This week’s hashtag will be focused on #farmerflorist. This seems a bit self-explanatory but of course I can always find a way to go into more detail! As any farmer of a crop, one gets a sense of knowing their crop better than anyone else. With flowers it is no different. The exception is that I grow many different varieties of each specimen and many different genera at once – with a field over more than 50,000 flowers. I still feel that I know my flowers better than anyone else, as most (flower) farmers do – which is why we choose to be the florist as well. Why should we not cut our crops and arrange them for sale? We see the different styles to arrange flowers in, but there is nothing like seeing the way that they grow naturally, and how good they look with a different flower right behind them growing in the same field. It has taught me that any and all flower combinations can look good together, especially if they can be grown at the same time in the same conditions, they are linked. Another consideration is the fact that when we are cutting our flowers, we realize that the tight, formal arrangements seem unnatural after seeing them grouped together in buckets out in the field. I have been inspired to arrange my flowers in a loose, natural, farm-fresh look and I will never be able to arrange my flowers in another style. That is certainly not to say that there haven't been same very talented floral designers who have worked my flowers into some out-of-this-world designs – it’s just to say that this is the way that I see my flowers looking best when they go out of the field and are being delivered to you!
       The farmer-florist is not where our duties end, either. We are the buyer of seeds and bulbs, the farmer, the florist and the wholesaler. We do it all! The stigma behind the word farmer is one that doesn't leave room for people to think of all of the sides of their business – but trust me I have learned to have a whole new level of respect for what farmers are capable of doing – and my little flower field barely reaches the scale of many. So, when you are out and about, shopping around and hoping for something unique and creative, don’t forget to ask the farmer themselves for exactly what you are looking for because remember: we bought it, we planted and grew it, we cut it, they can arrange it and we can sell it too!