Currently…

Is it Monday already?? It can’t be… this weekend went way to fast! Currently I am sitting at my dining room table in my cozy apartment while it drizzles outside. I am loving the odd weather! It may be getting me antsy for spring break though 😉

Between last week and this past weekend I am feeling pretty blessed. I had a great Valentine’s Day. Tyler surprised me at school with my favorite flowers. It is a semester of flowers, flowers, and more flowers and I am loving every minute of it!

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Wednesday came around and it was time for my weekly floral design class. This week we designed 3 arrangements: french bouquet, wedding bouquet, and a small table design. I found the hand bouquets to be very frustrating! It was so hard to hold all the stems as you twisted and layered the flowers. We also had to make the flowers stand up on their own!

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My flowers (amateur designer) of course would not stand up! I cut the bottom stems perfectly flat and the dang things just wouldn’t listen haha. I was so embarrassed but I worked hard and finally got them to stand on their own just as the teacher was walking around to each person’s station.

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We then tore the bouquet apart to make the small table piece. It was sad pulling the flowers from their tightly bound arrangement, but in the end we had more practice.

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I have to give a shout out to Tyler for making my week fantastic! Not only did he surprise me on Valentine’s Day, but he accompanied me to the National Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives in Minneapolis.

16832149_10211098346488256_7479524901779703506_n-1Doesn’t he clean up nicely? 😉 He is going to be mad at me… haha. We had a great time exploring the Twin Cities.

Did you know there are housing and restaurant co-ops? Ace Hardware is a co-op…it is ran by its employees!! We had the opportunity to tour Mississippi Market, Riverton Student Housing, and REI.

I learned so much from so many people. NFU  put together a great line up of knowledgeable speakers and panelists. Coming from an agriculture background, I really only had experience with grain and local cooperatives, but co-ops are everywhere!

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Iowa Folks

There were two other Iowans who joined us at the conference. It was great getting to network with people within our state and with people from across the U.S. I met 3 wonderful people from North Carolina.

NFU took us to the Mill City Museum and to a play called “Rise up O’men,” I highly recommend both! I had a blast stepping back into history.

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Sunday came and the drive to Iowa was a sleepy one, but it is opportunities like this that I want to take advantage of. I am learning so much and I find the experience to be so valuable. Having a open mind and soaking in the world is something that will continue long after I graduate.

“Millennials love co-ops, they just don’t know it yet,” said keynote. Cooperatives are a very unique way to conduct business.

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Quote of the Day! Check it out mom! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Dear Valentine,

Dear Valentine,

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Thank you for taking time out of your day to read Picking Wild Flowers each week. Your continuous support and encouragement is making my blog come to life. I wish you a Happy Valentines Day!

These three things continue: FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE… and the greatest of these is LOVE.

XOXO

Morgan

I love Valentines Day! I love celebrating LOVE and cherishing those who are in my life! This is Tyler and I’s first Valentines Day <3! Being as Valentines Day is on a Tuesday I won’t be able to see Ty, therefore, I made him treats last weekend before heading back to school. Have you ever heard of Iowa Girl Eats? If not check her out because these Triple Fudge Brownie Truffles are chocolate heaven!

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Coming off a chocolate high, I introduce to you two designs from last week! Enjoy!

Design One:

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Asymmetrical Design
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3 Gerbera, 3 Bells of Ireland, 3 Aster, 2 Palm leaves, and 3 Linear Blue flowers
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Bells of Ireland are so interesting!

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Design Two: 

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Roses, Alstromerias, and Zinnias for Grandma Pat from Dad

Have a great Valentines Day! 

 

 

Designing a Large Focal Arrangement

Check out the largest arrangement I have created to date! Last week I mentioned my blog would soon be filled with floral arrangements and today I bring you my first one!! I am enrolled in a floral course this semester taught by an owner of Coe’s Floral and Gifts. Each week we will design a new style of arrangement. I am soaking in the information and trying to be in the moment each week as I practice my design skills.

