Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dahlia Acres Farm... (a flower lover's dream come true)

 Don't we all love beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers?
Who knew that a visit to an early morning farmer's market would lead to an amazing opportunity to gaze upon fields of colorful Dahlia's and learn about the joy and (labors) of owning a flower farm...

 we ran away from home...
(the Gardner and I)
a brief little get away to one of our favorite places..
South Haven, Michigan

 one of our favorite things to do in South Haven
is to visit the early Saturday morning Farmer's Market..
a stunning display of "just picked" dahlia's at the market
led me to a conversation with Melissa..
and an invitation to visit 
this pretty little farm
with it's fields of dahlias...

 an hour's drive, just north of South Haven
is Allendale, Michigan...
on a quiet and quaint country road
is this pretty little place...

 sitting alongside the road
is a market cart filled with farm fresh produce
and beautiful "just picked" dahlia's...
 we're on the "honor system" here...
take what you want, and leave your money
in the box...
(don't you love that?)
just behind the market cart... for as far as you can see,
are beautiful fields of blooming dahlia's..
a colorful palette of blooms...

 we were warmly welcomed to Dahlia Acres
by Dave Buist,
he and his business partner, Marcy Krause
 are the owners
of this beautiful farm...
we were invited to walked through the fields
 and along the road,
taking photos...
(and photos, and photos...)
all the while I'm thinking,
I've got to share these photos
with all of you!

 Did you ever think that you would like
to own a flower farm?
( I will admit to maybe having those thoughts...)
however briefly... 

 Dave explained to us the business and the "busyness"
of running a Dahlia Farm...
..."the dahlia tubers (hundreds and hundreds of them)
are planted in early April... 
first blooms will begin to flower
by early July." 
 "the tubers are harvested (by a potato digger) after the first frost... 
during the late autumn weeks, 
they are then tediously sorted
 according to color..."

 Dahlia Acres is a family run farm
and the work is done by family members and a few hired laborers.
most of the planting, harvesting,sorting... 
is all done by hand
a million hours of labor
just to harvest these beautiful blooms

 what happens to all these 

nimble fingered bloom lovers
can make an appointment to pick their own flowers...
perhaps for a party, special occasion, wedding,
or just because we all love a
beautiful fresh bouquet...
~ those who are not so nimble,
can request to have their flowers
picked and made ready
for pick up...
 beautiful blooms are always for sale
at the roadside cart...

in season,
 you'll find Melissa or other family members
selling these beautiful blooms at the local
farmer's markets.
You'll notice them right away --
they will be the most colorful and stunning
display at the markets!

For those of you who are local...
you can find the blooms at the
 South Haven, Grand Haven, and Muskegon 
farmer's markets.

you can also purchase dahlia tubers
in the color of your choice
by visiting their website here...

 For the Ladies only....
a unique activity for your special
 "girl's night out"...
Attention all my Michigan readers...
if you are local to the area or want to plan
a special outing...
how fun would this be?

 a few more photos of this gorgeous vintage
truck display...

 If you find yourself in Michigan...
or want one of many excuses to travel in this direction..
(we LOVE Michigan!)
you can visit Dahlia Acres Farm at
7577 Buchanan St.
Allendale, MI

you can find these nice folks
on Facebook here...

And a note from me...
everyday we grow stronger,somehow. The pain is there still, and I often shed tears when a memory is stirred... but we are moving forward as we all must do.  Your notes of condolence and love continue to move me and warm my heart.  You are all so very precious to me.  Thank you for caring so much.

The summer has been one of non stop tasks and that has helped to keep our minds busy.  My son and the little girls have moved here to my hometown.  They have a beautiful home and live only about 10 miles from me. Needless to say I have spent endless days and hours packing up boxes and then unpacking them in the new house. In actuality ... we will probably still be unpacking boxes a year from now.. but at least they are here close by, and beginning to settle into a new life.

