I Am A Flower Farmer

Bio Pic

.

My daughter, Andrea, and I are Flower Farmers.  Well, sort of.

.

IMG_3051-001

.

We grow flowers, make beautiful country farmhouse bouquets, and sell them by the honor system from our darling flower cart that my son-in-law built for us.

.

IMG_3025-001

.

When we started this venture together a year ago, we knew nothing about flower farming.  We literally ordered heirloom flower seeds and jumped in with the excitement that one has when you don’t quite realize what being a flower farmer entails!

.

IMG_3362-001

My little grand-daughters helping in the flower garden last summer.

.

We had a few set-backs, but still we had a fantastic summer.  We accomplished everything we set out to accomplish.  Which was:  enjoy being together in the outdoors doing something we love, doing a little business together that would include my daughter’s little girls, sell gorgeous flowers at a price everyone can afford, and make a little spending money.  We did do all those things and even surpassed our hopes.  And we learned A LOT!

.

IMG_8966-002

.

So this winter we set plans in motion to expand our garden size, grow more varieties of flowers, and applied to sell at a weekly Farmers Market.  We drew up a garden map and ordered our seeds.

.

IMG_8955-001

.

Spring came and we got off to a great start.  My husband did the tilling and hilling.

.

IMG_8961-001

.

The whole family got in on the planting.

.

IMG_9115-001

.

Not only did we plant many different varieties of heirloom seeds, we also put in an entire  bed of Dahlia tubers.  Last summer we learned that Dahlias grown from seed take all summer just to grow and so we only ended up with blooms for about a month in the Fall.

..

IMG_9702-001

.

Things started to come up and grow.  And then the dry spell hit. After realizing that a lot of the specialty seeds didn’t come up and the things that did come up had stopped growing… I quickly got discouraged and disappointed.  And I’m angry at myself for feeling that way.  I’m a worrier by nature and even though I know it and fight it… sometimes it just gets the best of me.

.

IMG_9736-001

.

We are dry-land farming so after three weeks of hot, dry temperatures in May with not a single drop of rain things started looking pretty sad.  My husband, bless his heart (like they say here in the South!) rigged up a pump and irrigation system so that we could get water out of the pond to do some emergency watering.  So that helped me breathe a little easier and made the plants look a little happier.

.

photo-006

.

Then, as our plants were finally starting to take off and flourish we all went to Florida for a week of vacation and while we were doing this on the beach…

.

IMG_9915-001

.

…the rains came at home and our flower garden was doing this!  My first thought upon walking up to the gate was sheer panic.  Literally the weeds were so tall that you couldn’t see a single flower plant.  I felt sick.

.

IMG_9918-001

.

My husband came to the rescue again with the push mower and the string trimmer and we actually got the garden whipped back into shape.

.

IMG_9919-001

.

But when we finally got the flowers uncovered this is what we saw.  Something had been having a lovely feast on our zinnias.  Rows and rows of heirloom zinnias had their leaves and tops chewed off.  Can you guess what I did?  I am embarrassed to admit that I sat on the ground and had a good cry.  Over bug eaten zinnia plants.  I mean, seriously?

.

IMG_9944-002

One of the zinnia plants that didn’t get eaten by beetles… ready to bloom!

.

My daughter had a lot going on that week so she didn’t manage to get over to see the garden, so I drove down to her house and had a nice little cry about our garden.  My 7 year old grand-daughter looked at me and said, “Gram, why are you crying about FLOWERS?”  There was absolutely nothing I could say.  Why WAS I crying about flowers?

.

IMG_0033-001

A Dahlia bloom… already!

.

Andrea very sweetly said to me, “Mom, we didn’t do this to stress over and worry about.  We did it to have fun.  If it’s not fun, we aren’t going to do it.”

.

IMG_5917-001

Fresh picked flowers from last summer, ready to be arranged in a bouquet.

.

Somehow that sentence did more for me than anything else she could’ve said.  It brought back all the reasons why we did this in the first place.  And all the things we loved about it last summer.  It brought back the excitement of growing flowers and making wild and fun farmhouse bouquets.

.

IMG_3371-003

.

It reminded me of how awesome it was to lovingly arrange the flowers in mason jars, tie on our darling labels, and place them in our flower cart first thing in the morning.

.

photo-004

Two of our faithful customers gave me permission to share this picture!

.

I remembered some of our favorite customers that were literally waiting in line for their daily dose of flowers!

.

photo 2-004

.

And the really sweet notes that happy customers left when they returned their jars.

.

.IMG_0077

Our flower garden today… hopefully it will be full of flowers in a couple more weeks!

.

And I was reminded again of a very valuable lesson.  Stop.  Slow down.  Stop worrying.  There is so much to be thankful for and to be excited about.  Right in my very own beautiful flower garden!  I also want to learn to have more of the exuberance that my darling grand-girls have over something like the very first sunflower bloom!

.

.IMG_0065-001

The first Sunflower bloom is cause for great excitement!

.

Thank you Farmgirl friends for always reading, commenting, sharing and encouraging!

