Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Love Of Flowers

Flowers are a joy to be around, a passion to have in my life; nothing is more uplifting than to have a fresh bouquet of anything blooming, freshly cut from my garden, in a vase as you walk into my kitchen.  Did you ever notice that when you randomly pick flowers and greenery from a garden, it always looks well together?
Nature sure knows how to blend texture and colors beautifully.
Farmgirl Flowers - has a flower store in SF and started a unique business concept of only using flowers in arrangements that are fresh and from local growers.  She offers only a few, select, and FABUlous looking arrangements put together with flowers that are fresh.  You don't order from a book of photos, you get the arrangement of the day.
With that idea, she started a movement of connecting like minded flower growers by creating a website called Field to Vase - . Field to Vase is a wonderful resource of flower growers all across the USA.  The farm bio is written by the farmers themselves which gives life and personality and truth about what it takes to bring flowers to the general public.
I was asked a year ago if I would be interested in being a contributor to the website and write a seasonal blog-heck yes!!!  My latest post is featured today, here is the link: /  Hope you enjoy it.
Our farm is a small 5 acre farm where we grow vegetables, have fruit trees, along with the house and gardens.  Each year I have been adding more and more rows of cut flowers mixed in with the vegetables and am expanding deeper into cut flowers.  It is thrilling to learn every year what works and what doesn't work; what people like, what they don't; what products are needed to grow flowers and to sell flowers. 
 If Frank didn't love the front side yard so much, I would disk up that area and just plant peonies and hydrangeas in rows, wouldn't that be beautiful to drive up the driveway and see a 1/4 acre of just peonies and hydrangeas? Thanks for visiting our little blog from Windmill Farm and I hope you enjoy looking through the Field To Vase contributors and their blog.  I am inspired and I hope you are too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Welcome back to Windmill Farm.
Our Wellness/Health/Fitness workshop turned out so much better than I had anticipated, even more fabulous!  People today are very informed about foods and vitamins but our group took it to the next level!!!  Even though a few of the presenters sold products to use, the idea is that they improve your well being and health.  I recently was at the doctor and she mentioned that my tests showed I really needed more B12 and D.  I had just purchased some over the counter at the grocery store and was using them for a few months.  When I went back to my doctor, we took another blood panel and it still showed low levels.  She asked the amounts I was taking and they were so low, they were doing nothing.  Know what you body needs!!!  Two of the presenters, with different products each sold vitamins, talked about vitamins and were very, very knowledgeable about what is needed and the what is actually in the products they are selling, all natural.  They had the amount of B and D that I needed. Wonderful class, I love the constant learning that life makes available to you.
Our next class in March will be on beekeeping and I am still firming up the date and time with my Gridley Professional Beekeeper, will keep you posted.
Our gardens are disked and ready for planting.  I drew out how I wanted to place all my vegetable and flower crops for Frank to review so he can lay out the irrigation systems.  As most avid gardeners know, you need to rotate your crops and try and plant companion plantings with them.  We had our tomatoes planted for 3 years in the same location because we had our permanent trellis/support system in place.  It was time to move them so the structures were pulled up and I now have a location to re-position them.

