It’s been a big year for Blooming Betties and we’ve been hard at work designing our expansion for this spring, summer, and autumn. I thought I would share with you some of the exciting things we’ve been working to bring to life!
Expanded growing area and drip system: Last year we did a lot of watering by hand we are so excited to be expand our growing area and lay down a drip system that Scott has so graciously opted to take on. Last summer we changed clothes (all of us) about three times a day because Wally is very good (and sneaky!) with the hose. We’re excited about this because we’ll be using less of our precious water and have more time for other fun tasks.
More Variety: I’ve already bought waaaay too many seeds for what I can grow and have no plans on harnessing the seed mania. There are so many beautiful varieties out there that are pretty stinking easy to grow. My favorite seed sources are Floret Flower Farm and Johnny’s Seeds. Some of my favorite flowers to grow last year were zinnias and sweetpeas. I also fell in love with Cherry Caramel Phlox and have ordered three additional types I think you’ll go crazy over. Calendula is making it’s way back into my cutting garden so I can dry and give anything extra I have to my friend Anna to use in her soaps and salves. We’re working to extend our season by drying flowers and growing pumpkins. I was so bummed after what felt like a early killing frost so I decided I needed to work out a way to have access to flowers beyond the freeze.
Flower Trials: Last year I started very small, and raised a very limited (though I didn’t think so at the time) variety of crop by the season. I’m working to expand our flower season by growing more hardy annuals, trying my hand at biennials, and doing a few test plots. We’re giving ranunculus and anemones a go in some crates as we can move them if weather requires until I can put up some low tunnels for protection. I also have tucked some tulips and daffodils in around the farm to see what varieties I like and when they bloom before I order them in bulk.
An Education: One of the biggest takeaways from last year is that it was clear how much I didn’t know about growing flowers for market. I took the plunge and signed up for the best flower growing course I could find put on by Erin Benzakein at Floret Flower Farms. It’s been incredible. I’m looking forward to trying her growing methods and I can tell it’s already helped me plan out this year immeasurably. I look forward to joining the Floret Collective and continuing my education by diving into floral design next.
Website, Newsletter and Offerings: We’ve opened our shop for flower CSA (community supported agriculture) subscriptions for those who would like flowers on the regular. This helps me plan and prepare for consumer needs and greatly increases our efficiency so I can maximize “mom time.” I also plan to sell flowers by the bucket for business or DIY Brides and will continue to take orders as they come. I plan to slowly extend into grocery and Weddings a la carte in 2020. New to 2019 is also our website (welcome) and weekly newsletter. Be sure to signup to stay updated on what’s blooming as well as tips on growing your own beauties!
Sourcing Needed Material: We are in the process of sourcing a cooling system for our garage which will be a game changer in terms of production and conditioning fresh cut blooms. We also plan to gather up materials for a low tunnel so that we can get a jump on the growing season and have flowers to offer earlier in the spring. It seems everyone gets so excited to blow off winter with fresh blooms. Growing a growing business has been challenging but incredibly rewarding as we are lucky enough to build slowly and put what we earn back into the business to reach our goals.
We are seriously pumped for 2019 and what it might bring for Blooming Betties. It will be fun to look back on this post in retrospect and know what worked, what didn’t, which varieties made the cut and which didn’t, if I pulled off coordinating desired blooms at the same time or if I was way off and in the nearest future, if our basement can house as many baby plants as I’m hoping to grow.