15 March, 2023

"Small opportunities are often the beginnings of great enterprises." -Demosthenes

by Nikki Bartley

 

Today is March 15th, Beware the Ides of March.  I often feel the winds of change blowing strongly every year on the Ides, but for me those winds are simply the last gasps of Winter, heralding Spring's arrival. 

Rather than foreboding, March 15th is an exciting day on the farm. It is the unofficial start of our growing season, and often the day our seasonal crew returns to the farm. We welcome our newest team members into the fold and I lead our first gathering with a celebratory State of the Farm address.

This year, I've decided to share our farm update here on our blog too.

State of the Farm 2023

2023 marks the 9th growing season of Cross Street Flower Farm and my 14th season of farming at the historic Jacob's Farm.  What began as 4 humble raised beds in my front yard back in 2010, has grown into a 7-acre cut flower farm operation with a farm crew of 15+ people at the season's peak and 4 year-round staff. 

In 2015, five years after I built those first raised beds in my front yard, I started Cross Street Flower Farm on an 1/8th of an acre at my house. I sold a meager $1,200 in flowers that summer and I was thrilled.

Over the next 8 years, I worked hard and invested every dollar I could back into infrastructure, equipment and systems that would improve our productivity and efficiency. Every investment made or grant won was for greenhouses, irrigation, tractors, a van, work carts, coolers. They have paid for themselves threefold through increased production. The best advice I received was to focus on retail and to consolidate our farm operations and retail sales to one location. Thankfully I listened to this advice, because it has also greatly contributed to our increased efficiency, production and sales.

2022 Season in Numbers

Cross Street's accomplishments in 2022 were nothing short astonishing and we owe thanks to you, our wonderful community, that loves every stem we produce. Last year, we grew and sold:

  • 850 CSA shares
  • 7,000 flower bunches
  • 5,000 mixed bouquets
  • 3,000 tickets to our Cut Your Own Events
  • Hosted over 500 people for our on farm workshops, classes and tours.

Our top 5 selling flowers are:

  • Farm Fresh Mixed Bouquets
  • Dahlia Bunches
  • Tulip Bunches
  • Peony Bunches
  • Ranunculus Bunches  

 What's new in 2023?

A Summer Retreat Among the Flowers - Fri Jul 28- Sun Jul 30th

As soon as we expanded to 7 acres, I knew that we would be growing more flowers than we could possibly harvest and sell, and this thought really appealed to me. Although we have been offering events for a while, I have been wanting to expand our offerings to include something special.... and 2023 is the year we roll it out! 

What could be better than creating a field of flowers and welcoming guests for a weekend retreat during summer's peak bloom?

Next month, we will announce all the exciting details and release tickets for our first ever weekend retreat set among summer's peak bloom. We can't wait to share more!

Private Events

Next month, we will also begin booking small, private and semi-private events at the farm, so you can create your own magical experiences among the flowers. If you would like to receive more information about our private and semi-private event offerings, please click here.

More Cut Your Own Events 

Last Fall we planted 100,000 tulips in our front field that borders Main Street. It is going to be beautiful in a month from now! Our popular Pick Your Own Tulip events will run for 3 weeks starting in mid to late April, depending on bloom conditions. Stay tuned, we start selling tickets as the dates get closer!

Photography at the farm: We receive a lot of requests from photographers to schedule photo shoots in our fields. If you are a professional photographer and would like more information, click here

Twilight Farm Tours + Food Trucks: Last fall, we started offering Twilight Make Your Own Bouquet Workshop + Farm Tours. We will continue this in 2023 starting in late June and plan to add Food trucks and music this season! 

Dahlia Tubers + Cutting Garden Kits

Our winter crew has been busy dividing dahlias since January and we have close to 20,000 dahlia tubers, double what we pulled from our fields in clumps last fall. Today, we are launching our biggest selection of tubers for shipping here.We will only be selling dahlia tubers online for 2 weeks and then we will close it down, so do not delay if you are looking for specific varieties. 

We also have our popular Cutting Garden Kits available for pre-order now. These are a great option for new gardeners or just to add more hard-to-find cut flower varieties to your garden!

CSA Flower Share News

We have a NEW May CSA share for arguably our most beloved flower, the ranunculus. We have 6,000 ranunculus planted in our second greenhouse and they look fabulous. Although the May share sold out in a hurry, we will still have plenty of ranunculus to sell in the Barn Shop too!

Did you miss getting a flower share for 2023? Sign up for our waitlist here!

 

On-Farm Workshops

Again in 2023, we have a full docket of workshops planned for you all, starting with our Grow Your Own Cutting Garden Workshop Serieson our opening weekend of the Barn Shop!

If growing flowers calls to you, please join us the first weekend of April. We’d love to have you and we will share with you many of the tips and tricks it took us over a decade of farming to learn. And just as we did, we will focus on starting small, and dreaming big!

Mother's Day Weekend Events

Join us as we celebrate the magic of Spring blooms over Mother's Day weekend (May 13-14) for our first floral design class of 2023. Bring your mom or bestie and celebrate together! Mother's Day Special: Sign up for two attendees together, receive a 20% discount!

We will also be holding a artisan market with local vendors and food trucks over Mother's Day weekend! Stay tuned for more details. (If you are a local artisan and would like to participate, email us at info@csflowerfarm.com)

Thanks for following along on our beautiful flower journey. We are forever grateful for your support and encouragement. We look forward to providing as much beauty and joy as we can in 2023.

My Best,

Nikki Bartley + the rest of Team Cross Street


1 Response

Nancy
Nancy

19 March, 2023

Oh Nikki, what an exciting 2023 you have planned. I cannot wait to get out in those fields picking your gorgeous flowers throughout the growing season. I’m overly excited for the weekend retreat and hope that yoga will be back. Any time spent at Cross Street Flower Farm is a balm to my soul. I’m overjoyed at your continued success, it’s been earned and is so deserved. Much love you you all!

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