Still Workin’ it…

Hooray! Someone is getting the flower share for Christmas.  I don’t consider myself sentimental, but when something from our family farm makes it under the Christmas tree, I am pretty proud.  Let us know if your someone with everything needs flowers in his or her life.  Or if you wanted the share for Christmas and didn’t get it, let us know.

It’s a wrap for us at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.  We are still harvesting for the new iteration of the Black Hen restaurant and Bar Blue — truly farm to table right smack dab in the middle of Blacksburg.  (It’s on Jackson Street! Check it out.) This week we’re sending collards, sweet potatoes, squash, and our special onions.  Check out what Chef Ashton and his top notch team are cooking up on the weekly evolving menu.

I am collecting those wedding photos from my friends the professionals and, wow, do these people work magic with light and texture.  We are so privileged that they share their results.  I’ll be updating the galleries, but here is a sneak peek!

Chelsa Yoder Photography
Kristen H Photography
Jared Ladia Photography
Magnifico Photography

Caring for your flowers

So you have just invested in some blossoms.  How can you make them last as long as possible?  Keeping that arrangement happy and healthy starts the minute you pick out your bouquet.  If you purchased it at farmers market, we’ll be happy to wrap it to keep the stems moist.  Think of those stems as straws.  If they start drinking in air, they will have a harder time drinking in water.

Get those flowers home as soon as possible.  If you want to stay and chat at market, we are happy to keep them in water until you are ready to leave.  You are always welcome to bring a vase to market or fill your travel mug with water to get your flowers home.

Once at that destination, here are some recommendations for keeping your bouquet looking its best:

Remove all paper, wrapping, and the rubber band.

Feel free to play with the flowers and arrange them just right.

Make sure your vase is clean.

Snip your stems to reveal a fresh stem surface ready for water.  Use clean, sharp kitchen scissors or garden pruners.

Make sure no leaves are dangling in the water as they add more surface area to grow bacteria.

Fill your vase half full with clean water.

Keep your flowers out of the sun and preferably in a cool place.

Check your vase every day to make sure enough water remains.

Every couple of days snip those stems again and change that water.

Remove any tired and droopy stems as they fade.

If you want to go the extra mile, you could add a few things to your water for an extra boost of protection:

  • a half teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to keep bacteria from growing in the water.
  • a pinch of sugar to feed the flowers
  • a drop of bleach to kill any existing bacteria.

Enjoy your bouquet and thanks for choosing locally-grown flowers!

Photo bug

We have a fantastic team assembled this year.  Yesterday at dinner we were listing the impressive attributes of each unique crew member.  Since quitting the intern scenario, we have hired four folks for part time work.  Then we had an application from a gal that is in Blacksburg while her husband earns his doctorate at Virginia Tech.  Yi-Ling’s visa prohibits her from being officially employed, so we send her home with flowers and vegetables in exchange for her labors.  We have also sponsored her to take an online photography class.  Here are a few of her shots in the first few weeks of study.

Bridal bouquet close-up – photo by Yi-Ling
Bridal bouquet photo by Yi-Ling
The ingredients – photos by Yi-Ling
wrist corsages, photo by Yi-Ling
Bert harvests snapdragons – photo by Yi-Ling
Jesse at work with the microgreens harvest – photo by Yi-Ling
Bri at work transplanting – photo by Yi-Ling
A greenhouse full of poppies – photo by Yi-Ling

A spring-like newsletter

We are back to work at the farm tending the seedlings and encouraging the first salad crop of the season.  In addition to farm chores, we’ve added some other items to our to do list. Here are some things we want you to know about.

First up on the calendar is a time change for the Wednesday market. The Blacksburg Farmers Market Wednesday version runs April to October and in 2017 the time will change to 12 to 6 pm.  Come downtown to grab lunch and fill up your bags and backpacks with delicious goods to cook throughout the week.  Your Saturdays are busy.  Sometimes you don’t have a chance to shop for fresh meats and vegetables what with the hiking, biking, soccer games, and more.  Eat like you want to — local, healthy, fresh, and sustainable.  Shop on Wednesday.  Working at the office?  Stretch your legs and walk a couple blocks.  It’s one of the great things about living in Blacksburg. What do you do with stuff that needs to stay cold?  Let me know, I have a small cooler and ice pack for you.  We’ll be back on Wednesdays as soon as the harvest can support it!

April 17th is a Masa Monday dinner at Glade Road with a silent art auction to benefit the SNAP double value program at the farmers market.  Join us to help fund the connection between low-income families and the people that want to feed them.

Next up on the Calendar is a Gala Fundraiser at Doe Creek Orchard for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, Saturday, April 22nd.  Stonecrop is donating the flowers that will serve as centerpieces for your fantastic dinner created by The Element Catering. Enjoy time with your community members working for those that would love to be part of our world.  Think about attending!  Details here!

We’re hiring!

Stonecrop Farm announces seasonal farm positions for our 14th year of growing.  We are looking for one full time and several part time people to join the team.  We are especially seeking folks looking to work with flowers — harvest, arrange, and design.  If you have horticulture or agriculture experience or if you have artistic skills and are ready to get dirty, contact us.

Call Gwynn or Bert at 540-599-0839.

Participate in all daily routines and responsibilities including: •Seeding, seedling care, and transplanting of all crops
•Weeding, feeding and tending both vegetables and flowers
•Harvesting, washing, and packaging vegetables for market
•Harvesting and processing stems and bouquet making
•Co-managing the farmers market stand
•Assisting in the assembly, packaging and installation of wedding flowers

We’re looking for folks with
•Attention to detail
•Open minds ready to learn and handle feedback
•Enthusiastic customer service skills
• Stamina to do physical work in all weather conditions
•Ability to work independently and with a team
•Efficient, quick work habits

We’ll provide:
•Hourly rate commensurate with experience
•Daily farm lunch
•Plenty of vegetables and flowers
•Part time or full time hours starting as early as April, but flexible with school schedules

Locally and sustainably grown flowers and vegetables