8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Working at a Flower Farm with ~Zero~ Experience
Hey everyone, Morgan here! I’m an assistant out at the farm and I wanted to share some of the ways I’ve been surprised, delighted, challenged, and inspired through trying my hand at flower farming for the first time ever.
Here's what I wish I knew, before working at a flower farm:
1. It will be great for my mental health
I know the phrase “mental health” is having its moment right now, but truly I feel that this job has made an impact on me. Maybe it’s the fresh air, maybe it’s the mindlessness that comes from weeding, or maybe the excessive amounts of Vitamin D. Either way, my brain is a happier camper than before.
2. Come fall, my sock tan will be irreversible
No amount of beach days will fade the crew sock lines.
3. Lifeguards knew what they were doing with the straw hats
Having shade on your shoulders and neck is a life saver. I felt a few degrees cooler with a wide brim on, and I wished I had ordered it sooner!
4. Hoeing up rows is labor intensive, but one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done
There’s something about doing a task start to finish where you can see the immediate result that brings about satisfaction. Moving dirt around isn’t glamorous, but it provides the foundation we need for all the beautiful things to come.
5. Watching the storms roll in after a hot day is ethereal
After working in the heat all day covered in a sticky mixture of sweat and bug spray, I watched a summer storm make its way over us right as we were getting done for the day. I have since gained a new appreciation for rain.
6. Harvesting flowers is more work than I imagined.
It’s not all frolicking through sunny fields of flowers. Although there is some of that, Sarah and I spend hours harvesting most mornings as it is a tedious and sometimes back breaking process. Who knew you had to be physically strong to pick flowers? Don’t worry though, it’s still one of my favorite things we do at work.
7. Some flowers have to be cut back more than I thought.
In the spring, we grow tons of ranunculus, which have to be harvested at just the right time in the budding process in order to get the best flowers. Often many buds bloom out beautifully but they are too bloomed to be sold as a wholesale product. So off with the head! This seemed so crazy to me to chop off huge blooms, but it actually helped the plants produce more blooms over time and produced a better product in the end. I guess all those sayings I’ve heard about pruning back plants had some weight to it.
8. Whatever clothes I decided to wear will permanently become farm clothes
My sock drawer is now organized by cozy socks, farm socks, and non-farm socks.
If I haven’t convinced you to stop what you’re doing and start growing local flowers, I hope I at least convinced you to consider supporting your local growers. Cheers to all of life’s little surprises!