Half a year gone by in a flash! I just now realized how busy we have been. It's time to get caught up on all the happenings at Blumenflor.
The "Vortex Freeze" is past us but the results can be seen every where in damaged trees and shrubs. We and our suppliers from Texas lost close to 75% of our stock. We are moving forward and getting in fresh stock for the end of September.
Spring was busy with seeding, planting, getting the garden ready and being there for all the questions our customers had.
Summer is where we are now and what beautiful weather we are having. The extreme heat just isn't here this year.
Our garden is producing very well for our CSA'ers. Every year we figure out how to combat the weeds and stick to organic growing methods. One of our best investments was to plant an orchard of various fruit trees five years ago. The Ranger and Red Haven peaches did very well and the taste of them is beyond anything you can get in a store! We will have fruit trees for sale in the Fall.
The monthly Farmers Market at Blumenflor has been well attended this year. We started in March and now have added Friday nights from 4-8 in addition to the regular Saturday 9-1.
It's still the third Weekend of the month. The community loves the relaxed atmosphere and our unique one of a kind vendors.
Fall is just around the corner and our pumpkins will be coming in the middle of September with hay bales too. Corn stalks and Garden Mums are home grown this year at Blumenflor,
Also the Kale , Pansies and Millet are grown here by yours truly, with a lot of help from our team.
We have had a few workshops mostly on gardening. There is a desire out there to learn how to garden. It is rewarding eating your own home grown produce. We have had so many questions about gardening that you must wonder if it was a lost art and is now making a come back.
Fertilize, soil amendments, insecticides, pesticides etc. is now on our shelves and also the knowledge to help you apply it all either the organic route or in a conventional way.
Being Espoma certified was a big plus for us this year. We love the results we are getting with this organic method of gardening. Of course watching Laura from Garden Answer has been informative... if you haven't watched her , it is worth it!
Being more present online has been a challenge. The website is "homegrown" by me , Alice. It has been a steep learning curve. When you are scrolling on our website, check out the affiliate links or the DIY section. The Social Media, I have passed the baton over to Stacey our Market Manager. Maggie is our online review edit critic... she has spotted many a "boo-boo" and we could timely correct it. She is our Garden Technician and knows her stuff.
Megan our Creative Designer has her hands literally in the dirt everyday. She can transplant like a machine. Oh and the planters she has created are... Gorgeous! Ask her about Indoor plants and you will get the full report, yes she is that "Plant Lady!'
Daniel our youngest team member is a great asset wherever he is put to work. He can pull weeds and get an area into pristine condition. He started off with sweeping the front porch and still does. He is learning in leaps and bounds and growing in horticultural knowledge.
My son has often said I should start a school out here at Blumenflor. I think our customers and moms with kiddos know that we actually teach everyday! The cool part is that our classroom is outside and the learning is all naturally fun. The caterpillar lessons are my favorite! And that's where another special team member comes in, Carmen. Her and Daniel organize all the children projects at the Farmers Markets.
We are blessed here at Blumenflor. We hope you feel that blessing when you walk through our front door and experience a sense of peace here in a world which is a bit chaotic right now.
We as Texans have experienced the worst cold of the century. Here in Seminole, Tx. it went down to temps which were just not normal for this area. Being raised in Canada you are aware of how to drive in these conditions even how to dress in layers but Texas is not prepared for weather to this extreme for so long. When your electricity goes out and you don't have a backup plan that can become a bad situation. We were fortunate to have had water the whole time due to protecting our pipes beforehand. Here in this rural area we look out for another and many who needed help were supplied with what they needed. We live in a great community.
Blumenflor prepared by taking the most vulnerable shrubs and trees into the metal building. Mulching trees etc. When the temps stayed under 20F for up to a week we saw that it was impossible to save the main greenhouse. We lost all of our Mother plants due to the propane heaters not keeping up with the cold. We only have single plastic because we are in Texas. The best we could do was keep it 8 degrees warmer than outside.
