What’s happening in 2018

what's happening in 2018Hello! Happy 2018. I hope your Christmas and New Years holidays went well. Ours did. It is always so nice to take the time to reflect on what is truly important.  I thought I would give you a quick peek at what happening here at Midwest Cut Flowers for 2018! Like always I have a hundred and fifty things I would like to do, but will probably only accomplish a few. Oh well, I am who I am right?

Branding

I finally had a professional logo made! I was so excited with the outcome!! Check it out.

 

The logo combines my flowers and my Etsy shop.  I had Liz from just artin around design it. She was awesome to work with. I would recommend her! I can’t wait to order my business cards, stickers and tags.

Etsy shop

Speaking of my Etsy shop…. I have been lacking in keeping it updated and stocked with wonderful new and exciting items…..That however is supposed to change here in 2018! My plan is to add market bags, aprons and pot holders as I get them finished. My hope is to have a lot of inventory so I can be ready for the fall outdoor market at Mama’s Happy. This was such a great event that I am already in planning stages for it!

Cut Flowers

I have just ordered my flower seeds and dahlia bulbs. Most of my seeds are from Johnnys Seeds and this year I ordered bulbs from Swan Island Dahlias. Here are a few of the new dahlias and seeds that I ordered this year.

September Morn Dahlia Swan Island Dahlias
September Morn

 

Amber Queen Dahlia Swan Island Dahlia
Amber Queen
Johnnys Seeds Queen Lime Orange Zinnia
Queen Lime Orange Zinnia

 

Johnnys Seeds Costa Mix Snapdragons
Costa Mix Snapdragons

I am still hoping to get an order into Floret for some seeds. This is such a great website. It has been fun to follow them as their business has grown. Very inspiring.

Venues

I have another place that I am going to bringing my fresh cut flowers. It is right here in our small town of  Delano.  Red Rooster Soaps  is an occasional shop that just opened in December. Exciting stuff.  Stop by and check it out next time you are in town.

Blog

As for my blog, I am going to try hard and post at least once a week. If I don’t have time to ramble I will just post pictures of what is going on around here.

 

 

 

 

Little video

Sometimes things just take you by surprise. My oldest daughter sent this to me yesterday!  I was so surprised to get it. What a fun gift. Thanks Erica.

It is such a good recap of my first year. I am looking forward to next year. I hope she will do another video for me.

 

Gifts for gardeners

gifts for gardenersHi! Of course I have to a “gifts for” post right! As we are moving into the holiday season with Thanksgiving knocking on our door and Christmas running up the road…..here are a few things to think about for the gardener on your list.

This bucket  is so awesome. Not the prettiest thing but super useful. I use mine all the time.

The gardener on your list will love these mason jar planters. No soil necessary! Very cool! Easy instructions to follow. What a great, middle of winter beat the blues thing to do.

Every gardener loves to watch the birds. I don’t know if it is because we are outside so much and notice them and their sounds…but every gardener I know loves them. What do you think? Do you like to watch the birds. It really isn’t just for old people you know!  I really like the simplicity of this feeder.

I love Orla Kiely prints. They are bold and fun and always draw my eye. I received this journal as a gift from a friend and love it!! It has all the nerdy nooks and crannies that you love in a journal.

Of course a garden calendar is always nice. This one I found in Etsy in a shop called LouPaper. I love her illustrations.  Check it out here. 

 

Whoa! This thing looks amazing and scary at the same time. I would love this guy. It would come in handy for all kinds of garden jobs. Perfect gardener gift.

This wonderful time of year has come once again. Time to reflect on what we are thankful for and focus on what is important in our lives. Let us all take the time to slow down and enjoy all that the season has to offer. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas.

Finnish Pulla Cardamom Bread

So lets just say that I love pulla. Get it out in the open, when it comes to Finnish cardamom bread, I love it! I eat it plain, with butter, toasted, toasted with butter and jam, toasted with butter and cheese and if it gets a little old, dip it in coffee.

Finnish Pulla. Cardamom bread. Traditional Finnish recipe

Pulla is usually baked as a loaf. However for special occasions the Finn’s or Swedes will braid it into a ring, add a glaze or almonds to the top.  This dough is very versatile. You can use it for small single buns or cinnamon buns. I like to make 2 batches and use one for the traditional loaves and one for cinnamon buns.

