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Winter Blues? The Local Flower Solution

It had only been a two weeks without farmers markets, and I missed the fresh flowers already.  How would I get through the winter?  I suppose I could have gotten supermarket flowers now and then, but I really wanted to stay true my local flowers.  So what was I to do to get through a Wisconsin winter?!  Then I remembered the rows of dried flowers hanging in the garage.

Dried flowers hanging in the garage. Coincidentally, our kitty who is named "Flower"-- after the skunk in the movie Bambi-- also made her way into the photo!

Thank goodness for friends with great ideas!  My friend, Yuki, had worked with me all summer, and had seen me time and again toss unsold flowers over the fence into the compost pile.  

"Why aren't you drying these?" she asked me one day, "You could be using them dried."

My hurried response:  "I barely have time to keep up with the fresh flowers.  How could I add dried flowers to my plate too?"

She smiled calmly and said, "Trust me.  Just hang them up to dry for now and forget about them.  You'll figure out what to do with them later."

And so I did hang up my unused flowers that summer in our garage. (We had to park our vehicles outside for months!) When chilly weather rolled around, and I was pining for a flower fix, my dried flowers were there waiting for me, begging me to design with them.  Yuki was right!

And that's when it dawned on me how well this fit into my business model and my local flower mission.  In a climate where local flowers can't be produced year-round without the extensive use of fuel, dried flowers were the answer! 

Yuki and I in the summer of 2022. She and her family have now relocated to Washington, and we miss them dearly!

This was an environmentally-friendly way to preserve the locally-grown flowers naturally, create something beautiful, and then share it with customers to get them through the winter-- until springtime blooms were available once again.

Every summer since then, I have made time to harvest and hang bunches of flowers to dry for later use.  These dried flowers are just what I need on a snowy winter day, to remind me that to everything there is a season-- and that fresh flowers will be right around the corner again soon.


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