Just to state, I love Sunset Magazine. It's one of the only magazines I will sit down and read cover to cover. While flipping through the newest February issue, I started reading an article called "The 5 Mile Bouquet" and wound up bumping into some familiar faces.
Dennis and Diane of Washington's local Jello Mold Farm were our neighbors this past year at the Queen Anne Farmers Market, while my husband and I were selling beef for Happy Mountain Farm. I've always known they were wonderful, but it was great to see a popular magazine praising them as much as they deserve to be praised! Diane has the most beautiful color-popping flower arrangements you've ever seen, and her and Dennis are two of the nicest considerate people out there. They are always full of happiness and cheer and always make sure to throw beautiful flower arrangements at you when its your birthday or if your just feeling blue.
This couple doesn't only tend to the human spirit, they also tend to the richness of the earth and our wonderful array of wildlife here in Washington. Avid composters, Jello Mold Farm adds mineral amendments and certified organic fertilizers with the compost, to enrich the soil as they farm. supporting and increasing the diversity of critters great and small.
They have also set aside one third of their seven acers of land for habitat conservation.
"We have beetle banks and wild grassy areas to support voles. The cupola on our barn is outfitted as a bat house and we built a special rock pile “condo” for garter snakes. Our efforts are rewarded with frequent sightings of harrier hawks, sparrow hawks, red tail hawks, ospreys, bald eagles, three kinds of owls and an occasional heron."
If you follow practices to reduce your carbon footprint, where you buy your flowers is a big deal.
To supply the US with every variety of plant and flower needed or wanted at any given time, takes shipping and transportation from other states and or countries. A lot of the flowers you buy in the store have been treated with dyes and chemicals to make them look like they have just been picked. Whats impressive about Jello Mold Farms is the array of textures and colors they offer, that seem to be unique only to them. Dennis has a variety of Dahlia's that produce for only a short period of time during the early fall. The petals are almost an indigo blue, with bright pink petals on the inside. Almost psychedelic! You'll also see varieties of cabbage, artichokes, and other furney foliage, that you would never see bundled up in your store bought bouquet.
So if you live in the Washington area, keep an eye out for these lovely folks. They are down to earth wonderful people, enjoying a life that they are so passioned about. If you're not in the Washington area, think about buying your flowers locally. I think you be surprised to find what original and unique flowers you can find, and the price usually comparable to what you would find in the store. Yeah its harder for small farms to give you massed produced prices, but think about the savings of not having to transport them, or the expense of spraying them with chemicals to make them look different or to live in unnatural habitats. That's how small flower farms can offer you reasonable prices, and knowing where your products come from simply takes the cake....... I mean JELLO!
Till next time!
"Beep Beep" from The Little Road!