Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Plantastic Voyage

This Saturday March 28th will be our third annual PLANT SALE at our Brooklyn Studio. It's one of my favorite days of the year. 

Profits we earn from the sale go towards a big purchase we're planning at the farm...two years ago it was a tractor down payment, this year it's a hoop house: our goal it 10K. That's A LOT of plants. More than I can reasonably see fitting in our studio at this moment actually...

On the list of goodies: begonias, lots of cacti, succulents, a myriad of ferns, a smattering of potted trees and a host of green leafy's that make good house plants. Also on offer are hundreds of Baker Creek seed packets; tomatoes, kale, squashes,  salad greeds, herbs, morning glories, poppies, etc...for those of you with outdoor space for growing.

The thing I love about the plant sale is that it gives us an opportunity to connect with people who follow Saipua but are not getting married or planning flowers for a event. That's a lot of people! And a lot of opportunities to encourage them to cultivate their green thumbs. I always tell people to start small; one plant on your window sill can be a good beginning. I also tell them; 'Look, you're probably likely to kill it.' Because the truth is, you gotta kill a lot of plants before you figure out how to keep them alive. God knows I did. And still do occasionally.

Inside Saipua we talk a lot about how we can possibly change the world through flowers...make it a little cleaner, a little greener. Make more people pay attention to the changing seasons, get them to notice and understand the rhythms of nature, even if they live in midtown manhattan. You'd be surprised at how often I explain to people that trees flower in the spring and make fruit in the fall. (Often in reference to why they can't have crabapple at their April event.) This opportunity to educate is precious and invaluable!! If we can get people excited to notice and tune into the small bits of nature that surround them, then we might be able to get them to practice some small bit of stewardship towards that nature...even if it's tending to some plants inside.

All this to say, come on Saturday if you can, if you like green, if you need to usher some spring in your apartment. I can get you set up right. I can also advise on ill-fated existing plants of yours. I can also make you a coffee. Supporting us in this way will help us to grow even more plants. 
It's like we're going on a plantastic voyage together!

*Sale starts at 10am sharp. Please no early birds! Delivery on Sunday is available to Manhattan and Brooklyn for orders over $350. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

burn it all down

Three weeks ago I told Eric I thought he should leave and travel around the world and we should break up and we should sell the farm. I had just come back from the city and walked around the house yelling and crying at him...upstairs, downstairs, face down on the bed, up down dropping grenade after grenade. I saw the hilarity in this as I was in the middle of it; as if I was watching a shitty made for TV drama staring sally field --  bless her -- and yet inspite of this understanding I could not pull myself back into clarity and kept marching around blowing things up in my life for an afternoon. In reterospect Eric must of recognized this because he didn't seem to take it as seriously as I hoped and went outside to do mid day chores, me sinking into bed fully clothed where I wept and then looked at instagram.  

Where I saw a picture of a swimming pool in the tropics. 

Ariel Dearie is a florist here in Brooklyn and we're friendly despite the fact that she's a tea drinker. A few days later she had given me all the information I needed to get to this pool. We've got a good thing going on here in Brooklyn; florists don't let florists burnout

Getting off the farm together is no small feat for Eric and I. We run it by ourselves in the winter, and although the chores this time of year (feeding and watering animals, throwing sticks for dogs) are relatively slim in comparison with our growing season.. Our sheep are clever girls, prone to testing the limits of their fence; one of our young livestock guardian dogs has a penchant for chewing on those sheep when he gets bored, and we've recently accumulated a frock of hungry hawks who've discovered the delicacy of fresh chicken flesh. 

All this said, a farm run by haggard burnt out farmers is no farm at all. I called Sarah Montiero from Farmhand Flowers. Few women are as skilled. She agreed to farmsit in an email that outlined her plan to 'handle anything that came up and tell us about it later' and I booked our flights. I tell you, it takes a village. 

While we were away I made a conscious effort to avoid conversations about Saipua and the farm. We read, applied sunscreen and listened to the only music that managed to download from spottify on Eric's phone: a playlist called Awkward Slow Jams. It was pretty epic. I travel a fair amount for work, but to go away with Eric and have nothing TO DO was a luxury I am so grateful for.

I've been back now for a week. In that time, things have gone right back to the chaotic whirlwind that is Saipua. We are having serious growing pains right now; we're on the precipice of our 10 year anniversary and it seems that everything has been thrown up in the air. I'm patiently waiting for it all to settle. 

At the farm we're waiting for lambs. We have 8 bred ewes and they are due to deliver in April. I order lube, and a bunch of small tubes and bottles and things that are all slightly too medical looking for me. 

My astrologer once asked me to think about what it would be like to wake up one morning as just myself instead of sarah of Saipua. Take all the flowers away, the farm...all the identity 'stuff' stripped away. Can you do that in your mind for yourself in your own life? It's strange right. And frightening. We build these things as armor. Protection from what?

Today is Monday. All this week we'll be gearing up for our annual Plant Sale this Saturday the 28th. More soon on that...