January 2020

by Bob on February 26, 2020

As Bob Dylan wrote in his song back in 1964 (that’s 56 years ago –  Wow!) “The times they are a changing”, in many unusual, if not unique, ways.  Those familiar with our past will recognize that we no longer go to the weekly farmers’ markets.  We enjoyed them, but they were stressful and required a lot of energy and a lot of student help.  A successful day also required good weather, something that has been lacking the past two years, and we are glad we avoided the added stress and work associated with the abnormal rain events of 2018 and 2019.

We are growing more varieties of flowers than ever before – just look at our grow list.  We’re experimenting with some that may not be good as cut flowers (anybody ever hear of a holly-hock in an arrangement?) but that’s part of the game-and we may be famous yet.  Stay tuned, but don’t get too excited…yet.

We recovered two greenhouses last year and have another one (for sure) or maybe two to do this year.  This takes lots of prep work, low or no wind, and lots of people.  On windy days some workers (not ours, fortunately) have been known to take an unanticipated and unwelcome ride while holding on to the new, unsecured, plastic covering.

Heating can be a major cost, and we continue to look for ways to have flowers early but reduce heating, but there is no magic bullet.  We’re using larger containers that will hold the seedlings longer, and then, after the coldest weather, have a major push to get everything transplanted as quickly as possible.  As a point of reference, during cold spells we can go through $1,000 of propane in two weeks.  Ouch.  That’s why we hold off starting the greenhouses as long as possible.

This year will look much like 2018 and 2019 – flowers for weddings and special events, bulk sales, standing orders for weekly bouquets, vases for restaurants, and charitable events.  Specifically, look for our work at Fort Ligonier, Loyalhanna Watershed, and other community events.

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