California fruit & flower farmer + founder @menagerieflower, wife, mom & arbiter of 🍾. Farm life + home life & the goodness in between.
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Lovely afternoon spent at a local flower farmers’ meet-up. The beautiful @full_belly_farm hosted at their farm. This is their kitchen venue where they host farm dinners and events. If you’re local to the Sacramento or Northern Bay Area area you should definitely make the trip to attend one of their farm dinners or pizza night or sign-up for a CSA box. Thanks @farmerhands and @dru_rivers for the enriching afternoon.
Picked these beauties before the heavy rains came this afternoon and it was the highlight of my otherwise odd day. My washer, which had been broken since Saturday, was repaired and it didn’t cost an arm & a leg. All of the questionably smelling baby laundry could finally be properly washed. (Moms you know what I’m talking about. ) I also managed to chase my 3 yard dumpster in the pouring rain, that was not put back by the garbage man in its proper location, as it went careening past our barn, by my office window narrowly missing the side of my house and a truck parked in my driveway. Picture the the scene in the movie The Wedding Planner with the runaway dumpster and Jennifer Lopez getting knocked out except there was no Matthew McConaughy to save me. Luckily no one was hurt and nothing was damaged. I really didn’t want to have to explain the whole scene to my insurance agent. There was also a really cool double rainbow and my mums for fall I ordered were delivered.You know, just a typical crazy Wednesday on the farm 🤪! Is anyone else having a nutty day?
This little nugget turned 8 months old this week and I already think he is growing up too fast. Here he is in January at 6 months with his adorable little combover hair and squishy bottom. He was such a trooper today while I shipped boxes and boxes of bare root roses. I secretly hope roses are his favorite flower one day too. I can’t possibly give him enough kisses. : @jillcarmelphoto
Enjoyed my day planting, cleaning and prepping for the new season on the farm. I even had a chance to play with some of the spring blooms again this afternoon. It was much more fun than my evening spent having to hand drain my washing machine that decided to stop pumping. The ying and yang of the day - sublime beauty and a gushing mess. Why is it that appliances always break at the most inopportune times?
It’s been unseasonably cold on the farm this week. Temps in the high twenties and for my little neck of the woods in usually warm California it is downright teeth chattering. We’re not used to below freezing weather. Farmers all around me have been up day and night running frost protocols trying to save their almond and peach crops. The narcissus however are blooming without a care in the world. Picked these lovely Apricot Whirls @menagerieflower this afternoon and after a frazzled week, I couldn’t help but just take a moment and enjoy their beautiful show.
The funny thing about being a flower farmer is that I usually don’t have elaborate arrangements gracing my home. I’m the flower version of the old proverb the cobbler who has no shoes. My flowers look like this unruly, blown out, thrown in a crock leaves and all while trying to calm a hungry baby. I snipped these winter roses from the field yesterday afternoon to celebrate the opening of my bare root rose shop @menagerieflower. It was a labor of love this year putting together a collection of some of my favorite roses to share with the world. I’m totally blown away at the response and orders from across the country. I’m sold out of a few varieties already. Thank you so much to all of you rose lovers out there! If any of you were waiting to snag some plants now is the time before my inventory of some of those hard to find selections runs out. It was a crazy good day and I have these simple yellow sunshines to remind me how much I love flowers. #menagerieflower #menagerierose
Magnificent plum blossoms are exploding on the farm today. Just in time for the below freezing temps to return. California you have some crazy weather. 🤪 Is is Spring? Is it Winter? Make up your mind! I am just excited the season will be on its way soon. Since it is technically still Winter, I have bare root roses going on sale next week @menagerieflower. I’m also doing a little giveaway of three of my favorite pink roses so head on over and enter to win. Happy Saturday!
On serious mom duty tonight prepping Valentine’s Day cards. I honestly really enjoy the kitschy predictableness of the holiday. I like the hearts and flowers (local and @americangrownflowers of course) and cards and chocolates and cookies with sprinkles. I don’t understand the bah humbug that is associated with the holiday. My three year old had fun picking out marker colors, talking about all of the kids in his class and how he was excited to give them one. It was an unabashed innocent love for his fellow classmates. Maybe we all could use some more of that mushy love feeling towards our fellow humans everyday.
