Tuesday, June 28, 2016

CPA Event: Banksia Barbeque

Aren’t banksia amazing? We sure think so, which is why we recently held a ‘Banksia Barbeque’ for protea farmers keen on learning about the intricacies of “bush-fire” seed extraction, and wanting tips on sowing and germination. This California Protea Association (CPA) event was hosted by Dave and Stephanie Baxter at their beautiful farm in Fallbrook.

Mel Resendiz, the CPA President, began by welcoming everyone and thanking the Baxter’s for their hospitality. Diana Roy updated everyone on recent protea marketing opportunities and provided them with a preview of the new CPA poster. Carol Booth introduced new association members and highlighted recent fund raising activities. Ben Gill discussed protea production in South America.

Then on to the BBQ – Mel’s presentation! Most Banksia plants are propagated from seeds and the cones must be more than 16 months old to ensure maturity. If the hard casing, when scratched, is dry and squeaky the seed should be mature.

Banksias have developed different ways of releasing their seeds, but they all require some sort of heat like HOT summer days, brush fires, a torch or as shown here - placed in a barbeque.

Once the Banksia has been roasted for several minutes and allowed to cool, the seeds are removed and are then ready to be planted.

Thanks again to our hosts Dave, Stephanie and their dog Skeeter (seated in front)!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The San Diego County Fair: Ask a Farmer

The sun is shining, temperatures are rising, and the kids are on break - all sure signs that it's summertime! It’s not really a San Diego summer without a trip to the San Diego County Fair. Expect the usual: carnival rides, car shows, concerts and, of course, all things deep-fried. This year, though, there’s something different: The California Grown Exhibit!

This new attraction is all about agriculture, one of California's most important industries and the historical basis of county fairs. Agricultural education is a key part of the San Diego County Fair's mission, and this exhibit shows visitors the past, present and future of California farming in a fun and interactive way.

A little more than a century ago, the majority of the American population worked as farmers, necessary at that time to feed everyone. This exhibit teaches fairgoers about that past, and the modern-day farmer, who has made it possible for 98 percent of the population to seek careers in other fields.

In addition to educational exhibits, colorful banners and fabulous photos (like the one above), farmers are on hand to answer questions about farming, the San Diego County Farm Bureau and their Friends of Farming activities.

Yes, even our favorite farmer decided to volunteer and share his passion for farming. And, when asked what he grows? He proudly handed over a protea bouquet!

What Fun! To travel through California and San Diego's agricultural roots, an adventure through yesterday, today and into tomorrow. For more information go to: www.sdfair.com/attractions.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Instagram: Photos We Dig

This month’s Instagram Inspiration is stirred by all things botanical, especially proteaceae and Australian natives! 10 fabulous photos featuring textile designer and illustrator, Edith Rewa, and some of her awesome creations. Edith currently lives and works in the beautiful Blue Mountains, a rugged region west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. Known for dramatic scenery, it encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted galleries and gardens. A region with more than its fair share of natural beauty and Edith’s source of inspiration!

There’s no better designer than nature. – Alexander McQueen

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Summer Alert: Protea eximia (P. latifolia)

It's eximia season here on the farm, and we're putting the spotlight on these gorgeous protea during the month of June. To help you distinguish between the eximia species (oringinally called Latifolia) and its newer cultivars, we put together this handy chart.

Eximia, which means distinguished, is sometimes called rosespoon, ray-flowered protea, and broad-leaf sugarbush. In addition, as featured above, there are several cultivars now being grown and harvested: Cardinal, Susanae, Duchess and Sylvia. These improved varieties with brighter colors and better form, have kept eximia’s popularity alive. The large, colorful flowers have spoon-shaped bracts of reddish-pink and a soft central dome exposing a purplish wine color. While summer is the usual time for flowering, some of the varieties can be found throughout the year. Eximia look splendid mixed in bouquets, garlands or simply displayed by themselves.

From the 1st Kansas City NotWedding to an Elopement in the Woods Inspiration Shoot and more – Here are a few ways we’re seeing these fabulous flower being displayed.

Wedding Bouquet of the Week – Mon Cheri Bridals

June Is For California Grown Flowers!

Did you know that June is California Grown Flower Month?

Thanks to the leadership of some lawmakers in California, a resolution marking June as California Grown Flowers Month is something we're super excited about.

To help kick off this special month, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) held a special design competition among California legislators on June 1st in Sacramento, with the winning designer receiving California Grown Flowers delivered to their office for a year!

This year's competitors: Assemblymembers (left to right) Kristin Olsen, Jim Cooper, Jacqui Irwin and Senator Bob Wieckowski.

It was a tough decision, but ultimately the crowd of attendees selected Assemblyman Jim Cooper as this year's Floral Design Champion. He took home the winner's vase that California's flower farmers are proud to fill as a reminder of the hard working family flower farmers that contribute to the $12.2B economic impact of California's floral industry.

This year's floral design champion.

The event was covered in the widely read Capitol Morning Report.

In addition, to help drive more awareness, a special "June is California Grown Flowers Month" graphic has been created and people are invited to use the graphic as their profile image during the month of June!

The California Grown Flowers Month graphic proudly displayed on our Facebook page.