As I ring in the new year cuddled up at home with my new puppy, I reflect back on the events of 2018. It is difficult to believe this time last year we were studying flower farming at Florets Flowers, starting our first seedlings in the greenhouse and building the infrastructure for the farm. The year truly has flown by.
By the month of May, we were already expanding the fields to prepare for the fall planted spring blooms. And expanded a second time by early September.
We enjoyed farmers markets (okay, "enjoyed" might be a stretch, but it's fair to say we tested the market and met some very nice people who visited our tent), and hosted a buyer for a major grocery chain at the farm (more on that in another post). The launch of our online shop was a success, and in the summer we opened our flower stand at the farm.
Blessed we were to have sales avenues so early on, hard work truly pays off. We didn't make a profit, of course. It's expensive to get the operation up and going. However, the enthusiasm in this community has been phenomenal and really kept us going as we battled bugs and nearly 100 degree temps all summer. Never once did we consider "throwing in the towel," it was more of a "just keep swimming" type of vibe 'round here. And swim, we did. In sweat.
Ahh, the logo. What fun I had dreaming it up and having it created. I really wanted something that would stand out and be remembered. As most of you know, I love horses. If you are around me for more than eleven minutes you are sure to hear me mention my darling geldings, Mocha and Tucker. But this isn't a horse is it?
Nope, its a mule. Mandy-the-mule to be precise. Mandy was a darling of a mule that my husband fell in love with at another barn. She was there over a year waiting for someone to purchase her. After many months of thought, he did just that.
I originally wanted a horse in my logo, but having two of them proved to be too difficult to decide which to use. This is how the mule on the logo came to be, because I couldn't decide which horse I loved the most.
Flash forward, we no longer have the mule. After four broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, punctured lung and two days in the hospital, my family had an intervention and said it's time to bring her back to that barn we bought her from. You see, as darling as she was on the ground, she was not at all fond of having to work. And by work, I mean riding me around the arena for 30 minutes twice a week. I know, cruel, right? Long story short, I fell off twice and "got up three times" as they say. The last time I fell it was after she decided to smash me against a pole fence, breaking my ribs. Because she didn't want to work.
Ordered to discontinue riding for three months while my ribs healed (the horses, that is. NEVAH, will I ride a mule again), I sulked for quite some time. While healing, my dahlias were on fiyah. These beautiful angels really got me through a tough time. I'd hobble outside every morning to see who was ready to be harvested. I would place buckets and buckets full of them in the cooler. I gave most of them away to friends and family and made myself bouquets to cheer myself up. I was in too much pain to open the farm stand and sell the blooms. Or, so I said. Looking back, I think I was hoarding them.
Which brings me back to Apollo, my puppy.
Apollo - God of healing, light, sun and music. How very fitting.
The dahlias are taking their long winters nap. The mule has been rehomed. My logo is in the time-out corner until I decide if I should just crop her ears off or retire it completely, and Apollo and I are ready for everything 2019 has in store for us.
Peace, Love and Flowers, Y'all.
May your 2019 be everything you want it to be.
Farmer, florist, lady with the feed bucket. Horses and flowers make my heart go pitter-patter. Or sometimes clippity-clop.