“Life is about using the whole box of crayons.” -RuPaul
To kick off the week, I decided to abandon the rules and go for all the color. They say when choosing fruits and veggies, you should choose the most colorful as they contain the super nutrients. Well, my spirit feels supercharged this morning and I’m attributing it to the flower buffet on which my eyes have been feasting.
You can find super colorful bouquets in the farmstand today ranging from $25-50, small bunches of gladiolus and sunflowers for $5-15, cards, and floral confetti. For those wanting a more subdued start to the week, I’ll have plenty of pastels out by afternoon.
Have a great one!
"And I see losing love..Is like a window in your heart...everybody sees you're blown apart...everybody feels the wind blow..."
Nine am. The farmstand is stocked. But wow! I slept in today. Every fiber of my being needed it and it felt glorious! But, having a full farmstand feels just as great so I popped out of bed and got to it. I know some of you early birds like it ready to go at the crack of dawn, so thank you for your patience.
I'm looking forward to a mellow day of music and family at home. Maybe a little gardening, a little cooking, and soaking up the peace of this place. But definitely a lot of Paul Simon.
Wishing you a day full of grace.
"Every love, every ending...or maybe there's no obligations now...maybe I've a reason to believe...we all will be received...
"Summertime, time, time..." -J.Joplin
The 115 degree temps last week definitely felt like Summer had arrived, but it's now looking like summer's arrived. Rudbeckia, sunflowers, zinnia. The heat lovers have come to the party.
You can find these market bundles and more in the bus shelter now.
#summertime #summer #summerflowers #cutflowers #rudbeckia #sunflowers #feverfew #freshflowers #bouquets #naturallygrown #pnw #farm #flowerfarm #farmstand #flowerstand #washingtonstate #ClarkCounty #vanwa #vancouver #slowflowerssociety #slowflowers #sustainable #natural #barndogflowerfarm
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.: -Audrey Hepburn
Thank you so much for your kindness, friends. It was such a relief to share with you and your words were such a comfort.
Mornings are particularly hard as it was my special time with my two loyal pals. They were always right at my hip in the field, reading my every signal. There is nothing like a cattledog and a border collie. They read their people. I never felt alone.
Anyway, I'm off to the field to feed the dahlias and then I'm going to fill the farmstand to the brim! I'm not sure if you need flowers today, but I sure do! Arrangements and market bouquets galore. I'd expect bigger bouquets out by 8am and market bouquets to trickle out by 10am.
Again, thank you..
I want to write something wise and poetic right now, but it isn't in me. I'm in a numb haze. I've been struggling with how to explain why the farmstand was empty for a few days, why I don't have the planned red, white, and blue bouquets out today, or why I wasn't responding to messages immediately. I know it's risky to share too much of your heart or personal life on a business page. I know that cheerfulness sells. Who wants to scroll through a feed of flowers and see bad news? But, I appreciate authenticity and that feels most aligned with my spirit.
Many of you have become dear, dear friends through our mutual love of flowers and I guess I should provide a little bit of honesty. Keeping hard truths close to ones chest doesn't sit well over time. So, I will tell you this much so you know where I am right now. I do not want to go into any details at the time and do not feel up to answering any questions.
This week, our family experienced great loss and trauma and we are in a state of shock, reconciliation, and grief. We have lost two of our beloved dogs, one of which being Barn Dog. Along with it, my husband has been in the hospital for days recovering from surgery.
I am in the field working today for the first time in five days and without my two best friends and it is hard. So freaking hard. One thing I do know is that flowers help and so does honesty.
The field is full of beauty right now. I'm hoping to fill the flowerstand as I am able, but am still not up for taking custom orders or being on a schedule. I apologize for this inconvenience. Again, I do not have it in me to answer questions or do much communicating right now as I spend time processing with and loving on my family.
Much love and gratitude for the connection, joy, and depth you have brought to our lives, sweet friends. You are so valued and appreciated. Have a safe holiday. Hug your loved ones, kiss your pets.
