July 11, 2014

a week in the life of the muddy feet flower farmer

it has been a crazy few weeks. we always buckle our seat belts when we sit down and map out our schedules for june into july; school ends, Jotham is gone teaching at the Yale summer writing conference, and there are endless flats of plants to get into the ground. harvesting the flowers takes more time each week, which means more buckets to be washed and more flowers to be sorted, bunched, bouquet-ed, sold. farmers markets are in full swing. and let’s not forget, wedding season is upon us.

in case you were wondering what the pace of life is like at muddy feet flower farm, here’s a blow-by-blow of my life last week:
saturday, june 28: cut, shop, make and deliver wedding flowers saturday afternoon to a lovely home across the street from martha stewart’s first house on turkey hill. I pull over to reflect for a moment. there are two martha’s that taught me to appreciate the good things: martha stewart and my mother.
my beautiful mom, with my brother
sunday, june 29: up at 5:00 am. cut for the morning market. normally I cut the day before a market and prep at night, but I was so exhausted from the wedding, I drank a large glass of wine and went to bed. this morning, with my handsome husband by my side, we race to get me flowers to sell. the coventry regional farmers market is the biggest and busiest in the state, if not in all of new england. the nice thing for me is that it is two towns over, right here in eastern ct.
11:00 am: the market is hot and busy, and my side-kick son wilts in the heat right alongside the flowers.
4:00 pm: home to the arrival of our girls!
five barred rock hens, one for each of us to name. this is our first foray into raising chickens. they kind of freak me out. the baby’s teacher raised them from chicks and brings them to our home in cat carriers. jotham serves roast chicken for supper.
monday, june 30: up early to drive the boys to the beach in massachusetts. the boys have sailing lessons at 9:00. I get to spend the day.
tuesday, july 1: up early to drive home. it’s hard to leave the boys, knowing I won’t see them until friday. I linger until they leave for golf. jotham shoves me in the car. at home, my helper, bram, is here burning more holes in more landscape fabric and playing with the chickens. I sweep up the scattered remains of the wedding flowers and clean the cooler. I catch up on emails and proposals for future events. tuesdays are my office day. I watch out the window as our cat discovers the chickens. he creeps across the lawn and crouches. I wait for the pounce. after 15 minutes he gets up, bored, and walks away. nervous about getting the chickens in their coop, I am relieved when they march up the ramp on their own at 8:00 pm sharp. I harvest flowers and pull weeds until I can’t see any more.
wednesday, july 2 (12:00 am):  I am at the kitchen table trying to be a good social media marketer when I hear a weird buzzing hum coming from the upstairs hallway. as I creep up the stairs, I notice millions of small gnats buzzing around the lights that line the hall. it is straight out of a horror movie! I spend the next 1 1/2 hours vacuuming the ceiling and drop into bed after 2:00 am.
6:00 am: I oversleep. (really, since when is 6:30 oversleeping?) up and out to the field. hurricane arthur is bearing down. there is much to do before the rain. I seed 3500 sunflower seeds and step on a bee. my first bee sting of 2014! bee stings and I don’t get along. I usually lose knuckles, knee caps, elbows because I swell so badly. I’m not in the mood for a club foot this week. I deliver flowers to our local co-op grocery store just as it starts to rain. 
thursday, july 3: 6:00 am. market day. I forget to close the gate on my way in to let the chickens out and when I turn to leave three of them have gotten out. I race around in 100% humidity trying to get them back inside their fenced in area (have I mentioned that chickens freak me out?) I’m leaving for the day and I can’t leave them! what if they get into the flower beds, or a hawk comes or…?! after 15 minutes, I get them back in. the heat and humidity are dreadful and I’m soaked. the market is busy and my sweet peas fly from my stand. their scent in the air makes me nauseous by day’s end.
when I arrive home, the sky is an ominous steel grey. the car is barely in park, and I dash out to the field to cut before the storm. now, the absolute last thing in the world I want to do is cut flowers. I’d rather have my teeth drilled. but I’d be a fool not to harvest everything before the inevitable deluge. the sky is like watching fireworks in an arena with paparazzi capturing every instant. I stand in the middle of the dirt road and watch the heat lightning, the lightning bolts and the zillions of fireflies put on an electrifying show.
friday, july 4: the beach front parade is cancelled in massachusetts, so the boys drive home to spend the day. we get 5″ of rain. jotham plants a crabapple tree in the chicken’s yard because they need more shelter. everyone helps me make subscription bouquets and we pack up and drive back to the beach for a leisurely weekend with family and friends, and my husband steals the show once again, stilt walking in the 4th of July (actually 6th of July this year) parade.
note the boutonniere!

2 Comments on “a week in the life of the muddy feet flower farmer

K. Barber-Flower Farmer
July 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm

We have so much in common, just change names and places ��

Kent Sommer
January 29, 2015 at 3:55 am

We had a friend create some custom drink options that the bartenders served throughout the night and our designer easily collaborated with the location for vows to address her needs.


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