Sunbright, scarlet, Madame Butterfly, blush lime, love-lies-bleeding and salmon rose are just a few of some of my favorite flowers grown on our farm. These are sunflowers, zinnias, snapdragons, dahlias, amaranth and celosia. They all hold very sweet and long-standing ground in our fields, and I could not imagine a season without their beautiful growth, gorgeous blooms and most of all their loyal following of incredible pollinators.
Many of them will re-seed on their own, but the bulk are started in our 116-year-old barn, hand-seeded, germinated in the warm, spring green houses and transplanted similar to most of our veggies. The main difference is that I hand seed all the flowers because their seed shapes, sizes and rates are very different. Zinnia seeds are thin, weightless, ½-inch long seeds whereas sunflower seeds are small, round and hard. Amaranth seeds are teeny tiny and can range in hue from rosie pink to black. Flower seeds are endowed with such a robust genetic flare and never cease to amaze how a tiny seed can become the most steadfast gift to birds, bees, butterflies, bats, humans, and probably even to our not-so-helpful beavers and elk.
Many of our flower seeds come from three different organizations, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company dating back to 1973, Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit, heirloom seed collection for growing and conserving many endangered varieties, and Seeds of Change, an organization in New Mexico that gives 1% of every sale back to community projects that help people grow their own food.
There is a great diversity among flowers, and we cherish our annual assortment and hope that when you come out to visit in the later summer months when they are all in bloom you will say hello. Until then, enjoy the phenomenal season of tulips we are about to head into.
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