“Hope is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops – at all"
The past few days have been hard, but I woke up feeling refreshed. Our temps have gone from 115 to maybe a predicted high of 90. I know that still sounds hot, but I will gladly take a 25 degree drop.
While we managed to keep our flock of chickens hydrated and as cool as possible, the pollinators watered, and even had hawks resting on the conduit hoops in the dahlias and misting themselves in the sprinklers, we were heartbroken to lose one of our barn owls late yesterday afternoon. They perch and nest in our barn cupola and there is truly nothing we could do for them.
However, I woke up to cheerful birdsong all over the farm this morning as if they, too, are celebrating the cooler air. While they chirped all around me while I harvested, I turned the bend in one of our perennial paths and there, in glorious full bloom, was my favorite dahlia standing tall and joyful. Singing, I'm sure. I am so hopeful. How can we not be?
PS-Market bouquets are in the farmstand.
You guys! It's supposed to be 115 degrees today. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit terrified. I grew up in the desert where we saw temps above 100 consistently, but this range is unheard of here in southwest Washington. Right now we're facing those temps for a couple of days and then it drops into the high 90s, which is still taxing on vegetation. I'm particularly worried about the dahlias.
Being so early in the season, the tubers haven't developed deep root structure and the intensity of the heat can cause them to completely collapse. Ordinarily we use drip irrigation for all of our crops, but right now I'm running overhead sprinklers on all the dahlias as it helps to keep the foliage cool.
Although we suffered a small amount of loss yesterday on some of our youngest plants, the majority seemed to stay fairly perky. The real challenge will be these next few days.
It's wild to think that a weather event could cause thousands of dollars in loss of plants and four months of potential income, but I guess that's the risk farmers take all over the world. Are we hooked on the challenge and the thrill? I don't know. I do know I'm hooked on the beauty and I'm going to be working doubletime to try to save it.
How are you all holding up? Please keep yourselves and your pets safe, cool, and hydrated!
(Photo of dahlias from last season)
The farmstand will be closed Monday. Possibly Tuesday due to heat.
Uhhhhm, so this week is rampin' up to be a scorcher! Have no fear, we're working overtime to pull blooms into the cooler and prep the field for the intensity. It's shadecloth galore over here. Fine tuning irrigation, giving the plants a pep talk, you know, the usual. While our cool season plants like sweetpeas, lettuce, and cole crops are the usual ones to take a hit in the heat, I still worry about the dahlias and some of the summer plants as they havent established a deep root structure quite yet. Summer is not fooling around this year!
Anyway, we're stocking the farmstand earlier in the day this week so it was overflowing with color at 7:30 this morning. Come and get them while you can!
A couple housekeeping notes and reminders. By law, I need to mention that we do charge sales tax, however, it is already included in the price. So, if you pay $20 for a bouquet in the stand, the price was actually $18.57 + 7.7% sales tax. It's easier for all of us to do it this way and then I back out the 7.7% from all of the sales and pay the state. I'm not an accountant, but I did attend a workshop and they said this works.
So what else besides taxes goes into the price of sustainable, organic, local flowers? OMRI certified amendments, seeds, tubers, bulbs, potting soil, seed trays, grow lights, heat mats, electricity, backpack sprayers, shadecloth, hoops, gloves, sunscreen, compost, handtools, weedwhackers, trellis materials, irrigation, emulsions, vases, bouquet wrap, buckets, floral snips, floral wires, website fees, marketing, growers association fees, education, workshops, and waaaay more. There are tons of costs behind the scenes and I am constantly seeking information to make sure we're providing the cleanest, healthiest, longest lasting blooms for your home. So, thank you for supporting us and helping us be the best we can be!
PS- We also buy back vases, mason jars, and floral wire (chicken wire that comes in some of our arrangements). Take $1 off for a mason jar returned, $2 off one of our signature galvanized vessels or ceramics, and $1 off per green chicken wire cage. We loooove to reuse as this supports our sustainability mission.
