What we didn’t know about Mr. Love…

“Love Stinks” seems like the appropriate soundtrack to the legendary events of February 14th about 1,000 years ago. It turns out that tragedy had a hand in originating the now fluffed, candied, hearts and flowers holiday of today.

Claudius II, emperor of Rome during 270 AD was inclined to believe that marriage made men weak and that “love” was a distraction to the ultimate goal — fighting and winning wars. We don’t know if there was a personal reason for this opinion or whether or not he himself had an awful or distracting experience with love, but, being the Roman Emperor, he had the power to completely ban marriage and he did.

Some things in life, however, cannot be stopped by laws, opinions, bans, persecution or even the threat of death.

Love, Love, Love

St. Valentine became the Ambassador Of Love and began secretly performing marriage ceremonies for couples desperately in love. He was arrested once he was found out (did a disillusioned bride or groom tattle on him?) and imprisoned.

There are a few legendary tales describing the happenings thereafter, but the gist of the story is that St. Valentine wrote a note to a girl that had fallen in love with him during his time behind bars. He wrote it right before he was killed.  He signed it “From your Valentine”.

Good news is that Mr. Valentine has not been forgotten.  Not by a long shot. His sacrifice for love has been celebrated and has grown in popularity and significance over time.

At this point in time, those who choose not to celebrate it or who choose to ignore it or (*GASP*) forget about it are the persecuted ones and seem to be eligible for their own kind of imprisonment.

That being said, we are still enjoying creating new versions of hearts and flowers in celebration of Valentine’s Day – see below 🙂IMG_0771 (1).jpg

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Kind Words

We were so happy in the office to receive these kind words from one of our valued customers – we were so excited that we may be oversharing 🙂

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Hi Creekside Farms,

I want you to know how much I love your quality products. I purchased the pepperberry and eucalyptus wreath and garlands. When I received my package the items were fresh and fragrant, they held up beautifully throughout the holidays. Now that the season is over they have dried but are still just as beautiful (see pic).

Thank you for creating such a beautiful quality product. I look forward to future purchases.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ericka
Thank you, Ericka! We are looking forward to providing you with more freshness and fragrance for years to come.

Taking A Moment

“Life is not measured by the breaths you take but, by the moments that take your breath away”.

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Perhaps a little preview of what is coming in the next few months – this rabbit caught Scott’s attention from his desk. We were able to snap a few pictures before we were spotted and the bunny got jumpy.

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Don’t think some of us could stop ourselves from saying
“awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww”

when this little cottontail started washing its face in the shelter of our lavender.

Bring It On

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The picture above was taken before the sky let loose yesterday and shared some of its bounty.

We enjoyed the show of wind and water from our front row seats.

Some of us had this song going through their head as a perfect soundtrack (wink wink). Click on the link below if you would like this song stuck in your head as well.

You’re welcome.

Bring On The Rain

Best Job Ever

This stunning sunset made us feel like writing down just a few of our blessings:

  • we have no need for “hang in there” posters (the cat in the tree…) because all we have to do is look up and out. Whether we are in our office or our warehouse, we are surrounded by incredible, expansive views.
  • we don’t have to decorate our desks with pictures of some of our family members, because we pass them a hundred times a day, open a door for them, discuss an order, walk the fields, stress over rain or bring them back a burrito if we are out of the office.
  • what we are surrounded with is what we grow and the land we grow it on – how cool is that?
  • hard work makes us the good kind of tired.
  • we couldn’t be sedentary if we tried.
  • it allllllllways smells good here.

 

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Looking back towards our office
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Sunset from the office windows

 

Having Company Over

Isn’t there something about having company over that is energizing and exciting?

Besides the initial nervousness of making everything look “just so”,  being able to show people what we do on an every day basis and share the beauty that surrounds us is a blessing.

We were able to have just this experience (only with a bit more sweetness sprinkled in) when we had a school field trip here last Thursday.

We were greeted by 10 eager, shiny faces and questions like “what’s this?” “do these seeds fall out?” “is this lavender?” “can I smell it?” “why?” “can I touch it?”.

