autumn vibes

Dear Readers,

We’re celebrating the fall with TWO new classes! For those of you who like to draw nature, we have Botanical Drawing: Fall Leaves!

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Lianne Pflug

Lianne Pflug

The wonderful artist Lianne Pflug will teach participants (beginners welcome) about plant ID and the basics of botanical drawing. This class is for beginners!

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We also have Grow Ranunculus: for Gardeners this fall. Learn to grow these gorgeous blooms in outdoor pots or in your backyard! Participants will take plants home.

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Big harvests are still coming out of the field, but we expect a frost could hit any time. So we’re enjoying the field flowers while they last!

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Photos by the wonderful Julie Hove Anderson. I wish you all some crunchy leafy fun!

Laura Beth

farm family

Dear Readers,

We just wrapped on our last farm tour of 2019! From all of us at Butterbee, I want to say a huge, glowing, warm, and heartfelt THANK YOU to all who came to our Farm Tours!

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Farming is tough, and I sometimes forget to enjoy this place we’ve built. Meeting each of you and seeing our fields through your eyes brings me new life!

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We are humbled and grateful that you spent a Saturday morning (or several!) with us here at the farm this summer.

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We have a few more classes on the books for this season, and are already planning our spring events, including our Cutting Garden Plant Sale. Stay updated by reading our monthly e-newsletter and following us on Instagram.

Thank you again for being a part of our farm family! I wish you all a glorious tumble into fall!

Laura Beth

crafty, farmy fun

Dear Readers,

Flower crowns lift my spirits like nothing else.

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On Sunday, we had crafty, farmy fun at the Flower Crowns class taught by our friends at Local Color Flowers.

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At design classes we host, I get to meet new people, see the farm through their eyes, and make something beautiful. I always give a little farm tour before the class starts.

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Then, people get to pick blooms to use in their designs.

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Then the craftiness commences!

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Ellen from Local Color Flowers teaches everyone how to make flower crowns. Each person gets to choose their own flowers and colors.

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I love that each person’s crown reflects their personality!

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The results are GORGEOUS!

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Thank you McKenzie Elizabeth Photography for your lovely presence and gorgeous work, and Ellen from Locoflo for being continuously so easy and fun to work with.

We have Dahlia Class coming up, where participants will pick their own dahlias to design with. Registration opens September 3rd, hope to see you there! We also have our FINAL farm tour of the season coming up in September!

I wish you all a tranquil change of seasons!


Laura Beth

do it yourself!

Dear Readers,

All hail delphinium…

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We grow flowers for DIY (do-it-yourself) weddings all over Maryland and D.C. each year.

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This lovely wedding photographed by Victoria Selman really shows off what magic can come of local flowers!

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It’s always such a gift to get photos of our weddings after the fact.

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I am consistently amazed by what our crafty couples can do!

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To get in on the fun, join us for some flower play at our floral headcrown class in just a few weeks!

I wish you all a lemonade to usher in the first of August!

Laura Beth

every morning begins

Dear Readers,

Every morning begins with harvest in the summer.

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We have to finish harvest before the sun heats the field, otherwise our flowers might wilt. On really hot days like today, we start at 6 am so that we have time to cut everything.

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After harvest, we organize each customer’s order in our walk in cooler. Then we load up the van for delivery.

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We take turns delivering, so no one person has to drive all week. Truth be told though, sitting in an air conditioned car is not too shabby in the summer!

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We deliver to DC twice, and Baltimore twice, each week. We want our flowers to be VERY fresh, so our florists can use our early-in-the-week flowers right away and then our late-in-the-week flowers for weekend events.

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Time to get the harvest started for our DC delivery. Thanks to the wonderful Victoria Selman for her beautiful photography and her cheery ‘tude when she took these photos at the crack of dawn.

I wish you all a restful 4th of July!

Laura Beth

happy to be a farmer

Dear Readers,

Since I last wrote, the farm burst into bloom.

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The weather has been kind to us!

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Gorgeous flowers and record breaking sales are the result.

