February Flower Farm Update!

Helping you celebrate the magic of every season!

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February came and went in a flash; and it really is crazy to think just how close we are to the start of spring.

While there’s still a lot of planning to do for the upcoming year- I feel relieved to have some of the big chunks set in place- (our mum order has been confirmed, as well as our pumpkin seed order). And there’s a couple more large tasks that I outlined in last month’s farm update that have been tended to…

Related: January Updated- What’s Happening on Our Flower Farm

Even with all that planning behind us, there’s still plenty to do in preparation of the season ahead, and here’s a rundown of exactly how our February went:

For us here at Two Sisters Flower Farm, February is really the last “calm before the storm”. In a lot of ways, February marks the end of our slow season and I’m really doing my best this time around to just soak it all in.

I’ve been much more intentional this month about scheduling activities that help me feel rested + recharged so that when the time comes, I can start the season full of energy and ready to go!

Main Tasks:

Learning New Skills

Since a lot of big planning takes place in January, my primary focus in February is learning new skills that will help me better execute on those plans.

Believe it or not, our business is still very young, and a lot of what we do- well, we’re sort of just figuring it out as we go along.

I’m very willing to trial-and-error my way through different processes- I think it’s an amazing way to learn. But I also very much enjoy learning from other growers that have experience doing the kind of things that I want to do.

Specifically this month, I’ve been working with more experienced flower farmers on ways to improve our fall bulb sale so that the entire process is as seamless as possible.

I also enrolled in a course that focused on shipping practices for flower farmers. I know that shipping is something that I need to navigate in order for our business to grow, and so, I see this small investment in education as something that will truly pay off for us in the long run.

Bookkeeping

February is always the month where I tackle the bulk of our year-end taxes- making sure that all of our income, expenses, etc. are accounted for.

Now, as the year progresses, I routinely am making sure that our books are in order; but February, in particular, is the time of year where I’m double-checking that everything computes just right.

Taxes can be a headache but I really enjoy the chance to get up close + personal with our numbers from the previous year as it allows me to know which of our sales outlets are most profitable. I can also decipher the returns-on-investment we’re getting from each season; and truly make decisions that are in the best interest of our farm.

While I love growing pretty things, at the end of the day our farm is a business. And in order for us to stay in business, we need to make sure that the things we do make financial sense.

Content Creation

Last but not least, I’m using this slower-paced month to try and work ahead in terms of content. I honestly enjoy sharing about our farm (and about flower farming in general) across our social media accounts- but creating consistent content does take a bit of work.

If I can work ahead to map out the various topics that I want to share on and start to outline different subjects- when it comes time to actually create the different YouTube videos, or blog posts, I feel much more prepared.

What We’re Planting:

We’re still a little ways off from the start of our frost-free season here in West Michigan and so I haven’t started too many seeds.

I have seeded a few trays of some of our cool, hardy annuals. This year, I’m trying my hand at growing pansies. I absolutely adore pansies; however, I’ve never grown them as cut flowers and so it will be interesting to see if we can get long enough stem lengths from them.

What’s in Bloom:

Tulips! Our tulips are really cranking now. Truth be told, I never imagined that I would enjoy growing tulips as much as I have been this season- but having fresh tulips available during the dead of winter has been the ultimate treat.

This was the first year for us, in four years of being in business, that we’ve had a beautiful crop to share with our community for Valentine’s Day. I’m so grateful that we are now able to provide our customers with fresh, locally-grown blooms for such a large flower-focused holiday as Valentine’s Day- I’m even more amazed that we were able to accomplish this even without the use of a heated greenhouse.

It just goes to show that when you work with what you have- great things are possible!
We’re continuing to grow even more tulips as winter continues- and I can’t wait to see what we have blooming come Easter.

I have a handful of amaryllis bulbs that have really hit their stride now that it’s February.

If you didn’t know, we sell jumbo amaryllis bulbs as part of our Holiday Market in December. After the chaos of our winter season is fully finished, I enjoy blooming a few bulbs in my own home so that I can get a feel for how each individual variety performs.

I know that amaryllis are traditionally Christmas flowers, but honestly, I think I much prefer seeing them in bloom in February.

There’s something so crisp + clean about enjoying these blooms once the clutter of the Christmas holiday is fully packed away.

The ranunculus + anemone corms that we planted in January have officially sprouted and we’re working to pot them up in bigger pots so that they can put on more growth.

In the past, we’ve always grown our ranunculus and anemones outside (since we don’t have a high tunnel or heated greenhouse), but their blooming schedule has never quite worked with our farm schedule. It seems that these spring crops are always hitting their stride just as I’m trying to get our mums potted up or our pumpkins planted.

Last year, I didn’t get much of a harvest from our corms simply because I was too busy attending to other tasks. I’m hoping this year, by growing our ranunculus + corms inside, we can have blooms earlier + thus, have a much more profitable crop.

Things I’m Loving:

This month, I’ve continued on the reading kick that I’ve been on since January. Just recently, I’ve dived into two different books:

While I’m not a long way into either book, I’m really enjoying where each book is headed and I think both books will share information that will be applicable to the business.

I’m also enjoying this color wheel as it’s been a helpful tool in planning different color pallets that I want to use this season. I’ll be honest, I don’t always plan out the different color schemes of my flowers, but as I really zoom in on the specific crops that I want to grow for the year, being intentional with color has been fun.

Conclusion:

All in all, it’s been a restful yet productive February for us. As the weather starts to warm and days lengthen, I’m really looking forward to all that we have planned this year.

Now it’s your turn- I love hearing what other growers are up to this time of year, so let me know in the comments below what tasks you’ve been tackling lately.

P.S. If you feel behind- have no worries! There’s still plenty of time to get started with your very own cutting garden.

If you’d like some guidance as you plan, don’t forget about the resources we have available. Both our Garden Planning Workbook and our Quarter Acre Cutting Garden Plan can help ensure you have the best season ever!

Wishing you a beautiful and abundant season ahead 🙂

Britney Zondlak

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Hey there, I'm Britney!

A dairy farmer turned flower farmer growing + selling specialty cut flowers in West Michigan! I think flowers are the best way to savor the magic that comes with every season- that’s why at Two Sisters Flower Farm we grow everything from daffodils in the spring to pumpkins + dahlias in the fall!

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