Allen was the tour guide; his expertise in all things farming making answering the questions a breeze and easily satisfying curious minds.  They started outside, walking down the paths and looking at the fields and rows of the various crops we are growing.

We are so lucky to have Teri’s photography skills right here on the premises!

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Next on the itinerary was heading inside where the magic happens using what we grow outside.

Everyone had the opportunity to stand at one of our work tables and use bunches of herbs to make custom bouquets that they secured with some raffia ribbon. Thank you, Rodolfo, for the beautiful set up!

It was a pleasure having such good company over.

p.s. This class was a deviation from our usual business group and garden club tours. If your group would like to come see us, just give us a call! A lot of times we are in the field, working in production or inspecting wreaths before they are shipped out, so a week or two notice is best in order to make sure someone is available to show you around. Also, if you wanted to pick up a wreath when you visit, be sure to order online beforehand to make sure it is ready for you to pick up (choose local pickup in the shipping options). All of our wreaths are made to order. If you need help in deciding or placing your order, just give us a jingle and we would be more than happy to walk you through it.

www.creeksidefarms.com – (831) 674-1234

 

 

 

Beginning and Endings

Beginnings and Endings

There is no better way to describe our past week here at Creekside Farms than new beginnings and bittersweet endings.

Our family has participated for over 7 years in our local Salinas Valley Fair in King City. This year brought in an all time high attendance of 38,000 people and a record breaking 1.86 million dollars for the Junior Livestock Auction. The generosity and support of our small community is truly remarkable and we are so proud to be a part of it.

Allen and Teri Umbarger experienced their final fair as direct participants, as their youngest son Bryce is graduating from high school this year and is off to UC Davis in the fall. Bryce received 3 best of shows for his photography entries. Teri is an avid photographer, so this apple didn’t fall very far.

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One of Bryce’s best of show entries

Their oldest son, Branson, is attending Holy Names University where he is majoring in Business and playing baseball. He is back for the summer, working at the farm with a long list of tasks, we are so happy to have his help and brawn.

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This “selfie” that Bryce took with his pig, Patricia, has become a local favorite (I mean – look at those smiles!!!) and is being entered in bigger fair competitions – it is priceless.

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Bryce and Patricia

Aaron Umbarger volunteers every year for an exhausting but satisfying 4 days, working the swine barns, coaching kids, corralling run away pigs and spending time with his children, Matt, Kady and Sam. Matt is a junior in high school and will have one more fair to participate as a FFA member and a member of the Junior Fair Board. His pig, Mary Porkers, weighed in at 250 lbs proving that those twice a day feedings, walks and pen cleaning did the trick. Matt also won a Best of Show for his table that he made in Advanced Ag Mechanics.

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Matt’s Best of Show project

 

Kady and Sam have not yet made the foray into the livestock portion of the fair, but love the atmosphere and the time spent with the annual reunion of friends. We look forward to sharing their pictures with you next year when they attend as participants.

Stacey and Tim who live in San Diego were unable to sneak away and attend the fair. They stayed back with their two sons, Ian (14) and Gavin (10) who spent their week filled with baseball games. Their daughter Fiona although only 8, is a seasoned traveler often flying by herself to join her cousins. She made the trek to cheer them on and enjoy the fair.

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R-Ian, M-Fiona, R-Gavin
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L-Fiona, M-Kady, R-Lucas

Scott Umbarger and his children, Adam, Logan and Lucas had a full, fun fair. Logan’s pig, Speckles, received a group 1 in his market class and 7th in his weight class. His self-portrait entry won best of show! Adam is a freshman at Palma High School and is busy playing baseball but enjoyed coming to the fair and watching his siblings. Lucas, who just turned 9, will participate next year and was busy watching and learning the ropes.

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Adam
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Logan and Speckles
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Logan’s self portrait 

This little new beginning is making all of us sigh and cuddle. She is so precious. Lily is learning all about life here on the farm, running through the lavender, greeting everyone and taking very long naps.

