As we wrap up the we farming season for the winter, it is fun to look back on some of the highlights of the past year. One we never shared with you was our photo session with Bethany Cubino of Chasing Skies Photography.
Bethany is a talented wedding photography, and you can see her great work on her website. She took lots of great photos of us as a couple around the farm and house.
Bethany also got a few of us in with the flowers.
She also did a great job of capturing Frolic life:
And of course, no family photo shoot would be complete without some photos of Mr. Bingley!
Time is getting away from me. Here is a short photo essay of happenings on Spring Forth Farm over the past few weeks! Stay tuned to find out where you can get your next Spring Forth Farm bouquet.
Frolic Life: living without electricity has proven to be easier than we thought and quite relaxing.
Market Bouquets and Wholesale Accounts: as we continue to figure out how we will market this summer, we are blessed to be able to set up a small flower stand at the school I teach at, Orchard Hill Children’s School.
These beauties came in during Spring Break. They caught us by surprise so we didn’t have a sales outlet lined up. We donated them to our church and gave them to friends and family, and of course put them around our Frolic camper.
Finally we’re ready to move onto our land! We spent the last three months completely renovating a 1969 Frolic pull-behind camper. It is just under 80 square feet of home, and we’ll be living in it for the next couple years while we build our house. We spent last weekend “camping out” on the land taking care of some prep work before we move out there forever next week. It was a wonderful and exciting experience to see the sun set, worry about the wind blowing too strongly, and laugh at Mr. Bingley lounging in the sun. The Frolic was our first building project together, and we transformed it completely. Here is a brief chronicle of what we did and of our new home. Enjoy the slideshow.
We’ve been pretty quiet on our Spring Forth Farm blog for the last couple months. But even though it’s been winter, we’ve been pretty busy preparing for the spring season and getting ready to move onto our land next month. What have we been working on?
Our Logo: We’ve been working with our friend Amy Anselmo over the winter to design a logo for Spring Forth Farm. Amy makes beautiful hand-carved stamps (you can see some of her work at the Threshold Collaborative), and we knew her style would capture the elegance and energy of Spring Forth Farm’s bouquets. We are happy the logo features a tuberose, one of our favorite flowers (and one of the first flowers we grew together for our wedding).
Seeding: Many of our flowers bloom best with a period of cold called “vernalization.” We’ve had two beds of seedlings under row cover all winter. We’ve been a little worried with this year’s record cold, but like all first-time parents, we seem to be a little over-anxious: The seedlings look happier than ever. Last week, Megan started a dozen more varieties of flowers in trays, including snapdragons, dill, and, because we’re always experimenting with something, flowering kale.
House Plans: One thing we’ve really focused on this winter has been reading books on house design (A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander was our favorite). We made a list of the things we want in a house (not too big, open floor plan, a big porch, passive-solar heating design). We love our house in Hillsborough, but for some reason we found we couldn’t work on our plans at home — too many distractions. Instead, we needed to go somewhere where we could focus. Fortunately for us, we could walk to the perfect place. Most of our design work was done at the Mystery Brewing’s Public House – our favorite local brewery, where delicious drinks and a relaxed atmosphere proved the perfect place to work. Now we’re working with Jeff Gannon and Molly Luby of Green Door Design/Build, who are helping us perfect the design and drawing the plans.
The Frolic: But most of our time, nearly every free hour, has been spent rebuilding our 1969 Frolic camper. We’ve stripped and gutted the inside, installed a double bed, laid toungue-in-groove pine floors, and are working on the kitchenette and dining area. These 80 square feet will be our home for the next few years while we build our house. Look for photos and the complete story in a future post (once we’ve finished it).
These are main things we’ve been working on recently. It’s been keeping us busy here at Spring Forth Farm, but in farming a busy winter helps lead to a good spring, and we’re really looking forward to this, the first spring flowers at Spring Forth Farm.
We’ve started putting sweat into our new land, working to transform it into home. We had our first work day, beginning to clean out and empty our barn, which was full of loose hay. We’ve started making a big pile out of the hay we can salvage for mulch, and taking rotten pallets and plastic to take to the dump. Mr. Bingley calmly surveyed the scene from a sunny spot in front of the barn.
As we’ve been getting ready to build our house, we’ve both been reading the book Mortgage Free by Rob Roy, which talks about strategies for building your home debt free. (Our goal is to build our house as we save without taking on any more debt.) In the book, Roy talks about “temporary shelter,” an inexpensive place to live while you’re building. We’re going to use this strategy to save money and help us build our house more quickly.
For our temporary shelter, we found a 1969 “Frolic” camper, approximately 80 square feet with a sink, stove top, and tiny water closet. It needs some TLC , but it otherwise is in excellent condition. For now, we backed the Frolic into the newly hay-free wing of the barn, which will soon become our front stoop.
Once the Frolic was in place, Rev. Lisa Fischbeck, the vicar of The Episcopal Church of the Advocate, helped to make the property home by leading a small land and home blessing ceremony with our family and a few friends. We prayed for guidance in how we use the gift of our land and the ability to extend the gift of hospitality in the future.
We plan on moving onto our land this Spring, and we have a lot to do before then. We have to get the land surveyed, drill a well, and do a little remodeling on our Frolic and repair some water damage. We’re going to build a farm office which will be a place to arrange flowers, do farm work, and act as a living room while we are building our home over the next few years. We’re excited about the process of growing our farm, building our house, and making our home in this beautiful place.