Floralora Flowers

Floralora Flowers is a small, sustainably run flower farm in beautiful Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Floralora Flowers is a small, sustainably run flower farm in beautiful Prince Edward County, Ontario. We are committed to providing a wide range of enchanting, locally grown flowers and foliage of the freshest quality to bouquet subscribers, market goers, florists and special event planners. 

Intern Search 2017!

It's that time of the year again! We are on the hunt for 4 awesome individuals to come join our team for the 2017 season!

Who are we?

We are small-scale flower farm using organic, sustainable growing practices, located in beautiful Prince Edward County, Ontario. Sas Long has been working in organic flower and vegetable farming for 7 years. She has worked with some of the best farmers in the country and has studied floral design with some of the best in North America, including Erin Benzakein, Amy Merrick and Jennie Love. This season, the farm offers very exciting learning opportunities as we expand our perennial and flowering shrub garden, expand our annual production, make use of our greenhouses to extend the season, establish permanent irrigation systems, expand our wedding design, CSA, wholesale business and much more.

In your downtime, you can explore the beautiful surroundings of Prince Edward County. We are a short bike ride to Point Petre on Lake Ontario, surrounded by wineries and foodie delights, immersed in a community of young and old creative people who enjoy sharing their knowledge with new enthusiasts. You can take the opportunity to visit and perhaps volunteer at other farms in the area, of which there are many!

Internship:

Interns will participate in every aspect of life on the farm and will be an integral part of the team. You will be expected to work a 40 hour week, 5 days a week (generally 9AM-5PM). Duties will include: Soil preparation, seeding, planting, weeding, pruning, harvesting, post-harvest preparation of flowers, preparation of flower CSA, selling at markets, assisting in and learning about floral design for weddings and events. There are also always construction projects on the go if interns would like to expand their skills in this department.

Two Full-Time positions: This season we are offering two full-time, 6 month positions. One will run from April 1- September 30, 2017 and the second will be from June 1- November 30, 2017 This internship is ideal for someone who is interested in starting their own flower farm or sustainable flower business. You will be immersed in every aspect of the business; learning about crop planning, seeding and transplanting, soil health, season extension, succession planting, harvesting, sales, floral design, client relations, and more. Must be an independent, self-motivated worker. Previous experience and a serious interest in sustainable farming and/or seasonally inspired floral design is important. A valid driver’s license is a must and a car is a plus The full-time intern will be compensated with room, meals, a $150/week stipend.

Two Part-time positions: The part-time intern will be on the farm for a two month period (April/May or October/November). This internship is ideal for someone who has an interest in sustainable flower farming and/or seasonally inspired floral design but are unable to commit to a whole season. It will be a good taste for someone who is interested in getting experience in this world. You will be involved in many aspects of the business and learn a lot about farming and floral design, focused on the point of the season you come in (there is wedding work, planting, and harvesting involved in each of the two month sessions). Previous experience is not essential, though a serious interest in sustainable farming and floral design is. A valid driver’s license is preferred. The part-time intern will be compensated with room, meals, and a $100/week stipend.

Who are you?

An ideal intern is someone who has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to learning the trade, in both in sustainable farming and the floral industry. Is capable of handling long hours, outside in all types of weather, repetitive tasks, spending a lot of time working alone, and heavy lifting. Has the ability to work well on a team, keep a sense of humour, and manage your personal health and emotional needs. Is respectful of communal living spaces and can contribute to the upkeep and maintinace of our house.

How to apply:

If you are interested in an internship at Floralora Flowers in 2017, please send your resume and a cover letter detailing why you are interested in working with us this season and which internship you are applying for, to Sas Long at: info@floraloraflowers.com

We will accept applications from now (December 27) until the position has been filled.

Some summer

Well, I have been extremely neglectful to this poor little blog this summer. I keep thinking that one day, I will be super organized and on top of things during the season and will have plenty of time to blog throughout the summer and keep you all up to date. Likely that will never happen to the extent that I dream about it but luckily social media is good and easy for mini updates.

This summer has been a crazy whirlwind. I feel like I blinked and it's over, but we got a lot of work done and moved a heck of a lot of flowers off of this farm! First and foremost I have to gush about Jaime McCuaig. If you've met her, you know, but Jaime is the most wonderful gal and I feel soooo lucky that she fell into my lap this particular summer. Jaime's been my 'intern' this summer but is so much more than that- she's really helped me run this farm and business this season. She's leaving in a month, which we are pretending is not happening, but excitingly, you'll be seeing more of Jaime next season (more news of that soon!)!

