Spring Fever

This winter in Central Illinois has certainly been strange to say the least and one for the records – literally.  We have had a record small amount of moisture (snow) and if I am not mistaken,  February has been one of the warmest since records have been kept.  And lots of sickness.  Colds, flu, fevers, aches and pain.  I was not spared.  In fact, I just finished my second round of antibiotics to get rid of a nasty sinus infection that followed an equally nasty bout of asthmatic bronchitis.  But for the past week I have had a good kind of fever – Spring Fever!!  Last Saturday afternoon I worked outside in shorts and a sleeveless top and actually got sunburned!  And what was I outside doing?  Thinking of flowers of course!

1Read More »

Giving Thanks

Hello, friends.  It is hard to believe that we will be celebrating Christmas in two days.  Happy winter!  Where did the fall go?  And for that matter, what happened to summer and spring?  Time certainly seems to be passing by quickly.  I hope you had a joyful Thanksgiving and have everything in order for Christmas!!

My women’s study group at church has been reading and discussing a very thought-provoking and intriguing book, One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  This book has had an astounding impact on me.  I am intentionally making an effort to slow down, look around, see the beauty and give thanks for the many gifts that God has provided me.

1Read More »

THE FLOWER CART

This summer has been filled with so many new and exciting experiences.  Our little flower garden has been a huge success.  I am thrilled beyond belief and have already starting planning the flower gardens for next year.

We have received so many wonderful comments and compliments on the flowers and just as many on the flower cart.  It is the cutest thing I have ever seen, if I do say so myself!  The flower cart was designed and built by my talented husband Murray with the help of our son Ryan.

1Read More »

A FLOWER FARM

For years I have dreamed of having my own little business.  I imagined a small antique shop or a tearoom.  Ideally it would be a combination of the two.  A couple of years ago, my sisters and I put our creative talents to work and made some incredible unique handmade items.  We sold our goods at local craft shows and did quite well.  We were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to rent an area in a lovely shop and were there for about a year before the shop closed.  I am so very grateful for the experience but was extremely disappointed when it all ended.

Earlier this year, I realized that what I was longing for was right here on the farm all along.  (Don’t you love it when the obvious is right under your nose and you wonder why in the world it took you so long to figure it out!!).   And so Murray and I sat down and looked at what we had – a farm – acreage.  We grow corn and soybeans so why not flowers.  I have always loved flowers, especially zinnias.

I spent a lot of time researching small flower farms online and was amazed to discover how many flowers can be grown on 1 – 2 acres.  Most of my inspiration came from two of my favorite bloggers, Andrea at Keeping It Cozy and her mother Dori at The Red Feedsack , who started a flower farm two years ago.

I started out very small with zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds, and wildflowers.  Murray and our son Ryan built a great flower cart (I will do a blog on that very soon).  It has been an incredible experience.  After a very dry spring, which required a lot of watering, and a battle with Japanese beetles, I didn’t think our flowers would make it.  But they did and they are fantastic.

1Read More »

SUMMER (FINALLY) AROUND THE FARM

As farmers, we tend to spend a lot of time listening to weather forecasts, watching the sky, and playing in the dirt!  Even though we have officially retired from the physical labor of farming, we will always remain farmers and have farming in our blood.

Our land and crops, flowers, grass, and bushes are still recovering from the harshness of this past winter.  My blackberries are very slow to recover and I fear the harvest will be very small.  Hopefully they will come back stronger next year.  The same is true of the ornamental grass.  I am not sure it is going to make it.  We have already dug up two clumps that were on either side of the garage door and replaced them with rose bushes.  We will see how the others progress after the 5 ½ inches of rain 10 days ago and temperatures this week in the 90’s.  (There’s that farmer in me!)Read More »

THE BACK YARD

I am very fortunate in so many ways and feel very blessed that I live on a farm.  One thing I certainly have is plenty of yard space!!!  A few posts back I shared some of the items on my front porch.  Now I would like to invite you to the back yard.

I am in the process of redesigning the plants and planters in the back yard.  For many years, this area was seeded with native wildflowers.  Along with native wildflowers come native weeds!  And being farmers and good stewards of the land, my husband and I know the importance of rotating crops.  So we mowed the wildflowers and let the area grow back to grass.  Now I am ready to turn it into a flower garden. Read More »