Love House Dahlias

Monday November 3, 2014 ~ Ventura, California

Today we travel north to Ventura County, to stay on a 4 acre flower farm and work for two weeks. They specialize in dahlias and sweet peas.

 

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As you can see when we arrived the beds were empty.   It was unfortunate for us upon our arrival, but a good insight on how hard it is to grow anything.  Many consumers are purchasing inexpensive flowers and not purchasing enough locally.  However, there was plenty for us to do during our stay!

 

We spent some time transplanting vegetable seedlings, and using the drip irrigation system that was built for the beds.  There is a severe drought this year in California, and your water source definitely makes an impact on your business if it never rains.

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The greenhouse was semi-full of newly growing plants.

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This is a eucalyptus tree, right on the property.  The color of their flower is so bright!  There were also peppercorn trees.

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Here is an example of a dahlia tuber, pulled from the ground and saved for later planting.  Much like potatoes, dahlias also have eyes that will sprout to new plants.

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Below we used a traditional soil blocker to mix a recipe of soil to plant sweet peas.  Sifting compost from the property, and mixing it with peat moss, pearlight and lime – creates the perfect bedding for the seeds to germinate well.

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 Despite what you might think, California does have autumn – even though its still generally 75 degrees! The leaves still fall, and palm trees start dying.
Jacquie from Indiana was our farm manager.  We woke up every morning at 7 and discussed the days duties.

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Jude, and her horse, Jack.

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Overall it was a tremendous experience learning about planting, maintence, pests, compost and more.  I absolutely loved everyone I was able to work with.  Remember, to buy local!