I was hoping that freezing temperatures would hold off until November 1. I don’t know why, but to me it makes more sense to end the growing season on November 1 instead of mid-October. But such is life and seasons in the mid-west. And with frost last week and a freeze warning for tonight, it is time to say good-bye and thank you to the beautiful flowers.
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.
When I was a young girl growing up in rural Central Illinois, the neighborhood grocery store was at the center of our community. It was so much more and much bigger than the actual square footage of the building. The Alta Grocery was a place where area residents purchased staples to survive – bread, milk, and meat. It was the gathering place where all the business of the community was discussed. It also housed the post office. Our address was Box 31, Alta, Illinois – no zip code. You could also catch the Greyhound bus from Alta to Peoria. My sister Pam and I rode the bus many times to meet our grandmother in Peoria.
Several years ago, I was at an auction and was very lucky to purchase an old grocery cart from the Alta Grocery.