My gift list reflects my love for trying out different types of food.
Growing up my mom would announce that she was heading out to the Asian Market to see what she could find to make for supper.
My dad would visit the Delicatessen regularly to see what kind of Bratwurst they had made this week. Around Christmas it was also to see if the famous singer back then "Heintje" had come out with a new album. An Advent Calendar was usually in the package he brought home with German chocolates.
Growing up in Canada I was surrounded by the diversity of many different cultures and their culinary influence was impressed on me. I love Sushi and what I would give to go to a local Donair shop or order Poutine!
What I miss the most are the Delicatessens. Going to World Market in Lubbock is the best present to myself for the Christmas season.
We bought a glass front fridge this year and kept it stocked with items like Eggs, Drinks and our CSA bags. Slowly we are adding new items and maybe another dream of mine can come to fruition some day... to open a Delicatessen!
Here is my Gift List...
The best tasting Root Beer and Ginger Beer from Colorado, Mesquite Mustard, California Dates, Stroopfwafel cookies, local Apple Juice from Idalou, Sauerkraut, Apple Butter, Apple Salsa, Apple Cinnamon Syrup, Apple Cider Spices.
Come by to visit, on cold mornings we have Hot Apple Cider!
PS. The most precious gift I have ever received is the Grace of Jesus Christ My Savior!
I wish everyone this Gift of Love which is free to all who are seeking Peace!
Jesse is our volunteer who comes in a few hours a week to help us out and to learn all things about a Garden Center.
She is a talented young artist and a musician. You will also see her at Farmers Markets selling her handmade items or playing the guitar.
We have always had Volunteer Wednesday and many have learned gardening here at Blumenflor through volunteering.
Here is Jesse's Gift List...
A set of Polka Dot Metal Planters, Indoor Plant, Ceramic planter with wooden stand,
Pollinator T-Shirt, Fall Bulbs, Plant-tone fertilize, Key Chain, Plant Lapel,
Plant Planner Stickers.
Rustic Aimee has been with Blumenflor for over five years.
She took some time off to have a beautiful baby girl but she is back helping us out with her vast knowledge of Horticulture.
I kept pushing her over the years to get a good education.
She attended Western College in Snyder, Tx. and has her Applied Science Degree in Turfgrass & Landscape Management.
Her love for plants is obvious when you see her in a flower bed transplanting or pulling weeds. I used to tease her that she had a vacuum cleaner in her back pocket because when Aimee finished a job it was always weed free and so nicely cleaned up. She has an eye for Landscape design and knows her plant material.
Below is her pic of the Gift List.
Fall planting Bulbs, Bulb-tone to feed those bulbs, Christmas Cards for Plant Lovers, Wire Victorian style Wheel barrel, Coir to fit in there, Butterfly Key-Hider, Abelia Rose Creek shrub, Metal Hose Tub, Rustic Lizard Ornament.
Pollinator T-Shirt, Hammock, Coir Mat. Rubber Mat Tray
Gift Card from Blumenflor - the best gift for a gardener!
Our Garden Technician "Maggie" reminded me that our list needed to be more than just 5 items! Using one of our carts she prepared a feast for the eyes of a gardener.
Only a gardener would but a 25 lb bag of Cotton Burr Compost on a Wish List for Christmas...Right!
That's why the cart, it could take the load. Let's see what else she has...
Garden Hose, Frost Cloth, Bio-tone Starter, Weed Barrier, Bag Planter with handles, Insecticide, Seeds, Hand Pruners, Trowel, Garden Gloves.
Maggie has a side business as a garden consultant. She has the experience of farming and small scale gardening. She is the girl that can run the tractor and her tool bag is always with her. She can give you advice when it comes to vegetable gardening. Her skills in laying out an irrigation system for our gardens is an asset to Blumenflor.
So back to her list... everything a gardener needs to start that garden. I LIKE IT!
We have impressive, unique gifts here at Blumenflor. Let us help you with that list of your own. I'm sure there is a gardener on there or a wanna be!
Stacey has multiple roles here at Blumenflor...
Market Manager, Social Media "Queen", a very good listener,
a Mom, a Grandma and a Caregiver.
Her Gift List reflects the love she has for her grand babies and her family.
We now have a children's section and she selected quite a nice assortment from there.
Children's Puzzle, Garden Game Board for Kiddos, 3D Dinosaurs that glow in the dark, Advent Calendars, Cardinal Bird Feeder and a Twirler.
Oh... and a cold Root Beer.
When Stacey shows up at Blumenflor at a random schedule we all hear on our walkie talkies... "STACEY'S HERE!" We all stop what we are doing and run to greet her. She is very much loved here at the Garden Center.
She is our glue that keeps us together! I also know that it is a special therapy for her to come out to Blumenflor and walk through the gardens and greenhouses taking pics here and there to post.