You guys! Market bouquets flew out of the bus shelter before noon today, so I hustled and just restocked. Here's round two.
Hope you're all having a lovely day. Summer sure is coming on strong!
It's Juneteenth. Celebrated since 1866 in various parts of the United States (particularly in Texas), it's a day commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Something we should all be celebrating. If you don't know the story of Juneteenth and what happened in Galeveston, I recommend reading. Our history is important.
Last year on this day, we donated 100% of our profits to the local branch of the NAACP. While we're currently running a month-long fundraiser for the Childrens Home Society, we won't be starting any new fundraisers today, however, we'll share a donation link at the end of this post if it's something you feel inclined to do today. Also, look in our IG stories for an amazing educational opportunity happening today at 10:30 through @naacpvancouverwa. I highly recommend tuning in!
As for the bus shelter on this historic day, it's stooocked and ready to rock. Look at all the dads hanging out amongst the flowers. They love it. It's their big weekend, too!
It's Friday!! I'm biking tons of sunny flowers out to the bus shelter this morning and will keep it stocked until dusk. Market bouquets, sweetpeas, arrangements, some @sipandspinpotteryco pieces with flowers, and cards. Remember, we also have Bloom Buck gift cards in $5 increments that can be used same as cash, tshirts, market bouquet certs, and four week dahlia subscriptions that start in September. If interested in any of those, just send a DM to work out details as they're not available in farmstand. All make excellent gifts. Don't forget, dads love flowers, too!
For those new to the farm, our farmstand/bus shelter is self-serve and runs on the honor system. It takes cash/check, Venmo, Square, and Paypal. All directions for payment are on a lil sign inside the stand. It's a one car spot so if you see someone there, just drive along until you find a safe spot to turn around. Please be careful backing up as these rural roads often have fast drivers.
Thanks so much for supporting small farms and choosing local flowers. It means the world to us!
Geesh, I've been pretty neglectful of this page and havent been updating nearly as often as I should.
So.....the bus shelter is stocked.
"Hey, sweet pea..apple of my eye
Don't know when, and I don't know why...but you're the only reason I keep on coming home..." -Amos Lee
Right now, coming home is sweeter than ever. I was away from the farm yesterday and when I returned I was greeted by the smell of sweetpeas, honeysuckle, and climbing hydrangea. It's amazing how far the scent carries.
Anyway, today is an exciting day in our family and to celebrate, we have a suuuuper stocked farmstand with a few sweet specials. Small sweetpea bundles for only $5, $25 market bouquets for $20. Today only so grab em while ya can!
Have a fabulous day.
Happy Friday! This week sure seemed to fly by. Maybe I'm having too much fun?
The farmstand will be stocked by 8:15 this morning and I hope to have it stocked all weekend. It will be full of mason jar bouquets (only $20 this weekend for quarts, $12 for pints), $15 rainbow bundles, $25 market bouquets, and a few arrangements.
Hope you all have a super duper first weekend of June!
Will post more bouquet photos in social media stories throughout the day.
"Sun is shining..weather is sweet...make you want to move..your dancing feet..." -B.Marley
It's true, the weather is sweet and I do feel like moving my dancing feet. Carrying armfuls of these blooms energizes me. And the smell! Honeysuckle, rose, peony. GAH! It's too much. What about you? What makes you feel like getting up and moving?
Small bouquets and elephants are out now, but I'm letting this morning's harvest hydrate a little longer in the cooler and should have larger arrangements out by 1 or 2ish.
Have a groovy Sunday! Stay safe!
"Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel..."
It's true, Nina Simone's been in my head for days and I definitely don't mind. She's been helping me with flowers all morning and they're now all out in the bus shelter waiting for new homes. It's a new dawn, it's a new day....and I'm feeling good! 🎼
I hope you are, too!
"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." -Theodore Roethke
Happy Friday! Here's a little peek at last summer. Pictures like these get me out of bed and pulling on my dirty farm pants each morning.
