Updated: Jul 23
Go big or go home, baby!
This expansion was a project and a half, to say the least, but we did it y’all!! When we go in, we go ALL IN, and this was quite the physical pursuit. We learned lessons along the way and I am thrilled to say that we are DONE with Phase I of our flower farm expansion.
The inspiration behind these raised beds were for us to grow delicate flower varieties that, rather than growing from seed, grow from corms/bulbs/tubers. Over the past three years we have grown our fair share of flowers that grow from bulbs like: dahlias, tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, and anemones. Some we experienced great success with and others not so much. The benefit to growing these flowers in our warm climate is that we can treat them like perennials; dahlias are a great example. That means they will bloom, go dormant, and bloom again every year. Annual flowers like sunflowers, zinnias, and cosmos require new seedlings many time throughout a season. We’ve learned that one major cause of failure with growing bulbs has to do with our soil consistency. Have you ever stuck a shovel in the ground here? If you have you know that we have a very heavy clay soil. This type of soil, although full of great nutrients, is NOT ideal to grow delicate flowers like the ones mentioned above. What happens? The bulbs rot. These bulbs and corms are not cheap so when we lose one it hurts a bit more than just our pride. For a regular consumer, on average…
1 Branching Sunflower seed costs about $0.23 and produces about 6-8 viable flower stems.
1 Dahlia tuber costs between $5.00-$13.00 and produces about 6-8 viable flower stems.
Our first time Amending soil | summer 2020
When we first embarked on our flower farming journey we had to amend our soil with a fresh, loamy additive that we purchased from our local nursery, Double Oak Garden Center in Mathews, LA. Twice a year we get truckloads of their powder-like soil and haul it to the rows then till it in. As a startup business this was costly which meant crappy soil. Today, the soil consistency in our backyard growing space is miles from where it started in 2020 (pictured above) but we need a more reliable space to grow and leave our delicate flowers to perennialize.
The dirt on our raised beds
After much research, consulting with friends and family, and channeling my own vision for what we want our future farm to look like I decided to go big. Like 1,512 square feet of added growing space BIG. Our raised beds measure 6ft W x 84ft L x 14.50in H. Yes, I said eighty-four freaking feet long! Most farmers would gawk at the fact that we chose 6ft wide beds because the general rule of thumb is to keep beds 4ft wide but hear me out. For starters, there are two of us and we have a difficult time harvesting flowers from one side of our 4ft beds anyway. By choosing to make our boxes 6ft wide we also saved money on wood while gaining 504 square feet of additional growing space. We also built two smaller beds that measure 6ft W x 32ft L x 14.50in H. We will plant vegetables in these for us to enjoy! I am really happy with the overall outcome and look forward to planting our babies very soon!
What are we growing in this expansioN?
In this next year we are going to use our new raised beds to grow sunflowers, tulips, dahlias, and anemones. I also built two smaller raised beds to try our hand at growing vegetables. In addition to our raised boxes we will also maintain our original growing space, in our backyard, for successions of both heat loving, fall colored annuals to end 2023 and for cool flowers in Spring 2024. Here’s a timeline of crops that you can expect from us over the next year.
Grateful moments and eager hearts
We are eternally grateful for the help of our family and friends over the past three years. Recently, our Dads have really been there to help us make these expansions come to fruition. TerriLynn’s Dad, Terry, helped us get our pumpkin patch prepped and planted and my Dad, Reese, helped me build these monstrous raised beds. There’s nothing quite like picking up the phone and knowing all the answers to our questions are on the other side. Oh, and if you haven’t caught on, we are both named after our Dads, HOW COOL?! I also want to give a HUGE shout out to Mike at Double Oak Garden Center in Mathews, LA. Since we started the farm he has offered his expertise time and time again.
With any big endeavor comes big responsibility. I left my fourteen year career three months ago to grow our flower business. The weight of these expansions and the pressure to grow the farm leaves me feeling like an imposter at times. Discipline is the only way to persevere and I am practicing that by sticking to the schedules, putting in the work, and connecting with flower lovers. I know that we are on this journey for a reason and I trust that the universe is giving us exactly what we can handle. Head down, do the work, see the results. I know that we will get there and in the mean time I plan to revel in the beautiful chaos.
Want to know how you can get your hands on our beautiful flowers? Stay tuned. We will have lots of pumpkins and flowers in a couple of months. We will be sharing where you can find continuous Haven Flower Farm produce for every occasion in your life.