.

Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

.

Dori

 

Leave a comment 28 Comments

  1. Cyndie Gray says:

    My dear “sister” 😉 you are a delightful gal and so very much like me it is crazy!! Why do we do this to ourselves? So thankful for wise words out of the mouths of babes and your dear daughter. What a fun flower-filled summer you will have! :-) so wish I was close enough to stop by your stand!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Cyndie,

      I ask myself that all the time… “Why do I do this to myself”?! :-) I wrote this blog post and then was tested at the flower garden again last night when we had zinnia after blooming zinnia with blooms that were not formed correctly, so it resulted in flowers that could not be used (pretty sure it is a result of the bugs that were eating the plants, had obviously managed to get inside the blooms and eat there too). I wanted to cry as we were cutting blooms and handing them to the little girls to dispose of. Then I saw them playing Flower Girl with all the blooms and decided it wasn’t so bad after all! :-)

      Happy Summer, Cyndie!

      – Dori –

  2. Emily says:

    Dori, what a beautiful post! Love seeing the flowers growing in your garden and knowing you and your family are enjoying sharing them with others. In sharing, you all are receiving many gifts in return.

    Take care.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Emily, thank you. You said it perfectly. Sharing really does bring back so much in return.

      – Dori –

  3. Debbie says:

    My dear Dori,
    I so loved this post! You ARE a flower farmer! With all it’s ups and downs and worries too, you and your flower farm will continue to bloom. Aren’t daughters just the best?
    They always know how to bring us back to center when we start spinning, Don’t they?
    Love and hugs!
    Fom your flower farming and farmgirl blogging sister,
    Deb

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Deb,

      I can always count on you to lift my spirits! :-) I just wish you’d been with me in the garden last night when I almost had another meltdown. I don’t think this is going to be a good Zinnia summer. :-(

      And YES, daughters are the very best. I can’t imagine my life without mine. She is pretty much everything to me.

      Hugs to you, friend.

      – Dori –

  4. Angela says:

    Dori- I can so identify! We always manage to go on vacation in July, leaving a nicely weeded garden. And then come home to a weed infested garden! We have to learn to step back and see the big picture! I hope my daughters grow up to be just like Andrea – such a sweetheart!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Angela,

      We are looking forward to Monday!

      That was the sweetest compliment you could’ve ever paid. I’ll share it will Andrea!

      Hugs,

      – Dori –

  5. Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

    Dori,
    I once read a saying that “out of the worst of situations a rose grows and blooms”.
    Think of the Dust Bowl tragedy, the beetles, Hurricanes, floods, drenching rain that tears up the soil and all that is planted there.
    You see dear Dori life can be so unexpected that we need to enjoy it while we can and not worry about all the things that befall those who choose to toil in the soil.
    I love roses and I have planted many (now even through all the trackters and all the machinery- they are still blooming even with the tall weeds). But I was worned not to plant them because of all the things that go wrong. Well, even through some rust, bad bugs and all, they bloomed and smell so good. I just did not worry about it and they knew and responded for me. You see ? Just go with what ever is given you and you will be rewarded even though sometime it may be so hard to do.
    Love and Hugs,
    Kay

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Kay!

      I love that saying. I’m going to write that down and tape it right to my computer monitor! :-)

      I’m so happy that you have your roses keeping you happy, even amongst the construction and the weeds! And they smell beautiful no matter what, don’t they? There’s a lesson in that too!

      Hugs back… and thank you so much for always commenting and encouraging!

      – Dori –

  6. Esther says:

    Dori – Yes, it’s so discouraging to come home to a weed infested garden, but I’m sure it will survive and bloom beautifully! Aren’t daughters and grand daughters just the best for lifting our spirits? I’m noticing this even more as I get older. I’ll bet it won’t be long until you have a Flourishing Flower Farm!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Esther,

      I am so very thankful every single day for my daughter, my grand-daughters and also my daughter-in-law. I would be so lost without them. And yes, I think we need them more and more every year. And yours are especially wonderful!

      – Dori –

  7. I love this post, but if your little cart goes missing, don’t come looking at my farm, as I will have it well hidden! Of course you cried; Nature can be a beast! If you didn’t understand that, you wouldn’t be a real farmer. But, as these things go, you will also have flowers. I’d love to see this patch of Wonderful, and I may come visit some day soon, if you’ll have me. The most beautiful flowers in your garden are your family!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Wayve,

      I would LOVE to have you come visit! :-) Maybe you can give me some advice on the bugs that are wiping out our Zinnia blooms. Maybe what we need are some Marten bird houses like you have in your strawberry fields? Do you think that would help? We are in a bad way.

      I’ll be in touch and we’ll set us a date. Early morning or early evening is probably best… this heat is crazy!

