You’ll notice that I’m quite a bit late in posting this since I usually publish my monthly goals on the 1st of every month. However, I have an excellent reason—I’m starting a business! Since we were finally able to move to a home this last year that had a bit more land than we had before, I’ve decided to just go for one of my dreams and start up my own flower farm. It will be very small scale and pretty much just local, but I’m eager to start making fresh-cut local flowers more affordable and easier to get into people’s hands.
If you’re interested in my flower farm journey, make sure you’re following my other blog, which will have a lot more detail on our process as we go through this first trial-and-error year. Could you also do me a favor and follow the flower farm on Instagram? It helps to get my reach out and really does make a difference!
As we’re heavily into the process of sowing seeds and building raised beds and prepping soil and all that, you might notice that my posting will be a bit sporadic this month (even more so than usual). I have also decided to not do any shoots for my photography business this year so that I can take at least one thing off of my plate.
This kind of feels like a crazy shot in the dark, but I’m really excited and am just jumping in with both feet!
Anyway, I’ll still be sharing my goals here monthly as always, except now they’ll just include a few more big-ticket business items just so I can mark progress and keep myself on track.
Note: There are affiliate links to products mentioned below, which means I may get a small commission on any purchases made through those links, at no extra cost to you.
- I met with my mom the first weekend of the month to get these figured out and then filed them in the second week. (Thank goodness too, because we needed every cent from our refund to go towards all the flower farm stuff as well as the stuff mentioned below that we bought for the house!)
Buy a stick vacuum
- As per a reader suggestion, we got this stick vacuum for a steal at Sam’s Club (during a President’s Day sale that meant it was about $70 cheaper than Amazon), and we love it so far! It has revolutionized meal cleanup, as our boys are the messiest eaters of all time.
Have a special Valentine’s dinner with the kids
- We always celebrate Valentine’s Day the day after so that we can take advantage of everything being on clearance at the stores, so Matt stopped by Walmart (the only “big” store around here) and picked up some fun goodies for the kids, which we had alongside one of their favorite dinners (penne alfredo). Simple but effective!
- Buy a paper shredder
- This fell way down the priority list once I started realizing all I needed to buy for the farm, but I’ll still keep my feelers out for a secondhand one over the course of this year.
Figure out seed-starting set-up and buy supplies
- I largely used this book as the basis for what to buy, and then I also picked up some additional supplies like low hoops and fabric covers. Oh, and I took the suggestion on this blog and decided to make my own seed starter mix rather than buying it premixed (as it’s much cheaper to do it that way with the volume of seeds we’re planting).
See if we can get our peony tubers in the ground
- We had a few warmer days at the beginning of the month that allowed me to get the tubers in the ground before it froze again. I’m hoping that in so doing, the peonies will get the “frost hours” that they need and that they won’t be a year behind in their production (especially as you already have to wait 3 years after planting peonies for them to bloom).
Finalize garden and seed-sowing plans
- I’ve basically done this except that with more research, I keep fine-tuning my original plans. For the record, we’re planting five raised beds that are 10′ x 4′, an in-ground bed that’s about 12′ x 4′, and the old cow pasture in the backyard that’s about 20′ x 20′. All in all, we’re doing about 700 square feet, which is peanuts compared to most flower farms, but which will still be able to provide quite a lot of cut flowers if everything does okay.
- Print off photos for third family album
- I went to do this, and then I realized that 12 of the photos hadn’t been converted from RAW to JPG. Rollover goal.
- Find different dentist for the kids
- Nope, I still need to do this. Rollover goal.
Take donations to the local thrift store
- So I didn’t technically take them to the local thrift store, but we did donate them to the Deseret Industries when we were visiting family, since my mom already had a donation appointment.
- Finish unpacking main floor and move dresser
- Ugh, no. We did make a decent amount of progress with unpacking, but then everything was neglected the last part of the month because I’ve been focusing on the farm.
Book a contractor to repair the kitchen subfloor
- Not only did we find someone, but he was able to come fix it that same week! We’ve also bought all the flooring transition pieces we need, so now it’s just a matter of Matt being able to find the time to lay the kitchen floor.
Put kitchen drawer fronts back on
- Matt squeaked in this one at the very end of the month. It definitely is helping our kitchen to feel more pulled together!
- Do caulking in kitchen
- We can’t find our caulking gun, but I haven’t devoted a whole bunch of time to looking for it. Rollover goal.
Purchase at least one rug Get oil changed in van
- Yes, and then some. Our expected $50 oil change turned into a $350 servicing, but at least now we know everything is in top shape.
- Sell Buick
- Sigh. Nope. The Buick actually isn’t even with us because we left it at my brother’s, but I think the plan is just to get it back down here to make the selling process easier, even if the market is much smaller.
