Welcome to our site! by Michelle Newman Brady

Welcome!

Welcome to our blog!  We are thrilled that you have made your way here and hope we leave you with flower fever and maybe a tip or two that is of interest for you to try for yourself! We believe everyone has an inner-“green thumb” just waiting to blossom. The first thing you should know about us is that we are flower farmers and not bloggers--no big deal just thought you should know right from the beginning.

Photo Courtesy of Mike Heine Photography

Photo Courtesy of Mike Heine Photography

Speaking of beginnings, October marks the end of our 2016 growing season. LOL you might be thinking why would you start a blog about flower farming at the end of the growing season? (We are literally days away from a killing frost as of this writing.) Well, the first thought that comes to mind is that we miss the connections, farmer-friend relationships that we have forged for the past four years, whether one of our  brides, grooms, florist, or farmers’ market friends we have gushed together over vessels holding beautiful flowers tantalizing our taste buds for more. Yes, a simple flower is potent, inspiring a kinship among there admirers. 

The next reason is we heard from so many of you how much you missed the flowers over the winter and we thought it might lift your spirits to watch them grow via the blog, giving you more of an understanding about our stewardship in bringing you the best buds we know how, and excite you for our 2017 symphony of flowers!

That brings me to the surprise! 2017 flowers are already breaking ground! This IS the very start of our 2017 season and we are so grateful for the unbelievable support you have given us over the years we thought it would be a real treat to bring you along on our flower farmin’ adventures from the very start of the 2017 season.

These are one of the first flowers we start harvesting in late February and March; they are bright, bold, and beautiful colors that sing, “Hallelujah!  Spring is just around the bend.” 

With 2017 already well under way we have some catching up to do, so let get started! Follow along as we seed, nurture, and grow, beautiful, bountiful, unique botanicals in the heart of St. Louis city

Thanks,

From Two Urban Buds Mimo & Miranda + our best bud ever: baby August.

 

The History of Our Farm by Michelle Newman Brady

Our Farm Today

Our Farm Today

Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers, as it currently operates, was founded in February of 2012 by Miranda Duschack and Karen “Mimo” Davis.  The South St. Louis City farmstead is located seven miles south of the St. Louis Gateway Arch and dates to 1870.  In 1905, the farm was purchased by the Held family.  For three consecutive generations, the Held’s farmed the property in vegetables and flowers for sale in St Louis.  In 1925 they opened a retail florist shop, and by the 1950’s were operating several glass greenhouses, one of which still stands. 

Held Florist: The retail shop!

The property shrunk over the years as pieces were sold off for development.   In the mid-1990s the Held’s sold the business.  The property changed hands several times until Urban Buds purchased it in 2012 with the intention of continuing the farming tradition.  The land totals about an acre, one glass greenhouse remains as does the former florist shop.  The rehab on these distressed structures continues.  The side growing yard benefited from its years of dormancy, and at the time of tillage soil tests placed it at a stellar 8% organic matter.   Now the property is planted in flowers, 70 different varieties are grown annually.

Honey Bees Fly on a Warm January Day by Michelle Newman Brady

A warm winter day is the perfect time to complete a quick inspection of beehives.  After weeks of no signs of life from the hive one begins to wonder if everything is okay in there.  Are they still alive?  Did they run out of honey? On Jan 14, 2016 the temperature was 63 degrees F, the sun was out, and the bees from all three hives were flying.  What a relief!  Honey bees cluster when the outside air temperature drops below 55 degrees F, they form a tight ball around the queen and shiver to stay warm.  Given enough food, a large enough cluster, and a dry environment honey bees can survive in temperatures as low as -40 degrees F, or so we remember hearing.  However, cleansing flights are necessary for the bees to maintain their health.  Honey bees are fastidious insects and won’t defecate in the hive, so they take advantage of warmer weather do to, um, cleanse.  Happily, Miranda left at least two full honey supers on each hive in the fall so each hive has enough food to make it until the first trees bloom spring, at least we hope so!  We will check them again on another warm day and if they are running low of honey we will supplemental feed with pure cane sugar.  So far so good!