The temperatures soared for us here in the last few weeks. We went into conservation mode and started opening windows in the office early in the morning and closing everything up when we started to feel the heat creeping in. We worked in the office with the lights mostly off (our windows provide beautiful natural light). If you have a naturally lit office space, we suggest you try this sometime ~ once the eyes adjust, it actually provides an effective calming ambience to the office day.
On a brighter, more colorful note ~ Look what the sun did for our zinnias!!
Once again this year we set up a coffee stand and welcomed hundreds of cyclists as they passed by our ranch on Jolon road. The riders are traveling from King City to Paso Robles on the third day of the ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This year we served cookies instead of donuts and it seemed to be a big hit with the riders. Although the ranch is not far from the morning starting point, the riders not only enjoy the coffee and cookies, but are also are treated to the wonderful aroma and beauty of our lavender fields at the ranch.
The annual AIDS Lifecycle event raises millions of dollars every year that helps support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center in their efforts to provide services and support to folks living with HIV/AIDS. This year’s ride has raised over sixteen million dollars to date.
We begin harvesting California Pepperberries the month of October. This year we are seeing an amazing amount of berries on the trees. Pepperberries were one of the first items we sold to Smith & Hawken back in 1989 when we started our business. Carol & her crew spent many wonderful days harvesting the berries throughout the county.
Pepperberries are still an integral part of our business. Pepperberry trees were planted on many ranches back when California was homesteaded and are still very prolific in our area. We now have trees planted at both our Greenfield location and on our ranch in King City.
Our lavender fields have been breathtaking these last few weeks. We have enjoyed looking out into a sea of blue and now that it is at its peak, we must harvest it. Our bunches of lavender are hung to dry and then stored for year round use. Its vibrant color and scent makes beautiful wreaths and it is a great accent to many of the pieces we create. Before the weather turns too cold, we will go through and harvest our lavender again.
We have fresh lavender available now for a short window. We can ship fresh bunches or we welcome visitors who’d like to come harvest a bit for themselves.
All of our prep work these last few months is coming to fruition. We were finally able to start planting early in the month. We transplanted some sweet annie that had sprung up in one of our lavender fields. Shortly thereafter, our plants from the greenhouse were ready and we began planting them in the fields. Our new transplanter that Larry rebuilt and then modified was put to good use. We have planted achilia, marjoram, savory, safflower rosemary and broomcorn. Additional plants will be ready soon and we plan on having everything in the fields within the next couple of weeks.
We have been extra busy lately with simultaneously planting our fields and harvesting some of our perennials. Thyme was the first to be harvested and sage is beginning now. The sweet aroma of the thyme has filled the warehouse as it dries on the racks. Soon we will have a plethora of amazing scents as we harvest the various herbs and flowers.
Our production crew enjoys the aroma of the herbs as they dry while they create the beautiful wreaths for Mother’s Day and throughout the summer.
This year we were once again happy to be part of South Monterey County’s Farm Day on March 13, 2013.
The agricultural industry of Monterey County comes together every year to provide an educational enrichment program for all third grade students in the county. This program brings together business, industry, community and education to benefit students.
Farm Day provides information and hands on demonstrations about the agricultural industry of Monterey County. It allows the students an opportunity to be exposed to various aspects of agriculture: everything from food production to beekeeping and wreath making.
We presented to 450 – 500 third graders. The kids really enjoyed all the fragrance of the herbs and lavender we shared with them. They were especially interested in the lavender soaps in the shape of eggs we had for Easter. We look forward to participating again next year and teaching the kids about our business.
We continue to prep our ground for planting in the early spring. The lack of rain has made this a little more tedious than usual, but it’s not anything that a few lines of sprinkler pipe won’t remedy. Our seeds are now sown and growing in the greenhouse. They should be big enough to plant in early April. The warmer weather has brought on various weeds in our fields so we have been busy trying to eradicate them before they produce seeds. Our crew is busy producing spring items, such as nests, baskets and floral & herbal wreaths. We are also working on exciting new ideas and designs for Mother’s Day.
Birdhouses, pottery, lavender soaps and lotions, jars, and more are all coming soon to our website. We are expanding our line of products to include garden inspired gifts in a new tab: Home & Garden. The items will not only make great gifts, but are products that you’ll want for yourself! Gardening is a passion for many of us at Creekside Farms, and we have found excellent products with gardens in mind to compliment our natural line of wreaths.
Creekside Farms is busy manufacturing thousands of wreaths destined to travel throughout the U.S. Our focus for the month of December is producing high quality wreaths, and fulfilling orders for our catalog companies, corporate, retail and wholesale customers. Most of our energy goes into creating and shipping our wreaths. We were also able to harvest the last of the late blooms, because we did not get a hard frost at the end of November nor beginning of December. Our fields require little maintenance during the winter months, although we continue to hand weed to keep the weeds in check. Our facility is filled with Christmas greenery aroma and the buzzing of a Santa’s Workshop. We enjoy our “Santa’s Wreath Workshop” and welcome visitors.