We have a growing chamber where the peppers and tomatoes were already coming up. That was our main priority in keeping that heated enough to survive.
So looking forward we have a huge clean up the next few days and a waiting period to see what pulled through and what didn't.
We are not going to wallow in losing a few plants but look forward to start fresh and be thankful for a new day with sunshine and warmth again.
Many of our suppliers held off in sending plant material which we are thankful for.
Spring is coming and we will be ready again for all those gardeners itching to get into their gardens.
The bright side of all this... many bugs and pests have also perished!
Here's to a great growing year of 2021!
I have been gardening for a long time.
When you get asked how we gardened 30 years ago , of course it gives you an idea for a blog... !
Back then I was freshly married and living in Mexico in a German Mennonite village.
When my family came to visit it reminded them of Poland and the villages where they had grown up.
The most impressive part of living in the Mennonite village was watching them make these huge gardens in their front yard. The whole family would be out there planting potatoes, seeding, hoeing and the endless watering using the row method of letting the water slowly go down one row and then the next. What I loved was seeing rows of flowers in between the vegetable rows. Mostly Marigolds, Zinnias and sometimes the most beautiful Dahlias and Gladiolas. One crop they used I was not familiar with... the Castor Bean Plant. Once I found out that this was the same plant the Bible mentions in Jonah , I was impressed with it and used it often to tell the story of Jonah to the Sunday School kids.
Doing a bit of research here at Blumenflor we found out that back when Grandma was making her garden she was also teaching her children the necessity of planting flowers for pollination of the vegetables by bringing in the bees through flowers. Another interesting find was why the Castor Bean plant was also in the garden, it apparently repels rabbits! It is a toxic plant but the children were taught to not eat the beans. So much was maybe considered Tradition back then but yet it was a way of life that served the German community well.
Once it was time to harvest the bounty from the garden the family then learned to can and preserve. If you would ask how many 1 quart jars of Tomato Catsup was needed for a family of 8 , you would get the answer just like that. Everything was mentally calculated at the time of seeding and many a prayer went up that the crop would do well. The garden was a necessity in those days.
I feel we are going back to those earlier years of gardening. Looking at the rate of new gardeners and their commitment to carry on another year is encouraging.
The family legacy of gardening , canning, preserving was on the brink of going lost but is now finding it's way back into our communities. There is always a silver lining during hard times.
I loved making gardens back then and talking over the fence with my neighbour about how the beans are coming along and if we had enough "Pepper Kraut" Summer Savory to make "Schubbel Sup" Bean Soup.
Not only the women were good gardeners but the men, being farmers, would look after the fields of corn and the home apple orchard.
When the field corn was in its "milk" stage the the tamales were made. That was always a gathering of neighbours and friends.
Reminiscing about 30 years ago has brought back wonderful memories! May we keep on passing down the tradition of gardening, it is worth it!
Check out our online store where you can get your seeds and potting mix to start that garden.
Every winter we bring in all the indoor plants that were out in the greenhouse or outside that can't handle the frost. This year we added all the new indoor plants from our metal building. Our porch addition to the house was enclosed years ago and we have 9 windows which is perfect lighting for the plants. We now have an indoor jungle.
Out of curiosity look up #indoorjungle on Instagram. Many wonderful pics come up and interesting ideas on how to fit in one more plant.
Not only are plants good for us in that they help filter our air but they also give us a sense of responsibility like pet owners. Watering, fertilizing, snipping away yellow leaves, talking to them etc. Plants are therapeutic and help to keep us grounded in a world that is so uncertain right now.
For example our Amaryllis plants, when they started growing it was a daily measuring and being in awe that they can grow 1 inch a day. They are now 18 inches and putting on the most beautiful blooms.
Another plant is a common Aloe Vera who got a bit too cold and is sending out a beautiful orange colored bloom. Who knew they bloom when they get a bit too cold but still survive.