Yesterday was my one year anniversary owning this little slice of PEC heaven. It's been such a joy to live and grow on my land this summer, to create and build systems that can be used for years and to dream endlessly about all that is to come here in the future! This fall we are putting up (hopefully) two hoop houses. These will be unheated greenhouses that will allow us to get started a lot earlier in the season. I will also grow more delicate flowers in here to protect them from the elements (like the 100 David Austin Rose bushes I've ordered!!!!) and allow us to overwinter some plants that normally wouldn't survive in this zone (Eucalyptus!).

We have thousands of bulbs and hundreds of peonies to get planted this fall still and a lot of cleanup to do, but I am having so much fun planning next year's garden and imagining all of the ways that I am going to improve and grow for next year!

Next week, Jaime and I are off to a ASCFG grower's conference in Madison, WI. The following week we are headed down to Detroit to participate in a very special event. The Flower House is a project that I've been following for a few months now and when I learned that I had the opportunity to participate in it, I was over the moon! Check out their website and all of the amazing designers who are participating in it! It's sure to be a crazy floral adventure!!! We'll be designing a room with a gang of talent from Toronto Flower Market!

 

 

Summer 2015: Highlights

Since I have taken so long to update the blog, there is no way I can fill you in on everything that's happened this season. Here are some pictures to highlight some of the awesome things that happened this summer!

We are looking for an Intern!!

Floralora Flowers is looking for a summer intern!

 Who are we?

We are a small-scale flower farm using organic, sustainable growing practices, located in beautiful Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Sas Long has been working in organic farming for 5 years. Though a majority of this has been in vegetable production, her full scale flower production is going into it’s second year after a very successful first season. She has worked with some of the best farmers in the province and has studied floral design with some of the best in North America, including Erin Benzakein, Amy Merrick and Jennie Love. This season on the farm offers very exciting learning opportunities as we expand on to permanent land: planting and establishing an orchard and perennial berry crop, large perennial flower and shrub garden, building a greenhouse, establishing permanent irrigation systems, expanding our wedding design business and much more.

 Internship:

 When:  Between April 1 and May 1 (flexible) – October 31- November 30 (flexible)

Interns will participate in every aspect of life on the farm and will be an integral part of the team.  You will be expected to work a 40 hour week, generally Monday-Friday 8-5 (with a one hour lunch break), though these hours may shift depending on the week. Duties will include: Soil preparation, seeding, planting, weeding, pruning, harvesting, post-harvest preparation of flowers, preparation of flower CSA, selling at farmer’s markets, assisting in and learning about floral design for weddings and events. There are also always construction projects on the go if interns would like to expand their skills in this department.

Interns will live on the farm and contribute to the upkeep of its grounds and living environments. Food and room will be provided as well as a monthly stipend of $400/month with a bonus at completion on the season.

In your downtime, you can explore the beautiful surroundings of Prince Edward County. We are a short bike ride to Point Petre on Lake Ontario, surrounded by wineries and foodie delights, immersed in a community of young and old creative people who enjoy sharing their knowledge with new enthusiasts. You can take the opportunity to visit and perhaps volunteer at other farms in the area, of which there are many!

 Who are you?

 An ideal intern is someone who has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to learning the trade, in both in sustainable farming and the floral industry. Is capable of handling long hours outside in all types of weather, repetitive tasks, and heavy lifting. Has the ability to work well on a team, keep a sense of humour, and manage your personal health and emotional needs. A keen interest in sustainable and organic farming is a must, though prior experience on a farm is not necessary. A valid driver’s license is an asset, though not essential.

 How to apply:

 If you are interested in an internship at Floralora Flowers, please send your resume and a cover letter detailing why you are interested in working with us this season to Sas at: info@floraloraflowers.com

We will accept applications from now (February 3) until the position has been filled.

 

 

 

 

 

Is it actually the end of July?!

I cannot believe that July is almost over! What a crazy month! It's been great! The garden has finally come to life! After months of working and watching and waiting and working, everything is finally in full explosion of life and colour! It's totally beautiful. If I could harvest flowers all day, I would. So far, this is the very best part of the job! I was harvesting for market the other day, thinking "I better hurry up and get to work" until I realized that I was working!! What an amazing feeling! I think i get a little lost in the process and beauty of it and it ends up taking me forever, but like with everything else, speed comes with experience (and with being fed up with staying up until the wee hours preparing for market!!).

Loving market! (Photo credit: Rachel Cameron)

Loving market! (Photo credit: Rachel Cameron)

I've been really enjoying going to market again. I spent a summer going to Brickworks for my great friends at Vicki's Veggies and LOVED it.  There is such a wonderful energy working at a farmer's market, feeling the air buzzing with hard work, pride and excited customers. And good gracious, flowers make people so happy!! It's wonderful! 

Check out these gorgeous babes...

Check out these gorgeous babes...

Sweet peas seem to have an especially strong effect on people. It's odd, there seems to be a real nostalgia for people when they see sweet peas. They gasp, stick their nose in them and proceed to tell me a beautiful story about their mother or grandmother's garden or about how they have always wanted to grow them but they've never worked out for them.

