Growing good health and happiness; it’s our focus.
We grow much of our own food and purchase most of what we items we don’t produce here from other local farms in order to eat healthy. We work out – primarily by the very act of farming – and at the gym too. We try to sleep well and manage stress. But living well is about more than nourishing our bodies, we must nourish our souls for true happiness too. We create through our hobbies, celebrate the milestones of life, and occasionally allow ourselves to indulge in little treats (mine is rich dark chocolate!) And sometimes it is as simple as taking a step back to really see the natural beauty all around us – in the fields, with our animals, and even a quiet moment beneath the trees.
When we can’t be outdoors, we bring the outdoors in. With FLOWERS!
Beginning with the sweet little rosebud bouquet given me by Grandma for my 8th grade graduation, flowers always make me happy. A plethora of University studies have confirmed it isn’t just my experience, it is actually scientific fact. We now know what the Europeans have known for some time, flowers generate happiness, creativity, compassion and tranquility!
Modern schedules no longer revolve around seasons or even the sun, flowers in the home can increase mindfulness on the passing of time and even encourage the accomplishments of goals in a timely manner.
A Rutgers University study confirmed that flowers in the home or office increase concentration and that their fragrance is associated with memory. Participants aged 55 and older showed much improved episodic memory and they also reported that they felt less stressed when they received a regular supply of fresh flowers. In addition, this study demonstrated that flowers ease depression and initiate social engagement.
Another study by Harvard University found that there is a link between seeing flowers first thing in the morning and waking up in a happier mood. So keep those flowers by your bed or in the kitchen near the coffee pot!
Cut flowers provide additional health benefits. A third study in 2008 by Park and Mattson found that hospital patients given flowers to brighten their rooms needed less postoperative pain medication, had lower systolic blood pressure and pulse rates, were less anxious and tired, and generally were in a more positive psychological state than patients in rooms lacking flowers.
So go ahead and make someone’s day…and yours too. Bring home a bouquet!
At Graystem Farm we are now offering a selection of beautiful fresh flowers in mini, small, medium, and large arrangements as well as providing DIY Stem Bar selections from the flowers and greens in season. As with food, fresh from the farm local and seasonal is best. Not only do the blooms last longer, you get the sweet fragrance missing from imported selections made to travel half-way round the globe in boxes for days or weeks.
How do you choose a bouquet?
Some flowers are edible. If you want to brighten the day of a chef, bring home a bouquet of edible beauties – nasturium, basil, borage, rosemary, oregano, violets or rose hips. Cheese stuffed squash blossoms are delicious, especially if batter dipped and fried! Daylily blooms can also be eaten this way. Don’t forget that artichokes and capers are flower buds too!
Want something soothing? Pastels, green and silver foliage, and colors in the same colorway – all pinks or all blues for example – are calming. On the other hand, bright, bold, saturated colors, large blooms like sunflowers, or flowers in contrasting colors will energize your mood.
Looking for a romantic posey? Soft and airy flowers, lush peonies, big dahlias, or heirloom roses might be the way to go.
Do you have something special you want to say? There are many books and websites that share the language of flowers. Here are a small sampling:
Daffodil – the sun is always shining when I’m with you
Iris – your friendship means so much to me
Tiger Lily – Wealth, Proud of you
White Lily – purity, Easter, Resurrection
Peony – Have a happy marriage
Rose – Love, Desire
Snapdragon – Beauty, you are a gracious lady
Sweet Pea – thank you
Zinnia – I’m thinking of you
In the Spring of 2020, we will also be offering flower arranging classes. If you are interested in participating, drop us an email or follow us on Instagram @GraystemFarm for dates and themes!
Please note that our native wildflower offerings are ethically harvested from plants that occur naturally on our farm or grown from seeds purchased at Virginia Native Plant Society approved vendors. We do NOT harvest from public lands or roadside verges.
We also offer a limited selection of floral jellies in season!