So much is happening!
At the Old Farm: Snapdragons, Sweet Annie, plumed red celosia, goldenrod, marigolds, cinnamon basil and sunflowers are still blooming at Butterbee Farm. Calendula is budding up, and the few dahlias I planted are also starting to pop. I’m still doing arrangements for restaurants and selling here and there to Local Color Flowers. For the most part, I’m calling this season a wrap, and focusing on planning the transition to the new site for next season.
At the New Farm: The lease has been drafted, and now I’m in the process of creating an LLC for Butterbee Farm. For those of you who aren’t familiar, an LLC is a structure for a business that essentially separates the business owner from the business itself– so if somebody sued me because they were jealous of my flowers, they’d be suing Butterbee Farm, not me. I’m also buying liability insurance for the farm, so that you can all come and play in the dirt with me, and I won’t have to worry about it. I’ll say more about the new farm once I’ve signed on the dotted line!
Major Changes in the Works: Aside from becoming an LLC and having liability insurance, Butterbee Farm will diversify next year– that is, I’ll be selling vegetables and herbs as well as flowers. I’ll also probably minimize direct flower sales to consumers; I hope to focus my energy on growing and selling for Local Color Flowers, as well as selling loose stems for special events and maintaining my relationship with some restaurants. I’ll keep you posted on ways you can buy my flowers though– I have some ideas!
The Indiegogo Campaign: An enormous, heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the campaign. I’m slowly but steadily turning out rewards and thank you notes. You’ll get yours soon! I’m really enjoying this process… expressing my gratitude makes me feel really, really good. Plus I get to sew a bunch of aprons and make notecards… arts and crafts!!!
The “Funemployed” Farmer: Not this off-season! Thank goodness, Future Harvest CASA (Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture) has hired me, and now I’m on a small (but effective!) team that runs sustainable ag events and programs for the Chesapeake region. It’s a fascinating job… I’m learning so much about the political aspect of sustainable agriculture (where we get funding, policy that supports/harries farmers, etc). I’m also nannying and working at Calvert’s Gift, a wonderful organic vegetable farm in Sparks, MD. Busy Butterbee!
Crop Planning: There is SO MUCH to do before next season. Crop planning involves thinking critically about how much I can sell of each product, what kinds of plants I’d like to focus on, what I can improve upon, how my budget affects everything I want to do…
Resting: No time for that! But I’m planning on taking some time in December/January to reflect on this first season of Butterbee.
Oh, Also: Please let me know if you have an event in 2014 that you’d like loose stems for, so I can put you on the calendar– I’ve already got some weddings on the horizon! If you’d like arrangements, I can’t recommend Local Color Flowers enough– and they buy all of my flowers, so you’d be supporting me too!
I hope you find a the crispest, crunchiest fall apple to munch on!