2022 Farm + Life Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a life and farm update. With all the sadness in the world right now it’s especially difficult to open up when others are going through so much heartbreak and pain. It makes our struggles seem easier to get through and the gratitude we have for our life is more present than ever. 

Spring is upon us! The grind of being flower farmers is here…just about. We aren’t harvesting roses quite yet, but the sense of panic and stress have begun. The much needed winter rains have made our typically barren CA hillsides very green and gorgeous, which also means the weeds are extremely active. We can’t pull them or cover them up with weed barrier fast enough. Then men of GRF are laying 10 acres of fabric and with only 25 days until the roses start to bloom, it’s a hustle.

We got a frost. I know what you’re thinking. We just moved to a warmer area that doesn’t get frost because we suffered too many abrupt fall frosts and late winter frosts that crippled our farm. Well, apparently we got a freak cold snap that forced all the orchards nearby to turn on their wind machines. There were 3 cold mornings the week of Valentine’s Day that hovered around 32 degrees. Thousands of our roses suffered frost damage to their tender top growth. I watched the plants for a few days to see if they would push through the damage, but most didn’t, so we trimmed 4-6” from the tops of the plants. That was a big job and an expensive one because we had to bring in contract labor. I checked on the roses today and they are back in action growing well and we are still aiming to have cut roses for you the first week of April!

The bad news isn’t over. We lost a lot of roses during our move. I hate typing those words, but it’s true. I’m not a perfect farmer.  I planned every detail of our move, but the inevitable happened. Losing plants that we’ve nurtured for 5-7 years is tough. Rose bushes require many years of investment and love and to watch them die is pretty heartbreaking. It also means that my fields will have holes in them where we had to pull out dead plants that didn’t survive transplanting, and well, that’s going to mess up the drone footage we have planned for April. We have something special being filmed at the farm and now I’m scrambling for replacements. In the scheme of things it’s not a big deal, but also a bummer to lose mature rose bushes. 

Fermin moved! After a year separated from my bestie / our farm’s beloved foreman, Fermin is finally living close by. For those not familiar, we moved a year ago and Fermin stayed behind to care for our previous farm while we were still farming the land there. We found Fermin’s family a lovely three bedroom rental near the farm. They absolutely love it! His kids just got enrolled in school today! We had hoped to buy them a home, but starter homes in our area where there are great public schools are 850K+. Homes at that price point get snatched up by flippers and cash buyers so we couldn’t compete. The mortgage on a house that price would be less than what we’re paying for rent (which kills us) but we will find him the perfect permanent home when the time is right. Fermin and his wife are expecting their third son this May and we’re throwing her a baby shower at the farm. I’m excited to start planning and we are so grateful for the beautiful home Fermin and Shelby have to raise their boys. It’s safe, newly renovated, across the street from the school and just right for their family. 

Buddy is recovering at the specialty hospital where he had his TPLO surgery last week. He’s going to be restricted to a crate for about two months, which is devastating for a dog that is used to having 20 acres to run free. Our sweet boy is such a gentle giant and my heart breaks for him being in pain and unable to walk. His doctor said he’s doing great though and we look forward to bringing him home later this week. We will get him started with PT, acupuncture and hydrotherapy when he’s cleared for movement. 

A few weeks ago I shared that I would be having my first mammogram because I was having breast surgery. My surgery was February 28 and I’m now a week post my breast revision. In my early 20’s I got implants that were way too big and I hated them. I had them removed in 2013 and a lift done at the same time, but with weight loss, gain and IVF my chest grew and got saggy. Even though IVF didn’t work for us, I was very receptive to the hormones and my body changed drastically in a short amount of time. I was a 34G, nothing fit well, and my bras would dig craters into my shoulders. I’m so happy with the outcome already even though I’m still very swollen. My doctor brought my size down immensely. Recovery has been easy and the results are life-changing. I went back to the same surgeons who did my implant removal in 2013 and I couldn’t be happier. Please send your questions if you’re curious!

Seraphina is such a doll and we are loving this sweet stage. She will be two at the end of May and we’ve been discussing adopting another baby girl so she has a sister. Our adoption team is looking for the right match for us and we will see what comes of that in the coming weeks and months. Adoption, the way we do it, is a huge time and emotional commitment. I throw my whole self into nurturing our birthmother, which is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life because of the emotional toll. I’m not sure I’m ready for the highs and lows that come with adoption, but at the same time, our hearts are open to finding a birthmother who wants to place with us. We are also hoping to finalize Seraphina’s adoption soon. It’s stressful because the courts are backed up due to Covid and not knowing when we will get to officially call her our daughter is a source of stress because it's out of our hands. The time will come soon and we will be sure to let you know when it happens! We’d love your well wishes on getting Fifi’s adoption finalized, as well as leading us to the perfect match with a woman looking to place her unborn baby girl with us. 

We have 6,000 new rose bushes arriving in April. I am SO excited for them! We are filling our 30-acre farm one square foot at a time. By the end of 2023 we will have around 100,000 rose bushes blooming. It will be a sight!! We are also planning a trip to Bogota to spend time with our partners, Alexandra Farms. We can’t wait to show you their beautiful farm and the people behind their roses.

I think that’s it for now!! We have some beautiful launches coming as soon as next month and throughout the year. I look forward to sharing more with you soon! XO

David Austin Garden Roses

The world's most loved and cherished garden roses for English breeder, David Austin.

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