The Year of the...Question Mark?

Two thousand and seventeen. It's already drawing to a close. Where did the time go? Honestly, it was a year in which I felt like I couldn't keep up, mentally or physically. Have you ever had so many big projects swirling around in your head that you didn't even know where to start? This year was the year of experimenting in the garden, "official" paperwork, learning to ask the right questions, research, and continuing to wonder if our dreams will ever come to fruition.

I have always loved gardening - I just cannot bear to keep my hands out of the dirt! This year though, was very different. I grew far fewer veggies (heirloom tomatoes and Shishito peppers are non-negotiables) and filled the beds with cut flowers and fillers: tulips, snapdragons, feverfew, bells of ireland, nicotiana, honeywort, amaranth, rudbeckias, dahlias, basil, chocolate laceflower, scabiosa, bupleurum, bachelor buttons, sunflowers, sweet peas, zinnias, and put in some new shrub roses and snowball viburnum. You'd think all those flowers would be enough...but no. I've been bitten by the cut flower bug...and I want more! Dreams of CSA subscriptions, bucket runs, and market bouquets are dancing in my head. This winter will be spent figuring out how to rearrange our entire lot so that we can squeeze in as many cut flowers and foliage as possible.

We started two new businesses (a property company and a landscape design company) and spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to go about starting a third - a flower farm B&B (actually, the property company is for purchasing the farm land for the flower farm). As much as I love our home, we live on a quarter acre with most of our usable land in the front and side yards. My landscape design mind is in near constant conflict with my desire to farm cut flowers (hmmm...a new kind of curb appeal?). My heart longs for space to grow and give back to our community as well as a magical place that celebrates life against a backdrop filled with the best things from nature.

So we have been looking into purchasing more acreage, but first we've had to learn to ask the right questions. We have found that finding and purchasing farm land is very different from purchasing a suburban home. One of the most important questions to ask about farm land is, "does the property come with senior water rights?". We are realizing that acquiring farmable land with water rights in the Columbia Basin takes patience and perseverance. But we are not giving up! The search continues. It just might take longer (maybe a LOT longer) than expected. I am acquiring buckets of patience and perseverance. Buckets and buckets and buckets.

For now, we will carry on with our quarter acre and see what happens. I have a feeling it has a lot more to give in 2018.

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