fresh flowers in vases

What is a Flower Share?

 

summer bouquet of flowers

A Flower Share, also known as a Flower Subscription, also known as a Flower CSA (CSA=Community Supported Agriculture), benefits both consumers and growers.

A Flower Share is a weekly or monthly “share” of locally grown flowers, paid for ahead of time, provided (either through pickup or delivery) on a set schedule.

The consumer gets the freshest of seasonal flowers delivered to his/her/their door and knowledge that what they are receiving was grown locally, using sustainable practices, on a small farm. Most flowers sold in the US are imports from countries with dubious employment practices, lower standards for safety, including a heavy use of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides to meet phytosantary requirements to enter the country. By participating in a flower share, buyers get transparency into growing practices, connection to the small farm and the farmer, and the knowledge that farm helpers are paid fairly and work in a safe environment.

The Flower Share benefits the grower because it provides planned sales in advance of the season. This provides money to buy seeds, plants, bulbs, supplies, equipment, and compost, and importantly, allows us to pay workers without going into debt so we can start the season as early as we need to. Farming is a year-long process, as I’m sure you know! Selling flowers shares is a crucial part to stay a sustainable business.

I’ve offered flower shares to our community since my third year as a grower. My favorite thing about selling shares? Getting to know my clients! I’ve had some clients who’ve bought a flower share every single year I’ve been in business and it’s truly the best!

To learn more about the current flower shares my farm is offering, please click on the SHOP tab and choose FLOWER SHARE.

Winter wreath workshops at Passalongs Farm

I started hosting wreath making workshops about 4 winters ago and they are now one of the things I look forward to the most all year! It’s so fun to see folks take my simple instructions and make amazing, truly one-of-a-kind evergreen wreaths.

Here’s how it works:

I provide: a grapevine wreath, clippers, wire, and a wide assortment of seasonal evergreens, berries, sticks, dried flowers, foliages and grasses, as well as other ephemera I might find in my travels (mushrooms? lichen? acorns? and of course, pinecones!) as well as a simple lesson in hand wiring a wreath, and then you use your imagination and creativity to create your own special winter creation.

Oh – and did I mention that I will make you a bow if you want one? Because I have all the ribbon and I make a mean bow.

For 2022 I’m offering 8 sessions, Nov. 19- Dec. 4. All will be held outside, under the pavilion next to my studio, rain, snow, sleet, or shine, but let’s hope for shine. If you and your friends and family want to schedule a private workshop, please contact me! I’m happy to host a more personal get-together.

To learn more and to register, please visit the WORKSHOPS section!

    summer bouquet of flowers

    Fundraiser Flowers!

    flowers on a workbenchYou may not know this about me, but I haven’t always been a flower farmer and designer. I spent 17 years working in (mostly) public schools and also founded and have been running a nonprofit to help families impacted by a neurobehavioral disorder (FAFASD) for the past 10 years.

    I’ve always volunteered, organized, and donated to causes I believe in. My work has always been more than “just” about making money.

    One of the core values of my flower farming business has been giving back whenever possible. I’m really proud of the fact that as my business has grown and for the first time in my life I’ve had some income to spare, I’ve been able to increase donations to organizations that are important to me.

    Recently, I’ve been thinking about how to do this in a way that connects with my local community. I can, and will, keep giving money,  but I’d also like to give what I DO: meaning give flowers, my design labor, and time, and then multiply those skills and that organization through your purchases.

    So – my desire to help PLUS my ability to DO = my new fundraising program!

    The idea is this: I sell my flowers to our community and I use the funds we raise together to support various causes. Easy, right?

    The flowers will be on sale for a specific amount of money, a specific amount of time; delivered on one specific day. This makes it efficient and above all, economical for me, so most of what we raise is going to the community organizations I support.

    You can buy the flowers for yourself, for a friend, or even have them sent to a local nursing home! My contribution is the organization, labor, design, and delivery. You are providing financial support AND getting (or giving) a pretty and fun floral arrangement in the process. And together we are raising awareness about important local causes.

    Funds raised will be focused on local non-profit organizations who support families and children in need. I will run the fundraisers from April – September. To find the CURRENT fundraiser, please visit the “SHOP” link or follow me on Instagram.

    If you run a local organization and would like to be part of this fundraising effort, please email me at passalongsfarm@gmail.com

    Since April, 2022, we’ve raised money for:
    April: Welcome Home Refugee Resettlement.

     

    Flower Arranging workshop with Gardeners on the Green!

    When Jill, the event coordinator for Gardeners on the Green in Longmeadow contacted me to see if I’d do a workshop for her group, I was really excited! March in Massachusetts is fairly dreary: still cold, despite the calendar saying it’s spring, and we have plenty of snow and ice. Usually there’s not a flower to be seen!

    My version of the spring flower arrangement I demo’d for Gardeners on the Green.

    Luckily there were plenty of flowers at the wholesaler and I chose a Rosie Posie vase for the gardeners to work with, since this shape vase is really great for a low, wide arrangement but can also be used for a rounder, taller arrangement as well.

    First I told them a little bit about myself, and then we got to it. I’d foraged birch branches from my yard to add something of the woods to these bouquets (I’m going to make #woodsyboho a thing!) and brought in lots of spring blooms: daffodils and larkspur with some spray roses, wax flower, and eucalyptus. I also found acacia, which lends a wonderful textural contrast to the other flowers. After a brief demonstration I gave them free rein, and they got to work!

    The Gardeners were able to choose whatever blooms they wanted from the buckets of flowers and greenery I brought.
    I taught them how to add a little structure and greenery to the vase before adding flowers.
    Almost done!
    Showing off the finished product!
    One great thing about a DIY workshop is everyone has something to take home at the end!

      

    About

    As long as I can remember, I’ve loved plants and gardens. In middle school I planted a vegetable garden in the weeds in our yard, giving myself an intense case of poison ivy in the process. In high school I had a garden of houseplants lined up in front of my window. During college, I supplemented my publishing internship working at a plant nursery and florist, which I enjoyed much more than filing book jackets and answering the phones .

    I went on to teach high school, work as a librarian, start a non-profit, freelance in publishing, advocate and speak about parenting children with special needs, and write books, but it never occurred to me to follow my original passion until circumstances led me to manage a farmers’ market. I saw first-hand how people were making a living from their land, honoring all things local, and creating lives connected to nature. I resolved to do the same.

    In 2015 my family moved to western Massachusetts after 21 years in central North Carolina. The move meant a lot of things to us: better opportunities for my younger son, who has a neurobehavioral disorder, a change in employment (for the better) for my husband, and for me, learning a new climate that included a harsher winter than I was used to, understanding native plants, invasives, and trying to make new connections in my community.

    Our rustic little house came with a barn, a shed, an outhouse (!) and almost 3 acres of sandy, but fertile soil. I set to work.

    The result is Passalongs Farm and Florist. I started out selling at local farmers’ markets, added a roadside cart in 2016, and in 2017 set up a 4-season floristry design studio, specializing in personal, thoughtful floral design for special events, weddings, and special occasions.