28 April 2017

The calm before the storm

"Spring had come once more . . . lingering along through April and May in a succession of sweet, fresh, chilly days, with pink sunsets and miracles of resurrection and growth."

~ Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)


It always takes me some time to get up and at it again after the dizzying swirl of that most glorious of seasons.  

I pretty much crash for the month of January while the seed catalogues begin to arrive, piling up waiting for the day I get my flower farmer pants on and the planning of the growing season really begins.  I'm always thinking about flowers and the planning of the next season really does begin during the current growing season based upon successes, failures, challenges, likes, dislikes, special requests.   

Generally impatient in nature, while simultaneously (through shear flower farming exhaustion), silently wishing and waiting for the first frost to end the cut flower growing season, I'm anxiously looking ahead, impatient to try new varieties, new colours, new visions. 

Self-taught but inspired by much, a love of and interest in flowers developed into a passion which found me scanning the ditches, the woods, and my friends’ backyards for grasses, wildflowers, twigs and other gifts of nature. I couldn’t help it, or so it seemed, for I imagined all of these things taking some shape or place in my plucked from the wild floral designs.  It became clear over time that the natural look I was after could not be readily achieved from the flowers traditionally available from wholesale florist supplier and so I began to grown my own. 

I've been growing cut flowers for some time and I'm proud to be one of the areas only growers whose sole crop is flowers.  But, there is a flower movement afoot that has fuelled and recharged my love of and desire for flowers, sustainably grown from seed to harvest, and to making those flowers available on a local level.  

In March 2017, the New York Times published an article on this very revolution.

"A preference for wilder arrangements and fresh-from-the-garden or woodland-floor flowers is not new, of course." writes Deborah Needleman.  
It's so worth a read.


Harvesting from nature has always been my calling and it still brings me calm, joy and purpose all at the same time and I want nothing more than to share the opportunity for other like-minded flowering souls to experience that as well.  

While I'm not yet ready to workshop share my flower farming experience with others, I can share my love and style of floral design through a lovely MOTHER'S DAY Flowering Workshop and a unique Gifting opportunity that celebrates others who love flowers and flowering as much as I do.  More of these workshops will be available later in the growing season where you will be let loose to forage and harvest from the more than 50 varieties of flowers grown here at Moss Cottage ~ I can already see the beauty you'll create. 

To read all about the Mother's Day Workshop go here.

To read all about the Mother's Day Flower Gift Giving go here and here. 

OR click on the SHOP button to the left of the page.

I'm super excited and I hope you will be as well, let me know what you think.  The gardens are currently awash in wintery white, I've sought out Ontario growers whose flowers will be the source of our flowering fun.

Cheers,

Kate






14 November 2016

Winter 2016

Regular Hours begin December 2nd:

Thursday & Friday  1-4
Saturday  11-4
Sunday  12-4

~

As I sat to prepare the seasonal newsletter, it was a stunning late autumn day.  Production in the workshop began late this year with the extended growing season taking centre stage.  After a slow and steady start, the gardens and the honeybees burst into bloom.  It was an amazing season unlike any other.  For the first time ever, flowers from the gardens made their way to thanksgiving tables with the gardens flowering well into October. 

But, the ideas which have been spilling out onto the pages of the "Winter 2016" journal have begun to materialize as the workshop moves with a creative passion inspired by the possibilities of this most glorious of seasons.  As the days pass and we prepare for your visits, the joy, for us, and I hope you as well, really is in the details. 

Although it often takes a dusting of snow to spark the imagination and truly turn our thoughts towards the sweet familiarity of the holidays, we've been busy at work preparing for you with wood, wire, fabric and clay, greens wild foraged and market ordered, with a vision that explores and shares my love of handmade, mother nature and an ever increasing addition to the rustic yet urban naturalness of nordic design.  

And, I'm so excited to tell you that WREATHS will once again make their way to the shop.  Locally made for Moss Cottage from local evergreen goodness, they will take their rightful place among the greens and baskets, candles and carefully curated handmade goodness you have come to expect.  

If you've been thinking about gathering up a girlfriend or two for a relaxing night of handmade DIY then you'll want to take a look at our Christmas School schedule ~ A collection of creative workshops for the festive season are available for registration here.

So, take time to pause, to reflect, to plan, to lose yourself in thought about family, friends and join us as we share out most memorable magic, we are so looking forward to having you here ~  

Cheers and blessings of the season.  I appreciate you all. 


08 November 2016

INTO THE WINTER WOODS





Moss Cottage  
700 Hazelwood Drive


Although it often takes a dusting of snow to spark the imagination and truly turn our thoughts towards the sweet familiarity of the holidays, we've been busy at work preparing for you with wood, wire, fabric and clay, twigs and greens, with a vision that explores and shares my love of handmade, the natural world around me and an ever increasing addiction to the rustic yet urban naturalness of nordic design.  And, I'm so excited to tell you that WREATHS will once again make their way to the shop.  Locally made for Moss Cottage from local white pine, balsam and cedar, they will take their rightful place among the greens and baskets, candles, ornies, home decor and carefully curated handmade goodness you have come to know and expect in unexpected ways.  


The Christmas School ~ because you've been asking, is a thoughtful collection of creative workshops for the festive season.  Workshop listings will be posted to the blog on November 14th.

So, take time to pause, to reflect, to plan, to lose yourself in thought about family, friends, priorities and join us as we share our most memorable magic, we are so looking forward to having you here.  

