My First Sip


Over the last six weeks, I’ve been drinking in wisdom from flower farmers from across the world, as I participated in the Floret Flower Farming Online Workshop.  Floret Farm is a 2-acre flower farm in the Northwest, started by a woman name Erin Benzakein. She’s pretty much cracked the code on not only growing beautiful old-world blooms in a small space, but also how to market, sell and build a profitable farm on 2 acres or less.

Today I finished the last module of her course, and like these sweet peas, it may look like I’m not doing much, but trust me… the water is slowing soaking in and feeding my soul for something promising and sweet. The material covered in this course was worth its weight in gold.  From covering the basics on goal setting, farm layout, field prepping, planting, spacing, propagating, to marketing, sales, and even proper attire—it was the most thorough and practical course I have ever taken.   Now comes the hard part of being realistic on what I can do in my first year, and the even bigger question, is what my soil can do it’s first year?

As I soak, these are some of the questions being worked out in my mind:

-       Will my soil be able to produce a flower worth selling? 

-       Should I just plant a cover crop this year and focus on the house remodel?

-       If I do plant flowers, where will I process them?

-       My vision board is telling me to focus on the house, but not planting anything this year doesn’t feel right.  Should I plant just one field this year, to learn more about growing some of these newer cultivars in my climate, and cover crop the rest?

-       What cover crop will bring the most value to my soil?

-       If I do plant, what market do I go after first? 

-       How much money to do I want to invest in year 1?

-       Can I get the irrigation system set up in time?

-       Will my family really help me in the heat of the summer?

Because I am the type of person that needs everything to be perfectly planned out, to a point that often cripples me into doing nothing, I’ve decided to go for it and to start small by planting one field, made up of 12, 4'x70' rows of cut flowers and cover cropping the rest.  The simple fact that it is my 40th birthday this week, and nothing big is planned (like that dream trip to France I’ve been dreaming about), I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend my birthday in a greenhouse planting seeds for the next phase of my life. So, this jar of soaking sweet peas is much more than it looks.  Perhaps it’s the simple beginning of transforming my first field into the beauty I imagine in my dreams, or a reminder that our dreams want to sprout, they just need us to give them a little water. The farm isn't perfectly planned out, and maybe it never will be, or maybe it already is.  Either way, investing in myself over the last 6 weeks was a huge drink.

Here's to cracking this shell,

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