Monday, December 31, 2012

Sometimes things just work out!

This is the last post of 2012 and it is the last Monday of the month where Jane at Small But Charming is hosting flowers in the house.  I never would imagine I would have a few flowers left from this growing season. Some times things just work out without one's help or plan. This has been one of the wettest years here in Oregon,  I know you think it rains here all the time but it just feels like it.  Actually it did rain all the time and not all of our flowers were planted exactly on their schedule. We got to a point where it is just throw the bulbs and seedlings in there and lets see what happens. Anyway, everything outside of our hoop houses is a wet, slimy mess but in the back of one house were a few snaps and glads just chugging along.  We thought everything would poop out before Thanksgiving and we would get to the cleaning of the house after the holidays, but stuff just continued to grow and bloom. We are learning that if we can keep the cold rain off the plants, they have a chance to bloom and they did!  I became excited about future possibilities but have been tempered by Farmer Tony who gives this happening again in the future a one out three chance.  Bummer,  so the colors are not  holidayish  but they were for Autumn. Next year I plan for whites, reds and greens.  Just hope the odds are in my favor.

 I included a second photo to show the old arrangement which is pretty toasted but has been hanging around for over two weeks.  This is it for the glads but maybe if mommy nature is still kind, I can eek out an arrangement for next week.  My goal has been to have my flowers in the house every week this year since Feb. 17th.  I am close but the next few weeks are going to be tricky and the anemones hopefully will be here by the end of January.  Then we are off to the races with another season of flowers.  Check out the other flowers at Jane's.   
Wishing all a safe and wonderful New Year!

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."                   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quotable Sunday 2012

Slow Flowers

I am excited with the upcoming publication of Debra Prinzing's new book Slow Flowers.  Here's a link to her web page discussing the beginnings of her journey in writing her new book. stop-smell-and-gather-the-roses.
In her blog, she talks about the beginnings of the slow flower movement that is just starting and how it is similar to the slow food movement.  I have been thinking about that idea for a while and here is my personal take on slow flowers.

Slow flowers is about patience and nurturing and about the magical aspect of nature.  As I sit looking at a vase of snapdragons and gladiolas and I think about how long ago they were planted and how they have just come into bloom in the deepest darkest part of the season, I think, WOW, magical!  Snaps are the MOST tiniest seeds there is to plant by hand, one at a time into a soil block.  How can this tiny little speck grow to such lovely heights of color. Magical, with a little bit of nurturing it along and a beautiful bloom graces your table.  But it takes patience. It is not about having it now, when I want it; but waiting and helping it to grow for the beautiful reward that will come in the future. When it does bloom and is sitting on your counter, it is just that much more special because you grew it, nurtured it and waited for its time.

      The beginnings of the 2013 season, little snapdragons  and the end of 2012 season with the lovely blossoms.

So as we plant more tiny little snapdragon, lisianthus, stock and many other seeds this week, we will remind ourselves that it takes patience, a bit of nurturing and the magic of Mother Nature to have flowers in our house and for our friends, designers and customers who love locally grown flowers. It is about waiting for all good things to come in their own time.  Just like the perfect strawberry in June or the perfect tomato in August, the perfect flower is worth waiting for too. Slow flowers are worth the wait!

     "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
                     Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 25

                                              MERRY CHRISTMAS
   May the peace and joy that we feel today, remain in our hearts everyday!

Monday, December 24, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 24

                                Merry Christmas Eve to Everyone!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 23

A cheery little poinsettia for the window sill.  Makes doing the dishes a little bit nicer.  (if that is possible).
                                                   Happy Holidays!
Quotable Sunday 12/23/2012

Winter Solstice Video

Last year we made a video of the all different flowers we grew throughout the year.  This year's video includes some of the work we did this year along with the pretty flower pictures.  These videos get us pumped up for the new season.  We hope you enjoy it and thank you for all your great support for us and our little farm.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 22

The Christmas tree aglow in the room and in the window.  It smells wonderful and we just sit by it and bask in the quietness. Having a tree is one of the best parts of Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

December Photo Project

Day 21

Still Have Fresh Flowers

                          I guess I am shouting this from the roof tops but we are so excited.