      – Dori –

  8. Kathryn Daniels says:

    Dori, I just read your post. I wanted put out the effort ( & that is what I’m doing) because it made me lol. The part where you said u “sat down and cried” over some type of flower. I can relate. It may not be anything as beautiful as the flowers that you and your daughter grow but after the past 8 months of being laid low I have sat down & cried over a bug eaten anything & everything that represented at one time held a sign of life only to show up dead. It just struck me funny and gave me the one & only lol moment of my cherished day. It means a lot & THANK YOU for posting that comment. Have a great day!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Kathryn,

      Thank you so much for writing to me! You can’t know how much I appreciated it! And I’m so happy that I could make you have a good “laughing out loud moment”! After my good cry in the garden, I’ve had a few more close calls (ha ha!) and then forced myself to laugh and move on! Oh is it ever hard!

      Thank you again… keep writing!

      – Dori –

      P.S. And if you could see our bug eaten flower garden tonight you would probably struggle to see anything beautiful in it, just like we did. Hoping it will look a little prettier tomorrow morning! :-)

  9. susana says:

    Sorry to hear of your bad luck….the first time I grew zinnias they were plentiful, but then the next season they got root ROT and I got nil. I find its best to wait til after fathers day or plant the seeds at the top of a hill for the firstnplanting. Saves. And have better luck, as the hill will melt , if we get too much rain but the seedlings wont drown. Hopefully your next week plantings will come up. Its one good thing about zinnias, you can plant them every week. And cut them and more grow up.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Susana,

      Zinnias are so amazing aren’t they? The more you cut and use them, the more they bloom! They are the miracle flower!

      Happy Summer to you!

      – Dori –

  10. Colleen says:

    Dori,
    KEEP ON planting and taking care of that gorgeous flower garden! I loved seeing all your pictures and look forward to seeing the flowers! Have a great summer!
    Colleen

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Colleen,

      Oh have I EVER been thinking of you all in Utah this month! :-) And wishing I was there for about 4 days… or more!

      Big hugs,

      – Dori –

  11. Maxine says:

    I love seeing & hearing about your flowers. It’s always hard to have something we put alot of effort into not turn out just right tho, isn’t it! Even if it’s “just flowers” (which are not “just” at all) You have put so much time and effort into your business, and brought so much happiness to others, I can see. Even those of us who can only view them on-line. Everything takes time to learn & work out the quirks, and in nature, so much is out of our control even then! Happy farming!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Maxine,

      Thank you. It’s been a frustrating season for sure. We try to only post the positive!!! Ha ha! :-) Kind of like the hours at the farmers market yesterday and only sold 8 bouquets… came home and put the other 9 on the flower cart and they were gone this morning! We said, “Now WHY did we go to the farmers market”? :-) We are going to give it a month and see if it improves. Mainly it is a good way to get our name out there for more events, which is what we really love to do. Thanks for your encouragement!

      – Dori –

  12. Marilyn says:

    Dori, I, too, am a worrier and am finding it hard to be patient. At 67 and newly retired from teaching, I find I want changes now. After all, I’m 67. Doing for fun has never been a part of my thinking. I’m learning. Thank you so much for your beautiful blogs and being there for all of us.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Marilyn,

      Doing for fun is one of the hardest things to do sometimes isn’t it? I think part of my problem is that I genuinely love to be busy working… I think I would rather clean house than go anywhere. So it is hard to just let myself jump in and go do something for fun. I’m really working on that!

      I appreciate you writing and your sweet words to me. It made my day.

      – Dori –

  13. Dori I too love zinnias. I live in Virginia on the Eastern Shore. I have grown zinnias and they grow well here sometimes. I have the most luck with cosmos, but they aren’t good for cut flowers. But when I look at the little barn, when I am coming up our lane It Is pretty and this is a welcoming sight for visitors to see. these cosmos come back every year and reseed. they are orange and yellow. A good ray of sunshine to see. Love your cart and you always have a great blog. Hugs Juanita

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Juanita,

      I love Cosmos. We do use them in our bouquets for a touch of filler. Have you grown the Double Click? They are a gorgeous pink. And yes, they are the most welcoming flower! Our Zinnias are FINALLY growing normal beautiful blooms, but what a struggle! Thanks for writing!

      – Dori –

  14. Sara says:

    Dori, thank you so much for sharing your daring flower venture idea! Thanks especially for showing that one doesn’t need to have a business plan, a website, a storefront, a financial justification(!) for doing something like this! How refreshing! You have given me a completely new perspective on sharing my farm bounty with others–if they like it, they’ll happily receive it, if they don’t, at least I enjoyed growing, harvesting, arranging and offering it! And with a supportive family member! A double blessing! I hope some day to have a lovely daughter-in-law who wants to dream by my side, doing similar farmgirl things with me! Bright harvests to you!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Sara,

      Thank you so much for writing and for your sweet words. I think winging it is so hard sometimes… but then there are some things that just can’t be learned except by doing! :-) And wow, we are learning! I do so love doing this little venture with my daughter. There is nothing like it in the world. Every day I feel a heart full of thankfulness for our relationship. I too hope you have a daughter (in-law) to share your farmgirl dreams with.

      I’ll keep you updated on our flower farming venture!

      – Dori –

Leave a Reply to Esther Cancel Your Response

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>