Mockingbird Hill Flower Farm

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About ten years ago you could find me lining up at Findlay Market every Saturday for Blue Oven bread and fresh cuts from Mockingbird Hill Flower Farm. At the time Tammy grew a beautiful variety of field flowers that she would arrange into wild bunches and that I was intent on having on steady rotation in my home. Long story short, I moved overseas and when I came back my beloved flowers were no longer being sold at the market. It took a few years for me to learn that it was because Tammy was busy growing the most beautiful dahlias I have ever seen. 

Patricia at Una Floral and I were brainstorming ways to make our next floral arranging class a bit different and she suggested that since it's the season we could design the class with a focus on dahlias, specifically Mockingbird Hill's dahlias. So we took a trip out to Williamsburg to tour the farm and chat with Tammy about her new labour of love. 

When we pulled up Tammy was coming in on her tractor from picking with a trailer full of gorgeous cafe au lait's. It was 90 degrees and she had been out for hours already. I was there for 10 minutes and needed a gallon of water to drink and a pool to jump into. Even so, Tammy was kind enough to give me a tour of the farm and to share a bit about her process. In our region we enjoy dahlias from around August through October during which, Mockingbird Hill harvests several hundred per week, but these beauties are a year round affair. Somewhere before frost all the plants get labeled and then a week after a hard frost everything is cut down to a 6" stem. Tammy then goes through and digs everything by hand with either a pitchfork or broadfork and stores them in crates in the basement until January - March when the tubes are divided before going back in the ground in late May. Phew! I'm worn out just thinking about it and there go all my fantasies about having a plot of flowers in my yard. 

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On Saturday, September 23rd Patricia will be bringing loads of Mockingbird Hill's dahlias for us to play with and to inspire our own floral arrangements in a low, lush, and loose style. Check the event page for details and mark your calendars for registration opening on Tuesday, September 5th at 10am EST. 

MARKET

Collaborating with like minded female business owners is something we love and next weekend we will be participating in one of our favorite celebrations of women entrepreneurs.

Join us Saturday, December 10th for the second annual MARKET at Idlewild Woman. Fern will be popping up with Brown Bear Bakery and Una Floral to bring you curated plants and hand crafted home goods, wreaths and flowers, and small batch, hand crafted pastries in Idlewild's beautiful space amongst their collection of thoughtful and beautiful clothing and accessories. 

Come shop and hang out with us!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10th
10 am - 4 pm
Idlewild Woman

1230 Vine Street Cincinnati, OH 45202

all photos by ALEX DAVIS PHOTOGRAPHY

Fern Gives

"The planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it." -David W. Orr

Though incredibly driven, it's safe to say that I've never really subscribed to societies definition of success. I attribute this to my parents and where they taught us to place value. Reconciling this with running a business is not always easy but now more than ever I feel compelled to make this business of Fern more than a plant shop, more than a home goods store, more than a workshop space... It is becoming increasingly important to me to be creating something of meaning. 

You will start to see changes here including a #FernGives program where we will be donating portions of our sales to organizations that we believe strongly in. We are kicking off our give back program on Small Business Saturday. On Saturday, November 26, 2016 we will be donating 10% of our sales to Planned Parenthood as well as 10% of online sale for the whole weekend. 

Moving forward we will have charitable pieces in the shop, where portions of every sale from that item will go directly to a specific charitable organization. We will be rolling this out on our website in the coming weeks. 

A few of the organizations we have chosen to give to: Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, Everytown for Gun Safety, Southern Poverty Law Center

If you have any suggestions for us as we continue to figure out ways in which we can give back we would love to hear them. 

Thank you for your support!

 

Lookbook

A few months ago, poolside with my family while vacationing in Florida, I mentioned an idea for a plant lookbook. Lucky for me my family is Alex Davis Photography

We shot the lookbook yesterday in Frameshop's warehouse space, the old Jim Beam factory, with the most amazing team of talented women and I cannot wait to see and share what we created with you all. In the meantime here are a few behind the scenes photos. 

TWO

Here we are, a couple months late but celebrating two years as a brick and mortar store! Quite a lot has changed since our opening day two years ago. When we opened Fern we did it on a shoestring. We carried handmade items from a handful of makers and designers and our space was minimal to the extreme with only a few product shelves and one table. As we've grown, adding many more designers, and carrying a larger selection of plants we've added space the only way we could in our small storefront, up the walls. We've slowly added shelves and moved things around more times than I can (or my father would like to) count. We started holding classes and because we love the community that it cultivates we began scheduling them more frequently. We partnered with Patricia Campos as she began her floral business, Una Floral to bring flower markets and a weekly flower CSA program to Cincinnati. We've seen our clientele grow and grow as folks from around the city and even further have discovered who we are and what we are about. We couldn't be more grateful for each of you who drives up to our store in a neighborhood, you've maybe never been to in order to support our small business. Each time you do you are supporting a growing community of independent artists who are making your goods by hand and you are hopefully leaving armed with the confidence and knowledge that it takes to keep your plant babies alive. 

As we begin our third year, as we tear down walls to accomodate our growth, as we work to bring new and exciting designers to the area, as we make room to hold more classes, and as we work to partner with other small businesses we just want to say thank you. THANK YOU!

And just for kicks let me leave you with an image from our opening...

Look how far we've come! Please stay tuned for details regarding an anniversary party and the unveiling of our finished renovations. 

Mother's Day Market

Being a mom informs so many of my decisions as an entrepreneur. My children and my role as their mother serve as my greatest source of inspiration. The shops store hours, while they may be few and far between were designed specifically around my family's schedule. The concept for the store itself was born out of a desire to create something that was for me while still maintaining balance with my desire to be with my children. I don't always succeed at this. There have been many times, perhaps monthly (read weekly), where I feel supremely unbalanced and that my shop and my family are suffering because of it. My comfort is in knowing that I am not alone in this, that my feelings of self doubt and my fear of failing my family are completely normal, that there is an army of women who have come before me and who fight the same battle alongside me.

This upcoming holiday is an important one for me. It gives me the opportunity to say thank you and to celebrate my own mother who has always juggled it all in a seemingly graceful manner and who has served her family graciously remaining the strongest and most significant female voice in my life. And it also allows me the chance to applaud all the other mothers, in their many forms, who are out there doing it everyday, holding it all together against the many onslaughts of doubt and fear. 

Chatting with some of my favorite mother entrepreneurs we wanted to collaborate in designing something for mama's this year that would show you just how inspired we are by you all. We basically created what we as mother's would want. We take pictures of our children daily and while I love looking back over the many photos documenting their lives thus far I find myself wishing that I was in some of them. I know that my children will carry me and my words and their memories of me with them their whole lives, as I do with my own mother, but I also wish they could see me in those captured moments with them. And so for Mother's Day this year we want to give you mama's a chance to "get in the frame." 

On Saturday, May 7th Alex Davis Photography will be conducting mini portrait sessions for mama's and their children. Come prepared to just be you, to naturally interact with your children while my favorite photographer captures it for you. You will receive a digital copy of an edited image within the week! You can sign up for your 30 min session here

In addition Una Floral will have hand tied flower arrangements available for sale and we will have coffee and bites on hand for you to enjoy. To all the mama's out there you are loved and appreciated. You inspire us and we can't wait to be a part of celebrating you.