Cheers and blessings of the season to you and to each of your families, we appreciate you all. 



01 November 2016

The Winter Season

While the seasons slowly change from Autumn to Winter, we are ever so busy in preparation for that most glorious of seasons here at Moss Cottage.

For us, the joy really is in the details . . . coming really soon.  I hope you will stay in touch.


08 September 2016

FLOWERING AND SHARING

To say it's been a roller coaster of a seasonal ride would be an understatement.  With cold temperatures right through mid-June, flooding rains in July and the season of implement breakdowns, it looked like the flowering season may never actually get going at all.

Thankfully with the kind support of a fellow market vendor (Doug Stanton from the Chocolate Cow) and his very handy single furrow plow, the work started earlier in the spring was finished and the flower field was planted. Finally finishing into the first week of July was frustrating, disheartening and a relief all at the same time.

This season saw my first ever actual and complete breakdown over the weather - ever.  Sheesh ~  Hard but joyful work indeed.  But mother nature (I'm sure having sensed my total emotionally challenged state) came through and the warm and lovely summer that followed brought on one of the loveliest flowering seasons ever.  Wedding bookings were saved from having to hit the Plan "B" button and market flowers, while later than ever, finally made their way to The Urban Farmchick market table early September. 

Now, with the forecast decent and a little help from frost protection hoop tunnels, here's hoping that we see the end of September and beyond for this flowering season. 

And now, for the first time, with the gardens literally bursting with the flowers, grasses, vines and herbs so carefully seeded, tended and ready for harvest, you can order Fresh Cut Urban Farmchick flower bouquets online (and for delivery - with exceptions).

To all you Urban Farmchick peeps who continue to support my love of flowering and getting dirty, THANK YOU, I really really really appreciate you all!!





Our regular, oh so pretty, Urban Faramchick style market bouquets will continue to be available at market every Saturday, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. but you can also order those online - for pick up only.  

Here's to growing flowers, the good, the bad and everything in-between.




23 November 2015

A WINTER'S TALE


A WINTER'S TALE

Open House

Saturday, November 28th
11 - 4
Sunday, November 29th
12 - 4

~

Regular Hours December 5th-20th
Saturday 1 - 5
Sunday 12 - 4

~~~~~~



Winter weaves her magic into that most glorious of seasons in familiar and yet ever changing ways.  While the season finds us foraging & harvesting and preparing as we always have, this season finds me doing so with a different purpose, a changing vision - and therein lies the tale.  We have been harvesting, foraging and weaving our creative evergreen spell for many years and it's so lovely and inspirational to have so many of you still gracing the doors of our little workshop, leaving with pretty green bundles and packages tucked in under your arms, over your shoulders, your friends shoulders.  Each year, I continue to find myself in awe of how that first cut of balsam or pine sends me into creative overdrive enveloping the workshop in the most magical all natural fragrance that only fresh cut evergreens can provide.  As those greens work their way into winter wreaths which grace your doors as you welcome the Christmas season and beyond, I am inspired and grateful that you continue to allow us to be part of such a special season. 


One of the things I love most about this wildly creative place is that all I do, all I grow, all I create, is with my hands.  I work the land, weed, prepare and plant the gardens, grow flowers, harvest evergreens, twigs and branches which weave their way into this and that here and there, sharing with you all along the way.  This year, more than ever before, the hard, but joyful work of these hands have begun to speak to me in ways that many of you, I suspect, experience also - that of arthritis.  I officially have inflammatory osteoarthritis which is most acutely aggravated by repetitive hand work.   Coupled with Renauds, my hands are in need of tender loving care and it is that acknowledgement which has led me to a changed vision.  Knowing how much our work has come to be a tradition for so many of you, I have not made the decision lightly but rather out of necessity, your visits at this special time of year are an important part of my life, one I look forward to and plan for each year.  And while this year is no different in that respect, we have been working hard, foraging, harvesting, gathering and making, enjoying mother nature's kind and gentle ways this past month or so, you will see changes, changes which I am hopeful you will embrace and understand. 


What does it all really mean?  It's a year of change but one which will allow me to continue to take special orders from the usual suspects, while managing time spent on repetitive handwork tasks.  Although you will not find our traditional collection of ready-made evergreen wreaths, you will find the shop brimming with wreaths of a different kind, beautiful fresh greens by the bunch, twigs, baskets, a selection of planters, all of the usual handmade goodness and DIY inspiration you have come to expect and Workshops to inspire and delight. 

The workshops are posted here ~ I hope to see you exploring your creative self. 

Cheers and blessings of this most glorious of seasons. 

All images:  the urban farmchick












04 November 2015

A Winter's Tale

It has been a stunning autumn, one of the best in a while and my favourite time of year.  With mild days and cooler nights, the greens are being harvested, the moss gathered, the cones dried.  The workshop is awash in those most familiar scents that arrive but once a year in preparation for that most glorious of seasons.

Details, and it is all in the details, are being fine tuned ~ ready to deliver.  Are you ready?  Stay with us for just a few more days and I'm absolutely sure you will be as excited as I am.



In the meantime, my husband Brad has been throwing the most stunning pieces in preparation for the Thunder Bay Potter's Guild Christmas Show.  I'd like to keep them all but apparently that's not a go!  

You can visit the TBPG Christmas Show, Saturday, November 14th and Sunday, November 15th at the Valhalla Inn.