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Our Butterbee team is strong! The can-do attitude of each amazing woman (we’re all girls this year!) who works here is just the ticket.

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Of course, we have challenges. The big snake in the barn is only one example.

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But all in all, I’m pretty happy to be a farmer this season.

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I hope you’ll come and see the flower fields and make a bouquet at our upcoming Farm Tour on Saturday, June 29th! Please RSVP here so we can get a head count.

I wish you all a sleepy Sunday!

Laura Beth

PS Thanks to the wonderful Julie at Julie’s Journey Photography for these photos!

magic may

Dear Readers,

This is a magic place in May. Field flowers are everywhere!

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I hope you’ll come and enjoy the farm with us! Our Farm Tours are a wonderful way to experience the farm, for adults and kiddos alike.

We also are teaching a Grow Ranunculus class for home gardeners!

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There is much to do around here. Bed prep for our summer crops, weeding, and harvest, harvest, harvest.

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We have trees to plant too- magnolia, spirea, and flowering quince!

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We are all tired and a bit sore, but in a good way. You know? We picked literally thousands of flowers in the past week!

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I wish you all an open window and a spring breeze.

Laura Beth

happy planting

Dear Readers,

Our hearts are full! About 100 of you came to enjoy the farm today!

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Dahlias, eucalyptus, yarrow, hairy balls, mints, and so much more flew off the tables! We worked so hard for the past 6 months to grow these plants, and it was incredibly gratifying to see such appreciation for them.

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We could not have done it without Liz, who gave me pep talks when the forecast was calling for thunderstorms (thankfully we had perfect weather), among many other things. My dad worked the register and my mom and husband did it all.

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And of course, there was plenty of my favorite thing: chit chat! We saw neighbors, old friends, new babies, CSA members, and made lots of new friends!

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Isn’t this just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?…

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Next up is our Farm Tour in June. We know how to have fun around here, don’t miss it! There are 4 farm tours this summer- see the dates and RSVP here!

Our mission with these events is to give you, our community, a joyful, liberating, wonderful moment in time. That’s what they are for us, too. Thank you for being a part of our lives!

I wish you all a happy planting!

Laura Beth

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plant people

Dear Readers,

We are plant people.

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We are growing thousands of extra plants this spring for YOU!

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On Saturday May 4th is our Cutting Garden Plant Sale. We chose some of our very favorites for you to take home for your own gardens!

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I’ll be there to answer growing questions and chat, plus the Butterbee team and a special appearance from MY DAD, who has been given the task of “Farm Police.” Basically that means he’ll help you carry your plants to your car :)

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After you pick out your new baby plants, you’re welcome to walk around the farm and enjoy the landscape we are lucky to see every day!

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Don’t forget to register for the sale- we need a head count! It’s open house style, so come any time between 9 and noon on that Saturday.

I wish you all a sleepy Sunday!

Laura Beth

my wish for you

Dear Readers,

It’s suddenly SPRING and we’re hopping for joy! And for madness! There’s so much to do!

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This is our first spring ever with greenhouse flowers, and it has definitely changed our routine. I harvest in there almost every day, and also scout regularly for pests like aphids. The field work is second fiddle to the greenhouse nowadays! Thankfully, our plucky farm team is coming to work now, so there will be enough time for both.

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I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about this season. The weather was so challenging last year; I hung my head at the rainy forecast more days than I can count. But, there is so much enthusiasm from YOU, our community and customers, about our blooms! With such wonderful support, I know it’s going to be a great season, no matter what the weather brings.

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Speaking of, we’re SO excited to have YOU at our farm this season, not least to show off our fabulous new greenhouse! Check out our spring Plant Sale, and our Farm Tours!

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If there’s one thing I could wish for you this summer, it’s to make the effort and the time to buy from your local farmers. It’s less carbon footprint, it’s re-investing in your local economy, it’s making personal connections that last for lifetime, it’s eating better and healthier, it’s physically social rather than internet lonely. Heck, I even have friends who met boyfriends at the farmers market!