Things I Accomplished That Weren’t on the List:
- Prepped (and then later planted) a 12′ x 4′ flower bed in our front yard
- Started an Instagram for the flower farm
- Enlisted my dad’s help to make a logo for the farm
- Did a ridiculous amount of research about flower farming
- Planted an apricot tree and a blackberry bush (for our own use)
- Started sorting out The-Room-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named and cleared out over half of the boxes (which then went to their more permanent locations)
- Decluttered like crazy
- Started potty training Mathias (though that was not by choice…and I’m still putting off doing full-on training because I’m dreading it and don’t feel like I have a good window of time. I probably will try to do it in March, but I’m not setting it as an official goal).
- Purchased six chicks to add to our flock (and haven’t lost a single one!)
If I thought February looked insane, I obviously had no concept of how nuts March would look. Spring is one of the absolute busiest times on any farm, and even though ours is miniscule compared to most, the fact that we’re newbies to flower farming and the fact that we’re trying to maximize every square inch of space means that we have to plan intensively and plant intensively.
The good news is that it’s warming up outside and both the kids and I love being out there and working (well, I’m working while they’re mostly playing), so I don’t feel like they’re getting *too* raw of a deal with how busy we’ve been (and will continue to be). Here’s what I hope to accomplish this month:
- Get Buick relocated down here
- We originally thought it would be easier to sell if it was located in a less rural location, but the logistics are just too complicated with it being located two hours from us. Our plan is to transport it down here and price it to sell quickly, even though it means we’ll probably only get $500 for it.
- Sell Buick
- Rollover goal.
- Find dentist for the kids
- Rollover goal.
- Build the first two garden beds (at least)
- I have to have at least two of my raised beds completed by the end of this month to stay on my planting schedule. This should be happening this weekend!
- Sow and transplant all hardy annuals and vegetables
- We’ve basically decided that Matt will be over our vegetable garden this year since I’ll be doing the majority of the work for the flower farm. Both of us will have plenty to do every second we have to spare because we have a LOT to plant this month (both inside and outside).
- Sow (indoors) the first of the tender vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
- We don’t want to start these things *too* early because they can’t go out until mid-May, but we plan to start these at the end of the month.
- Send in a soil sample
- Although I know that our soil here is a million times better than our soil in Hyrum, I still want to make sure we’re giving it all the nutrients it needs.
- Set up Facebook page for flower farm
- I’ve technically already created one, but I haven’t put anything on it yet. I want this to be ready to share with the public by the end of the month.
- Create income and expense spreadsheets for farm
- Having just completed our taxes for last year, I am all too aware of the importance of creating very organized records of everything for the farm. I want to get these created ASAP so that I can just be adding everything as we go.
- Create seed planting spreadsheet for farm
- We are trying an enormous amount of different varieties of flowers this year, mostly just so I can see what performs the best in our zone. This spreadsheet will help me to know when to plant everything, as well as be a record for how everything performs.
- Try two different recipes in our new Air Fryer
- I was so excited to get this Air Fryer for Christmas, but I still haven’t pulled it out yet! Part of that is just because I feel like I don’t have the head space to devote to learning a new appliance, but I do want to start soon so that I can take advantage of using it in the summer when I don’t feel like turning on the oven.
- Print off photos for third family album
- Rollover goal.
- Do caulking in the kitchen
- Rollover goal.
- Get last rug set up
- We’ve set up three of the four rugs we bought, but we haven’t set up the last one because of its size and because of the necessity of moving around a lot of big pieces of furniture.
- Paint the kitchen island
- I wouldn’t have put this on the list for this month, but my mom offered to come up this weekend to help us get it out of the way since it will be a lot easier to paint this before we lay the kitchen floors down.
- Move dresser out of back family room
- Rollover goal.
- Start laying kitchen floor
- Will this be the month when I start to have a kitchen floor?!?!
- Plant strawberries
- This is a 101 in 1001 item.
- Take the kids to a new park
- We’ve barely explored our new town at all, but now that it’s warming up, I want to start seeing what this place offers in terms of parks and recreation!
- Plan something fun for spring break
- We won’t be doing anything lavish, but I want to try and do something special, especially as it’s been a long time since we’ve really done a “day adventure” of any kind.
- Plan something special for our 10-year anniversary in May
- We were hoping to go on a special vacation just the two of us, but with the pandemic restrictions still in place, we’ll be scaling down our initial plans. Hopefully we can still find a memorable way to celebrate this milestone!
- Finish 4 books
- This is the first time in about four years that I’ve been behind in my yearly reading goal at this stage in the game. Usually the first half of the year is excellent for finishing books, but I’ve been struggling lately to find the time. Finishing four books will still mean I’m behind, but it will at least keep me in the running to reach my goal of finishing 60 books this year.
- Review and revise 101 in 1001 list
- Now that we’ve been in our new place for a few months and especially with our decision to go full steam ahead with our flower farm dream, I need to go back and revise some of the items on my 101 in 1001 list, especially as some of them aren’t as relevant (such as the photography section, since I won’t be doing work for clients anymore, at least not this year).
I know it’s a hefty list, but I’m really excited to see how much we’ll have accomplished by the end of the month!