Busy weekend working on getting 1800 new trees in the ground. Still at least a day or two more to go. Planting French Prunes on M40 rootstock. Interplanting in a 16 acre block to double the density with about a 10 foot tree spacing. These trees won’t reach a harvestable production for five years. Until they are all grown up, they’re given plenty of sunshine, water and love.
Baby’s First Farm Show in the books. Heavy equipment, harvesters, tractors, welders, irrigation supplies, fertilizer, nursery stock, hand tools and basically a bunch of ag dudes all standing around being ag dudes wondering why the lady with a baby is asking them about horsepower and tank sizes. Nonetheless it was a nice morning seeing the latest & greatest in ag tech and made me want to spend money on new toys. As an added bonus my little guy just loves to giggle at heavy equipment. #weneedmorewomeninag
Sunset tonight over the buttes at the end of a long day on the farm. Planting new roses, prepping bare roots for sale, spraying dormant oil on the prune trees, clearing out an old section of my barn, corresponding with buyers, talking $$$ & tax planning with my CPA & attorneys and wrangling two small children. (Yes, I have a wonderful team that works for me too. I’m not flying solo.) Squeezing as much in this stretch before the rains inevitably come again. It was one of those days that is truly controlled chaos but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This IS farming. It’s dirty and messy and beautiful and intellectual and just plain divine. There’s a beauty in the juxtaposition of the simplicity and chaos all at the same time. I’m happy that at the end of these days I know I’ve worked hard to send some of the farm serenity I experienced tonight back out to the world with each person that enjoys a piece of food we grow or flower we snip.
I’m thrilled to be offering some of my favorite varieties of bare root rose plants for sale this year. To celebrate the opening of my shop next week I’m giving away a copy of one of my favorite new rose books ‘Vintage Roses’. I hope you head on over to @menagerieflower and enter to win.
Final stages of prep for this year’s rose planting. I am so excited to be offering more cut roses for sale this year. Real true beautifully imperfect garden roses grown in the soil outside. So much scented beauty will fill this space in a few short months. I am just giddy with anticipation! To celebrate planting and the opening of our bare root rose shop, this week I’ll be doing some giveaways over at @menagerieflower so make sure you follow the farm progress over there. (Also I always have a little love bug that insists on helping mommy. )
Every year this date slowly creeps up on me like a ton of bricks. Eighteen years without my sweet mama by my side. The grief never really goes away it just changes with age. I miss her sweet smile, her hugs, her endless encouragement and the smell of her perfume. I wish everyday she could see her grandbabies but somehow I know she is here with them.
Processing and trimming bare root roses today @menagerieflower. I’m over the moon excited to be offering a small selection of my favorite rose plants for sale this Winter! Modern garden rose selections from Weeks, Star, David Austin and Meilland both own root and budded. Beautiful and fragrant for cut flowers, they look like woody stems now but come spring they will be filled with glorious roses. Click on the link in bio to sign-up on my mailing list and be notified when they go on sale. Fingers crossed, if I keep to my schedule, within the next two weeks so warm zone growers can get them shipped and planted. Cold zone growers have the option to hold and ship them the week of your choice or take earlier delivery. I have my favorites of the bunch but curious what are your favorite garden rose varieties?
I enjoyed a lovely winter afternoon at the Sacramento Historic Rose garden learning pruning techniques for musk, hybrid perpetual and climbing roses from the incomparable Stephen Scanniello. I walked away with some new knowledge and rose hips to harvest seeds from. The garden is a true gem for heritage rose lovers.
So is anyone else battling this terrible cold/flu in their household? It’s been a rough couple of weeks in our house and I somehow am the last one still healthy. This mama is exhausted though. Trying to plan for 2018 to start the year fresh with a sense of renewal and I am just dragging. So to any of you out there in the same boat this week I am right there with you in solidarity - slogging through the days and sleepless nights. At least I have these bright and cheery New Year’s flowers that are helping me through this dreary week. Next week 2018 better watch out though because I’m coming for ya!