Quotable Sunday 09/16/2012
Try One More Time
This is a bucket of Lisianthus, a beautiful long lasting flower that looks sort of like little roses. Have you ever tried to grow it from seed? It is no picnic or piece of cake. It is a tiny little seed that takes FOREVER to grow, clogs up the greenhouse and is started in November. Now most folks get lizzie plugs, letting the experts get them started for them, but we being cheap, oops I mean thrifty, have tried to grow these from seed. It has taken us THREE years of seeding and not getting anything to germinate or it grows SO slowly, it gets overlooked by our spring chaotic planting schedules. We were also growing from seed because we had no idea how it would be received by our customers.
This is a tray of lizzies. You have to look really close to see them. They are the little green leaf in a mini block in a 2 inch block. See, really tiny and these guys have been growing ( I say, sitting) for months. It is at this point, I am ready to chuck them, they are clogging up space in my tiny greenhouse. I don't have enough room for all the other flowers I want to grow. We are at a cross roads here, so after much debate, we decide one more time. We will move them to the propagation house, they will become his responsibility and he will plant them out if they ever get to size. Amazingly they get to a size he can handle and are planted in our hoop house.
I do not have high expectations for them but am secretly hoping that they will produce some flowers. Then we see other flower farmers on the internet showing their very long stem lizzies and we start to wonder what are we doing wrong now.
Why are our lizzies so short? Is it soil fertility, probably... is it light levels, not sure...too hot too cool... what is the answer? But they grow some more and start blooming some more. They are not growing in weeds, it is berseem clover a nitrogen fixing legume that will grow till it freezes.
Finally we have enough to cut for our markets. But how will they be received? What should the price be since they were so labor intensive to produce?
We are happy to report that they were extremely well received, our customers loved them. They said how much they loved them, how long lasting in vase they were and they hoped we will continue to grow them. This weekend, we brought in our last two buckets of lisianthus and there are no stems left, in fact, there was a race to grab the last few stems by two ladies. We are encourage by all the compliments and pleas to grow more and to expand the colors.
So I have to say this, Farmer Tony was right (ack, his head is going to swell) and I was wrong(rarely ha ha). It was worth trying one more time, believing this time it would work. One more time, that is what flower farming is...trying one more time believing this time is the charm.
Never had any stems of lisianthus left over for me to play with, other than a few broken ones. Just some pretties on our window sill.
When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."