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While the farmer was once responsible for simply putting food on the table, many farmers are now finding themselves in a new role as floral artists, as the market for cut flowers continues to take deeper roots, grow taller, and bloom quickly. Cut flowers are one of the most profitable “crops” per square acre than nearly any other undertaking, luring even the most macho farmers into the business. Whether you are looking to take flowers to market or simply pluck your own centerpiece from your front yard, you’ll never cease to please when including these eye-catching blossoms in your arrangements.

Zinnias (Zinnia spp.)

Zinnias are by far one of the easiest flowers to grow, and the diversity of varieties amongst zinnias are beyond plentiful. Amongst the extensive list of varieties out there, you can find this flower in nearly any color with many varieties multi-colored. These focal flowers also come in an an assortment of shapes and sizes, all with long stems most suitable for bouquet-building. Zinnias thrive in heat and can often withstand drought conditions once established. Not only do they grow quickly and require little on the side of fertilizer or amendments, most zinnias serve as “cut-and-come again” flowers, meaning you’ll only have to plant once to harvest throughout the entire season.

Dahlias (Dahlia spp.)

Dahlias are one of the most sought-after flowers by florists as these stunning blooms are often featured in weddings and serve as a darling centerpiece for any bouquet. Dahlias come in different size varieties from the medium-sized 4 inch blooms, like the Cornel or Critchon Honey varieties, to the 8 to 10 inch dinner plate varieties. The diversity of colors amongst dahlias are unmatched amongst its cut flower friends, ranging from hues of soft whites, pinks, yellows, and oranges to shades of bright red to deep maroon.

Purchase dahlias as tubers and plant them horizontally 6-8 inches deep in a moist, but not saturated soil. The bud should be facing upwards. Be sure the ground temperatures have reached at least 60 degrees before planting, often late April or early May for most places. Wait to water until the dahlias sprout above the soil surface! Stake tall varieties when planting as to not disturb the delicate tubers later on.

Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.)

Who doesn’t love sunflowers? Sunflowers are iconic to those good summertime-feels, supplying bright color to a home garden or to a market bouquet. There are two main types of sunflowers that are actually quite different from one another. Single-stem varieties, such as the Sunrich or the ProCut series, will produce one flower for each planted seed. Single-stemmed sunflowers have long, sturdy stems and come to bloom quickly, often about 60 days. Spacing between single-stemmed varieties will determine the bloom size; the more room for each plant, the larger the bloom.

Single-stemmed varieties are pollenless, prized for their durability in bouquets. For a steady flow of flowers throughout the season, you will need to succession plant these sunflowers about every two weeks. Branching varieties, on the other hand, will bloom multiple times throughout the season from a single plant. The stems are shorter, and each plant will need a considerable amount of space, blooming typically around 90 days. Branching varieties can make a great addition to a home garden for an endless supply of blooms throughout the summer. Whether you choose to grow single-stemmed or branching sunflowers, these resilient flowers will last up to 10 days in a vase.

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Fitness Tips For Farm Girls

Look, I’m not here to judge you. Working out can be a total chore if you’re not the kind of person who naturally loves running five miles after a hard day’s work on the farm. When you come from a farming background, you usually do a fair amount of physical work while you go about your daily life. And it can be hard to adapt to structured workouts even when you want to increase your fitness level, but don’t worry. There are ways to make it manageable.

Find Your Distraction

When you’re not naturally a fan of working out, it can help to distract yourself from the process of exercising. Watch a TV show on the treadmill, do Pilates while catching up on your favorite podcast, or lose yourself in an audiobook during a long hike. Your workout will be over before you know it!

Short Or Easy?

Choose between getting your workouts finished and out of the way quickly, or taking it easier over a longer period of time. Twenty minutes of high intensity exercise and an hour of leisurely cardio on the elliptical are both valid forms of exercise, so just figure out which style suits you better.

Make It Fun

Do a group Zumba class with friends and go for wine afterwards, or try out a couples yoga routine on YouTube for a giggly workout with your significant other. Making your workout fun will give you more motivation to stick with it, so get creative!

Figure Out The Right Time

Don’t try to get up for a 5 a.m. workout if you’re not a morning person. Equally, don’t wait until the evening to exercise if you know you’re exhausted by the end of the day. Look at your schedule, think about when you personally have more energy, and work out then – not when anyone else says you should.

Get Cute Gym Clothes

Looking good makes you feel good, so spend a little cash getting yourself a gym outfit that you’ll want to put on. Who cares if it’s shallow? If a sleek workout selfie is your motivation, then embrace it. You can even reward yourself with new pieces once you’re a regular exerciser!

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Be kind to yourself when you’re trying to make exercise a part of your routine. Getting out of breath, messing up a workout, and skipping gym sessions are part of the process, so just commit to improving over time rather than focusing on one bad workout.

Working out doesn’t have to be your favorite thing in the world. Just committing to your physical health and spending time getting your blood moving is enough. These fitness tips will help you get to grips with exercising regularly – even if you’d rather be lying in bed watching Netflix the whole time!


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