As hard as it is to resist the urge to organize a 2nd annual pop up featuring unspeakably gorgeous locally-grown flowers for Valentines Day, buying directly from the local farmers who are working hard to produce gorgeous blooms just in time for February 14th, this year Molly Oliver Flowers will be forgoing the February flower frenzy to channel energy into some other exciting directions and mainly get our asses in gear for a dynamic year. The big news is I’ve just moved into a new studio in South Slope, Brooklyn! In between home improvement DIY projects for the sweet new spot, I’m gearing up for our first weddings of the season, Open Houses at some awesome Brooklyn venues like Brooklyn Winery and 501 Union, plus the usual marketing, bookkeeping, dreaming and scheming.
Instead of hawking local Anemone and Ranunculus this February, in the coming days we’ll be posting tips on our Facebook feed to direct you and your sweeties towards locally-grown flowers in NYC and beyond. To kick off our pre-Valentines Day slow flowers advocacy, here’s a great piece that helped raise awareness about making a conscious choice on Valentines Day 2015, by Sarah McColl: Thank you Sarah! http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/02/12/sustainable-valentines-day-flowers.
In other wintry news, I’ve been chipping away at my 2016 flower crop plan — I manage a 1-acre urban farm called The Youth Farm where we grow 3,000 sq. ft. of cut flowers, the city’s largest urban cut flower plot — and crazy but true, seeding this year’s Foxglove, Delphinium, Snapdragons, and Sweet William begins next week. Lucky for these beauties, they’ll have a cozy home up in The Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop greenhouses until nighttime lows hit the 50s this spring. At that point, they’ll head to The Youth Farm and continue their incubation in our unheated hoop house. Seed orders were placed in December and boxes from Johnnys Seeds, Fedco, Gloeckner, Geo, and other companies have piled up in the hall much like a snow drift against my apartment door. Applications are nearly all in for the Urban Farm Training Program I lead, and the anticipation of launching into another year of teaching and building more community through farming and flowers is a sparkly shimmer on the horizon.
But. For now, I’ll enjoy my tea and crop planning by my non-working fireplace. That uber-hectic time of working 7-day weeks, farm-wedding-farm-wedding, is thankfully and necessarily not quite here yet. Between the steady, quiet, indoor office work of farm planning, supply ordering, apprentice hiring, business planning, meeting clients and booking weddings and events, I’m feeling full of gratitude for the very decent bits of living and stillness winter affords. I’m milking these months for the opportunities to drink coffee in bed for a full 10 minutes at 7am, to catch a movie at BAM, to meet a good friend for a pedicure, try a new recipe from an actual cookbook while wearing cozy fleece slippers, read a great novel (instead of emails) on the train, to get to a yoga class with my favorite teacher – or just not just around and stay in. Hope you’re all savoring and enjoying the hibernation months as much as I am…whether it’s slow food, slow flowers, or slow business… I am embracing all aspects of SLOW this February.
In fact, on Feb. 14th, my man and I will bitter-sweetly head to Brucie for their farewell Valentines Day dinner/funeral (sob). Of all the little red-door’d restaurants, red (or hot pink) – lipped, spandex one-sy-clad chef/owners, and DIY-red wallpapered kitchens, Brucie (and owner Zahra Tangorra) had my heart. Not only did they serve the best damn food in Brooklyn — when I asked Zahra, a complete stranger, back in 2011 if she’d buy locally grown flowers from me (my inuagural season at the farm), she without hesitation said YES!. Can’t wait to see what that brilliant, vivacious, and extremely lovely lady does next…follow her now @_highfivegirl_ .