Blumenflor is a unique experience. Come out and get some good natural therapy! Walking the gardens or attending a Farmers Market will surely lift any one up.
Gifts, we have gifts too!
Daniel is our young intern working a few hours a week learning about horticulture. He has grown not only physically but also in his knowledge of plant material and will use this practical training in the horticultural trade some day. His love of plants is obvious and he has an inquisitive mind. There is so much to learn here that sometimes I can see his mind categorizing his learning experiences.
When asked to lay out a gift list of his choice he had one specific plant that had to be on the table. Abelia Rose Creek. He had helped us unload a semi full of shrubs and trees and these shrubs just grabbed his attention. He studied up on them and is now trying to convince his parents to use them in their landscape. Daniel is here on Saturdays and would love to talk to you about those shrubs. Him and his sister are also the masterminds behind all the childrens activities at the Farmers Markets.
Other items on his list Fiddle Leaf Fig Indoor plant, Macrame Hanger with Ceramic planter set and a Prayer plant. Organic Potting Mix, Well Hello There Door Mat and Mat Holder, Hammock, Cotton Seed Meal, Indoor plant liquid Fertilize, Rooting Powder, Blessed Ceramic planter, Amaryllis Kit and to keep his calendar up to date a Plant Lover Planner Sticker Sheet.
What cool items!
Megan's Gift List
I asked our Team members to go through our inventory here at Blumenflor and put together a Gift List that they would like to receive personally and share with our customers.
I will post one team member at a time.
All of these items are currently in stock but I must warn you of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)!
Megan taught me that one so I will start with her Gift list first.
Megan is our Creative Designer who loves Indoor plants! She has a determination to learn about different plants inside and outside. Her knowledge is very helpful. If you have had the pleasure of her serving you, you know what I mean.
Here is her selection:
some items are on our online store, the rest is available at our physical store.
Monstera (Indoor Plant) in a Metal Polka dot Planter
Hoyas in Ceramic planters with Wooden stand
Fertilize for Indoor Plants a must for any plant lover!
moving on to outdoor plants
Lavender , Mexican Petunia, Nepeta catmint all perennials for this West Texas area.
Mini Wind Spinner, Metal Hose Tub - accents to make the garden pretty and functional.
Flower- Tone Organic Fertilize.
Greeting Card a must to have on hand for any Plant Lover.
Being a Designer she can also help you with ideas for your planters for your front porch. Come by and visit... we love to talk gardening and help you with your Gift List!
.Our first Oktoberfest is now in the history books.
Wow it was an amazing turnout! The local community surprised us with their support!
We had contests, activities and live music. What helped us the most was the planning.
We sat down and brainstormed the ideas and eventually came up with a plan.
Putting it all down on paper and later onto our website page helped keep us focused.
We were not stressed about this Market and it flowed from one activity to the other.
My personal favorite was the pet parade. Second most favorite... playing in the Polka Band.
The vendors had great wares to sell and they participated in dressing the part with their Dirndl's , Lederhosen and Jaeger hats.
We are now in another planning mode. The Christmas Market Dec. 17&18.
The theme is a Handmade Christmas. We are thinking of a Cookie Exchange (24 cookies).
A contest " Handmade Sustainable Items." This is a broad area but can include anything that you have handmade that you feel is sustainable to our local environment. The sustainable contest has been postponed to next year .
We now have a Handmade Gift Contest for the Christmas Market. More details to follow on the Farmers Market page
The definition of sustainable is something that can be continued or a practice that maintains a condition without harming the environment. An example of sustainable is the practice of reduce, reuse and recycle. We as a whole market will be implementing more sustainable uses for the future.
If you look up the meaning of sustainable there is a lot to learn. My thoughts were always on the environmental aspect but I now realize that Blumenflor has been practicing sustainability in other aspects as well. There are 4 pillars to consider, Human, Economic, Social and Environmental.
Human sustainability focuses on the importance of anyone directly or indirectly involved in the making of products, or provision of services.
Social sustainability aims to preserve social capital by investing and creating services that constitute the framework of our society. It means to preserve future generations and to acknowledge that what we do can have an impact on others and on the world.
Have I lost you yet? It all boils down to this... We love our community and will do whatever it takes to preserve it for the future generations.
So here are examples for the above mentioned Contest: Recycled Feed Bags, Rainwater harvest system, Windpower, self made wood burning stove, Quilts out of used materials,
Gardening techniques etc.
It will probably end up being more like a Science Fair where the contestants demonstrate their projects that they have implemented. It can also be with pictures or the item itself. This is going to be interesting!
Our Market is so very unique that every customer/visitor goes home with their own special experience of being here.
Blumenflor as a Garden Center is always a learning experience. If you come with a question we find the answer or we already know it. We are here to help you become a sustainable member of our community. Sometimes it just starts with coming out to the Market or buying an indoor plant for your office space or starting a garden.
Thanks for looking us up. We appreciate everyone of you!
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!