Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating Spring with Tulips + Butterflies + Citrus

I was given the incredibly fun task of making arrangements to "celebrate the spring semester" at a near by college.  

I knew immediately I'd get tulips from our friends at Van Dyk Brothers and then I had this nagging urge to include citrus and....butterflies of all things. 

I stood for what I'm sure was too long in front of the robust butterfly selection at my favorite wholesaler before saying to myself just buy the damn butterflies already! 

So honored to have had this work and so very in love with how they turned out.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Agriculture Supported Community 2018

Every year many farms (including ours) ask for members of the community to support their farm by buying a share. 

By becoming a member.

By joining their CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

At this time of year as we're gearing up for the season, planning, ordering seeds, and starting seeds in the greenhouse it's important to also plan for those neighbors who would love a share of fresh vegetables but can't find it in their budget to do so. 

The numbers of food insecure families in our state are far too high. The least of these families living in Hunterdon County and the most of these families living in Essex county.

Our farm is at the intersection of Burlington County, Ocean County and Monmouth County. The numbers of food insecure for these counties based on numbers from (last numbers available are 2015) are: 
Burlington (our county): 10.5% overall population and 12.5% child food insecurity (12,440 children)
Ocean: 9% overall and 17.5% child food insecurity (24,060 children)
Monmouth: 8.9% overall and 12.6% child food insecurity (17,960 children)

And since I mentioned Essex here are their numbers: 
Essex: 17.4% (138,050 people) and 16.4% child food insecurity (31,550 children)

So the stand out in those numbers to me is really the children. There are kids in class with your children that come to school hungry and they go home and are hungry. That is just not acceptable. 

Farmers are literally at the start of our counties (and country's) food system as we produce the raw product which gives us the unique opportunity to feed our community.  And with this unique opportunity gives of the chance to give the healthiest food to those who are lacking it. 

As there is nothing healthier than the raw (or steamed or roasted or whatever suits your taste) unprocessed product. 

Now what I need your help with.....

While our giving program is so small we hope that by helping just a few of our neighbors it will radiate and lead to more awareness and more giving. 

This season we will be gifting CSA shares to five of our neighbors in need. 

Last year I asked you to help me find families...  

Then a customer who moved to Florida stepped in and gave me a different idea. She told me the organization she'd like to see us work with.  She put me in touch was an amazing non-profit she volunteered with when she lived in New Jersey. 

Last year we worked with two great organizations and I plan to work with them again. 

However with more shares to gift I'd love your input. Do you know of an organization that supports families (your church, food pantry, etc.).  Great! email me your organization name and a contact person if you have one and I'll reach out to them.  We also accept sponsorships for families in addition to the 5 that we sponsor.  

My email: 

Each of the 5 CSA shares is for $200 which may only be used during 2018 season.  These folks can shop at our Purple Farmstand or at one of the tailgate markets we attend or both places.  These families are treated exactly the same as all of our other CSA members.    

Thank you for your help!

the purple farmstand

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Citrus and Dates + Minerals + Floral

Mixing floral and fruit is one of my favorite things to do.

Fruit is so beautiful and presents us with interesting shapes, textures, and a little, "is that an apple in my arrangement?" type situation.

Via instagram I found a new floral supplier...great!....however they are in Rhode Island.

I need very little reason to go visit somewhere. You know those people who only feel moved into travel for events such as weddings, 80th birthday parties, or burial...yea that's not me.

Flowers? Rhode Island? I'm in.

So off I went a few weekends ago to Rhode Island and I'm so happy I did. How refreshing the Floral Reserve is.  They offer retail and wholesale so if you ever find yourself in Providence, Rhode Island go fill your arms with loads of flowers, ferns, air plants, silk ribbon, candles, and much much more. And be prepared people. Pack clean buckets like I did.

So here's what I whipped up with the treats I got in Rhode Island....

Sample bridal bouquet with citrus, cotton, dates, minerals...basically the works!