Updated: Aug 13
We continue to battle Colorado hail storms but are making battle plans for next season. We got some help from some friends with growing seeds and we are adding more to our inventory for next season!
Having spent my formative years in the picturesque landscapes of Colorado Springs, I've grown accustomed to the occasional onslaught of hailstorms. However, the ongoing year has undoubtedly presented us with the most daunting challenges in this regard. Since the advent of Spring, our property has weathered no less than 14 hailstorms, each leaving its mark. These meteorological events have ranged from diminutive hail pellets to strikingly massive ones, reminiscent in size of golf balls – a visual spectacle evident in the attached image.
Regrettably, despite our earnest endeavors, a significant portion of our carefully nurtured endeavors have fallen victim to these natural forces. The noticeable dearth of garden updates throughout this season bears testimony to the toll it has taken.
In contemplation of the forthcoming seasons, we're strategizing a proactive approach. Our intention lies in procuring a substantial quantity of hail cloth, alongside complementary materials, aimed at fortifying our defenses. As we embark on this endeavor, we anticipate dedicating time to its implementation throughout the winter months. Our collective efforts are steadfastly directed towards ensuring a well-prepared and fortified landscape, primed to face the challenges that the next season might bring.
A Challenging Gardening Season
Colorado Springs is one of the top hotspots for hail in the entire United States, we are in what's known as "hail alley". Since we faced so many challenges this season, we had a couple of friends reach out both locally and from far away.
Help Growing Pumpkins From Friends Near And Far!
We have been making a strong effort to expand our inventory so we can compete with other seed shops better, but we also want to be the top source for different pumpkin varieties. The hail has caused major delays and set us back quite a bit, but we had a couple of amazing folks reach out to help this season.
Leading the charge was my colleague and friend, Stephanie. Our paths crossed again this year as I encountered her working at our local nursery. Reconnecting, I shared the formidable obstacles posed by frequent hailstorms and the spatial limitations we faced in cultivating our seeds. Communicating our commitment to preserving heirloom varieties while also broadening our inventory for competitiveness, I highlighted the need for expanded growing space. Serendipitously, Stephanie possesses extensive acreage in the picturesque Black Forest of Colorado, graced with both sun-soaked areas and sections shaded by majestic pines along the Palmer Divide. Collaboratively, we embarked on planting a spectrum of heirlooms: corn, sunflowers, morning glories, winter squash, summer squash, and, central to our mission, pumpkins. Additionally, I transported some of our pumpkin hybrid seedlings to her property to facilitate updated visual content for our website and packaging. Despite enduring hail's onslaught in the Black Forest, Stephanie's adept stewardship has shielded numerous plants, fostering their robust growth. The magnanimous offer of her land to sustain our shop's operation has been a true blessing, for which we are profoundly grateful.
The second individual who lent us support is Greg Shelton of Poplar Hall in Delaware, with whom we collaborated last year. Greg's initial connection with us sprouted from his feature of our enterprise on his YouTube channel, "Historic Living Modern Life." Our subsequent interactions revealed a shared passion for heirloom pumpkins, the Victorian Era, Halloween, Watercolor, and various other shared interests. A veritable Artisan, Greg traverses the nation spotlighting diverse entities and locales for his engaging channel.
Last season, Greg cultivated a flourishing pumpkin patch within his English Garden, spotlighting our endeavor on his YouTube platform. Sustaining our correspondence, I apprised Greg of the devastating blow our pumpkin patch suffered from a colossal hailstorm. Despite my endeavors to replant from seed, the persistent hail persisted, necessitating continuous replanting. Undaunted, Greg augmented the expanse of his garden this season and extended a gracious offer to cultivate pumpkins on our behalf. His intention to safeguard heirloom seeds in case we encountered further challenges underscored his unwavering commitment.
Greg's intervention proved to be our salvation this year. The narrative's inspirational undertones captured the attention of Delaware's local newspaper, prompting a feature See Article by clicking this link: https://delawarelive.com/del-farm-grows-pumpkins-to-save-colorado-business/
I encourage you to visit Greg's YouTube Channel to witness the flourishing progress of the pumpkin patch and his captivating explorations of intriguing locales.
Visit Greg's Youtube Channel :
Seed Catalog Requests & Expanding Inventory
From our humble beginnings on Etsy, our journey has been nothing short of remarkable. While we've made a few attempts to gain our independence from Etsy, our efforts haven't yielded the results we were hoping for as we have realized the core of our business still thrives within its virtual walls. As we look to the future, the upcoming year will be one of dedication and innovation. Our aim is to enrich our website with a captivating array of seeds and explore additional offerings like bulbs, merchandise, and more.
The demand for seed catalogs has been heartening, and rest assured, they're in our plans. However, we want to curate a catalog that truly captivates, showcasing a diverse selection of captivating varieties. Thus, we're momentarily postponing the catalog's launch until our assortment is extensive enough to ensure a truly enriching experience.
Your requests have not gone unnoticed. This fall, we're excited to unveil a selection of new garlic varieties, catering to those who've expressed their interest. Moreover, an exciting partnership with an esteemed seed company has opened doors to a treasure trove of unprecedented hybrid pumpkins. Anticipate a grand introduction to these novel pumpkins on January 1st, 2024, perfectly timed for the upcoming gardening season.
We can't thank our patrons enough for their unwavering support and the outpouring of positivity on social media. This period has been filled with challenges, yet your loyalty and enthusiasm have been our driving force. While distance separates us, we'd personally extend our gratitude to each and every one of you if we could. As we march forward, our sights are set on progress and a shift towards eco-friendly paper envelopes, once we've cleared our current commitments.
Your desires are our motivation. If there's a particular product you wish to see or a specific seed you're keen on, reach out to us. Our network of connections with fellow seed farms across the U.S. has grown remarkably this year, allowing us to explore and potentially source what you're looking for. Together, we're cultivating not just plants, but a community passionate about growth and nurturing nature's wonders.
Fall Garden Plans
As we direct our efforts towards preserving the fruits of this season's labor, I am committed to initiating a fall garden, and providing regular updates as the hail season subsides by late August. Our formidable team, comprised of Sarah, Alex, and my twin sister, Leslie, has been tirelessly managing a multitude of tasks, from gardening and storm cleanup to website maintenance and continuous enhancements. Despite the challenges, we are determined to cultivate a vibrant fall garden and anticipate sharing exciting progress in the near future. Stay engaged for more updates!!