Friday, April 27, 2018

Planting 100s OF Beautiful Dahlia Tubers-New Farm Classes Set-Kids Crochet Purses

Work is exploding around here.  Everything needs to be done now that the rains have stopped and the warm weather started.  One day it was in the high 50 degrees, 2 days later it was 86 degrees!!!
I have to say that Frank has a bigger jump on his jobs done than I have.  He has his field plowed, smoothed, ridges made, watermelon planted, drip systems in and working; ditch water ridges made and ready for the release of the 2018 allotment of water. His tractors are serviced and ready to go. And his "golf course" lawn of weeds in the back is looking great.
I have been weeding old sections to get ready for veggies; and planting some plugs I purchased, a few rows of seeds; and loads and loads of dahlia tubers.  But I am having a bit of problem with my knee, more than normal old age aches and pains.  I am not a complainer and just normally take my Advil and get moving.  This pain is so severe it is hard to walk.  So I have a chiropractic appointment today, in fact to see if she can sort things out.  Deep down, I am a little afraid, because I am older than dirt, that the problem may lay with my hips, but don't want to think about that yet.
When I am doing well, I work like crazy.  My veggie and flower section is about 50% planted, I would feel better if it was 75%. I am such a control freak, it is hard for me to have any help because I plant certain things in certain places, in certain ways.  Do you have that problem too?? The words stubborn, hard headed comes to mind.

Even though it is April, my Calla Lilys are blooming; Ranuculus, Anemones; Sweet Peas; Roses; Iris; Jasmine; Lilacs; Lavender; Mock Orange.  
The citrus trees are blooming right now too. In case you didn't realize, we are a full fledged produce and fruit farm too with flowers being my main focus these last few years.  So when we walk from the house to the back fields, you pass the roses blooming first with so many neat smells; then you pass the jasmine vines with lavender planted under neath (the sound of bees stops you in your tracks), boy is that jasmine smell wonderful.  Then you walk by the citrus orchard and you think, what is that interesting smell?  Citrus blooming is heavenly. Spring is such a marvelous time of year for all senses.
 I received my main order for dahlias.  I had received a smaller order from another company a few weeks before of dahlias and about 400 glad bulbs, so I was breezing by planting what I purchased.  Then this huge order came and I thought what the heck was I thinking!!!
As an investment, long term, it will be better to have bulbs that come back each year and perennials. I would love to have about 400 peonies planted, I probably could retire as they get premium prices.
But they bloom once and then done, whereas dahlias keep blooming and blooming until fall which are better flowers for my weddings, events and small flower orders.

I worked out the classes and flower events I am going to have here at the farm, for the next few months.

1.  Mother's Day Flower Specials May 13th:  People can choose between a couple special vases + a farm fresh, country arrangement, delivered. $45 for flowers + $5 delivery cost. OR a larger flower BOUQUET (without a vase) for $45 + delivery; and lastly you can order a beautiful plant full of blooms, wrapped as a gift and card delivered. $45
2.   Strawberry Jam/Canning Class-May 16th, Wednesday, 6-8pm. Learn the basics of canning, hands on class, canning strawberry jam.  Each person will go home with jars of the completed jam. $35 includes hand written instructions, hands on instruction, fruit and all supplies provided along with light refreshments.
3.  Cow Painting Class:  June 2, 2018, Saturday, 10-Noon. $45.  I am hosting this class for Artist Julie Engstrom Spohn.  The class will use paper mache, paints and other items where you will create a unique and fun cow painting by the time the class is over to take home.
4.  July-date not set yet, flower arranging class & a Indigo Dying class.  Check back on my Windmill Farm Facebook page, this blog or my Instagram account-windmillfarmofgridley for these dates.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a little crochet project I just finished.  A dear friend of mine, Debbie occasionally brings her grand daughter to some of our classes.  She is a beautiful and delightful little girl and we always have a fun time when she comes. My grand kids are getting a bit older, so when I saw this small child's crocheted purse on Pinterest, I decided to make it for Debbie's grand daughter.  
After finishing it, I felt that the purse turned out a bit too large for a little girl, so I improvised and made another one much smaller.  Here are the finished projects.
I have my fingers crossed that my knee will be much improved after my chiro visit today.  My stomach has been so upset lately because I keep taking so much Advil/Motrin to ease the pain.
Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter week and weekend.  It is such a special time of year to be thankful for our wonderful gifts of life -like family, our freedoms of faith. And it turned out to be such a beautiful week with moderate temperatures, clear skies, nature abounding all around us.

Every day, I try and plant some seeds or plug plants into the flower rows here at our Windmill Farm Flower & Produce Farm.  Frank has had a very difficult task of repairing a main water line that goes into our house and irrigates all the gardens around the house.  Many of my hydrangea plants grow all around our house.  As you may recall, our house date back to the 1920s with a remodel done, as far as we can tell, in the 1930s.  So this water break was from the original galvanized water line unfortunately, broken under the concrete steps leading into the house.  Frank planned out the next step; had the USA people come out and mark where our main natural gas line comes into the house.  As Murphy's Law would have it, it ran exactly where we needed to dig a trench to lay a new water line. While having to rent a trencher machine anyways, Frank also planned out additional spots to add other hose bibs; and additional sprinkling systems around the house.  He can do so much by himself or sometimes with my help, but occasionally he really needs another strong hand and back to help him out.
Luckily, Easter was this last weekend when our family came to spend some time with us, so Frank asked for our son-in-law's help which he gladly gave.
One day they rented the trencher, dug all the areas needing new pipelines and purchased all the pipe and pipe fittings.  The next day, all was laid into the holes, fittings glued, water tested.  It was so helpful to have Chris work with Frank and get that project finished.
The grand kids were out of school so the whole family was here.  In between the little bits of farm work, we went for some walks; Collin played with his Dad, Chris on a electric car course they made out back in the fields;
Celli did some baking; Carli helped me dig some holes while I planted the seeds.  Lots of Gator rides with the 5 dogs in the back.  And of course, lots of eating.

 I wanted to also recap some of my favorite flower arrangements from Sept & October of last year. 
For some reason, those two months were my busiest for small weddings, birthday arrangements and a few events. 
The flowers we grow here always amaze me when they cut right from the fields and put together making their magic. 

I hope you enjoy seeing them.