Goats, Guests, Blooms and Bests—Recap of the 2021 Winnowburrow Farm & Florals Season
Hello and Happy November! Seriously, where did the summer go? Obviously, there wasn’t much time for keeping up-to-date on newsletters! It was a really, really good season though, and I want to genuinely thank everyone who supported the farm—and supported me—through one of the busiest, most profitable farm seasons to date. For real. THANK YOU! I simply cannot believe how many balls were in the air this summer—too many for me to juggle on my own, that’s for sure!
Last year I decided I was going to downsize my growing, but by July it was pretty obvious I had gotten a bit overzealous with spring seeding. I had planted at least twice as much as I ever have… and couldn’t keep up! I actually had to take on some part-time help and lucked out with a couple of amazing local ladies who brought a lot of joy into the work day. It was also possible to start opening up the farm for pick-your-own flowers, by appointment. What a thrilling way to share the flower fields with others! I just loved sending folks home with big buckets stuffed with blooms and huge smiles on their faces. I am hoping to have more regular u-pick days next summer.
Me and Lexi, one of my farm helpers and flower side-kicks!
The Eau Claire Farmers Market was busy as usual and my early summer sales were especially on point. What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday. We had many market days of “perfect summer.” It was nice to have a full set of live music every weekend, again. To my regular market customers: Thank you for being so amazing and for sharing so deeply with me the joy of fresh flowers. You know who you are!
In addition to doing weekly markets, the weekly Bouquet Subscriptions ticked up this year and at one point I was delivering to Elk Mound, St. Paul, Colfax, Menomonie and Eau Claire every week. As the season progressed however, it became fairly obvious that Eau Claire and Colfax/Elk Mound are at the heart of my client base. I had to make a tough decision mid-season to eliminate the St. Paul subscribers (sorry guys)! There just wasn’t enough interest to make the 4-hour round trip every week a financially viable business option. A couple of folks took a refund for the remainder of the season, but one customer offered to donate her subscription, which made it possible to hold a weekly drawing at Just Local Food in Eau Claire for a free bouquet! Can I just say, the staff at JLF are legit some of the most amazing people in the universe. That is not even close to an overstatement. They whole-heartedly threw themselves behind this “free-bouquet business” with zest and pride and are always willing to help out with whatever is needed. Aaaaaaand they always seem so happy! Maybe I should get a job there… (kidding! I’ve got enough on my plate)! Thanks JLF team! You guys rock!
Late-summer bouquets that went to Just Local Food in Eau Claire.
While we’re on the topic of amazing folks, I would also like to thank Dina, Galen, Sally and all the staff at Vino Cappuccino in Elk Mound, WI. Vino Cappuccino is a real gem in our rural community and it always brings me joy to swing in on my delivery route. They have faithfully purchased flower arrangements for the coffee shop, wine bar and art gallery during their last two seasons, and some of the kindest, most generous humans you could meet. The outdoor seating area is epic, which has been a great retreat for the community in the last two years, as well as providing a space to hear live music on the weekends. They have delicious woodfired pizza, paninis, salads, deserts and more. In addition to being an all-around top-notch establishment, they network with other businesses and source many of their ingredients locally. If you haven’t been to Vino Cappuccino, make sure you plan for a visit next season. They are open Thursday through Sunday from May through September. Check out their website for more info: https://www.vinocappuccinobistro.com
Arrangement that went out to Vino Cappuccino this summer.
As if that weren’t all enough to do in one summer, I also somehow managed to pull off floral design for several micro-weddings and a few full-service weddings, plan and execute a styled shoot (which is basically designing for a fake wedding in order to get professional photos and network with other vendors), and open my new farmstay through Airbnb—which was booked nearly Every. Single. Weekend. from early July through September. What a cool way to meet new people and share the land. I hope people continue to book this winter. The space remains cozy and warm with the “live flame” electric heater and there is plenty of room to snowshoe or even cross country ski. If you haven’t seen the listing yet, take a look. It’s cute! https://airbnb.com/h/winnowburrow
Now that Halloween has come and gone, and most of the fall bulbs have been planted (although I'm literally procrastinating on shoving the last daffodils in the dirt and digging up my dahlias by whilst writting this very long and overdue account of the summer), it’s time to start thinking about… the holidays! I’m grateful to have a whole month between October and December (breathe Bonnie!!!!!), because there is so much to plan for before the explosion of holiday decor that is about to take over my dining room. Rather than enjoying this gloriously sunny and unusually warm November day, I have spent the whole day working on emails and updating the farm website to get ready for holiday sales. I am always flabbergasted as to how long it takes sometimes to do simple updates to the online store and add new photos. (Having to dig through the 3,000 photos I took on my iPhone over the last six months, doesn’t help. This girl needs to get her photos organized, pronto)!
Small holiday table centerpiece.
Anyhow, I will once again be whipping up holiday wreaths and centerpieces made from locally sourced materials, which can be pre-ordered on my online store. There are different sizing options and you can always contact me directly at email@example.com for custom orders.
Now, for what's NEW—which I am really excited for—is the Yule Goat Mini-photo Session and Holiday Market! Yes, you heard that right. Holiday photo sessions—WITH GOATS! Thanks to EB Ranch and Photography by Berglane, you can sign up for slots on December 11th to have holiday photos taken with beautiful San Clemente Island Goats. I am honored to be setting up holiday decor for the backdrop at this event, but we are also hosting a holiday market with crafts, gifts and other goodies (I will have wreaths, wood-turned vase arrangements and other holiday decor, as well as order forms for centerpieces to be delivered closer to Christmas). This is going to be a total hoot! Get yourself signed up, take a nice country drive out to stunning Ridgeland, WI, and blow your friends and fam away with the best holiday photos ever. ;) Hope to see you there!
Well, that was exhausting, but also a lot of fun! If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and thanks for another great Winnowburrow season! We couldn't do it without you! Please check back for more updates, coming soon!