Yes, we know they are not Christmas colors and we will try and plan that better next year.  But we are very excited to know we can grow glads and snapdragons in an unheated hoop house. Now we wonder what else will grow and bloom very very late in the fall, maybe dianthus, calendulas, and who knows what else.   Onward to building more hoop houses. When you keep the wind, rain and snow off the flowers; they still keep blooming. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 20

Technology frustrates the crap out of me.  Sorry, but I am frazzled from trying to learn how to use a new phone.  We had to get a new one, our old phones were about 4 years old, no fancy stuff, and the network was constantly dropping us in mid call.  Nothing more frustrating that calling Farmer Tony, can see him and know that his phone is not ringing.  I could yell faster than that but the neighbors don't need to hear us.  The new phones will do a million things in the store, but not at home, we can't seem to get voice mail to work, taking a photo is confusing, there are so many apps that I don't have clue what they are.  In January they will offer a class on how to use your phone.  A class, imagine... phone rings, pick it up and say hello. Hoping the class is more informative than the manual which says nothing and in many other languages.  Guess I am not smart enough for a smart phone.  I am also giving away my age too, probably. Oh well, we will probably eventually figure it all out but by that time our phone will be 4 years old again and passe.

Enough bi*ching, I need to spend more time outside or at least in the greenhouse where life is way more normal and relaxed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 19

Wrapping Mess:  Have tried to be organized with ribbons, bows, tags and papers. But when you are frantically searching for a gift bag and all you find is birthday stuff, you realize you are NOT organized.  Put that on the list of to dos after Christmas. The job was finally completed but the room remains a mess.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 18

Box arrives, maybe it is Christmas presents!  No, but still fun.  Some of next year's flower seeds arrived.  Lots of new varieties and colors.  Getting started day after Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 17

    This little ceramic Christmas tree was in my Gramie's front window every Christmas since I was a little girl. It is from the 1960's and is my most treasured heirloom from her.  We were very close and she taught me many skills, like gardening, food preservation, needlework, cooking and so many attempts at crochet. (never could learn that).  Every year when I find a perfect spot for it at Christmas, I remember her, miss her, shed a tear or two and think of how wonderful my Gramie was!

Practicing with my camera on low light photos.  Still need to work on them and understand what I am doing.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 16

          Many activities become winter sports when you are a flower farmer.  Quilting is one of my winter sports.

Quotable Sunday 12/16/2012

It is all in.....

It is all in, is a nice little saying when you are a farmer.  It is all planted.  It is all potted up.  It is all seeded for this point in the season.  Is it all done?  Pretty close.

                 Planted hundreds more of fancy daffodils, singles, doubles, and the big old standard King Alfred.  Planted a few hundred tulips also.
                         The tips of their noses are just poking out.
                                   Ranunculus is up and growing nicely.
                             Crates of anemones are moving along.
               Cuttings of scented geraniums are sprouting.

Some seedlings are planted and are growing well.

So it is all in for bulbs and tubers and some seeds, but it is not all in.... the dahlias are not dug and brought in yet. That's another few more days.

Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do - or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.  ~Stanley Crawford

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 15

                   All hail the mighty rose that blooms in December!

Friday, December 14, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 14

         All days should just be this sweet and happy! 
                            Prayers for peace!                 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 13

Frost crept in last night and finally ended the outside flowers.  Flowers under cover are still blooming away.  As we arose this morning, it was chilly and the low fog was on the move.  

Still clear high above but the low fog creeps further on to our little farm.  I ask,  "Do we have to go out in the cold"  Farmer Tony replies " If we can't see it, we can't work on it"  Thank you Farmer Tony!
We still went out later in the morning when it was a bit warmer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 12  (12/12/12)  cool day!

Still haven't had a hard frost yet.  All kinds of flora are trying to bud out, poke through the soil or bloom.  The teasle seeds have sprouted!  I use this a lot in dried arrangements but have never had it green like this.  I wonder how it will dry?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 11

    Deer:  "Hey, I am outside your damn fence and I am NOT eating your stupid flowers!"

