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.

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.

 

bride and groom

Sweet summer pastels at Valley View Farm in Haydenville

A beautiful day, beautiful location, and a beautiful couple!

Christina and Cameron were married at the peak of summer at Valley View Farm, in Haydenville, one of my favorite locations to flower! They wanted lots of colors – which I love – and lots of variety – which I also love – and as many locally grown blooms as possible – LOVE!

All photos of this wedding were captured by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

bridal bouquet
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Christina’s bouquet featured the very first of my dahlias, plus lisianthus, snapdragons, delphinium, celosia, and a few roses and eucalyptus thrown in for good measure.

wedding
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

We built this custom hexagonal arch for the two of them – I love how this looks!

bride and bridesmaids
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Bridesmaid bouquets were similar to Christina’s, but smaller and a touch more simple. I feel like these dresses were made for the touch of light blue delphinium we added to the bouquets! Maybe bridesmaid dress designers should start calling the colors flower names? Just a thought…

wedding table centerpieces
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

The tables at Valley View are so amazing! They really look good no matter what you put on them. This centerpiece design is one I do often at that venue. I call it an “eclectic vase” design. Maybe it has another name? Anyway, as long as the food is plated (not passed, family-style) it’s really perfect for this set-up since it’s light, airy, casual, but really pretty. As a grower it also lets me use funky little flowers that I might not have a million of but which look great in these fun little containers. If you look at the vases on the far right and far left of this picture you’ll see I used anise hyssop – the little purple flower with the pretty green leaves. It smells like licorice.

flowers on a table
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Christina and Cameron also worked with The Borrowed Teacup for their dishware. See that cute little bread plate? Vintage! Love it! The whole look was very much “old fashioned garden party.” So sweet.

bride and groom
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Congratulations to the happy couple! The wedding was gorgeous, but now for the best part: your marriage!

weeds

2020 Flower Failure Report!

I don’t think I’ve ever documented my growing failures before, which is funny, because there have been A LOT of them. I think I’ve been embarrassed and I haven’t wanted my clients to think I’m sloppy or I don’t know what I’m doing. But when I think about it, I doubt my clients ever see the end result of these growing failures, since if I’m flowering a wedding or creating a custom bouquet I will do everything I need to – including purchasing wholesale flowers or from other farmers – to get them what I’ve promised. With that in mind, I’m hoping documenting this stuff will help other growers – especially beginners and people who are self-taught, like me – in their quest to get something – anything!- to grow.

So, in the interest of education for my fellow beginners/dilettantes it’s probably worthwhile to talk about what I f*cked up this year. It’s also in the interest of me, because documenting this stuff may be useful in the future and is a good exercise in reflection.

Continue reading “2020 Flower Failure Report!”

bride and groom

Fun + Feathers = A Bespoke Summer Wedding at Quonquont Farm

The photos that include Hilary and Ross’s flowers, courtesy of Lex and Jake, show a gorgeous couple enjoying an amazing, thoughtful, curated day, courtesy of Quonquont Farm in Whately, surrounded by family and friends…

…but the real story of this wedding (or at least the last half of it) was the bride’s Instagram feed, which showed an amazing PARTY that lasted all night long. When you get a text from the bride at 5 a.m. the next day thanking you for your amazing work you know a good time was had by all!

Photos of Hilary and Ross’s wedding: Lex and Jake
Location: Quonquont Farm

Continue reading “Fun + Feathers = A Bespoke Summer Wedding at Quonquont Farm”

Inspiration: a mustard wedding dress! Summer wedding flowers at Quonquont Farm

“I want it to be a surprise. My dress is going to be mustard.”

Glorious words to a florist! I love a white or cream or ivory wedding gown, of course – they’re classic, gorgeous, traditional – but mustard! Mustard is different. It’s a hue a color-loving flower farmer can get inspired by!

Location: Quonquont Farm, Whately, Massachusetts, Late July.
Photography: Kim Lindler, Time Bandit Photography.

Jesse and Dave had me do the personal flowers for their wedding, including bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, a hairpiece and a floral necklace, as well as a garland for their chuppah, and friends and family created most of the reception centerpieces using buckets of flowers from my farm. The collaboration was fun and the results spectacular!

Continue reading “Inspiration: a mustard wedding dress! Summer wedding flowers at Quonquont Farm”