Pulla is also called Nisu, which simply means” wheat” or depends on who you ask “this bread”. Pulla simply put means “bun”.  Pulla is typically served at most coffee tables throughout Finland. The Finn’s enjoy their coffee at a prepared coffee table set with napkins, cookies, pulla and of course coffee in cute cups.  There is a saying in Finland “Parempi leipä kuin kulta” which translates to “better bread the gold” I think I would agree.

For better results make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start. Also I like to use whole cardamom seeds that I crush with a mortal and pestle or a coffee grinder. It gives much better flavor then the cardamom you buy in the spice section already ground.

Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in water  fairly hot to touch.  Mixture will be light brown in color and foamy.

Cardamom

Pour the milk that has been scalded and cooled to room temperature into the bowl. Mix in eggs, sugar, cardamom and salt.

Add 5 cups of flour. Mix until smooth. Add melted butter. Then add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is smooth to the touch.

Dough

Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled.

Divide risen dough into 3 equal parts.

Divide each 1/3 into 2 equal parts and roll out until approx 30″.

Fold 1 of the rolled pieces of dough over the other. See photo above

Braiding with 4

Follow the guide above for the traditional braiding. The pulla can also be braided with 3 strands. Braid as you would a regular braid.

Egg wash on pulla
Egg wash

Place braided dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Let rise about 20 min. Brush loaves with a beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.  In the photo above I used raw sugar. I have also used a cinnamon sugar mix.

Baked pulla loaves
Baked

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 min. Cool on racks.

cutting cinnamon buns
Cutting the cinnamon bun dougn

 

Each 1/3 can be rolled out flat and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll up the dough length wise and cut at an angle. See photo.

pressing the cinnamon bun
pressing the bun

Place each bun onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and press down in the center with your index finger. See photo

Cinnamon bun with pulla dough
ready to bake

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with your choice of sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 min.

cinnamon bun
Baked cinnamon bun

Enjoy!

5 from 4 votes
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Pulla

A slightly sweet dense cardamom flavored bread.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 16 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 cups scalded and cooled milk
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 whole eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg beaten for egg wash on loaf

Instructions

  1. Scald milk. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside. 

    2.  In mixing bowl add yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Pour in warm water and stir. Cover and let site for 5 min. 

    3. In the mixing bowl stir in milk, sugar, eggs, cardamom and salt. Stir until blended. Gradually stir in 5 cups of the flour. 1 cup at a time. Mix until well blended. Slowly pour in the melted butter until dough is shiny. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time. 

    4.Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. Approx 45 min. Divide the dough into thirds. Working with a one third at a time. Cut in half or thirds and braid. Move braided loaf onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Let rise 20 min. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with choice of sugar. 

    5.Bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

    6.Cool on rack.

I hope that you enjoy this Finnish treat as much as I do. It makes a great gift!

A note a quote a gloat #2

Hey, its time for another installment of a note, a quote and a gloat. If you are new to this blog, I randomly will post little tidbits of flower information, a flower quote and notably a flower joke. aka a gloat.

This quote is said to originate from The Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), yeah its been around for ages. This quote makes me think of my husband’s aunt. I was blubbering one day about life and she said “girl you gotta bloom where you are planted.” She cut me no slack…I so needed this little reminder at the time and since then. I have told myself hundreds of times….”self remember…bloom”

NOTE

Did you know that 80% of all cut flowers sold in the USA are flown in from other countries. There is a movement slowly moving back to flowers grown here in the USA. Hence my little flower farm. Debra Prinzing has been a great advocate for the local slow flowers movement. Most of the local flowers that are being grown, are being done without the use of pesticides. This way making it safe for both the farmer and consumer.  Another plus to this, locally grown cut flowers last longer and look amazingly better. Seriously next time you are out and about and see a flower stand or at a farmers market. Pick up some locally grown cuts and see the difference for yourself.

 

GLOAT

What did the big flower say to the small flower?

garden love

Hey there bud!

If you missed the last a note, a quote and a gloat here it is  post # 1

Hope you enjoy your day.

