Friday, October 30, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #208 and Happy Halloween!

Happy Farmgirl Friday! 

Oh, it did our hearts good to see you all last week! Thanks for comin' round to share your farmgirl talents with us again.  I confess I don't have any cute Halloween crafts or treats to share this week. We had company from Reno, Nevada last week so we were out and about sight seeing all up an down the south coast and Cape Cod enjoying fall in New England. Everywhere you go, people are saying the color hasn't been this beautiful in years and I agree.

  I had to pull over and get a quick pic of this charming little red cape all gussied up for fall. We're also in the middle of a bathroom remodel and putting the garden to bed. I've got dahlias to dig and store and a fallen down greenhouse to clear out before winter comes. Life is GOOD!

Debbie's been busy canning of all things, right in the middle of her kitchen remodel. Now, that's some serious farmgirl'n! As the old saying goes, " where there's a determined farmgirl, it shall be done ". Okay, maybe it's not an old saying, but it's true!

 Speaking of determined and talented farmgirls, it's time to renew my subscription to MaryJanesFarm Magazine. Yes, this IS a shameless plug for my favorite magazine in the whole world. It just gets better with every issue... and that's a lot of issues. 15 years and counting of farmgirl inspiration! 

I couldn't pick a favorite from last weeks hop. I loved each and every entry. So many hit home and inspired me to get moving. I need to make marinara sauce, I cleaned my closet yesterday, ( not photo worthy, but clean), I'm still decorating for fall, and I'm always looking for new homesteading and decorating ideas. Thanks for covering all the bases, once again! 

Let's hop farmgirls! 

Now, where did I put my witches hat?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Garden Notes: Amazing Autumn Asters

 Are these the cutest, frilliest little fall flowers you've ever seen? I'm in love with these adorable Asters from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

I planted a few packets of these in a trial bed as a late crop to see how I would like them.
Talk about beautiful and hardy. They survived the first frost and are still going strong in the garden when everything else is done for the season.

See  how luscious they still look!

The variety of colors and petal shapes in one mix of seed packets is brilliant! 
This mix includes single petals, flat petals and curly ribbon-like petals. The multi petal flowers look almost like a Chrysanthemum. My daughter said they reminded her of those big curly ribbon bows you find at the supermarket in the gift wrap section.

It begins with pure white,

  followed by lilac, then  light pink, dark pink and deep purple.

These little cuties are very easy to grow and Baker Creek Heirloom seeds has a near perfect germination rate. Plant them after danger of the last frost all the way until early July and you'll have blooms into late October. They take a while to put on buds but once they do, watch out!

The mix well with the bolder colors of late summer/fall bloomers such as,dahlias, zinnias, pincushion flowers and sunflowers. 

If you've got some extra room in your cutting garden or an extra row or two on your flower farm, I highly recommend them. If some of the other varieties are this easy to grow I'm up for more amazing Asters next season.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 207

Howdy friends! Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!
Your place to share your best recipes, crafts, DIY projects, farm stories, farm animal tips, and vintage treasures and what ever else you fancy. 

I hope you are all settling in to fall. It's such a wonderful time of year for getting out and enjoying milder weather, beautiful scenery and delicious food that celebrates harvest season.

Where have we been the last month? I apologize for going missing. This farmgirl had her hands busy with all things flowers this year and somehow our little ole hop ended up at the bottom of the pile. It was a season of growth inside and out!
Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash with Craisins
It's about to get cold and dark out and we're gonna need each-other over the long winter months ahead. To spice things up in our kitchen, I promised myself I would make more " new recipes" rather than fall-back on my old stand-by meals. This week I made a delicious Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash with Craisins and boy was it yummy! I found the recipe online in MaryJanesFarm Recipe of the 
Week. You can read all about it in my Beach Farmgirl post here.

 What have you been cooking up now that the weather has a chill in it? Do tell!

My farmgirl co-hostess, Debbie and I have missed our hop so let's get to it!

Monday, October 19, 2015

DIY Wedding Flowers for Rouwenna and Craig

Rouwenna and Craig
Every time I look at this photo I just get giddy! What a joy it was to provide flowers for Rouwenna and Craig's DIY wedding. I had the pleasure of meeting the bride when she visited the farm to discuss her wedding and flowers with me. I love having people out to see where their flowers are tended and loved prior to the wedding day.

Rouwenna  (such a pretty name) was kind enough to send me some photos of the flowers in action to share with you so here goes!
Dandelion House Flowers
 Rouwenna and Craig put together such a beautiful and personal celebration for their late September wedding day starting with the venue. Not far from Plymouth center is Pinewood Lodge Campground and Events Center, ( a family owned and operated campground  tucked into the woods overlooking a scenic pond with a lodge, outdoor events center, tent and trailer sites, cabins, cottages and yurts for rent).  Family from both sides of the isle came from far and wide to " camp out " at the Pinewood Lodge for a few days prior to the wedding.  

I loved this brides can-do spirit. She took a personal and practical approach with every detail. She knew exactly  what she wanted and stuck to her budget. I admire that! One of the things she wanted was tiny purple flowers and some baby's breath for her hair. Luckily my perennial asters were in  bloom the week of her wedding and the lilac color matched her flower-girls dresses to a tee!


Family and friends gathered the night before the wedding for the rehearsal dinner and some DIY flower arranging for the following day!

The bride getting some help with her bouquet.
She went with the ever popular mason jar for vases with fit the bill for her rustic venue. The colors of the flowers popped against the backdrop of the bridesmaids navy blue dresses. 

The bride and groom with the ladies of the wedding party.

 Mr. and Mrs. 

What I learned:
  •  On the "farm" side of things the dahlia patch suffered a spider-mite epidemic in mid-August that nearly wiped out one entire raised bed. I just barely made it for being able to provide enough flowers for what the bride ordered. I had to source additional flowers from a nearby local flower farmer. She was in the same boat as I was, scurrying to finish her wedding season also but the added blooms helped! I'll be planting 6, 4x12 beds of dahlias instead of three next year.
  • Listen, listen, your bride! Don't push unnecessary flowers and drive up costs. DIY brides are DIY brides for a reason. They are on limited budgets but also very creative and are keen on putting a personal touch on their wedding. I respect that being a DIY'r too.  
  • Provide some flower arranging tips for your DIY brides. Print out a small list of how to care for the flowers, and some flower arranging tips.
  • Be confident you can deliver what you promised. The day Rouwenna visited my flower farm I had just done a big cutting for a previous wedding. My established beds were a bit bare and my second crop was just starting to form buds. If I was her, I might not have committed but she believed, because I believed.
  • Be flexible and enjoy the little surprises and surpluses along the way. It's all good when you are surrounded by beautiful flowers every day.
 Oddly enough, I didn't seek out wedding work this summer. Local couples searching for local flowers found me through the farmers market and an add I placed in a local Edible South Shore magazine. I was pleasantly surprised by the interest and decided to go for it. I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous about the flowers being " on time " but I welcomed the challenge and new experience. Turns out, I loved it and I can't wait for next year!

So, if you're wondering if you can turn your backyard garden hobby into a small business the answer is absolutely, positively YES! 

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