Somehow, the Gardener and I did manage to sneak away to Michigan for a few days.... it was wonderful to enjoy our travels again. You can see more photos from our beautiful Michigan trip on my 2 Bags Full Instagram page as well as more photos from the lovely Dahlia Farm. I'll be posting them soon! Please join me on Instagram if you wish.  (If you have never done Instagram.... it is SO easy! So much easier than Facebook or blogging!

An update on the Kindness Quilt Project...
You are amazing! We now have over 300 quilt squares for this project. Our deadline has passed so we will now move forward with the completion of the quilt (quilts!). Within the next few weeks I will announce the winners of the giveaway.  And -- I promise the photos are coming.  I have had hardly a spare minute to finish them this summer.  

Lets talk about the quilt (s)... how in the world am I going to put all of these quilt squares together??? I'm trying to think of a way that you all can help me with this.  Please put your thinking caps on and if you have any ideas, please leave a comment or email me.  The potential for this project has moved beyond anything that I could have imagined.  Your caring spirits are proof that there is genuine kindness and caring in this world. Let's all think about the best way to move forward with over 300 quilt squares!!....I welcome your input and ideas!!


you probably won't believe this... but I am now a chicken Mama. The little girls have chickens...(they came with the house) and I have claimed them as my own.  I know..... it's totally crazy, but I am in love with the chicky girls...
stop laughing...


Shirley said...

The flowers are beautiful and so many colors. Your girls are growing so fast and I know you like having them close.Every time I think about your chickens it makes me think about the farm. Hugs and prayers from your Missouri friend Shirley

Quinn said...

How lovely that your son and your grand daughters are now nearby! I hope having so many new and different things happening will somehow help everyone focus on the positives in day to day life. I'm probably not saying this well, Vicki, but I trust you know my heart.
Those dahlias are stunning, and now I'm wondering why I have never thought of having a flower farm. I'd have to buy a field first, though - it's a challenge just growing my little gardens here, between the billions of rocks. By coincidence, though, a farm stand in town where I've begun buying fresh vegetables had one red plastic cup holding a little posy of bright dahlias amongst the veggies last week. I bought it and have already painted some of the flowers - twice! They are right here next to me in a little glass vase. After a few days some are now looking a bit wan...I think I'd better paint them again tomorrow!
Take care, Vicki. You and yours are in my thoughts every day.

Joyful said...

Beautiful post, Vicky. I love the old truck with all the lovely flowers on it. Very nice. xx

Julia said...

Oh dear Vicki, it's so good to hear from you. It's 2:44 in the a.m. here and Ii woke up thinking of my late daughter Nicole.
I'm so glad you could get away briefly to find this place, Dahlia Acres Farm... I haven't yet tried the chicken farming but I have a whole garden of daylilies that should be divided... Loosing someone sure put a different spin in our lives.
Thinking of you often.
Warm Canadian hugs, Julia

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Having a flower farm - what a lovely way to spend a life.

It is good to read that your son and granddaughters have moved close by. I am sure that having you close will help ease his burden.

busybusybeejay said...

SO good to hear from you again.Also to hear that your son has moved closer to you.My brother lost his wife to cancer when she was 32 and they had three young children.He did marry again and his second wife has been amazing with the children.His first wife will never be forgotten and 30 years on is talked about all the time.Lots of love to you and all the family.xx

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning, so good to see you. just a gorgeous flower farm you found-so happy for you both to be able to visit and really enjoy it more. that would be so much work digging them up all up and replanting them
Loved the chicken photo-the hens can be quite sweet and like family.
I tried instagram so I could enjoy the photos but after joining I discovered it only works with smart phones if want to also share photos so I deleted mine after I figured out why I could not upload photos. we are just rural enough that the smart phones or wifi do not work here-but I kinda like it that way too lol
so good to see you big hugs Kathy

Dorthe said...