Fall in Minnesota

Fall in Minnesota is such a wonderful thing. After sweltering hot summer days and buzzing mosquitoes we are quite ready for fall. Fall in Minnesota brings amazing flowers!! They to are enjoying the cooler temps. Here are a few pictures of what is going on around here in the midwest.

Lovely picture from Nistler farms

My daughter is having a great time working at Nistler farms this fall. They grow such awesome quality produce.

more from Nistler farms

This was my last cut for the flower stand this season!

I have planted quite a few tulips this fall. I still have one more bag to go. These lovelies were a gift from a friend!! Perfect, Thanks Heidi.

Lake Rebecca

This picture was taken at Lake Rebecca park. We are lucky to live by this awesome park. There are biking and walking trails. Canoe and kayak rentals on the weekend. Picnic areas, play area etc. Check it out!

Some ornamental grass that I planted last year! So cool. I am planning on taking pictures of my garden this weekend, so next week I will post what that is looking like.

 

DIY Pumpkin centerpiece with dried flowers

With fall upon us and the cut flower season almost over, I thought I would share a post using the flowers I have dried. This DYI pumpkin centerpiece will be the talk of your thanksgiving table.  Nothing says fall like orange pumpkins and the leaves changing colors. The muted colors of the dried flowers go perfect with the fall palete of pumpkins. Use your imagination and have fun. This is  great project to do over coffee with your friends.

Supplies

Above is a picture of the supplies you will need for the DYI pumpkin centerpiece. –

  • pumpkin
  • flower foam
  • a knife for cutting
  • craft glue (any brand)
  • a variety of dried flowers
  • grapevine wreath that your pumpkin will fit into

Wash the pumpkin with mild bleach water and wipe dry with a towel. Keep the stem attached. Cut an appropriate sized piece of the foam and press onto the stem. If the stem is really small add a drop of glue on the stem before pressing on the foam.

Cut the dried flowers into groups of various lengths and put your leaves and filler in separate piles.

Starting with the taller stems poke a hole into the foam with a sharp thin object. A wooden skewer works great, dip the end of the flower stem into the glue and insert into the hole.

Keep adding the flowers tallest on the top to shortest around the bottom of the foam until you have used all your dried flowers. Use the leaves and filler you have chosen to fill in where you can see the foam until covered. Look at the dried flower arrangement from all angles.

Thanksgiving centerpiece

 

This is such and easy DIY thanksgiving centerpiece project. Enjoy!

Linen apron

Hey, I have added a new products page to my blog. Here I will be selling linen aprons and market bags.  Here is the linen apron in the photo below. Guarenteed to be your favorite. I also have a fettish for Marimekko fabric. I will sure be adding products made from that to the page also.

Fun, versitile and becomes softer after every wash! Follow me to see newly added products. Check out the page here. I am trying to move my Etsy shop onto my blog to keep everything together. My Etsy shop has been a great experience. If anyone wants to try it you should. It is easy to use. With the garden and the blog I do not have space in my brain to also do Etsy. I will keep my shop open for the remainder of the year.

Here are a few quick pics from the garden.

Still more snapdragons
Starfire Dahlia

midsummer flowers

Summer is quickly passing…..it has been totally crazy around here. Here are some pictures of the gardens. The flowers are showing their stuff. It is so amazing that I grew most of these from a tiny little seed!!! The snapdragons keep rewarding me and coming back. This is the first year that I grew them and expected them to only last until the heat came.

self seeding sunflower and tall proud snapdragons

This picture was taken just as the fog was beginning to lift. The sunflower in the picture overwintered and I have been loving the blooms. Some have been way to big for a bouquet but the smaller ones are awesome.

sweet peas

The sweet peas did great. They are fading now but the fragrance is still there!!

bucket of blooms with coffee

I never tire of seeing all the harvested blooms in a bucket. Notice the much needed coffee:) I try to cut early in the morning before the heat affects the blooms.

statice

I am going to for sure plant statice again next year. I makes an awesome filler and dries awesome for dried bouquets.

Dahlia

I absolutely love Dahlia’s. I bought these bulbs from Floret. All but 2 grew great. They are so amazing. You should do yourself a favor and plant at least one bulb next spring. My guess is that you will fall head over heels for them.