One of my favorite Christmas memories from my young adulthood was opening a gift of a plane ticket from my parents–which was a total surprise! It was for a flight to go visit my boyfriend, Dan (soon to be fiance and now husband), who attended university in Canada at the time. The ticket was for a flight into Seattle later that year and Dan would then drive down from Vancouver to come get me and take us back over the border (those were the days all you needed was a copy of your birth certificate and ID to get back and forth).
I remember how fun, not only the surprise was, but the anticipation of knowing I had such an exciting adventure coming up! I had only been on a plane once before when I was 13 and had never travelled alone before. It also meant so much to me that my parents knew how much I loved Dan and embraced that he would most likely soon be part of our family. The fact that they gifted me this trip was just so thoughtful and generous; I cried.
I tell this story because I know many of our customers look forward to sending their loved ones protea and tropicals from our farm on Maui every year. They spend much of the year anticipating the coveted winter protea crop so they can send the flowers as their holiday gifts. It’s always so wonderful getting to send and share such special and unique flowers with folks and the years where the “stars all align” and we have a crop of every variety blooming at just the right time to coincide with the high volume of orders being placed, is just the best. Of course as farmers, it often isn’t that perfect of a story on a regular basis.
This year, the drought we had on Maui during the summer lasted well into late fall. This meant that some varieties (like the Mink Protea) loved the heat and didn’t miss the rain at all and yielded high volume blooms early on. Other varieties, like our kings and pincushions in particular, were thirsty and really wanting the rain and have been very late in blooming in volume. We do have irrigation here on the farm, but in time of drought, understandably, there are limits placed by the county for water usage in order to conserve resources, so we couldn’t give the plants the amount they really needed in an ideal world. Protea are drought resistant and the plants do an amazing job of conserving their energy. Around Halloween we finally got a lot of rain in a couple of big storms that lasted days and the roots soaked it up and this jump started those beautiful buds. However, they are still weeks away from our bulk harvests and unfortunately, the timing will just pass the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
However, that doesn’t mean we miss our chance to spread the Aloha over the holiday season! Those of you who didn’t get around to ordering yet, we hope you still place your orders as gifts for your loved ones and treats to yourselves. You’ll just have to hold on to that anticipation a little bit longer and receive them as the flowers are available in January.
Due to the drought, we were monitoring our fields closely. We were taking note of daily harvests leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, keeping track of the sizes of upcoming buds and current weather forecasts. We felt confident in predicting what the realistic daily and weekly yield would be coming in to the holidays, so we limited amounts of each item available. We sold out very quickly with the orders placed by folks who jumped on it right away. We are still taking orders and placing people on wait-lists for each item at this time. If we do get a higher crop yield, we will, of course, send these wait-listed orders out to arrive by Christmas. If the harvest can’t accommodate the wait-list orders by Christmas, wouldn’t you still want your loved ones to get these special beauties? It just may be a few weeks out from your ideal delivery date. They will still bring joy and, honestly, it may be nice to spread out the cheer and gifts over time so they will stand out even more than normal!
As farmers, we do all we can to coax beautiful blooms from the fields to line up with holidays, but really, who has that much control? We use natural and sustainable growing practices as much as possible and can’t just snap our fingers and make the blooms pop. Nature has a wonderful way of teaching us patience and the joy of anticipation, doesn’t it?
We truly appreciate your support and look forward to sending you the best quality protea and tropical flowers as they are available all year long. Right now, our biggest hope is, of course, that we continue to get a steady stream of blooms and variety now on a daily basis to fill all the orders, including those on the wait-list by Christmas and that the bulk of the harvest will then fall in-line right around Valentine’s Day when we get another huge volume of orders all at once.
If we aren’t optimists we shouldn’t be farmers, right?;)
With warmest Aloha and so much gratitude for your support,
Emily on behalf of all of us at Anuhea
Wait-listed Orders for Christmas 2020:
As described above, we are playing it safe and making sure we can fill the orders we already received and are taking a wait-list of orders to send by Christmas. If the harvests allow, we will send to arrive by then, but if not, the recipient of your gift will know that:
- you didn’t forget about them and ordered in early December
- you want to send them only the best
- a surprise will be on it’s way in January 2021
- you’re supporting small business during a pandemic
- you’re supporting sustainable farming practices by buying flowers during their natural growing season!
If I am on the Wait-List, how will I know when my gift will be sent and arrive?
We will be in touch with you the week of Christmas via email or phone to let you know how the crop yield is looking and if we’ll be able to send to arrive by 12/24/20 or wait until January 2021 to provide the best selection of blooms.
How will the intended recipient know I ordered them a gift for Christmas to arrive later?
You will be able to choose to have a gift message and teaser photo sent via email or text to the intended recipient that explains a gift has been purchased for them from Maui and the surprise will be sent in the New Year.