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Meet Your Farmer | Lawrence Zietz

August 5, 2022

By Lawrence Zietz

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Farms for the Future
Quail Hill Farm
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Our first large succession of flowers at Quail Hill Farm is tapering down, but we still have plenty of variety in the fields to hold us over until the next succession starts really producing. Last week’s bouquets were some of the most diverse of the season, with about a dozen types of annual flowers in play. Snapdragons continue to come in waves and - fingers crossed - we’ll get another good flush or two out of that first planting. Scabiosa (one of my personal favorites), rudbeckia, gomphrena, ammi, zinnias, cosmos, and marigolds have been solid for us this summer, and there should be a fair amount of each of those out there for us again this week. The poppies and the feverfew are definitely on their way out, but new last week was our asclepias and our first few Dahlias! - which will hopefully be showing up in a big way for us very soon. To fill out our bouquets and add a bit of texture, we’ve been using yarrow and autumn olive foraged from Birch Hill, in addition to some bronze fennel flowers from the herb circle.

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Reminder: Cut flowers do best when harvested early in the morning, but after the dew has evaporated. Make sure you’re always using sharp scissors or snips when harvesting flowers and cutting the stem at an angle so that there is more surface area for water to be absorbed by the flowers. Generally speaking, flowers will hold longer in a vase if they are harvested before they are fully open. You’ll want to avoid flowers that are fully pollinated (ex. zinnias with the fuzzy/convex centers) because they won’t last very long in a vase. When cutting sunflowers, you should harvest the ones that are just barely open to maximize vase life – but if you need a bunch of flowers in full bloom that day, go for it! Pick flowers, have fun, take what you need.


Adapted from a note to Quail Hill Farm members by Lawrence Zietz, Propagation and Flower Coordinator. Interested in joining Quail Hill Farm? Visit our website to sign up for the Summer or Winter share.

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