Do you talk to your plants? Yes that is a common thing to do ... even giving them names.
Love those botanical names, a favorite is the "Sanseveria trifasciata larenti" also known as the Snake Plant.
I grew up in an Indoor Jungle. My mother has 10 green thumbs! My dad put in a huge picture window in the dining room just that mom would have more light for her plants.
Oh and all the macrame hangers back in the 70's, Yes our house was a jungle of plants.
Now that mom is in an assisted living home at 93, she still looks after plants. She convinced one of the residents that they needed stands for all the plants. A nice big one was built in the rec room and is now full of plants. Daily watering and looking after them has been therapeutic for her. She is truly an inspiration.
Indoor plants is very trendy at this time also macrame hangers. Check out our online store and all our plants that are available right now.
May we all find room for some indoor plants, they are worth it!
Mom and her walker/utility cart. Amaryllis amongst other plants
My attempt at a Newsletter ended up in the Blog section
I will learn to use my new laptop yet! Feeding chickens is easier!
Jan. 6, 2021
A New Year of Gardening starts in January
We are all looking into this New Year with much anticipation. Gardening was for many a way to cope with this past year. Hopefully you gained many new skills in the garden or maybe you are a new gardener. We are here to help you with this coming year. Be it in the vegetable garden, flower garden in the newly planted home orchard or acquiring a green thumb for indoor plants.
January is the time to check your seed supply and order more if needed.
1. Start seeding peppers in January
2. Onion sets can be planted in January
3. Deep water your trees in the winter.
We close down for the months of January and February to catch our breaths, relax after the busy holiday season and to reflect on what to do again for the spring and upcoming year.
We have you covered for the spring…
We were busy as bees in the fall getting orders placed with our suppliers of seed, bedding plants, roses and trees, soil amendments etc. It was a bit chaotic having to order so much sooner than we usual do. A pandemic makes you think more of having a sustainable future.
Our online store is always open!
We, as so many other small businesses have added an online store. It is also a steep learning curve but very practical for our customers. Curbside pickup is available and we are also including shopping by appointment. We appreciate our customers buying local and want to make it easier, convenient and safe. Any order placed online can be picked up within a day or two at our physical store.
Do you have a seed and fertilize “Bank” secured? Let us help you!
We have added an Indoor Plant section, check it out on our
Online Store - Blumenflor
How plants clean the Air
Houseplants absorb carbon dioxide from the air through their leaves. Co2 is then combined with water and sunlight to make carbohydrates that plants use to survive. During this process known as photosynthesis, oxygen is released into the air for humans and animals to breathe. Plants also absorb many other gases which may be harmful to us. Nasa did a study on this back in 1989 and found that Indoor plants are a natural type of air filter.
Mary, Mary quite contrary…
How does your Amaryllis Grow ?
If you received an Amaryllis for the holidays hopefully it is growing! We measured a growth of 10 inches on one of ours. They are fascinating to watch grow indoors and can be planted outdoors on the east side of your house in the spring. They bloom the next year in Spring.
We are excited about our Farmers Market this year.
It will be held on a Friday night and a Saturday morning,
on the third weekend of the month from March to October 2021
More details in our next Newsletter!
Blumenflor Garden Center
695 B State Hwy 214
Seminole, Tx. 79360
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Happy New Year, may it be a blessed one!
Blumenflor had a growth spurt this year. It feels like a teenager who grew 4 inches in one summer. We are trying to keep up with the growing pains and joys of a healthy business. We are going into our eighth season this coming spring. Thankfully blessed is what we feel.
With that growth also comes a letting go...
We let our Manager go this past month to have her baby. Aimee was a wealth of info and we wish her many blessings being a mom.
I had to learn to give over the reigns of social media and marketing to someone else namely our Farmers Market Manager-Stacey, who is fantastic at her job! She has found her hidden talent and can work from home which is vital nowadays.
