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A Look Back At Our 2021 Season

2021 was an amazing year here on the farm! We really dove in head first, expanding our operation dramatically- adding over 100 different varieties of cut flowers. Honestly, It was all a bit scary at times- but in the end, it has brought us so much joy! We grew more flowers than we could ever count, designed and delivered over 200 bouquets, and most importantly we met so many amazing people who chose to drive a little out of their way to support us. We are seriously blown away by how each and every one of you showed up for us this year! As we bring 2021 to a close and usher in 2022 – We just wanted to say Thank you! There is no way we could have done what we did- without all of you! We have more BIG plans for 2022, and can’t wait to see all of you again soon!
Join us now for a walk down memory lane, as we discuss the highs and lows of our 2021 season.
January
In January, I took part in the 2021 Floret Online Workshop where I learned a great deal about flower farming. Erin Benzakein is one of the leading voices in the industry and learning from her was such a privilege. I graduated on 2/26/21 and got right to work creating our field plan for the season and ordering thousands of seeds and hundreds of dahlia tubers.
February
In February, Lela and I started over 3000 seedlings in our basement. We went with the soil blocking method to save space and also to ensure healthy roots. Check out my headlamp! Many flower seeds are the size of the tip of a toothpick- so it was absolutely necessary! Lela thought we looked pretty cool too!
We also officially changed the name of our Farm to Petal & Pine Farm & Flower Co in February. I designed our logo myself and I can’t wait to see it on tshirts, hats, and other swag items some day! That’s actually one of my goals for 2022, so keep your eyes peeled if you’d like to purchase some!
March
We started building my new cutting garden in March that happens to be right in our back yard. We had fun using the big tractor to plow the field! Graham loves all things tractors- so this was his favorite part! We also spent a great deal of time amending the soil with leaf compost, and began building a fence to keep out the deer and other curious critters! Our patch lovingly surrounds the sycamore tree that Mike & I planted when we came home from our honeymoon. I spent a great deal of time under that tree this year enjoying the garden. Who wants to have coffee or wine in the garden with me next season?
April
In April, as many of the spring flowers and trees around the farm began to come to life and bloom, we finally finished building the bones of our cutting garden. Once the fence was finished, we prepared over 8000 sq feet of landscape fabric, by burning a million evenly spaced holes into it. We covered our field in this fabric in order to help keep control over the weeds and crab grass that our yard is full of. I have 2 kiddos under 5 and work full time off the farm- so this was an absolute life saver for me this season!
We also offered and sold our 1st CSA Bouquet Subscription Shares on our website in April. We ended up with 10 total for the season- which absolutely blows my mind! I will forever be grateful to those individuals who invested in our little farm this year! Their contributions made a huge impact in what we were able to accomplish this year!
May
May was a HUGE month for us! We planted our 3000 seedlings and over 2000 seeds directly into the beds w/ the help of 3 amazing volunteers! Lela and I also planted 200 dahlia tubers into our little patch. The days were long, but the fellowship was surely sweet! I seriously love those girls to pieces and owe them big time! What we accomplished together in 1 week would have taken me a month all on my own.
June
In June, the fruits of our labor began to show as we witnessed our first blooms of the season blossom in our new patch. We also planted our first round of 1000 sunflowers out in the big field- anxiously awaiting their arrival in late July. Sunflowers are single bloomers- so we planted another round every two weeks for the next 2 months. In 2022- we’re going to start planing them even earlier- in May- so that we’ll have them by 4th of July! I can’t wait!! Can you?
While we enjoyed seeing blooms in our garden, we also started fighting pests as well. Grasshoppers & Japanese Beetles descended pretty much over night. (The last 2 pics are of some of their damage) The truth is, both of them had been there all along, we just didn’t notice them until they reached their adult stage. I’m committed to organic practices in my flower garden, so I spent quite a bit of time hand picking bugs off of our plants. We also added bird feeders throughout the garden to encourage our feathered friends to help us out. At their peek, I did have to use some organic pesticide to keep them at bay, but I really don’t like using that stuff- because it actually hurts the good bugs such as ladybugs, spiders, and bees as well. One of my other goals for 2022 is to find a way to better manage this without any spray whatsoever! Thankfully, I found a group of regenerative flower farmers to join -who have given me lots of great advice!
