Notes from the Field: High Summer with Love 'n Fresh Flowers
Have you ever received a bouquet of flowers or bought fresh cut blooms at the market and thought about where those flowers came from? In our latest installment of Notes from the Field, we’re taking a peek at life on a local flower farm during the height of summer. Specializing in “seed to centerpiece designs,” as well as workshops and a budding Plant Share program, Love 'n Fresh Flowers is not only a thriving florist, but a full-fledged flower farm as well. Owner Jennie Love will be checking in with us throughout the year to share what life on the farm is really like. Read on to learn more about what Jennie is up to this time of year!
terrain: What time did you start your day?
Jennie: This morning I woke up at 5:30 AM, so I'd have some time to write to terrain before heading to the farm for harvest!
terrain: What color is most prevalent in the fields at the moment?
Jennie: In a word, bright. Lots of vivid oranges, yellows, purples, pinks, salmons-- really, it's a crazy rainbow and truly a visual feast.
terrain: What's blooming right now?
Jennie: Everything! It's difficult to summarize this time of year. Off the top of my head: Queen Anne's lace, scabiosa, dacus, feverfew, snapdragons, calendula, dianthus, carnations, delphinium, dill, fennel, gomphrena, zinnias, coreopsis, rudbeckia, cosmos, statice, grasses, mountain mint, hydrangeas, snowberry, sedum, dahlias, basils, monarda, lisianthus, celosia...there's so much more than that! We literally pack our giant walk-in cooler every day with the morning's harvest. There are more flowers than you can imagine!
terrain: What's about to bloom?
Jennie: The field-grown dahlias are starting to pop-- a sign that summer has reached its peak and we'll be headed towards fall soon. All types of hydrangeas, too.
terrain: What are you planting right now?
Jennie: We've just seeded the last of our annual crops for late autumn flowers, including cosmos, a few zinnias, scabiosa, sunflowers, grasses, and amaranth. We'll have a lull after this, until we start planting bulbs in the autumn for next spring.
terrain: What did you enjoy most about today?
Jennie: Watching our ducklings frolic in their blue kiddie pool under a beach umbrella. We have 10 ducklings that are just over a month old, and they are living the good life! They are a constant amusement and a reminder not to take life to seriously or work non-stop.
terrain: What proved to be the most challenging?
Jennie: Keeping up with all the work! In high summer, it's nearly impossible to get everything done, both because the to-do list is so long and because the heat and humidity make us move a bit more slowly. Sometimes when I look around the field at sunset after a 12+ hour day, I start to feel my anxiety rising because there's still so much to be done. Between the harvesting, weeding, planting, designing, and weddings on the weekends, it's challenging to find a balance. Fortunately though, I've been at this long enough now to have developed a deep sense of trust that it will all work out in the end.
terrain: Name 5 flowers are you thinking about the most right now.
Jennie: Lisianthus, Persian carpet zinnias, and scabisoas-- because we have so many. They are the bread-and-butter of our wholesale at the New York City flower market.
Dahlias-- because I'm forever anxious about this crop this time of the year, since it's such a critical one for our fall weddings. We do a lot of work in July (weeding, fertilizing with organic concoctions, scouting/battling pests, pruning, staking, etc.) to make sure it's a beautiful autumn.
Pee Gee Hydrangea-- because it's just coming into flower and we'll be swimming in them in just a week or so. I can't wait!
terrain: It's the end of the day. How do you feel in 1 word?
terrain: What is tomorrow going to bring?
Jennie: A lot of harvesting, and then putting together our weekly deliveries for our popular Flower CSA. We have 35 members that get either a lush bouquet or an overflowing bucket of loose flowers that were all grown at our farm.
terrain: What's the next big project on the farm?
Jennie: This time of the year, I try not to think about any new big projects, but rather focus on each day's tasks as they come. I won't be dreaming big again until the weather cools down and the haze clears.
Want to see more from Love 'n Fresh Flowers? Follow Jennie on the farm via Instagram.