Monday, October 28, 2013

and then it got cold

  Spent Friday afternoon at the garden gathering calendula to dry for making calendula oil, clipping lavender, digging the last of the potatoes (late!), and rounding up the few pumpkins and squash still in the field. 

 I also took time to just look at the flowers, knowing a killing frost was on its way later that night.  As I looked around, I felt deep appreciation for the great season with my garden and for all of the beauty that came out of it.
 
The first killing frost brings such a mix of emotions.  I felt some sadness that afternoon looking at the buds of flowers that would never open.  Returning the next day to survey the damage, I was especially startled by the contrast in the dahlia row.  What were sturdy, lush, green plants the day before were limp, mushy, and blackened by frost.  I knew it would happen that way, but somehow the change still surprised me.  
Part of me misses these cheerful faces already!  The rest of me feels relief, though.  No more flowers to harvest, no more orders to fill.  It is time to shift into cleanup mode, much later in the fall than I was expecting to do this work.  Still, almost right away, I began thinking of next season; looking forward to trying new varieties, improving my growing techniques, and abundant harvests.
 
For now, I'm really savoring the first two back to back days of down time I've had in months and am looking forward to more as this fall turns into winter.




Sunday, October 13, 2013

fall

 
This abundant harvest season means lots of work canning, processing, and storing up now so all this food can be enjoyed through the winter.  
Black futzu
Gold nugget
Galeux d'eysines
     
Though the squash vines at home got frosted, there still hasn't been a frost in the flower field!  I feel lucky to still have fresh flowers to cut this late in the season.
 I'm loving how the smoky lavender and yellow shades in bronze fennel heads unite the blues and yellows in these mixed bouquets.
 
 Meet some of the newest members of the flock!  Goldie (above) and her three siblings hatched out this July, the two littlest ones directly below are just a week and a half old today, and below them, Buddy and Wheelie (born in late August) are roosting on the back edge of their little home at sunset.
 
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

autumn floral workshop

 
Now I know what happens when making an arrangement using buckets full of fresh flowers from Broadturn Farm, Worlds End Farm, a Massachusetts flower grower, and also have free rein to go out and clip material from the gorgeous surroundings at Snug Harbor Farm.  It is hard to practice restraint.  I want to include some of almost everything.

Yesterday, I went to my first floral design workshop right here in Maine.  Even though this is an unusually mild fall so far and my garden is still filled with flowers, having some different varieties and colors to work with was super exciting!  Part of wanting to use so many different blooms and foliage could have been because I knew I'd get to take these beauties home with me (along with the lovely terracotta pot).
 
Next time I get to go to a workshop like this, I hope to take more time to walk around and look at what other participants are creating and connect more with some of them-- it isn't too often I'm in a space with a couple dozen other people who have a deep love and appreciation for flowers.
The perfect end to this drizzly day of learning was a stop by Broadturn Farm to walk around and talk flowers for a while with Stacy, fellow flower farmer and also my mentor in MOFGA's beginning farmer program. Then I headed back up the coast with this arrangement riding shotgun.