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As we walked into the hen house (AKA lab work space, but why not call it the hen house? #ISU horticulture students… haha) I was shocked by all of the flowers we had to process! Iowa State has gone above and beyond my expectations for this class. To process the flowers we had to strip all of the leaves and clip the stem diagonally to open the pores. While traveling, the flowers are in a state of “sleep” they are subject to a cold treatment that keeps them from growing. To “awaken” the blooms we need to use a flower hydrate solution. This encourages the stems to fill with water.

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Dan, Coe’s Floral and Gifts owner, designed a recipe in advance for us to follow. The large focal arrangement included 3 Liatris stems, 3 Daisy Mums, 3 Purple Stocks, 3 Carnations, 3 White Daisies, 3 stems of Solidago, and Leather Leaf.

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It was fun following the instructor as he gave some tips and tricks to the art of design. I was intimidated at first by the small bowl compared to the amount of flowers we were given, but in the end it was really fun to experiment with.

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Guess what Picking Wild Flowers???? Tyler and I received the seed catalogs and have picked out the flowers we want to try growing this summer!! As many of you have probably guessed, flowers have become a new passion of mine. I love agriculture and I love the idea of small scale flower farming. I think it ties in nicely with my love for cattle and agriculture advocacy. With whatever I do with my degree once I graduate; whether that be marketing, public relations, writing, extension, event planning, etc., I know I want to actively participate in farming too and flowers can be my avenue.

This summer I am going to start with a small flower garden on the west side of the machine shed. The garden will be small to begin with, but maybe in the next few years I can expand to an acre or two out in the country somewhere. 🙂

This year, DRUM ROLL PLEASE, I have decided to try Sunflowers, Rudbeckia, Liatris, Mums, Asters, Baby’s Breath, Iris, and maybe Lavender. 🙂 🙂 I am so excited!!! AHHH. Want to know what I am most excited for??? Being outside, getting my hands dirty, and creating something that brings joy to everyone!!!

Have a great week everyone and remember to appreciate all the beauty God has created.

 

 

Building the Herd

Good Morning Picking Wild Flowers! I have been neglecting my blog lately, but I am back and ready to pick up where I left off! I am in the midst of my last semester at Iowa State University and the reality is beginning to set in. I am enjoying my last few communication classes and electives as I wrap up my senior year. Soccer and floral design are by far my favorite classes! I am excited to bring you posts each week recapping the arrangements I make in class! Be on the look out for flowers, flowers, and more flowers! AHHHHHHH

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Carnations that will be showcased in my next post 😉 

Last week I headed back home to participate in a variety of fun family activities! Friday, Tyler and I started our weekend by hanging out with a few of his friends. We enjoyed great appetizers and company! Have you ever heard of a game called 5 crowns? Me either!! At least I think that was what it was called haha! But any-who it was fun and you should try it!!

Saturday morning Dad, Michael, Tyler and I headed to Sigourney to an annual bull and bred heifer/cow sale. Dad was on a mission to buy a bull and couple heifers to add to our herd. I am overjoyed that it worked in my schedule to join him on the road trip.

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We brought home these two lovely bred Angus heifers. Both ladies will be on Dad’s radar as they are due in the beginning of March!! Babies, Babies, and more Babies!! All of our cows should be calving around March and April. We now have 25 cows! Say What!?!? We are continuing to grow out herd, but how do you add quantity without loosing quality?

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Before Saturday, we printed off the sale order and highlighted the ones we wanted to pay close attention to on sale day.

For our particular farm, we are looking for good structured heifers that are sound (strong walking pattern) in their path. We also are looking to add the bloodline Angus to our herd. This helped to narrow down our search.

I have had more practice picking out heifers and therefore that is what I am focusing on in this blog, but remember picking out a bull has similar steps.

Make sure to have a budget in mind when participating in the auction. Dad and I talked about how much we wanted to spend before we even left the house on Saturday morning.

Bid for the beautiful heifer with all the qualities you desire adding to the herd. I am proud to announce that our herd has grown by two!

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The weekend fun did not end there! My uncle turned 50 last week and he had a surprise birthday party on Saturday night!! Mom, Steve, Michael, Ty, and I had so much fun helping him celebrate! Check out this awesome cake!

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Sunday was a great day too, but more on that another time :)! I am excited to be connecting with all of you and I can’t wait to share more posts related to flowers and agriculture!

XOXO

Morgan