February Update and a Family Milk Cow!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already mid February. Our first plantings of 2023 went into the ground a few weeks ago. Several hundred healthy ranunculus corms were presprouted and planted out under a layer of compost, leaf mulch and frost cloth. These delicate beauties will bloom in the chilly weather of spring, shortly after our tulip crop finishes.

image: Eden Brothers

Speaking of tulips, we are beginning to see the first tulips start to break the surface. We have so many beautiful varieties to come! Our fabulous customers asked for more of the double “peony” look tulips, and we listened! There will be a beautiful assortment of ruffle blooms for our spring subscribers to enjoy in their homes.

We are also looking forward to the many new varieties of heirloom narcissus that were planted around the new peony field last fall. They too are beginning to break through the surface. We were thrilled to use our spent chicken bedding as mulch over our narcissus bulbs- just another way we can work in partnership with our wonderful animals to supply the soil with the nutrients needed to grow beautiful flowers.

Speaking of animals- we are very excited to introduce Beatrice and Buckley. They are a Jersey cow and calf pair, which means we officially have a family milk cow. We were happy to pick them up from Fermented Future Farms near Qualicum. We look forward to seeing all that they do at their new property. Give them a follow on Instagram if you enjoy farm life and tasty sauerkraut.

The middle of February meant it was time to dust off the soil blocker, hook up the grow lights, and sow the first of the cold hardy annuals. These are crops that don’t mind some light frost, which include fragrant stock, feverfew, pastel yarrow, foxglove, snapdragons and craspedia. The seeding trickle will continue now for months, but this first batch of seedlings will get planted out in the next 4-6 weeks.

Along with focusing on our community flower subscriptions, we are also looking to expand into working with more local florists! We are so excited about this shift in our business. We had such a great experience selling our blooms wholesale last year. It was such a natural and good fit for our farm- we can’t wait to build more relationships with some of the wonderful florists on the island who have a passion for using local flowers as much as possible for events and design work.

While late winter continues to linger, we are taking care of some of those less exciting jobs like pruning, seeding and building new no till beds. I recently forced a few forsythia branches to hold me over until spring, and their bright yellow blooms were a welcome sight!