GET OUT THERE! Make space in your life for local farmers! We’re ready for you! Farmer’s markets, CSA, farm events, grocery stores that source from us- there are so many ways to do it.

I wish you a springy gin cocktail because why not?

Laura Beth

oasis

Dear Readers,

Every day, I take the walk down the driveway and into the Cannon House.

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There is always something to do, even in the darkest winter months… seedlings to water, weeds to pull.

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Truthfully, it has been a brutal learning curve. Pests like aphids love it in that balmy oasis. We’ve successfully controlled them so far by releasing a natural predator: ladybugs!

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The humidity buildup on cloudy, rainy days is more of a conundrum. Humidity breeds disease, and our plants are sensitive little buggers! Last week, I tried a simple solution to our humidity problem: putting box fans all around the greenhouse to prevent condensation from sitting on leaves for too long. To my surprise, it seems to have really helped!

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On the flip side of these challenges is the absolute satisfaction and pride that comes with stepping into my very own warm greenhouse on a chilly winter day.

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So far, we’ve brought a few bunches here and there to Local Color Flowers, the Baltimore floral studio that inspired us to invest in this greenhouse in the first place (thanks for supporting my crazy ideas you guys!). Can’t wait to share them with all of our amazing florists so very soon!

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I wish you some cake. It’s February! Treat yourself!

Laura Beth

winter hibernation means dreaming of spring

Dear Readers,

Winter is a time for dreaming of a cutting garden. Dreamers, we’re growing your plants! This spring, we’re having a Cutting Garden Plant Sale. RSVP here!

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If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a new business owner, we’ve got you covered with our workshop, the Creative Entrepreneur. It’s taught by Baltimorean businesswomen and it’s back by popular demand, so register quickly before we sell out!

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Our Headcrown Design Class with Local Color Flowers is always such a hit that we’re doing TWO this year. The first one is in the spring (expect ranunculus!).

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We’ve seen more than a few first dates at our Farm Tours, plus family outings, flower lovers and gardeners coming to learn, and curious Baltimoreans enjoying a morning outside. Join us for any or all of our Tours, which are just like open houses- and everyone takes flowers home! RSVP here.

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If you like arranging flowers all over your house, check out our all-flower CSA during July and August. It’s a fabulous present for a loved one, not to mention the perfect self-care gift to yourself!

Those are all of my public service announcements for now! The next post will be all about our winter growing adventure, stay tuned! Thanks to L.A. Birdie Photography for the photos. I wish you all a delicious winter hibernation.

Laura Beth

happy new year!

Dear Readers,

We harvested over 200,000 flowers this season!

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The vast majority of our blooms went straight into weddings, either through florists or to our DIY couples.

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Claire and Cam got married in June, and used our Butterbee wedding service, which is farmer’s choice. I love picking out our best focals, foliages, and fillers for couples- it’s so sweet to think of them as I make a list of what blooms and foliages would work well together.

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And, it’s SO cool to see photos afterward, and realize that the couple did our flowers justice! I mean, look at this:

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They did such a beautiful job!

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These little cosmos vases down the middle of each table are delicate and lovely:

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Thank you, Claire and Cam, it was an honor to grow your wedding flowers! And, enormous thanks to the wonderful Jenn Manor Photo, who captured such joy in these photos.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Laura Beth

if/when

Dear Readers,

I’m in my pajamas as I write this, sipping coffee. No buckets to fill for harvest, no emails to return; just a quiet morning on the farm.

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Winter brings a shocking change of pace. There is plenty to do, but we have three beautifully slow months to complete next season’s crop plan, buy a delivery van, hire more people, clean up Quickbooks…

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It’s hard to believe, but this season was our 6th in business. Here’s what I wrote 6 years ago as I started seeds for my first ever season:

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One day, if/when I have a hoop house or a greenhouse, I’ll be able to continue work outside into the winter; but for now, I have to wait until mid-February to start sowing seeds under the shop lights in my apartment. Ahhhh waiting! Why is it so hard!? (My future self will read this post and sigh over the good old days, when I had time off from farm work in the winter.)

