I haven't been able to blog for months while our new website has been settling in. But today I'm giving it a go for the first time in ages. While the blog's been out of action we certainly haven't, and this week at Common Farm Flowers has been pretty typical! Starting last Saturday morning we had a pop up shop at the Roth Bar and Grill at the amazing Hauser and Wirth gallery just this side of Bruton where we sold flowers and books and postcards and gardening gloves surrounded by the current exhibition of Elisabeth Frink sculpture. The Hauser and Wirth exhibitions never fail to amaze, and this one was almost comforting too: do you know that feeling when you come face to face with real art which you know well through books and posters, art you've seen all your life, but never SEEN? The Frinks at Hauser and Wirth are gorgeous, tactile, less massive somehow than I thought they'd be... I LONGED to touch them. The awful truth is that without popping up at the Roth Bar I might have missed this show altogether, so I'm grateful for having been invited, and I don't mind a bit that we had to get up early and spend a Saturday chatting up the interesting types who come to Hauser and Wirth galleries while Elisabeth Frink figures and heads, despite being of course static, seemed to dance about around us. What else this week? Well, the dream team came together again, this time for the big send out of Valentine's flowers. Lorraine and Andrew are friends who pop up here from time to time, armed with cake and sausage rolls, unending good humour, and full of chat, to help out on busy days. The make what otherwise might be stressful, long, and ultimately repetitive work, jolly, cheerful, and fattening (all the cake!) so that the big days fly by and we hardly notice our feet hurting at the end of it. We've two Flower Farming workshops this week, one yesterday, and one tomorrow. Yesterday's brought a student who came with his wife and told me straight as he came through the door that he was sceptical that flower farming could pay at all, and that he challenged me to prove him wrong. It was an enormous compliment when he shook my hand at the end of the day and told me I'd totally convinced him that flower farming would be a good way for him and his wife to diversify in their Kentish smallholding, and he congratulated me on being so businesslike. As a person with no business training, and who was told she was bad at maths at school, I took this as a great compliment and am still pretty much glowing. If I can teach even a small number of people the basics of turning a dream into a business, help them realise how simple (if fundamental) a business plan can be, and help them see that a grand idea need only be turned into a series of small jobs which can be achieved piecemeal, then I'm very happy. After all, if I can start a seedling kitchen table business and grow it into the flourishing enterprise it has become, then anybody can. Our next Flower Farming workshop is on 29th March. More Kitchen Table Business Workshops to be scheduled soon.
There's no such thing as a quiet week at this flower farm.