Sunday, October 27, 2013

Susara - A Little Royalty

Red, orange and yellow are the colors we often associate with fall, so it's no surprise that many of the flowers we get requests for at this time of year are also in those shades.  Leucospermum, or more commonly called pincushions, definitely fit the bill, but here in California they're off season until early winter.

Most of the Protea we're currently harvesting are found in hues from pink to burgundy, and with this year's very popular 'jewel tone' trend they're doing quite well.  However, if you’re a traditionalist and partial to the basic autumn colors, then you need to meet Susara.

Susara has entered the Protea scene with quite a splash and rightly so -she's Gorgeous! Often called our Mini-Queen, Susara is a combination of P. Magnifica (Queen) and P. Susannae - definitely a 'Royal Bloom'. This flower has divine grey-green leaves and cream to salmon-pink blooms with a dab of black atop her puffy cream colored center.  Susara looks great mixed with other protea or combined with an array other colorful flowers and foliage. Here are just some of the lovely ways we've found Susara displayed!

We'll be harvesting Susara throughout the fall and into early winter - so be sure to make 'a little royalty' part of your next creation!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Protea Repens - Sugarbush

Repens means 'creeping' although this protea is anything but creeping. Its name was erroneously given, based on a misleading picture. It is in fact, a tall, upright bush that can reach heights of 4 to 6 feet. Far more accurate is the common name 'sugarbush' honoring the species reputation of producing more nectar than any other protea, to the extent that it sometimes overflows. 

Sugarbush was a first in many ways. In 1774, it was cultivated under glass in the Royal Collection at the Kew Gardens where, in 1780, it became the first protea ever to bloom in cultivation away from the Cape. From 1890, it was also the first protea to grow outdoors in Australia, New Zealand and here in California.

Bountiful with sweet nectar, Sugarbush or Suikerbossie (Afrikaans) was South Africa's national flower until 1976. It's also a term of enderament that could be translated as "sweetie". The song Suikerbossie ek wil jou he (Sugarbush, I want you so) was composed on Lion's Head in Cape Town and shows how sweet the Sugarbush must be to inspire such romance. Suikerbossie ek wil jou he is a traditional South African Barn Dance Song and this English version of the song eventually became an international hit.


Sugarbush, I want you so
Sugarbush, I want you so
Sugarbush, I want you so
What will your mother want to say.

Then like that, we'll walk under the moon 
Then like that, we'll walk under the moon
Then like that, we'll walk under the moon
Together, my sugarbush and I.


Sugarbush bloom here in California from autumn through early winter - so now's the time to make these delightful 'sweet' blooms a part of your next arrangement or bouquet!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Meet the Flower Farmer" Event at New Seasons Market

This week New Seasons Market hosted a "Meet the Flower Farmer" Event in several of their Portland, OR stores.  I had the privilege to represent Resendiz Brothers at the Cedar Hills New Seasons Market in Beaverton, OR, where I promoted our farm fresh flowers and shared our California farming story with many of their customers. 

New Seasons Market, based in Portland, is a locally owned grocery store that works directly with local farmers, ranchers, fishers and producers - my favorite kind of market!  So, I decided to arrive a little early that morning to experience this store for myself.  Upon arrival I was greeted with an amazing floral department, where I found gorgeous bountiful bouquets, house plants, wreaths, outdoor perennials, annuals, pumpkins and even planters and vases. 

Yes, flowers are my weakness! But I do have a love for fresh baked bread, artisan cheeses, quality wines and farm fresh fruits and vegetables too.

 Artisan breads are made from scratch daily in the old-world tradition.

 There's over 100 artisan and farmstead cheese to choose from.

The wine department, where global meets local, offers the best of the Northwest and beyond. You can even bring in your used corks and they'll recycle them courtesy of Cork ReHarvest!

From the farm to the neighborhood store, there are shelves of fresh, local and organic produce.

Throughout the store the walls are graced with pictures 'faces' of many of the farmers, fisherman, ranchers and producers who are now a part of the New Season's family.

When I arrived at my greeting table, I was welcomed by this wonderful introduction board - love the creativity and thoughtfulness that went into this sign!

It was great to finally meet Katie Trudeau, New Season's Floral Merchandiser (on my left) and Maria Fowler, Floral Department Manager (on my right).  Katie, who is definitely serious about buying local and often says, "Not many people think of buying local when it comes to flowers. Making beautiful selections available from local growers is how we're making a difference, one stem at a time".

During my visit I encountered many very proud Oregonians and rightly so. But I also met several customers and employees who were fond of California Grown too!

New Seaons Market: Pride in locally grown, locally raised and locally produced!

Finally, my trip to Portland wouldn't have been complete without bringing a little of Oregonian savor back to California and I did just that. So far, I've whipped up the 'Thyme Roasted Chicken, and Red Wine braised Short Ribs' - Some Tasty Farm-To-Table Dishes indeed!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Touring with the Fallbrook Garden Club

"Flowers, like friends, should be well chosen"

It's always a pleasure to meet fellow gardeners and plant lovers from Garden Clubs and Horticulture Societies everywhere - it's become a wonderful way for us to make new friends and share our growing expertise.  This week we had the opportunity to meet and tour members from the Fallbrook Garden Club around our farm and give them a little glimpse of our day to day activities. 

Our first stop was the packinghouse where all our flowers and foliage harvested each day are received, processed, packed and prepared for shipping.

We couldn't resist a quick stop in the cooler to see all the different varieties of Protea now in bloom!

Then, on to the nursery where we propagate and grow the plants that will eventually end up out in our flower fields.

There was even time for JJ to get some extra special attention!

In the nursery we had plenty of time to take a look at some new plants and answer lots of questions about growing, pruning and harvesting.

And, as you can see another farm friend decided to join in on our tour.

This visit wouldn't have been complete without seeing some of the beautiful wreaths and bouquets that are made here on our farm throughout the year.

Many thanks to our friends at Fallbrook Garden Club - it's obvious that our life of farming is not just about flowers and plants, it's also about the friends we make all along the way!