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I was right that I’d have a greenhouse (plus two hoophouses!), but I was wrong about sighing over working through the winter. So far I’m loving it! Stepping into that cozy greenhouse and smelling the plants on a chilly winter’s day is the best thing ever.

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Looking back before the season begins again… that’s winter! And, on the subject of winter work… we just opened registration for our new and improved CSA program! Check it out here.

All of these photos are by the wonderful farm and portrait photographer Seana at Seana Shuchart Photography.

I wish you all a little pride in how far you’ve come!

Laura Beth

frost is near

Dear Readers,

We’re having a two-day T shirt sale! Our T’s are SUPER soft, great for sleeping, stocking stuffers, and everyday wear. Seriously, I wear mine every day!

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Usually, the end of the season means naps and office work in my pajamas. This fall is a little different. We’re scrambling to finish our new greenhouse so we can start planting.

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Jascha and I are also going on a road trip across the country in November, which means getting lots of ducks in a row before we head out.

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A killing frost could happen any day now, so we’re harvesting our last armfuls of flowers and turning our attention to other projects. Greenhouse, fall planting, cleanup, organizing…

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I do love this time of year. It’s chilly enough in the morning for a hat, but then the sun comes out and feels so good!

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Soon enough, all of these dahlia plants will be gone, and a dormant winter field will replace them.

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I wish you all a fuzzy fall hat! Oh yeah, and a Butterbee T!

Laura Beth

*Photos by L.A. Birdie Photography

breathe- it's october

Dear Readers,

It’s been an emotional ride. We were just short of devastated by flooding rains all of September. But, we also had particularly kind and enthusiastic florists and wedding couples this fall. I’m so grateful to each of our customers for their dedication to our farm!

Vasilki Photography

Vasilki Photography

Now that we’re past the hurricane, I’m remembering how truly great this season has been despite the weather stress.

One big success this fall was our eucalyptus field (above), we’ll plant even more next season!

Urban Row Photography

Urban Row Photography

We also enjoyed our best lisianthus year ever (above), and first crop of smokebush (the dark foliage on the right below), which smells like a wood stove when we cut it. Yum!

Vasilki Photography

Vasilki Photography

Our team this year has been ROCKING. Peter, Courtney, Sam, Nancy, Jess, Ben, and our fairy godpartners Jascha and Spencer, trudged through mud for days to get flowers harvested and off to their homes in bouquets and vases.

Urban Row Photography

Urban Row Photography

And our tunnel build team (you know who you are!) worked every sunny weekend on our new greenhouse, giving me heart when things got frustrating and helping me take the whole thing a little less seriously.

Vasilki Photography

Vasilki Photography

More and more, I think- what would this farm be without the beautiful souls who give it love? Our team, our customers, our neighbors and friends- they breathe more life into this farm than I ever could alone.

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Urban Row Photography

Thank you, friends!

I wish you all a little time outside on this beautiful October week!

Laura Beth

a diy maryland wedding

Dear Readers,

Wedding season has begun! We provide bulk flowers to couples who want to DIY (Do It Yourself) their weddings. This season, we're providing flowers for some or all of about 40 weddings!

L.A. Birdie Photography

L.A. Birdie Photography

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Sarah and Scott got married in early August of this year, and it was extra special to grow their reception flowers. They've both worked at Butterbee, and we lived together for about a year before we moved to the farm. They are downright good people, the kind that make you glad about life!

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I so enjoyed being a part of the design crew the day before the wedding. The couple had about 15 friends and family gathered at the venue, where we put together the entire reception's flowers in under two hours! It was lovely to meet people dear to Scott and Sarah while playing with flowers.

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Sarah's friend Molly writes a food blog called Spices in my DNA, and she made the cake, decorated and surrounded by our flowers!

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We had such a good time at the wedding, where so many dear friends were also in attendance. Lindsay Anne from L.A. Birdie did the photography; she and I joke that she's the photographer at every single wedding I go to! Also look how she's rocking that fanny pack!