The dirt has been still fairly wet, but I hope to get some seeds into the ground before Friday when we heard it will rain.
Frank has noticed gopher mounds so he has his traps out on a few and he checks around almost every day.  This is the time they are out and we want to curb their activity early so our planting costs are not wasted.
A few days were windy and cold so I stayed inside and cleaned out some cabinets and cupboards.  My friend is moving and planning a yard sale so we are going to have it together at her house.  I have a nice stash of items in the garage now to make a few extra dollars to use to purchase seeds.
We had our family here from Wednesday to Sunday, a nice surprise.  They were camping but the area was infested with ticks so they brought their trailer here to clean out to make sure none were inside brought in with the kids and dogs.  Frank and I just love having some moments of time with the grand kids while they are still young and enjoy being here with their grandparents.  It is always sad to see them go and the house becomes so quiet.  I had forgotten how much kids eat, they seem to be hungry all the time!!! They taught us how to send an audio message instead of texting.  We do not have Apple products, we use Androids so can not Facetime.  But now we are sending audio messages.  Last night our grand daughter sent us a good night voice message includes good night kisses.  Love, love these memory moments and I hope they will remember the times they had here at our Windmill Farm, 
collecting eggs, reaching under a chicken who is nesting to see if an egg has hatched; riding in the Gator at night in the field to listen to an owl hoot and see the big moon; looking for frogs near the water faucets; riding their scooters in between the fruit trees.
This picture is of the kids a few years ago,but they still use this gator and drive all around picking up rocks or put their dog in the back.
Good time for family now with our little lull before the true spring begins where we will need to be working in the fields every day.
Come back soon and hear more about what is happening at our Windmill Farm; learn about my DIY projects; the remodel of our 1930s farmhouse; the farm animals or just fun friendships via blogging.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Painting, Refinishing an Antique Table; Wellness/Health/Fitness Class Coming Up.

We had a short respite with the rain by not having to be outside working!!!  But this week has been in the 60-70 degrees and the early spring panic time begins.  So much to do-cut, mow, clean, dig, plant, disk, prune.  
The stress of it all isn't just there isn't enough time to do everything, but whether our backs and arms will hold out the whole day.  We need to get our bodies back into working shape.
Speaking of shape.  My New Year's Resolution is to be more fit, but the truth be told, it really is about loosing weight.  So thinking it may be an interesting topic for others, I have set up a class-Wellness/health/fitness get together class set for February 18, 2015 from 6-8pm.  I made some calls and have some interesting and varied speakers coming to speak to a group, very informal setting, in my front living room.  
One lady, Sarah Crouch is a licensed nutritionist; uses making fresh vegetables and fruits smoothies to work out wellness.  Another speaker is Julie who actually sells Amway products.  Interesting about Amway, I used to use all their products in the 1970s and 1980s.  Then we just stopped for no particular reason.  It is becoming very interesting again to people because the company only uses fresh and natural ingredients in their products.  They have expanded the products to include healthy shakes, weight loss products, and great vitamins.  She will be talking about her products and how they work.  I have Kathryn Shepard coming to talk about a product I only just heard about, Arbonne.  My friend uses her products and I can't wait to hear all about them.  I have the owner of the Gridley Fitness Club coming to talk to us about the use of his equipment, but also he provides Yoga and Zumba and is a fitness expert. Lastly, I will be talking about what I am doing, I purchased myself a Fitbit bracelet that monitors my exercise for the day along with a software that shows how much I ate, calories, and sets goals for me to keep me motivated.
I hope if you are local, you may want to come for a few hours, learn some new techniques about fitness and pick up a card or brochure to take home.

Last week I decided to clean out my office and re-arrange and organize it.  I had this table in my garage that I had been planning on painting and using in the house.  It has a shelf down at bottom that would be perfect for the printer and larger office supplies. The yellow Annie Sloan paint I had, made the table work perfectly in the office, but I kept the top natural wood.  After some light sanding, I used my light oak Briwax and finished the top off.  
I also ordered some large glass jars with metal lids from Cost Plus-on line buying is my favorite thing.  I had a 15% coupon, and the jars on-line were $4.99 yet in their store they were $6.99.  I got 5 of the large square jars for a little over $30 including shipping.  AND they showed up at my door in 3 days. The photo is one I took from a magazine article and from that I found them at the World Market-Cost Plus.
The last few days I have been putting my office supplies, tags, rubber stamps, business cards, all the tons of little office supplies I love to use in the jars, in my antique silverware trays and putting my paper labels, and colored papers all neat and tidy.  The other table in the office is a bin table.
 The finish on it is the original, natural use and I love this table and use the bins for my designing samples, paint sample fans.  I think in a future blog I am going to talk about how useful bin tables were in the 1800s and how they are so versatile now!
Next project I need to do-start working on putting my taxes together. Now isn't that a pleasant thought-
Until next time from Windmill Farm.