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Lily

We are the best kind of tired you could possibly be; celebrating endings and beginnings.

A Closer Look

Life gets busy.

For all of us.

We are running, trying to keep up with what needs to be done, prioritize and do the right thing.

Maybe the saying about taking the time to “stop and smell the roses” is not meant to include just one of our five senses. Maybe if we stop long enough to bend down, put our noses up close to the flower, close enough to smell the scent that it makes (how crazy is THAT?!), it is our eyes that will be given a gift as well.

It is truly amazing when we actually notice the tiny details of the sights we get used to seeing on a daily basis. There are so many things we probably just don’t notice anymore – not through any purposeful disregard on our part, just because we are moving too fast.

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” ~ Arthur Conan Doyle

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These are dried Nigella pods and they have an adorable nickname…”love-in-the-mist”. They are originally from India, Egypt and Turkey. They don’t ever open, but are filled with tiny seeds and have been used to season food, repel insects from clothing and have been known to restore the sense of smell. Even if you look at a bunch of them all together you may miss the minute details. I love how the points perfectly come together to cause that ribbing on the sides and that little center, how the shades of burgundy vary and fade in between each point from dark to light.

 

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Lacy, frilly skirts on stems. That is all.

Statice – shown here in white, but is grown in so many amazing colors. Coral, peach, purple, yellow, pink…incredible.

Bravo, Nature!

 

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Um. Excuse me….. Wow.

Hello, little fireworks of the earth.

I was not even a teeny tiny bit shocked to find out that they really are called Firecracker (Gomphrena is the fancy name) Globes.

Look at those individual soft spikes with the minuscule yellowish buds!!

 

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Whiter than freshly fallen snow. Whiter than puffy clouds. The perfectly formed petals crown the yellow to brown puffy centers…they just kill me.

I need to lay on the floor for a minute.

Its name is Ammobium, but it has a nickname of Winged Everlasting which I like much better.

This is a reminder to me and hopefully to you not to miss the little things, as they are important as well. Here at Creekside Farms, we are fortunate to work with so many wonderful natural elements. We too need to be reminded to stop, smell and enjoy the amazing pieces of nature that surround us. Let’s not be too guilty of what T.S. Eliot was referring to in this line from “Choruses from the Rock”: “Where is the Life we have lost in living?”

 

 

 

A Lickable Wreath

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That isn’t a typo. We are aware that lickable is not a “real” word (there is a red line underneath it as I type); but Mr. Urban is apparently way more accepting than Mr. Webster, so it is at least in some sort of dictionary.

But this color! It’s all slushy/lollipop/sorbet/raspberry frosting/sweet tarty!

Here is the more realistic but not less exciting description:

It is Heather. Calluna vulgaris. From the Greek ‘Kallune’ meaning to clean or brush (twigs of heather were used to make brooms) and ‘vulgaris’ from the Latin word for common. It is the most prolific and abundant plant in Scotland and the flowers are a staple in Swedish herbal medicine.

Just in case you were wondering.

But please put brooms, medicine and made-up words (but maybe not Scotland) out of your mind and look at another picture of this little (14 inch) piece of art, this time the pallet is mixed with fragrant sprigs of rosemary.

 

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And it smells wild and real on top of it.

family is work is family…

The type of work we do here is all integrated.

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It happens here and everywhere!

Our front entry way (pictured above) doubles as a drying area for our new pink roses, new herbs we may be trying out or other freshly cut product that needs more warmth than our back warehouse can provide.

Our offices and our design studio all share an open space. This table is a hub…our design space, and on some days, our conference table.

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Our gorgeous dried Zinnias and some new pods we are thinking about integrating

Being family owned and operated, this is our second home. And like being home, everyone wants to be here (on most days ;)).

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perfect example

The picture above is such a good example of what I am describing.  This is right above the desk where I am typing this. It is one of our handmade lavender wreaths, made from what we grow here, and a glimpse of a couple of the pictures of the kids/grandkids on the wall next to it.

sigh.

Life is good.