I have more time to teach our team members about gardening, design and many other things. Our Creative designer -Megan, is doing a great job with all the combined ideas and efforts we throw at her. She is also the best with customers.
As you can tell, all the Team Members now have "titles".
Our Garden Technician - Maggie, keeps our gardens in check and has even started garden coaching on the side. Her being bilingual, German and English, helps with our customers of the Mennonite background.
The newest Team Member is Daniel who helps out on Saturdays. Customers love his willingness to help with whatever needs to be done. Even if it is to sit down and listen to a veteran and his stories.
Teaching was always something I did even if it was just showing children how to plant garlic. We have a home school co-op coming out to learn about gardening hands on.
I feel we should be passing on our knowledge, whatever it may be to the next generation.
We have also started a Newsletter, with a talented young Editor. She came out every week last summer with her family to experience Blumenflor hands on. They were our CSA packaging crew. Couldn't have done it without you!
So there you have it in a nutshell.
There are now 5 wonderful talented persons taking over what I used to do.
It's a nice feeling to let go.
As parents we give our children roots to grow but also wings to fly.
May God grant me the wisdom to always run Blumenflor as a Team Member knowing my Boss is always there to guide me. I am humbled to be able to work for him in this way.
CSA/Farm Share 2020 is now in the garden-journal-history-books of Blumenflor.
23 weeks of produce and some extra add-ons from May-October. This Saturday was our last pickup for the 2020 season. We are so grateful to have had a blessed year in the gardens. The start of the year brought apprehension of the pandemic and how this would affect our CSA members. Blumenflor stayed open and followed all precautions. We feel the year went well even beyond our expectations it also being a drought year. We are blessed with a good well and the water was there when we needed it.
The need to carry on and again open up our CSA/Farm Share for next year 2021 became
more and more clear as the season progressed. Apparently we have green thumbs out here. Where others were struggling with their gardens... ours flourished. We have no secrets just a huge amount of Faith and regular sprinkling of prayers to bless each day. God is good!
We expanded our gardens this year and are looking to getting hoop houses for vegetable production.
A newsletter is finally in the making and we again are thankful to young minds who help us out with all the technology involved in a business!
With thankful hearts we are going into the Fall/Winter season here at Blumenflor.
Wishing everyone a blessed Fall season!
I just now realized how time can go slow but yet fast when you are in survival mode.
The last months have been a challenge for everyone.
We have learned to cope and adapt to our situation here at Blumenflor.
Being an essential business has brought so much more meaning to this lil' Garden Center.
We literally grew in so many areas that we actually felt the growing pains.
Having a solid foundation in knowing God had prepared us for this year was amazing!
His wisdom is sought every day in running this place and we wish every customer to experience his presence while visiting Blumenflor.
Here is one of the many experiences we have had this past spring.
Whilst making our vegetable order in January for the plugs or many know them as starts,
the total had come to 1000 different varieties and the amount to pay for them was not in our budget. A little voice said " you can do it, God has always provided". I should have let that inner voice guide me but I didn't. The order was canceled and we seeded instead of getting the plants in. Half way into March I realized that God was preparing us for a spring like we never had before, everyone wanted to garden and those 1000 plants were very much needed. I learned the hard way. Every order is now thought through with much wisdom and guidance from above. For example , we felt led to get in a large order of shrubs and windbreak trees. When we placed the order it was 110 degrees Fahrenheit and we were in a heatwave. Trusting it was the right decision. It has rained since then and the weather is perfect for planting. God does not disappoint, he even sends his sign of letting the Texas Sage bloom to keep us encouraged to keep praying for rain.
We expanded our vegetable gardens already in the fall of last year not knowing what 2020 would bring. Again a push from above.
So many new gardeners came out seeking help and guidance in getting a vegetable garden going. Hearing of their experiences has been a blessing. Did you know a tomato tastes sooo much better from your own garden? We just smile and enjoy their enthusiasm.
Another area where we have diversified is in our monthly Farmers Market. It has expanded
to around 40 vendors and the local community is supporting us in an amazing way.
