Bleary eyed, bone-tired, coffee driven, anxiety ridden.
We heft bucket after bucket, crate after crate, armload after armload of flowers, repetitively cycling through the winners and sifting out the losers. Vase life, proper harvest stage, post-harvest, customer satisfaction, price points, environmental factors, fertilization, disease control. Flowers run my world; sometimes they treat me like I'm the only thing in this whole wide infinite universe; other times they make me feel like an infinitesimal nothing. Farming is not a profession to boost the ego so I've heard.
This past winter keeps dealing blows as we are still discovering more cold damage. Even our hoophouse ranunculus have some cold damage. During one of the early arctic blasts when our greenhouse heater went out when at 8 o'clock at night we discovered the house was already at 28F, the only remay we could grab (that wasnt frozen solid) to cover things in the greenhouse was the remay in the hoophouse that was covering the ranunculus and a few other things.
However, to look ahead, to find the silver lining, we received a grant from RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) from their Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund program for winter cut flower production. We are going to put up a minimally heated greenhouse for in-ground production so we can have sustained flowers year-round with a particular focus on November, December, January, and February, the 4 months that tend to be the hardest for flower production. A HUGE THANK YOU to RAFI and all the local farmers who helped out on their review board during the selection process. We are so proud to be a grant recipient and hopefully we can disseminate some good info on winter cut flower production to help out other growers make some income during the rough months.
One foot in front of the other, right?