Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Half Moon Blooms

Cross your fingers that we will have green thumbs because Dusty and I are attempting to plant a sizeable garden. I am a little intimidated by the size and weeding which I know will soon plague us. However, I think over all it will be a lot of fun.

The inspiration for this project all started with a simple summer job. Last summer I worked (and Dusty "volunteered") at a U-pick flower farm just about a mile out of Pullman. It was a great environment and I loved how flexible the owners were with our schedule... if you could even call it that. Here are a few pictures of Sunshine Crafts and U-Pick flowers. This is what we hope our own garden will look like some day, but that might take a while.

If you are in Pullman and want to get some of these gorgeous flowers in your house, this is how it works: Jane has three main ways that she sells her flowers: 1-Prearranged bouquets at local farmers markets. 2- A delivery routes in town. 3- U-pick style cut flowers directly from the field. Here are a few of Janes farmers market bouquets from early last summer.

For this summer Dusty and I will be trying out the two of these three. I don’t expect to make a ton of money this first summer, but if I do it would be okay too. I hope to learn what grows well here and if there is a market for the business in the area. If all goes well we may expand in future years, however this year is “just a test.” Mostly my reason for having the garden is that I was thoroughly spoiled last summer with my own bouquets of fresh cut flowers every week. While buying flowers from Jane is a great deal if you live in Pullman, it is not very economical to drive there every week from Spokane just to get a bucket of blooms. So the gardens primary purpose is to provide my kitchen table with pretty flowers. Hopefully that reason will be important enough when the weeds start sprouting up. So anyway, back to how we are going to test the market. The main way we are planning to sell flowers is to take bouquets to the Montfort School House Farmers Market from 4-7 on Thursdays. Dusty’s grandparents have a tent for their business Paul’s Wood Things and they have said they don’t mind if we share a corner of their booth. It should keep us busy enough for this summer. (Look in this picture to see how bee-z Jane's garden was last year)

I also plan to put up some kind of “Open” sign up to let people know if flowers are available for the picking. I have a feeling this may be sporadic at first, but as I see how regularly things are coming into bloom I may set specific days for people to visit the garden. Eventually if we keep growing the garden, I hope for it to be open any time people want to stop in like Jane’s farm. Quick size comparison, Jane has almost 2 acres of flowers, we have almost 2 tenths of an acre.... we are little. That is why I am not sure how much will be available for public picking this summer. The good news is we should have less weeds to deal with in our garden, I don't want to scare myself away afterall.

Here is where we are at so far: Our soil has been thoroughly fertilized with steer manure, gross I know but it will mean bigger flowers. We have a fence around our garden thanks to the help of our friends Craig and Michelle. The PVC pipe is set up for our soaker hoses and watering system. There are about two and a half 50 ft rows of perennials (“donated” by Sunshine Crafts and Flowers) planted in our garden. Last but certainly not least, Dusty build a cold frame (think mini greenhouse with natural heat) to get our seeds started in. Up next: Weeding, and transplanting… then more weeding.

 Up next: Weeding, and transplanting… and more weeding. You can see Coby really wants to help!



  1. Erin, this is such a cool idea! I hope it works out for you and you get to sell some beautiful bouquets. Fresh flowers are awesome. :)

  2. I'm way excited for your flower adventure this summer!! Can't wait to see some pictures of all the gorgeous flowers to come!