What a year it has been so far! If you want to catch up a bit more on what has gone on for us in this roller-coaster-of-emotions year, please check out our past blog posts to get a taste of 2020 on the farm.
We are ever-so-grateful to be still here harvesting and sending flowers to you all–we cannot thank you enough or tell you how much your support has meant to us, as always, but especially now. So many small businesses have been forced to close their doors during this pandemic and we are still here hanging on–by a thread it seems at times, but all the same, we are thankful we can continue sharing our passion with you–mahalo from the bottom of our hearts!
For many people this year, keeping track of what day it is has seemed to go out the window. It has felt like…it’s just “today” and “day after today” and “day after that” instead of the traditional flow of Sunday through Saturday. Well, it seems that our protea plants have also lost track of what time of year it is and are just doing what they will.;) Therefore, they are a bit behind on their blooming schedule this year as compared to years past. Of course every year is different and this season, the drought we had this summer continued well into the fall and has really had an impact on the timeline for our “heavy bloom season,” particularly for our pincushion protea.
We share this because it means we will most likely be “capping” orders for all our products each week during November-December. We do this because we only harvest the flowers that are just right so they will have the best vase life possible after shipping them to your door. We harvest to order and have to keep an eye on the fields to know how many orders we can fill. We have to think about several things: the variety that are blooming, the “grade” of flowers blooming (long stem versus short stem), and the volume in which they are blooming. Our long stem gift boxes take several varieties and need the longer stems. Our arrangements need certain varieties but we can use the shorter stems. Our wreaths need a lot of different flowers and foliage and we can use the shortest stems harvested for these. So for example, if we aren’t able to harvest many long stems, we will limit the gift boxes available or if we aren’t able to harvest all the varieties needed for the wreaths in volume, we will limit the quantity available that week.
Other major things we need to consider are time and labor. We are a small business with BIG heart and lots of Aloha, but we still only have so much time in the day and only so many hands to do the work. It’s me, Tasha, and Jay-Ar, along with Naty and Roy some days of the week. As owner-operators, Tasha and I pull 16-20 hour days during peak volume times and do our best to keep our employees at 40 hours a week, but do compensate them for overtime as needed. Regardless, it is 3 to 5 of us doing all the harvesting, sorting, prepping, inspecting, wrapping, arranging and packing the flowers on any given day (oh and I suppose I forgot to mention that building the boxes, creating the FedEx labels, hand-writing the cards, answering the phone and emails, and doing all the bookkeeping, paperwork, paying bills, and errands has to happen in there, too, on a daily basis along with the general care and maintenance of the farm and plants and equipment themselves!–whew!)! So even with all the passion and Aloha we put into growing, harvesting, creating and packing our protea products for you–it’s a “tall order” to fill orders during peak season and holiday times. We never sacrifice quality and that is why sometimes the quantity of what we can realistically get shipped out on a daily and weekly basis is limited.
Luckily, we’ll have some combination of the wonderful hands of Laura, Shelly, Orion, AJ, Dawn, Dan, Kai, Easton, and Griffin to help for a couple hours a week here and there as they are able with prepping, card and label making, box building, and packing. We are hoping to be able to fill as many orders as possible but also know that selling out is necessary to ensure that we are getting the best, highest quality flowers and products out to folks.
We strongly recommend ordering early. We also strongly encourage sending early or being flexible with the delivery date. The holiday season is just that–a season–and if everyone wants their flowers delivered on Christmas Eve, it’s just not possible when considering the amount of flowers that are ready in a daily harvest as well as the amount of hands to complete the work. We always do our best to accommodate last minute orders but even if the will to make it happen for you is there (trust me it is!), sometimes there just aren’t flowers to harvest from the field. Oh also, any time of year is the best time to send flowers to yourself or someone you love! So if you miss out on the winter holiday season, don’t you worry!;) Check out our Shipping and FAQ page for great information on the shipping calendar, closure dates, and tips and feel free to reach out via email with any questions!
We really are so appreciative of our wonderful employees, volunteers, friends, and family members–we are beyond blessed by them to help us make this happen all year long; not just the big winter holiday season. Likewise, we are also incredibly grateful for and blessed by YOU, our wonderful customers. If you weren’t here ordering, now or otherwise during the year, we wouldn’t be here at all and we are so humbled that you choose us to help you spread Aloha. We strive to bring not only satisfaction, but joy, to you when sending and receiving our flowers.
Mahalo from the bottom of our hearts and with warmest Aloha,