July
In mid July, we delivered our 1st Bouquet Shares to our subscribers! Seeing their smiling faces and hearing their words of encouragement seriously gave me the motivation to keep going, even when times were hard. I was diagnosed with skin cancer and had surgery at the end of the month to remove a large patch from my scalp. Recovery was much tougher than I had anticipated, and I will never forget how patient and understanding each one of you were with me!
We also built and opened our Petal & Pine Flower Market in July- selling out every single weekend! The folks of the Greater Tuckahoe Area showed up for us faithfully! I seriously appreciate each purchase, each share, and even each like on our posts! Lela and I have dance parties over here every single time! Maybe in 2022, I’ll video a few of those for you!
August
Our garden was absolutely full of color in August- and boy was it a sight to see! Our dahlias were finally blooming on a regular basis and so were the sunflowers. We spent every free moment tending, harvesting, and arranging bouquets. My favorite time to be in the garden is the last 2 hours of the day- during golden hour. The light is absolutely amazing during that time, so there’s no surprise that I took over 2400 photos of flowers this year!
September
In the beginning of September, Lela Grace started Pre-K! (Mama cried!) She absolutely loves it though- minus nap time that is.. My girl is just too grown for naps these days- even though Mama keeps reminding her that she’ll wish for all those naps some day! While she’s off playing with her friends, and learning to be away from the farm, we sure miss her. She’s always quick to jump right back into helping us around the farm when she gets home though! By Mid September, we found ourselves delivering our last our last bouquet shares of the season to our subscribers. I had hoped to have a end of season event, but didn’t get a chance to due to the continued Covid situation. Hopefully we will be able to all be together more in 2022!
October
We officially closed the Farm Market in Early October and began putting the garden to bed for the season- We started by cutting everything down, pulling out the landscape fabric, feeding the soil with more leaf compost, and planting a cover crop of red clover. We also took a much needed family vacation to Maine. The weather was fantastic and the leaves were absolutely stunning! We spent quite a bit of time fishing, exploring, and even went to their state fair! I feel the most alive in the mountains, so this yearly get away is always a treat!
November
We found ourselves busy again in November- tucking our dahlias in tight for the winter. Most folks dig their tubers (roots) each year, but we decided to mulch ours in heavy with our abundant sycamore leaves and leaf compost instead. Another local farmer close by has been doing it for several years now- with great results. Keep your fingers crossed for us! We also planted 500 tulips, 250 daffodils, and 50 Alliums into raised beds for next spring. We’re hoping to have some ready by Mother’s Day this coming season! Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when they’re ready!
December
December has been such a sweet month! We spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas resting and enjoying family time. My kiddos are 5 & 2- so the holidays were such a magical time around here! Lela was especially fun- sleeping an entire 1.5 hours Christmas Eve- (Mama’s still tired!)- anxiously awaiting Santa & his reindeer! I’ll never forget their faces Christmas morning when they came downstairs to the tree! Lela loves her dollhouse and keyboard, and Graham is obsessed with his power wheels tractor and tool bench. This year will seriously be hard to top!
I’m always tired the week after Christmas, but it’s also my favorite time to plan for the upcoming year. I spent each evening after work nailing down our field plan for next season and ordering thousands and thousands of seeds- again! 🙂 2022 is going to be nothing short of amazing you guys, I can feel it!

As we close the year, we once again have to Thank each and every one of you who have continued to support us! I can never say it enough! You guys are simply amazing!

XOXO,

Resa

 

Where We’re Located

Petal & Pine Farm can be found nestled along the banks of the Tuckahoe River in Corbin City, NJ-Just minutes from Historic Downtown Tuckahoe .

You’ll also find that we’re conveniently located on your way to Shore Points such as Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Wildwood, & Cape May