Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Flower Growers School

Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend a Specialty Cut Flower Growers School put on by The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and Washington State University Mt. Vernon Research and Extension Center. I learned SO MUCH in the two days of the workshop- everything from crop selection, seed starting, harvest and post-harvest flower care, hoophouse and greenhouse construction and crops, succession planting, business planning, crop costing, beneficial insects and dealing with pests in a sustainable manner.... the list goes on and on. It was a conference full of super helpful and pertinent information, and it left me so inspired and ready for the next phase of The Botanique Cutting Garden, the 500 sq. ft. area in our backyard that is rapidly turning into a mini, urban flower farm! I feel like I am only just beginning to digest the smallest little fraction of what I learned, and can't possibly fit it all into one blog post. So for now I will just share some photos of one of my favorite parts of the weekend, a tour of Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, where the second day of the workshop took place.

The hellebore beds at Jello Mold Farm- LOVE THE HELLEBORES!!!
One of my favorites, love that dark purple, grape juice color
Columbine, just starting to poke up through straw mulch.
Soil Blocking- a great way to start seeds.

Dahlia propagation!!!

Diane Szukovathy (my new hero). Diane was one of our teachers for the weekend, and she and her husband Dennis Westphall run Jello Mold Farm. I have gotten to know Diane and Dennis through purchasing their flowers at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, and it was so awesome to see where and how their flowers are grown.

It was a truly inspiring weekend! It made me want to move to the Skagit Valley and farm, farm, farm..... but for now, I am STOKED to get the Botanique Cutting Garden going for the year! Small-scale, urban flower farming- YES! 

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