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I'm so grateful for Sarah and Scott, for hosting the best party of the summer, buying local flowers, and being all around wonderful. Congratulations dear friends!

I wish you all a good last-of-the-summer party!

Laura Beth

a little happiness

Dear Readers,

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions I've gotten recently, and the answers!

FAQ: Has the rain affected our growing season?

Yes. Flooding on the farm means that the plants' roots are sitting in water, which causes rot in some cases. We're lucky that we're on a hill, so only the plants at the very bottom are struggling.

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FAQ: What's happening on the farm these days?

Peter, our Crops Manager, just got back from a well-deserved vacation, so I'm catching up on office work today while he catches up on tidying the farm with weed whacking. This week, we're going to harvest, tie up our dahlias so they don't flop over, weed, and hopefully we'll have time to fix our deer fence.

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Also, it's August, which means that we just had our annual Headcrown Class with Local Color Flowers. It's SO FUN. I have no idea why putting flowers on my head makes me feel like Queen Laura Beth...

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but it DOES.

FAQ: What's your favorite flower on the farm right now?

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I love the pink sedum (it's that purply-pink succulent above) right now! It's such a good texture. I love berries too- I put tons of blackberries in my headcrown! And, we're getting into herbal foliage season- rosemary, sage, eucalyptus, and lemon verbena are all favorites.

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FAQ: What can we do to help farmers as global warming makes their jobs super insane?

You don't have to buy all of your groceries from the farmers market, and you don't have to deprive yourself of bouquets at Trader Joe's.

But, you can buy from a farmer just once every week- a big, ripe tomato from the Saturday market, or a few sunflowers for the kitchen table, or that bunch of kale that says "Local" on it at at Wegman's. Get into the habit of buying local every week, just a little bit, and see how good it makes you feel!

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Investing in each other- in our friendships, our communities, our local businesses- is a happy-making endeavor. I don't know anyone who couldn't use a little more happiness right now!

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Thanks so much to BaM Co Create for the photos, and Brittney, Jess, and Ellen at Local Color Flowers for doing this class with me every year!

I wish you all a little happiness!

Laura Beth

Blooms and Bouquets 2018

Dear Readers,

Put 50 flower farmers in the room and you're bound to have a wonderful day. 

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Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat was our guest speaker, all the way from Montana! Ellen Frost from Local Color Flowers and Dave Dowling, President of the ASCFG, and I spoke too, on topics like building flower walls, growing good lisianthus, using Instagram to market your business, and planning your season.

We had three breakout sessions: the Business of Farming (me), Principles of Design (Ellen and Julio), and Success at Farmers Markets (Dave). It was our first time doing breakouts at this workshop and we'll definitely do it in the future! I loved my group!

We had three breakout sessions: the Business of Farming (me), Principles of Design (Ellen and Julio), and Success at Farmers Markets (Dave). It was our first time doing breakouts at this workshop and we'll definitely do it in the future! I loved my group!

This is my face when I talk about spreadsheets.

This is my face when I talk about spreadsheets.

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We usually hold the full day workshop in the barn, but due to heavy rain, we moved over to our landlords' house for much of the day. Now they have 50 more grateful farmer friends!

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The day began with a farm tour and ended with the flower wall design. Volunteers from the group made the wall go up before our eyes, while Ellen and Julio narrated.

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I say it every year when we do this workshop and it feels true again: this is the best day of the summer for me! Flower farming is a labor of love, and these amazing women (and 2 men) are doing great work out in the world. Their energy is infectious!

Thanks for the photos, LA Birdie Photography!

Thanks for the photos, LA Birdie Photography!

Aaaaand we went to get ice cream after, as one does...

Behind the scenes heroes of the day were Jess (on the right) and Jascha (to her left) and Eric (holding the camera). Couldn't have done it without you three!!

Behind the scenes heroes of the day were Jess (on the right) and Jascha (to her left) and Eric (holding the camera). Couldn't have done it without you three!!

I wish you all happy day!

Laura Beth