fall has been very unusual in that our first hard frost came on November 11th and it hasn't truly rained since September 27th (there were 2 days between now and then that it rained less than half an inch, but I'm not counting those). If I had known that there would be almost another full month of good growing weather, I would have planted another succession and kept aggressively irrigating. But that's the fun part of farming: there is not a lot of "normal" and always plenty of trial and error.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned this year is that its worth the time to plan ahead (far ahead) so that you're ready to move forward with a solid plan as the season shifts. I am so thankful that I took the time this summer to read Lisa Mason Zeigler's fantastic book Cool Flowers. The wisdom that Lisa shares is invaluable and helped me completely change my fall crop plan. I'm so excited to try out some cool flowers and hopefully have more robust spring plants and earlier blooms. 

Here is a recap of my process for fall clean up and planting:

Mid to late September 

  • Seeded trays of sweet peas, scabiosa, nigella, cornflowers, bupleurum, and larkspur in the greenhouse. This year I put the larkspur and bupleurum seeds in the freezer for about 2 weeks before planting and had 100% germination (which was not the case this spring). 
  • Ordered plugs for flowers that I wasn't going to start from seed myself

Late September 

  • Retagged all the dahlias so that I could identify them accurately while they were still blooming
  • Started pulling out spent summer plants and adding them to the compost pile

Early October

  • Pre-soaked ranunculus and anemone corms (Erin from Floret Flowers has a great explanation of presoaking) and "planted" them for pre-sprouting. I store them in the basement for pre-sprouting and have had great results. 
  • Re covered the 3rd hoop house that we took the film off of this summer. When I eventually move and rebuild the hoop houses, I will definitely make them all with roll-up sides.
  • Continued pulling up annuals from the fields 

Late October

  • Planted ranunculus and anemone in the hoop houses. I ordered my corms from Gloeckner and Italian Ranunculus - 7 different varieties of ranunculus and 6 of anemone!
  • Planted 1 row of sweet peas in the hoop house

Early November

  • Dig, label and store dahlias
  • Finished clearing all annuals from the fields
  • Measured, cleaned off, rolled up and labeled all landscape fabric. Hello soreness! It was worth the time to inventory the fabric as I took it up because now I know exactly the length of each piece. 
  • Took up and disposed of all drip tape from the fields. I will not reuse the same tape as its too easy for it to crack during storage and then leak. I made the mistake of reusing the same drip tape in the hoop houses this fall, and have been repairing it non-stop. Not worth it.
  • Tilled the fields
  • Planted bulbs: narcissus, tulips, leucojum, iris, muscari and frittaria

Mid November

  • Laid down drip tape, landscape fabric and finally planted cool flowers! 
  • Lupine, Eryngium (Sea Holly), Larkspur, Cornflowers, Love in the Mist (Nigella), Scabiosa, Snapdragons, Bupleurum, Campanula, Delphinium, Foxglove, Flax, Dianthus and Bells of Ireland
  • Added a layer of Agribon to protect the little plants from wind and freezing temps. I'll keep watching the highs and will uncover them as needed. 

So things have been just a little busy this fall. The only thing left to do is plant Iceland Poppies, but those will wait until after a much needed vacation.

I am so grateful for all the incredible resources available through the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and Growing for Market.  If there is any secret to success in the first year of flower farming - or business in general - its that you must read, research and just be obsessed with learning as much as possible. And then just get out there and do it! Trial and error goes a long way and I've kept a detailed journal of everything from planting, rain, bugs, harvesting and sometimes just plain old gripes to myself - a practice that I plan to continue (the journaling that is, and honestly, probably the griping too).

Year 2 is already off to a GREAT start and it feels amazing to be putting in place the lessons learned. I can't wait! But first, I'm looking forward to vacation in Italy with my hubby and doing a lot of yoga this winter. 

xox Niki

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Expanding the vision ~ more weddings!

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Expanding the vision ~ more weddings!

I have learned SO much in this first season and while there are many lessons that I learned the hard way (and don't wish to repeat!), it has been overwhelmingly successful and rewarding. Throughout the next few months I'll continue to fine-tune and adjust my vision for Flourish, but one thing is for certain... I cannot wait to take on more weddings and special events!

When I started out earlier this year, I vehemently stated that I was absolutely not going to do wedding designs, that I would only offer buckets for DIY. Well I am so glad that I didn't follow through on this and said yes to many couples this season. Designs for weddings and other special events have been one of my most favorite aspects of the business! Its such an honor to create pieces that add beauty to someone's special day, small or large life event.

I love everything about the process of design - being able to talk through the vision for a couple's wedding and learning their aesthetic, touring the farm with them and discussing what will be blooming on their wedding day, and then using my creativity and skills to design fresh flower arrangements, all from flowers and foliage grown on the farm.

