A new season is just about to start for us. Yet again the winter has been a very wet one and it will impact on how early we will be able to get onto the land again. Lockdowns have meant we have been shut for most of the winter. At the time of writing we do not know when we will be allowed to re-open properly again. I have no doubt that unfortunately for the second year running we will see restrictions on weddings planned for the first part of the year, meaning some of our couples will not be able to have the weddings they had planned for, unless they feel like postponing again. In some cases weddings have already been postponed twice. My advice to my brides has been if you get a chance to have a wedding, just do it. You never know what the future may bring.
It has been a difficult winter for everyone but here on the farm there has been some positive stuff happening too. The new polytunnel is up and I love it – I planted most of it up straight away (as you can see from the photo, not even waiting for paths to go in or the side ventilation screens to be fixed down) and currently, despite the flooding and the mice, I have a superb looking crop of anemones and ranunculus in there. Our florists are almost as excited about this as I am and none of us can wait to get started again! Talking of getting started again, we have started to wake up the dahlias and cuttings have already been taken to increase the stocks of those varieties that look to be good sellers. Taking the cuttings and producing new plants is the easy bit. Figuring out where to fit in another couple of rows of dahlias will be the challenge. Especially as we are just planning the construction of an outdoor teaching and meeting space. The few workshops and meetings that did take place here last year were held outside to help us stay covid safe. And of course for almost every one of them we either had rain or strong winds. So this months project is to construct an open sided pole barn to provide shelter from the some of the weather. In the summer a little extra shade for processing flowers in the field will be an added bonus.
I know once the days get a little warmer and the field a little drier it is going to get manic – we’ve more florists on the books this year, a new retail outlet, a new monthly market and we are looking at teaming up with other local growers to start a weekly central wholesale market for local florists. This year I’m also mentoring a couple of other growers who are just starting out on their Flower Farming journey. I cannot wait for the season to get underway again, this winter has been a long one.