First of all, 2018 has been the biggest season of learning since we started farming three years ago. I know I've mentioned it before but as we've grown our operation I've had to spend a good amount of time educating myself on the business end of things. More specifically for cut flowers, I've also had to figure out how to keep things fresh and looking their best while we don't have a proper cold room, plus how to calculate the number of plants needed. I love that I will never know it all in this field. I'm learning every day.
My best friend got married last weekend back in our home region outside of Philadelphia, so I traveled down on Wednesday night with a car full of sunflowers, zinnias, joe-pye, carrot flowers, nigella, eucalyptus, and more. We do not typically offer full-service weddings so there was a huge learning curve to get all of the arrangements made and delivered by Friday afternoon amidst all of the other normal maid-of-honor festivities.
My mom was an amazingly intuitive assistant while I arranged all of the centerpieces, bridal party bouquets, corsages, etc. We made a stop at a flower farm in Royersford, PA, to pick up some back-up flowers and to see how a full-service floral operation works. (For perspective, Leslie grows on 2 acres and does about four full-service weddings, plus one or two DIY bride classes every weekend, plus wholesale to a grocery store!) We cut some Carmine gomphrena to add some texture and sparkle to the arrangements, and farmer Leslie gave us an absolute steal on some XL sunflowers for the altar arrangements as well as yellow and white zinnia "seconds" to supplement the cream-colored zinnias I had traveled with. I think it was a perfect compliment! Sarah's wedding had a book theme, so she created these beautiful antique book page flowers which filled in the bouquets so well.
Anyway, I'm feeling incredibly confident in my growing ability and my farm business knowledge... but I'm also exhausted and completely ready for the rest that will come in about a month and a half. I know next year will be even better. If we end up with a nice workshop (my dad suggested an expansion on the north side of the passive-solar greenhouse we plan to build...) I may even consider doing a couple of full service weddings each season now that I have one under my belt!