I am SO excited to be attending a floral design master class with Kiana Underwood of Tulipina in October. Kiana is a flower goddess - seriously, check out her Instagram feed. I can't wait to bring these new skills and everything that I learn to my clients and weddings next year. 

I will only commit to one wedding or large event per weekend so that each couple will have my full, undivided attention and the absolute best of what is blooming on the farm.

I hope to work with you, or someone you know, on beautifying their special day!

Love, Niki

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Instagram Love

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Instagram Love

I've recently received some shout outs on social media that have me blushing, so of course I had to share :) I'm beyond thrilled that over 13,000 folks had the chance to glimpse a little bit of the magic happening on my little farm!

I hope you'll continue to share your pics of Flourish flowers on social media #flourishflowerfarm

xoxo Niki

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Summertime Update!

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Summertime Update!

Now that the season is in full swing, my days (and nights) are spent picking flowers, weeding, planting, making bouquets and sweating in the sun. I could not be more pleased with how my first season is turning out! 

Here are a few places you can find Flourish Flowers around Asheville: Earth Fare Westgate, Earth Fare South Asheville, West Asheville Tailgate Market (market dates I'll be attending), in the lovely designs by Flora and many other awesome local floral designers. I usually do a pop-up flower shop on the lawn of the Isis Restaurant & Music Hall one Saturday morning a month (check social media for details). And of course, by requesting a custom order. Flourish Flowers make a great gift for just about any occasion!

Its been amazing to get to know my inaugural CSA members and I have plans to expand the offerings next year. I'll post details early as a flower bouquet subscription makes a great gift. I've been doing lots of weddings and events and providing buckets for those DIY brides, grooms and wedding parties. 

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook to see all the pics of beautiful blooms and stay connected! It looks unlikely that I'll have time to fully update the website with photos until this winter - my time is mostly spent away from the computer and in the fields! A goal for next year is definitely to be better at updating the blog. 

I've been published on the American Flowers Week website! One of my shots was included in their roundup of 2016 American Grown Flowers

The West Asheville Tailgate Market featured my tips for Extending the Vase Life of your blooms. 

Farm visitors are always welcome by appointment. Or better yet, come get your hands dirty and trade some farm work for flowers! 

With Love + Gratitude, Niki

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Springtime in April

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Springtime in April

Its hard to believe that April is already midway through, but you know its truly spring when 2 weeks after a heavy frost warning and low of 25 degrees, its sweltering hot with no breeze and a high of 82 degrees. Thankfully all of my flowers came through the freeze unscathed - it was certainly nerve wracking though! I had just spent the previous couple weeks filling the field with snapdragons, dianthus, larkspur, lisianthus and bachelor buttons. All in all, I planted over 10,000 plugs (baby flowers). My body has probably never ached as much as it has this month, but its all worth it. 

My amazing parents came to visit and helped on the farm for a week. Their company, kick booty work ethic and expertise really kicked things into full gear. My dad came up with a plan to rework the field and take care of the grass that I would surely have been battling all season (well, I probably still will battle it, but to a much lesser degree). My mom is a planting machine and tirelessly tucked plugs into the ground and painted a beautiful sign for the farm. I cherish their company and it was absolutely wonderful to have them around. 

I've also been planting dahlias and the first round of sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, scabiosa, nasturtium and queen annes lace. The mini greenhouse is absurdly full, but hopefully by the weekend all that will remain are a few trays of foliage and filler starts and my summer veggies. Many friends have asked whether I'm doing a home garden this year, and the answer is yes: per usual I had to have a large home veggie garden too. Oh, and I met my sales goal for the CSA/bouquet subscriptions! I may add a few more spaces once summer hits, but I'm thrilled.

Despite the overwhelming amount of work for one person, the farm is truly my happy place. I can't help but break into a spontaneous grin when I remember to take a moment and look around me. Now, amongst all the million other tasks to complete each day, I am patiently waiting for my first big harvest of the season. 

Flourish's first official bud of the season, a black and white anemone

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Seeds, hoops and a hint of spring

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Seeds, hoops and a hint of spring

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.
— Unknown

The warm days and sunshine lately have restored my faith that spring is indeed on its way. There is truly nothing better than working away at the farm under the blue sky - except maybe walking into the mini greenhouse and seeing the seedlings growing steadily each day. But in all honestly, there have been some cloudy days amidst all the sunshine.

Throughout the last month I have wondered many times, "What the heck have I gotten myself into???" I think some people would love the type of projects that I've been doing lately... but I am not one of those people. Honestly, building projects are not something I enjoy or am remotely good at. But in the midst of exhaustion and frustration, I remind myself of a few things: (1) that I won't have to do this exact thing again next year because its all part of starting something from scratch (2) farming is hard and its not all about "playing with flowers" (3) while this is indeed hard, I'm living my dream each day (4) I have amazing mentors and resources at my fingertips. I'm certain that I will continue to have these same feelings throughout the season, no matter what farm project I'm working on. The beauty of all of this is that I am learning a lot and I am literally building my dream!