To support local in this time we are in is important and Seminole is doing a great job in doing that. We feel we have a safe open air Market and encourage all to come out and experience Blumenflor. It might be the Scavenger hunt for the kids, eating that great burger from one of the food trucks in our shade garden at the picnic tables or finding that your neighbor down the road sells sourdough bread at the Market!
It has been an educational couple of months for us and now we are thinking Fall and preparing for that next season.
For all you gardening enthusiasts here is an affiliate link that can help you get the best seeds for that fall garden. If you like starters they will be ready in August sometime.
We are here for all your gardening needs and questions. See you soon!
Lately I have been reflecting on the way I grew up. My parents were immigrants from Germany. My mother an avid gardener gave me the love of plants. My father instilled in me the gift of music, accordion is my thing! I knew only the German language at home and learned English in kindergarten. We walked to school which was around 2 miles each way. We lived in the middle of a large city. In the winter we would stop into stores on the way to school to warm up and then carry on our way. The house I grew up in was probably built in the 1940’s. The big huge furnace with all its arms in the basement was intriguing to us. Our lot was used to the fullest, the front flower beds and the backyard a garden. My dad even built a greenhouse where mom got geraniums ready for my uncle who was a landscaper. It was a nice place to do your homework in the winter. My friends on our block were from many different countries. We were often called the mini United Nations. I call this kind of upbringing simple. It has served me well over all the years, so much that I have kept the organic aspect of a simple life up to this day.
Blumenflor is my “palette” where much of how I was raised shows. The name Blumenflor speaks of being German. The style of our building is European utilizing the passive cooling vents up on top. Organic gardens and an orchard surround the greenhouses. I still go into the Greenhouse on cold winter days to warm up! Especially this February!
Many ask of my past and this is the short version. There is much to add maybe on a later blog.
What I love about living in our rural community is the different cultures that mingle together and how I have learned from that also. Hearing stories of the history and families of this area is inspiring!
To live out here and to garden in west Texas is tough! We got you covered.
Here is a sneak peek at what is going on behind our closed doors...
We are again getting ready for spring where you will be able to get your tomato plants, pepper plants, flower flats, windbreak trees, fruit trees and much more. We have an organic line of fertilizers in and for those who use the conventional way of gardening also. Seeds have come in, even the hard to find summer savory and okra.
Vegetable plants have been seeded and are coming up in our warm growth chamber.
Flowering plants have been ordered and we are ready to transplant and grow them on for our customers. The prep work is being done and we are excited for this new growing season. It is our seventh season and we feel blessed! Many a dear friend has prayed blessings over Blumenflor and we can feel it.
We want to be here as your local Garden Center to help you also grow that vegetable garden, flowerbed or start an orchard. Our team is diligently getting everything ready.
Hope to see y'all soon.
. I feel like Laura Ingalls in “Little House On The Prairie”! This past summer and fall our kitchen was in canning mode.
Tomatoes were made into paste, salsa, juice and spaghetti sauce.
Peppers were canned as candied jalapeños, used in salsas, roasted bell peppers in olive oil, fermented serranos are in the back of the fridge and my favorite sweet snack peppers cut up and frozen and also made into an awesome mustard.
Eggplants were used in a wonderful spread recipe “Zucasca” suggested by a friend.
Cherries from Cloudcroft were put up in a syrup and are sitting in the back of the pantry waiting for a special Sunday dinner of “Milch Mousse” a German cold soup.
Dill pickles from the freshest cucumbers picked in the morning from our gardens.
Onions dried and put into storage along with the spaghetti squash and yes the pumpkins!
Pumpkins do not can well so they are either made to purée and frozen or used fresh in soups.
below is a recipe for Whole Pumpkin Soup
Many of our seeds come from this Merchant below which we are an affiliate of.
We receive a percentage of the sale if you use our webpage to get to this merchant.
Thanks for supporting us.