I was really excited about growing sweet peas this year. I've never grown them before. They were the first seeds I ordered this winter, the first seeds I planted, the first seedlings in the ground in the spring. Unfortunately they were planted before I had my irrigation set up, had a bit of a rough start and I was worried I'd ruined the whole crop. They were really late to start, but one day I looked at them and realized they may just work out. Now I have a rolling, blooming sea of amazing smelling, gorgeous sweet peas to bring people back to their childhoods with! I love them!

Below are a few more pictures of the garden these days! Even though life feels insanely busy and time is flying, I'm feeling pretty good about things, learning a ton and so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty everyday!

Zinnias!

Zinnias!

I didn't think I liked Baby's Breath but I am totally in love with this Gypsophila Elegans!!

I didn't think I liked Baby's Breath but I am totally in love with this Gypsophila Elegans!!

I think Nigella was the one that made me want to start growing flowers.

I think Nigella was the one that made me want to start growing flowers.


Moving right along

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind.

As soon my plot was plowed, I was catapulted into the season.  I'm sure I always figured it was this way, but who could have imagined how stressful it is to start your own business?!? I've always known that I'd like to run my own business. I like working independently, at my own pace and making my own decisions. Though you really don't really realize what a freedom it is to work for someone else and leave behind all thoughts of work as soon as you walk out the door at the end of the day. There have been some sleepless nights and a few tears but I'm starting to settle into a good rhythm, or at least I'm so pooped from long days in the garden that sleep is starting to win over stress! I'm trying not to take things too seriously and keep enjoying what I am doing everyday. 

The garden is starting to come together. May promised rain every week and never delivered, so it was a real panic as I started planting seedlings without irrigation set up yet, relying on the rains that never came. With the help of some great friends, my irrigation is up and running beautifully and my little babes are drinking it up! There has been such a push to get everything in the ground, that I am only now catching up on all of the weeding! It's all about priorities! The plants are growing a bit slower than I would have liked, due to our chilly May, but it's warming up and they're starting to hit their stride now!

VERY happy to have water!

VERY happy to have water!

The most exciting news of the month is that Floralora Flowers has found a permanent home!! I bought a house on 2.6 acres in one of my favourite parts of the county and my sister bought the adjoining 4 acre field, so we have plenty of room to grow and grow. The house is a funny little seventies bungalow that needs a bit of work, but there is tonnes of work space, we got a great deal on the place and I can't wait to make it my own! I take possession on September 30, hopefully with time to get some bulbs in the ground before the cold comes! I had been worried that there would be water problems in that part of the county and that I would likely have to dig an irrigation well, but much to my delight, the home inspector found an already existing second well at the back of the property. Just the icing on the cake!

A sneak-peak at the new Floralora headquarters...

A sneak-peak at the new Floralora headquarters...

Look at all that land!!

Look at all that land!!

I designed flowers for an event last weekend at the most amazing house of a new friend of mine! What a pleasure to create flowers for such a beautiful backdrop! Luckily my extremely talented, jack of all arts, brother was visiting and able to capture my work with his gifted eye! I need him to move back from NYC and be my personal portfolio photographer! Might be cheaper just to learn a bit myself!

New life

Growing up, my Mom always grew bulbs in the house. Tulips in spring, at Christmas, Paperwhites were a staple and she always had a beautiful Amaryllis at some stage of life on the go. I always remember having the Amaryllis in the house. Noticing it’s dormancy, new growth or full, luscious red blooms. Watching it's life cycle, year after year.

I inherited her amaryllis bulb a year and a half ago when she died. Ever since it came into my care, it looked as good as dead, itself. Just a flakey, brown nub, poking its head out above the soil, no sign of life. I tried repotting it, feeding it, watering it, not watering it, sun, no sun, half sun and the thing wouldn’t change. But for some reason I couldn’t get rid of it.

This is a year of big change.

I’m starting my business, fulfilling dreams, letting go of the past and using the strength gained from it to look forward with excitement. I’m on the hunt for a piece of permanent property. A place where I can invest in my business and in my future growing beautiful flowers to share with the world. In the meantime I’m working with what I’ve got. I’ve set up my house as a grow-op (my bedroom is a tropical paradise!) and have hundreds of little flower seedlings on the go, I’m renting land to grow on from some lovely, new friends, I have plans to sell my floral bounty across my home of Prince Edward County and hometown of Toronto and I am proud and excited to watch this dream become a reality!

Already, 2014 has been a big one. Wonderful time spent with family, meeting my beautiful new baby niece, all of the immense learning that goes along with starting your own business for the first time, and thankfully, loads of support from those around me.

Last week, my Mom’s house sold and this happened:

 


I think we’re off to a good start!

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