    Dog to Man :"What, what did I do?"

    Man to Dog : " I don't think he likes us very much!"

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 10

Every time I open the ribbon cabinet, one or two spools of ribbon leaps out and says "Please use me, I am tired of hanging around in the dark!"  Ok guys, it is Christmas wrapping time, be ready to show off!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 9

                    December and we have the very last blooming dahlia of the season!

Quotable Sunday  December 9, 2012

Planning for Next Year.

This time of year is all about planning....what flowers to grow, how many to grow, how many times to plant the flowers, how many seeds to buy, how many different colors to get, what row will they go in, what hoopty do will they be planted, which seed company has the best price, how will we get our flowers to designers, will they like our choices, what is the popular flower, and on and on and on.  We make plans every year and we follow them along and then oops the wheels come off and the plan is not followed and we are flying by the seat of our pants.  Very scary!!!  So once again we set off with a plan, a plan to get the seeds ordered early so as not to be distracted by the pretty catalogs.  A plan to grow only a few new flowers and try them out.  A plan to grow our regular flowers well and for longer periods of time, sustainably and with an eye to what grows well and where.  Planning that consists of calendars, to-do lists and computer data that we keep up with for the season and not for a few weeks or month.  We plan to make a good plan, I just hope we can.......

Important rules to watch in living. Keep life simple. Avoid watching for a knock in your motor. Learn to like work. Have a good hobby. Learn to be satisfied. Like people, say cheerful pleasant things. Turn the defeat of adversity into victory. Meet your problems with decision. Make the present moment a success. Always be planning something. Say "nuts" to irritations.
John A. Schindler

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 8

Quite a collection of Santas, I have received from around the country and across the generations.  But will the real Santa Claus, please stand up!   Oh no, they are all standing, so who is the real guy. Or maybe he is not here yet.....mmmmm.......!

Friday, December 7, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 7

No matter how windy or rainy, you can always find something pretty in our fields.  Christmas time equals camellia time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 6

      This is our neighbor's little poultry palace all decked out in Christmas lights.  So cute!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 5  

                                     Now let's do all our shopping locally!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 4

If the eyes are the windows to your soul, I decided to take a mechanical look see.  What I saw, kinda creeped me out.   My big day at the eye doc.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 3

We are officially wheat and gluten free.  Tony has been for 11 months and I have been for 1 month.  He is feeling wonderful and I am getting use to this new life and the changes that go with it.  Examples below.

                                   Breakfast is way different now, notice how pretty it looks. 

                   No more peanut butter on muffin or toast so celery is the stand in for our peanut fix.

                                       On the road to new and better health!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day Two

Yesterday I spotted a heron in our distant fields and thought it would be a cool photo.  This morning very early the heron was in our tree no more that 45 feet from our bedroom window. We ran for the camera as the heron waited as if to say "I am ready for my closeup".  A couple of photos taken and then it flew back to the distant part of our property.  Sorry no shot of it flying....still learning the camera.

Quotable Sunday 12/02/2012


Some very dear friends of ours invite us to their home to watch our college football team play on television.  We live in the country and have no dish or cable so they open their lovely home to us and offer yummy food to eat.  They are truly the most generous people around so we offered to help deck their halls for Christmas.

                                             We purchased some poinsettias for their home.

   We decked out an Oregon made wreath with a little sparkle and glitz, a little holly and ribbon.

        Only one little accident and some very sore and punctured fingers later we had a festive wreath....

          We are truly grateful for their hospitality and friendship.  We wish them a wonderful  Christmas season.

"Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ”    -Washington Irving-

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Photo Project 2012

Day 1

After a dark and stormy night, December 1st started as any other typical Oregon day with lots of low clouds and rain.  For a very brief moment the clouds parted, the sun shone through and two rainbows magically appeared.  Liquid sunshine for a minute or two and then the skies darkened again and the weather returned to the winter as we know it, wet and cold.  But I saw it!!
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