Hello dears. So often on this blog of ours you see the girls and I looking absolutely pristine, not a flaw to be had, unless we’re purposefully making silly faces to add humor. But that is not how we look or dress every day. No, no! We have yard work days, house cleaning days, and then I have days when I go off to work at my friend’s flower farm.
The flower farm is actually not a just flower farm per say. It is a “Locally Grown Flowers” business called, “That Girl’s Flowers“. It’s also a kind of side shoot, or branch that extends off the trunk of the main farm called, “That Guy’s Family Farm“, which is primarily a vegetable/produce farm. Nellie, the girl behind “That Girl’s Flowers”, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ashmore who first began their farm in the late 70’s. They started farming in the conventional way, but as the years went by, they realized that conventional farming was not only stressful for them, but also stressful for the land.
In the late 80’s they were introduced to organic farming, and before many more years passed, they were hooked with the idea, and “That Guy’s Family Farm” was born. Naturally, the Ashmore’s children took after the vision of their parents and have been busy in the organic farming communities themselves, learning the art of cultivating delicious foods.
Nellie returned to the farm once she graduated college. I’m not exactly sure when the flower fields were first started on the farm, but it was definitely something that had been going on before Nellie went off to school. So when she returned to the farm, she picked up the flower side of the farm, turning it into her own business, “That Girl’s Flowers”.
That was three years ago. And for three years, Nellie has been inviting me to come help out on the farm. It has been a real pleasure to learn about the Lord’s intricate, and vibrantly colored creations we call flowers. My sole love as a child was for His creatures that scampered, flew, and burrowed deep into the ground. But ever since working at the greenhouse in the springtimes, and helping Nellie with her business during the summertimes, my appreciation for green things has grown.
It has been said that if you garden barefoot, the soles of your feet will absorb magnesium. I don’t know if that is true, but it can certainly be said that I don’t garden prettily. My hair is in straggly pigtails, I wear a tank and shorts (if it’s hot), or tees and pants (if it’s cool). My feet are shod with flip flops if its dry, and even then I don’t always keep them on (it’s to absorb that magnesium and get a good foot massage from the grubby turf). Needless to say, a hose is needed by the time my work hours (Mon. and Wed. mornings from 8 to 11) are up so I can get in the car without bringing some of the farm home with me. Haha!
There is nothing like being out in the good clean fresh air in the mornings, picking bunches of radiant flowers! I can stand just about any thing out there… except maybe the mosquitoes. Before I leave the house I have to spray myself down with a natural bug spray before I head outside. I smell potently of citronella, but it’s a smell I grew up with when we would go camping, so I couldn’t care less. So long as those pests don’t bite, I am free to enjoy a world of delights. Delights such as: noticing the morning shadows recede as the sun comes up over the treetops; warming up in the sunny part of the field after working in the dew-chilled shadows; observing all sorts of bug life (besides the intruders that enjoy my “tasty flavor”); being thankful that I have the strength to help in such a pleasant occupation; imagining all the fairy worlds and people I could have made as a child with the flowers I’m picking as an adult. I could go on, but I’ve rambled enough.
If you are wondering what kind of flowers made their appearance in this post, here is a list (from top to bottom pictures):
- A variety of Zinnias
- Russian Sage
- Chinese Forget-me-nots
- flowering Dusty Miller
- Rudbeckia (by Nellie’s elbow)
- Status (I’m holding a bucket of it)
If you want to see what flowers Nellie is cutting currently, check out her website here! Oh and isn’t the flower wagon just the best? Nellie’s brother fixed that up for her just a week ago, and it has saved us from having to trek back and forth to get empty buckets! Ah yes! You’re probably wondering how the morning goes: We bring the flower wagon full of empty flower buckets down to the annual flower field. Next we will take it on over to the perennial field until we have a full load. Nellie also grows some flowers in hoop houses (easy makeshift greenhouses), and she will go off to pick those while I’m working on the perennials. Once everything has been harvested for the day, we take the freshly cut flowers up to Nellie’s work area, and put them in a giant walk-in cooler. Later on in the afternoon Nellie will bouquet the flowers for market. And that is how it works!
I certainly hope that I have opened up a new window of light into our (my) life. I want to harken back to what I was saying above, though, about the fact that we do not always dress so nicely as you see on the blog. You see, one thing that we girls were taught at an early age is that there is work to be done, and we have to be willing to do that work, be it hard, laborious, dirty and smelly, or work that takes mental strength and stamina, is clean, tidy, boring, yet useful. I think the reason why I love working these kinds of outside jobs is because it is a way to balance the work I do indoors; singing, blogging, and such.
We are real, living breathing creatures made for work. Kingdom Work. Having an open mind for whatever occupation the Lord brings your way is a great help to guide you through the tough labor, and gives you a cheerful disposition. I think it is silly that our society thinks that we can live our lives autonomously (i.e. doing whatever makes us feel good). This is wholly unbiblical. We are to live lives that extend the gifts that the Lord has given to us to reach those who do not see the light. Those gifts may take us to offices, to homes to rear children, to construction sites, to the moon! And the gifts that we are given help guide us to the proper work the Lord has given us! This to me is wonderful, and I am so thankful for this clarity.
It has not always been easy for me to understand what I was meant to do, because I am a “Jane of ALL trades”. I could do just anything I put my mind to, except science and math, so I have struggled to keep a good focus on just one thing. Someone said to me that it is ok to have the ability to adapt to many jobs; that the Lord made some people like that so that they can fill in the cracks and make everything cohesive. When I was told this, a balm of peace came over me. I knew who I was at last, and I knew that the Lord had given me freedom to be able to help others in many different areas. My main focus right now of course is the work I do with my sisters, singing and blogging, but if I have time to earn money elsewhere, I am free to take on the task.
This is how I view my work before the Lord right now. It probably is very different than most perspectives, but it is the right one for me. And when I am married, I will be able to enjoy the different talents and mindsets of my children, and Lord willing be able to teach them how to best use the gifts they will have to use to further Christ’s Kingdom.
What is your favorite kind of work?
Are you a “Jane of all trades” like me?
Would you work on a flower farm, or for a florist perhaps?
Love and blessings,
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer