All posts by stonecrop

Sugar and Stonecrop

Sometimes things happen so magically, it gives me goosebumps. While assessing our business plan and looking at the future of Stonecrop Farm last fall, I got a message from the folks at Sugar Magnolia. The timing was perfect. We were looking for another outlet for our flowers, but unsure of the route or the commitment level that would take.

I’d been in to see the goodies at Sugar Magnolia and enjoy some ice cream, but didn’t personally know these go-getters that had made such an impact on Main Street. Well, Michelle and Tom Raub just took a leap of faith and bought a double door flower cooler for their fabulous space. And they’re going to let us fill it with flowers.

Starting in April, when you want a bouquet or a formal vase arrangement, you can pick one up during any of Sugar Magnolia’s many, many hours of operation. (That’s seven days a week.) We will be restocking it with our farm-fresh blossoms several times a week. They will even deliver an arrangement to someone who needs flowers more than you.

As a bonus, I’m learning business lessons from the professionals and getting in on the ground floor of their wedding and event endeavors. And the store makes a great place for me to meet with clients and talk about wedding visions over hot chocolate or ice cream.

Thanks to the whole team at Sugar Magnolia for becoming our business partner. We hope their sunny space is a great location for you to grab an arrangement for the kitchen, the office, an anniversary gift, or birthday gift for someone who has everything.

It’s a great time to renew our commitment to Blacksburg, the town that has given so much support to our family farm. This marks the sixteen year of Stonecrop Farm’s participation in the Blacksburg Farmers Market and now can be part of Blacksburg every day.

Construction Update

So it turns out I’m a better digger than block layer.  That’s just fine because there is farming for me to do and our returning team member Bri is extra enthusiastic about construction.  Bri and I made a fantastic concrete team for supervisor Bert, but I have laid down my float for a paint brush and a seeder.  Despite the cold temperatures and what seems like constant rain, there is plenty of farm work to do and a fresh coat of paint for the design studio!

Bri learns blockwork

It’s not showy like flowers, but it’s so exciting for flower farmers.

The Big Dig

This winter was empty of construction projects:  a calendar clear of big manual labor allowing for more day trips, lots of marketing and analysis, and a simpler schedule.  Clearly this is past tense. Present tense brings the announcement that Stonecrop Farm is constructing a brand new, twice the size, improved layout walk-in cooler.

We’ve been toying with the idea for a year or more (one quarter of its life span) but hesitated because the perfect location just wasn’t clear.  We brought in the experts — my mother in law and my daughter — to point out what they saw as obvious.  It belongs here! 

By “here” they meant the hillside outside the current packing house.  By “here” they were pointing to an embankment of clay held in place by a beautiful stone wall.

Bert and I saw an undesirable task.

Before the first rock was removed. The site of the new cooler.

It took 80 small loads of clay and dirt  shoveled little by little over a three week period to take it easy on our wintering selves, but thanks to the help of my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and Stonecropper Bri (who got to help finish it off) we did it.  And now the fun begins.  We get to dig footers.

Masters of the pick and shovel.

Color against the Snow and Ice

On a day like today, don’t pictures like these do you a world of good?

Stonecrop Farm is accepting reservations for the 2019 Flower Share.  It’s a subscription of beauty and joy.  Get it for yourself or someone else.  Sign up for one of three options:  

  1.  the Spring Share for 4 weeks in April and May
  2. the Summer Share for 20 weeks running May to October
  3. the Addict Share which combines both spring and summer shares and adds bonus weeks in between

Find out exact dates and prices here, but simply put, you pay now to help us cover our winter farm bills and then you get bouquets for weeks.  Or weeks and weeks.  Or even weeks and weeks and weeks!

 

photo by Yi-ling Shen

Some folks say that deciding which of the bouquets to select is the most exciting part of their Wednesday.

A share makes a great Valentine’s Day present.  For a mom that has everything, a share makes a great Mother’s Day gift.  Unlike roses from the store, our flowers are grown right here and not shipped in from overseas.  They are grown without sketchy chemicals.  Their purchase supports a family farm in your neighborhood. 

Call us with questions, send in a check,  or purchase your share online.  

A sincere thanks from the Stonecrop Team.

Quick Peek

We are stunned by the speed at which the calendar pages are flipping by.  It’s the time of year we start analyzing — what will we change for next year?  What flowers are on the chopping block?  What vegetables can we not live without?  How can we make communicating with clients simpler?  Sometimes we get so caught up in the “next” that we forget to appreciate the “now”.  But that’s life for everyone, isn’t it?  Here are some of those now moments captured by our crew members.

Bohemian Maid’s Bouquet
Photo by Yi-Ling Shen

Lisianthus harvest
Photo by Yi-Ling Shen

Bridesmaid bouquet
Photo by Yi-Ling Shen

Celosia harvest
Photo by Yi-Ling Shen

Early summer wrist corsage
Photo by Daisy Sturgill

These photos capture perfectly the feeling that our days consist of picking and making, picking and making.  They’re great days, and our customers make us feel like they’re all worthwhile.