Celebrate Community Supported Agriculture by joining a CSA today, preferably ours!
What’s a Flower CSA?
A Flower CSA works the same way as a vegetable CSA, where people pre-buy a share of the season’s harvest, which the farmer delivers each week. Pre-buying helps farmers concentrate on farming, knowing that what they are growing will have a home. For farmers, there’s nothing worse than growing stuff that doesn’t get sold!
When you buy a CSA share you are directly supporting local farmers and their work. Organic farming can be very labor intensive. Here at Silver Lake Farms we don’t use any sprays or chemicals or heavy machinery. We build rich organic urban soil as well as natural habitats, and we offer a zero carbon footprint alternative to imported supermarket flowers, 80% of which are flown in on jumbo jets from Columbia, Ecuador, Holland and Africa.
To learn more about our Flower CSA, click here.
Join our CSA and pick up fresh organic local flowers once a week or every other week at one of our Flower CSA pick-up hubs in Brentwood, Downtown LA, Echo Park, Hollywood and San Marino.
Thank you to our CSA Hub Partners: Jenni Kayne, Nickey Kehoe, Serafina, The Springsand Valerie Echo Park. We salute these amazing companies for supporting local floriculture.
Aaah we love this time of year! Citrus blossom fragrance is in the air, bougainvillea bracts are plump with color, and wisteria drips with perfumed violet bells.
We have to say, the weather has been very good to us so far at the farm. We see it in our blooms. The quality of our anemones this year is outstanding, gifting us with more than a week's vase life. Ranunculus are coming in now, and sweet peas too.
Want local flowers every week? Sign up here for our Flower CSA! We've got pick-ups in Brentwood, Downtown LA, Echo Park, Hollywood, San Marino and Atwater Village is coming soon! Stayed tuned for details.
January was an amazing weather month. For the first time in years, not a single heat spike! The great thing about these steady cool temps is that it allows plants started from bulb - like ranunculus and anemones - to grow at a slow and steady rate, which promotes root growth and thus, bigger and more robust plants and blooms. Yay for big blooms!
Last week's rains got soaked up by the thick layers of mulch we've been been covering all our pathways with between each growing bed, of which there are 51. The mulch acts like a protective coat for soil, helping to keep all the moisture in, which is really good, especially as there's supposed to be a heatwave next week! Just in time for Valentine's Day! We predict that the heat will pop all those buds open that we have in the field, giving us blooms galore, and bang on time. Yes!!
Farming biologically, the way we choose to do it, is pretty labor intensive, but it’s the price we pay for maintaining a healthy ecosystem that positively impacts air, soil and creatures.
We don’t spray against bugs for fear of harming beneficial insects, particularly bees. We rely on insects to control insect pests. So the moment we saw signs of chomping on that gorgeous button (eye) at the center of our anemones, we released a bazillion teeny tiny Trichogramma wasps. These will help to control the armyworms, or moth larvae, causing the damage. For extra precaution, we released nematodes into the soil across all 51 rows in our field. These will attack the moth eggs before they get to the larvae stage, and thus, help to protect our blooms. Long live our ecosystem! To learn more about Integrated Pest Management, click here.
This week, our Flower CSA pickup is a personal favorite of ours. It's a Holiday garland made of special things we grew.
- Dehydrated lemons, organic of course, from our Meyer lemon tree
- Cotton balls harvested from cotton plants we grew from seed given to us by Don Cameron of Terranova Ranch in California's San Joaquin Valley
- Loofah sponges grown from seed at our Silverlake site, and one of Tara’s all-time favorite crops
Terranova Ranch is a major cotton grower in America. Don Cameron once told us that the crazy thing about the organic cotton he grows is that while he may grow it organically, which is great, the following processes isn't exactly sustainable. Often, his cotton gets shipped to another continent to be processed into fiber, which then gets shipped to another continent to be transformed into clothes or linens, which then get shipped right back to America to be sold retail. That's a huge carbon footprint for organic cotton, which boggles the mind, but that's the way it goes in a global market economy.
On the flip side, a favorite crop we've grown in the last ten years is loofah sponge and it’s zero waste. Here's a product that you can grow organically, harvest by hand, use in the kitchen to scrub plates, pots and pans, or use in the bath/shower for exfoliating and rejuvenating skin. You can wash your loofah sponge in the washing machine, or throw in the compost pile when it wears out and return it to soil. Much use, no trace. Now that's what we call a sustainable product!
We hope you enjoy this week's garland as a decoration, and then put the parts to work in the bath or sink.
A special thanks to Meredith and Milli at The Metabolic Studio for lending us the apparatus needed to dehydrate 100 lemons.
Now is a great time to feed your citrus trees! Feed them with worm castings, coffee grounds and aged composted horse manure. A quarterly feeding of worms castings will help prevent leaf miner damage, while coffee grounds help to prevent chlorosis, and aged manure provides nitrogen for leafy growth. Tara feeds her citrus trees regularly and they produce lots of fruit and look super healthy.
Our fields worked hard this summer, providing us with bountiful harvests of dahlias, zinnias and the like. As winter sets in, we say goodbye to our warm weather beauties. This seasonal shift has us out early morn', clearing and prepping beds, feeding and nourishing soil, and planting out spring blooms.
Since September we have already planted over 5,000 ranunculus and anemone corms and they are making their way up through the soil. While it’s exciting to think of what’s in store for the spring, we have to admit that as a small-scale, slow farm, creating bouquets and arrangements purely from what we grow, we are challenged during these winter months, when there ain't much in the field!
So a big THANK YOU to our Organic Garden Care clients and Flower CSA members for supporting our flower farm business, especially during the winter.
What does our Flower CSA consist of these days? We teamed up with Weiser Family Farms and Fat Uncle Farms in support of their efforts to revive heritage grains, and took a trip to McFarland and Tehachapi, where we harvested wheat, barley and oats. We've been out and about with our pole cutters, guerrilla florist style, collecting pods, berried branches and fall foliage from freeway off-ramps, side streets and pretty much any place where we could effectively do a legal cut and run. We pulled out crates of dried flower heads saved from when summer fields were cleared. All these botanical jewels, and more, were used to adorn our Fall and Holiday CSA creations. We hope you'll join us for more floral fun!
Thank you to our CSA pick-up hubs: Jenni Kayne, Nickey Kehoe, Serafina, The Springs, Valerie Echo Park, and our retail customers, FarmBox LA, Gjusta Bakery, Urban Radish and coming soon in the new year, Grow DTLA. We couldn't do this without you.
Wishing you all the very best and a Happy Thanksgiving!