According to these photos and my field notes, I'm behind where I was last year. It's sorta giving me some ripples of anxiety, but after all, it's mental health awareness month and I have a pretty healthy and hard earned toolkit when it comes to dealing with that lil beast. I know now that it will pass and it's all good. Breathe. In the big picture, there's no ahead or behind. Just lessons and stories.
In my planning, I intended for early sunflowers this season. They're one of my faves and are so dang cheerful. Why not have more cheer as early as possible? So, I started seeding 1000 per week months ago for the tunnel. I planted them out at about 10 inches tall and overnight they'd be wiped out by bunnies. I tried most of my tricks to no avail. Thousands of sunflowers gone, weeks of work. So, last weekend I went away and left a couple thousand in trays in the hoop. There was a miscommunication about them needing to be covered and, well, birds invaded and dug thousands of seeds and sprouts out of the trays. Birds! It's almost comical. It shows that even with the best planning and intentions, we aren't in control of everything and trying to be will just drive ya batty. Should we talk about bats next because I have tons of stories there....ha!
I hope you have a peaceful Friday. Keep the light. Drink the water.
Flowers will be out by 11ish as I'm slow-rolling our Friday.
Gah!! I promised to take this weekend off and truly, I am. But saying goodbye to these guys is like saying goodbye to a long distance love. It's ridiculous.
So, the stand is open today and full of all the freshest flowers. All organically grown right here on our farm. You can find arrangements, cacti, flower confetti, notecards, and these sweet $15 spring bundles. In an effort to keep my word about not working (ohhhh how I love this work), these bundles are simply rubberbanded and there are two per glass jar. Please be a friend and leave the big glass jars so we can refill. There are reused plastic grocery bags for transport in ya need them.
Well, that's it. Have a spectacular weekend. Stay hydrated and wear your sunscreen (or a big hat).
Love to ya!
"Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mothers face."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Oh my goodness, you guys! What a busy and fun weekend we're going to have. It's Mother's Day weekend, the first-ever Hockinson Farmers Market, Prom, and oodles other fun events around the county.
If you're looking for Barn Dog Flower Farm bouquets, you can find them in the farmstand starting Friday by 9am. (will restock all weekend as supply allows) and at the farmers market on Saturday from 9-1. Along with flowers we'll have shirts, notecard sets, floral confetti, gift cards, dahlia bouquet subscriptions, and more.
Some lucky pint sized posies will be getting dolled up and heading over to Michelle Allen's 52 Painting Project Show on Friday night from 5-8. If interested in attending the live show, DM her your email, otherwise you can check out the show on her website at the same time. michelleallenart.com
What better than a weekend full of art and beauty to celebrate all things maternal?
For years now, I've been fantasizing about a bigger, brighter farmstand. A farmstand my customers could step inside, with bright white walls, whimsical lighting, chest-high shelves for displaying large, showy flower arrangements. A stand to match the big dramatic designs which I love to create. The dream stand would be beautiful while still rustic side because, afterall, we are a farm.
Last year, I even went as farm as polling customers as to whether we should build a new stand. However, every time I'd begin sketching the new stand, I would have little pangs of grief. What would I do with the old bus shelter farmstand? The one in which I'd put grab-and-go boxes of veggies I sold on Craigslist when the children were babies. The shelter a woman regularly picked up large bags of kale for to make smoothies for her dear friend who was suffering with cancer. The shelter where I snuggled with my children and anxiously awaited the school bus. The shelter they built with my husband. Oh, the memories! That's it. The scrappy little bus shelter stays.
It may be short, it may be dark, there may not be a lot of room for it to hold my largest creations, it will never have air conditioning for those hot bouquet melting days, but it contains so many strings to my heart. While you may pull up to our driveway and see flowers or perhaps see a rickety old bus shelter, I see my childrens' little feet swinging off the bench as they waited to be carried off the farm into the big, exciting world. So, please understand that my plans and ideas for a new stand are on hold for awhile as I savor these memories.