Things are hoppin’ on the farm!

Flush, abundant, bloomin’, full-speed-ahead, busy -are all descriptors for this time of year on a Midwestern flower farm. We’ve been buzzing with lots of activity on Delight Flower Farm as you might have noticed on our various social media feeds. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to.

Our first annual Hops Plant Sale for Father’s Day weekend was mid-June at Sipyard in downtown Urbana with music by the lovely Matt and Claire of Meadowhawk. It was a grand success. We met a bunch of friendly local brewers, herbalists, and gardeners and sold some plants too.

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Sunflower (Zinnia, Honeywort, Sage, Nasturtium, Daisy, Gooseneck, etc!) harvest has begun!!!

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Business deliveries:: This year we’ve added several new businesses to our regular delivery route. Thanks for your support, Watson’s Shack and Rail, Country Financial, Living Yoga Center, Green Yoga Spa, and Reisman Law Office. We’re glad to brighten up your work spaces with fresh flowers.

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CSA on-farm pick up. This year, we’ve changed the shareholders’ pick up format from years’ past. This new location and structure -just a short 2 hour pick up window on the farm-puts the big “C” back into our flower CSA. Being able to greet shareholders in person each week  and have shareholders meet each other really does feel like it cultivates community (& the fuzzy baby goats sweeten the deal!)

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Thanks for keepin’ up with our growth (pun intended)!

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Week 9

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We can’t believe it’s come to week 9/10 already! In fact, I’m late on publishing this post from last week and we are already now well into week 10! This season seemed to fly by once we dried out from the Urbana Monsoon that was June.
Shareholders, please come to the farm this Friday (5-7pm) for our end of season celebration and to pick up your final bouquets of the 2015 CSA season. We are excited to get together over flowers (& refreshments!) and share some exciting news about what we have planned for 2016!

Upcoming classes!

transplanting seedlings

Flower Power (class) at Common Ground Food Co-op, Saturday, August 29th, 2-3 pm. $5 owner/ $10 non-owner In this workshop learn many benefits of growing flowers (good for bees, good for veggies, good for the environment, and good for you!). Participants will learn cut flower basics, plant seeds to tend at home. Join us and enjoy the delight of flowers!

Cut Flower Workshop (with The Land Connection) at Illinois Willows, Sunday, September 13th, 1-4 pm. $35/person Fresh, local, flowers are in high demand, as they pop up at weddings, at farmers’ markets, and in CSAs. Learn the basics of production, processing, and marketing from three local experts: Joan Jach of Old Town Flowers, Maggie Taylor of Delight Flower CSA, and Kent Miles of Illinois Willows.

Week 8

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This week features surprise lilies (as well as the other favorites you’ve come to know this season: Queen Anne’s Lace, Zinnia, Tansy, Sunflowers, etc.)

Week 6 & 7: the bee’s knees

IMG_6475.JPGThe days have been sunny, hot, and humid. The height of excellence in this flower season by far. Our sunflowers are so huge, sculptural and prolific. We’ve been daydreaming about making their wide, seed-filled heads into outdoor shower nozzles. Do you think it would work?! 😉

I think both Liz and Holly have officially declared sunflowers as their absolute/enduring favorite flowers. I keep changing my mind. I’m easily smitten by whatever is currently blooming. Lately, Queen Anne’s Lace has been pushing to the top of my favorites list again. I mean, what’s not to love about these shapes?

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bees and flowers

We know that flowers are good for bees. Bees feed on pollen and sweet nectar. But how are bees good for flowers? In the words of my partner, JP, “Bees are the way in which flowers make love.” Sounds romantic eh?

Bees are so fascinating. The statistic I’ve heard is that 1/3 of all human food depends on insect pollination. It goes like this: Plants create flowers. Flowers have male and female parts. In order to reproduce, (A.K.A. make seeds, which, in some plants are housed inside of yummy fruits and vegetables) pollen from male and female parts must meet. Kind of like courtship in the plant world. This is where the bees come in. While female bees are out foraging on nectar, they also pack pollen on their legs in little pollen baskets. Baskets full of pollen tend to resemble bright yellow clown pants on little bee legs. It’s quite cute. You can see these a bit in the first photo of this post.

This is the time of year we see the evidence of the bees’ hard work. Flowers finished blooming transform into seeds for next year’s planting. I have been already saving seeds from some of this year’s flowers.

Here at La Casa, where the delight garden is, we have two honey bee hives. I enjoy helping with the beekeeping and observing the active buzz of these fascinating creatures. This week we reaped another perk of having bees nearby: sweet golden honey.

Now this is delight!