The support that my friends have provided me with lately is making all the difference. I am incredibly grateful whenever someone asks if they can come help me at the farm. The encouragement of friends and family goes a long way!

Here are some snapshots of the projects that I've been working on this past month:

The hoop house frames are up and 1 of 3 already has plastic. After the plastic is pulled on all of them, I'll spread compost and do a final till, then run drip lines, lay down pre-burned landscape fabric and finally tuck my plants in the ground. A huge thanks to Floret Flowers for the amazing tutorial on growing with landscape fabric. After creating the templates, I've been burning holes in the fabric while jamming out to music in my driveway (I'm sure the neighbors think I'm crazy). This will help greatly with weed suppression (which is good since there's only one of me and a lot of weeds) and spacing for planting. So far I have templates for 9x9 and 12x12 spacing. I imagine that I'll add more in the future, but this should get me started.

The mini greenhouse is jam-packed with seedlings! Watching all the seeds germinate and grow makes me crazy happy. So overall, I am making a lot of progress.

Come out and see me today at ASAP's Annual CSA Fair! There will be 16 farms ready to talk about all the veggies, flowers, eggs and farm goodness we have to offer.  The event is from 3-6pm at Jubilee! downtown. 

 

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The First Week

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The First Week

Even though its only Wednesday, this has been a very busy first week as a full-time farmer. (I still feel like someone should pinch me - I can hardly believe that this is actually happening!) As much as I wish the weather would warm up and the ground would dry out so I can get to work outside, I know that this office time is crucial. Once I have plants in the ground, these hours of planning will quickly slip away.

Here are some of the things happening at Flourish this week:

  • Measured the fields, finished up the crop plan and the succession planting plans. If all goes well (ha!) I should have 6 different plantings by mid-summer.
  • Ordered 29,940 flower plugs, 1,190 bulbs and 160 packets of seeds. They're not all arriving at once, in case you were wondering.
  • Designed a super cute gift certificate for Valentine's Day. (Hint hint, today is the last day to order in time for V-Day!)
  • Booked 3 weddings for this summer and fall. 
  • Opened a bank account for the business.
  • Built shelves for the tiny greenhouse in my backyard. Let's see how many trays can fit into a 6x8...
  • Launched a Facebook page, and in less than 1 week received over 200 likes. 
  • Researched buckets, floral sleeves and all sorts of other necessary farm items like row covers and drip irrigation.
  • Snuggled with the pups during my afternoon tea break. 
  • And now, I am patiently awaiting the delivery of my 6 hoop houses, 90 trays for seed starting and brand new tiller. I decided to purchase new instead of used for the tiller after receiving advice from seasoned pros.

The "finished" product: A massive spreadsheet that I ended up printing out to see better, pages of notes gleaned from articles by veteran flower farmers and bags/baskets of succession plantings. 

Thanks for following along at the start of this adventure and for spreading the word about Flourish!

xoxo Niki

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So it begins...

Its official... the Flourish Farm is really happening. For those of you who've known me for a long time, you understand just how monumental this moment truly is. For years I have been dreaming of being a farmer, of sharing what I grow. And let's be honest: I am obsessed with flowers. After several months of spending my evenings and weekends writing a business plan, crunching numbers and dreaming (literally) of flowers, I am taking the leap to start my business. This entire endeavor would not be remotely possible without the love, encouragement, business acumen, patience and support of my husband, William. Doing life with this man is an honor and it just gets better with each day. Our families have encouraged, supported and dreamed of this farm alongside us. Plus, Flourish owes its name to my amazingly creative mother. Our dear friends (who are more like family than "just" friends), John Michael and Stacey provided the missing link for this dream to become a reality - they connected me with the land. John Michael's friends at Southeastern Native Nursery have graciously agreed to lease me land for an unbelievable bargain.

My goal is for Flourish to be a farm and a business that uplifts people. Whether its by coming out to the farm to plant a seed, weed or harvest, or by enjoying a vibrant bouquet on your dining room table, I hope Flourish can remind us all of the beauty of the natural world and within ourselves.  

The process of launching a business has reminded me of my own creativity and passion, has made me feel energized and reminded me to believe in myself. I believe that my dream and happiness is important, that its worth taking a risk for and that I have what it takes to be successful. 

So this year marks the beginning of a new adventure sure to be filled with lots of dirt, sweat and tears. But hopefully, with lots of lovely flowers. 

With Gratitude, Niki

People often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it, even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.  - Mahatma Gandhi
 
Beautiful bottomland that is the new home of Flourish. So much work to be done!

Beautiful bottomland that is the new home of Flourish. So much work to be done!

P.S. Farm helpers of all ages are welcome!

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