Dearest Vicki , it is a joy to see you here, again, and to read that you , even still with the big grief and sadness in you,( I think it will always be there, dear ) -- can also have days filled with happy hours, together with the girls and your son. So really wonderful for all of you, they moved that close ,to you.
And such beautiful time you and your Gardener spend together , visiting this amazing place , filled with dahlias .
Where living before, we thought we had quit a lot of dahlias , but compared to what you show and tell, they were nothing ,lol- BUT all the same my husband spend lots of time digging them up every autumn and planting them again in spring .I can`t imagine how long it takes the people, owning this huge place , to do the same twice a year !!
Vicki , I wish you a lovely new week, dear friend.
Hugs, Dorthe

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I'm so glad to hear that your son and the girls are near you. Such a heartbreaking time you've all been through. I've never had chickens but I hear they have super sweet personalities. I have family in Grand Haven. Wish I'd know about this Dahlia Farm before. Looks like a fabulous place to visit. The flowers are gorgeous. Glad to know the honor system still works in this crazy world. Hugs and blessings, Tammy

Sue Kosec said...

Your boundless energy makes me so jealous! Such beautiful flowers, chickens and all of your love.

Thank you!

Lorraine said...

What a wonderful adventure you've shared. From the photos it looks breathtakingly beautiful. I love that old truck full of flowers. Good luck with the chickens!

Wandering Wren said...

You and the Dahlia's make me think of calendar girls - I think we've had the joke before but the old ones are the best! So much in this post, your life is full of offering so much to so many. It is such a tough time and you are handling it with such love and grace for all of those around you.
With a massive hug to you from Thailand!
Wren x

allthingzsewn said...

It was so good to hear from you. You have inspired me to flower up next year. As our girls love to eat and scratch our flowers, we n longer free range them. Plus the natural habitat around here also like to dine on fresh chicken. Hubby built a large covered coup for them adjoining the hen house. We do let them out to free-range for awhile each day if we are available to stay out with them. Next year I'll be putting out some dahlias. Do you know if the are deer repellent? Forgot about them. Your photos are so beautiful. Happy you are closer to your son and the girls, looking forward to the playful pictures of them.

Ancient Wanderer said...

If you ever get back to Michigan again in the summer, you are welcome to contact me (in advance) and I'll take you to some wonderful flea markets where treasures wink at you from every direction. I'd love to show you some of the little known places where happiness fills the heart.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Seeing all those marvelous dahlia's reminded me of my mother. She grew them every year and I can remember the roots (bulbs, tubers?) all laid out in the basement for the winter. She used to have chickens too and I think they were the same breed as yours. Glad to hear that your family has moved close to you - family is so important when there's been a loss. Thoughts are with you all.

Julie said...

Lovely to see a little post here.... how wonderful the girls are so close by for you to nurture and heal their broken hearts with love and laughter.
Dahlias... a favourite of mine, devine pictures of their beautifulness you have shared, brightened my day to see such delights.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Vicki, you've heard me say grief takes as long as it rhyme, reason or time limit and it will always catch you the strangest ways and times. In November it'll be six years and it's only been this year it's easier to remember good times more than Dave's illness and death. Moving has helped...I took the good with me when I left and have never once missed the old farm. I spent the best 1/3 of my life on that farm but that season of life has passed; it's time for a new season.
Dahlia's are Daddy's favorite flower and your photos are lovely! Please accept my apologies and forgive me for failing to send my quilt piece...I haven't a clue where they are. The kitchen is still in boxes, mostly, but the coffee pot, water kettle and convection oven all work so that's something! lol
I'm so glad your babies are close to you; having family near makes all the difference in the world!
love and prayers, S.

ricketyjo said...

I'm so far behind on all the blogs I follow, but I wanted to say I was sorry to read the sad news about your Daughter-in-Law. What tough times you must all be going through. Lots of love to you.
As for this lovely colourful post, thanks for sharing those bright and colourful photos! I remember our garden being full of Dahlias growing up, so you've brought back some lovely memories for me. xx