On Moving

Transitions. Change. Just reading these simple words can stir up a wave of feelings. We are creatures of habit and generally do not embrace big changes. It’s uncomfortable and unsettling for sure. It’s hard to stay grounded during change in our lives.  To move with the momentum, go with the flow, surrender control and trust… these are all big lessons in learning to navigate change with ease and grace. 

Nalin and I overlooking the farm landscape. Photo by Elissa Kennedy

Nalin and I overlooking the farm landscape. Photo by Elissa Kennedy

I’ve personally been through a tremendous amount of change in such a short period.  Since 2017, I’ve lived in 4 different places (5 if you include extended house sitting) and have had to move my farm of 3 years and start over. I’ve also experienced the loss of two major relationships. 

It’s been a whirlwind to navigate all of this uprooting and re-aligning while maintaining and running this business on my own.  I’ve somehow managed to stay above it all, positively, and have allowed myself to grow from these changes.  I’ve learned so much about myself and about life. The learning and growing continues! 

I am preparing to move…. Again. When I moved to my place in Winters in October 2018, I knew it was not a long term situation, but I did not expect to move after a short year. I started a farm up from scratch and poured my energy into the land. Even though I will be taking the farm down, and everything will get mowed, I do not regret it one bit. One of the best things about starting a farm over completely has been the opportunity to document my process of starting without tillage. I’ve always wanted to share exactly how to get started! Even though it was beyond my comfort zone, I recorded little intervals of my process to show and encourage others that it is possible to start growing this way. These videos can be seen on my YouTube channel. 

 I don’t feel that my exact reasons for moving need to be stated, but do know that this is a positive change in my life… one that is going to create so much space within myself for new opportunities to unfold. 

 I will be making my move back to Davis and living among community. I will be neighbors to some of my dearest friends and be able to walk to their houses.  This will be such a positive change for Nalin as well to experience this and live closer to other kids as well as to his father. 

I will not have a flower farm anymore for the foreseeable future. This is something I am still making peace with. I will, however, have a garden and several of them! I will be able to grow shade-loving perennials, which I am beyond excited about. I will grow more food, herbs, and other ornamentals and natives in addition to flowers. I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember and to cultivate a garden, instead of a production farm, feels like a welcomed change of pace. It feels like it will be more relaxed and less stressful.  My garden will have a particular flow and movement to it unlike the rigidity of the farm with straight rows. I’m actually really looking forward to this change! 

I will not be letting go of farming completely. I plan to work for other local farmers and use my skill set to help others. I will also be freelancing more as a designer. I am open to taking on some weddings of my own as well as teaching workshops. The one aspect I will be letting go of with the farm is bouquet making. This is unfortunate as it’s been one of my favorite tasks of this business! However, I will probably fill this creative urge by continuing to make seasonal holiday bouquets with all local and California grown product. We’ll see! I’m still allowing myself to be guided and align with what feels right for the next evolution of Flower Mama. 

Early September Bouquets

Early September Bouquets

It’s fun to dream up possibilities and next steps! However, I am currently deep in the process of letting go of so much right now. I am moving from my own single studio apartment with ample storage space to a single room in a house with limited storage. Because I will not be farming, I have a lot of farm stuff that I am shedding as well, including over half my stock of potted perennials.  This clearing feels right and aligned even though letting go is always a bit challenging. The energy behind September, Virgo season, and the transition of summer into fall is very supportive of this. Thankfully, I don’t feel too overwhelmed or stuck. I’m simply doing what I can day by day and breathing through the process. 

What is clear is that I will have much more space to uncover more hidden potential within myself.  I hope that you’ll continue to follow along my journey and keep in touch. I have a lot more to bring to my community than just flowers and I’m excited for new beginnings. 

Sincerely,

Katie

Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink

Electrolytes…  Most of us have heard that you need them, especially when you are sweating either from working in the sun, exercising, or just simply spending time in the heat! Electrolytes are an all-encompassing term for the variety of ions that your body needs such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate. It is easy for our bodies to use up these essential nutrients during these times, and we need to replace them to avoid dehydration. 

I feel like this post is especially important for farmers, as we’re more prone to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Although, many people suffer from dehydration so this is an all around good remedy to know! Sipping on my homemade electrolyte drink during the day helps me tremendously with working on the farm and I want to share this approach with you, too. 

The good news is that you don’t have to guzzle Gatorade or drink coconut water to receive your hydration. You can make your own electrolyte drink, pretty easily, and even customize it with your favorite flavor combos. I’m going to share with you a simple recipe as well as my other favorite ingredients to try. But first, you need to know about salt sole.

Salt is essential for the body to help regulate fluids and improve hydration. A salt sole is essentially sale water. Having salt already dissolved in water makes the electrolytes more readily available to your system. The pinker the salt, the more cleansing it is. I like grey salt which has a more cooling effect and contains more magnesium. 

How to Make a Salt Sole?

Fill a glass jar with 1/3rd salt and the rest water. Wait one week. Some of the salt should have dissolved, so add a little more to bring the level back to 1/3rd. After one more day, your salt sole is ready! Simply scoop of the top to add to your electrolyte drink. 

Simple Electrolyte Drink 

Fill a glass (I like quart mason jars that you can cap and take with you throughout the day) with filtered water. Add ½ squeeze of lemon or lime and a splash of your salt sole. That’s it- the simplest! The sole should be added to taste, but you can start with a ½ - 1 teaspoon.

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To make this drink quite a bit taster, you can add herbs and fruit! Try simply adding a sprig of mint and some berries to the above recipe (such as the photo above). 

The berries are used for that touch of sweetness to help balance out the properties of sour and salty. 

Berries and fruit I like to add are blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or cherries. You can really add any fruit, or a small bit of honey or maple syrup as a light sweetener. I find that the taste of the fruit does not come through in the drink as much, but they are an added bonus during my last several sips!

Adding herbs are a great way to get more tastier flavor and added benefits of minerals as well as cooling or warming qualities. I usually brew a tea the night before and then chill it in the refrigerator. To make my electrolyte drink, I simply add the salt, lemon, and berries to the tea. 

My favorite cooling tea blend is mint and nettles. Also, lemon balm and hibiscus are both very refreshing. Hibiscus has the added benefit that it’s high in vitamin C! If you feel you need to bring more warmth into your system, you can try ginger and cinnamon. Really, any tea would be fine. Just note which ones feel and taste best to you and your body.

So, I encourage you, to try different blends of teas and fruit! A lime is a bit more cooling than a lemon, so you can experiment with these, too.

With all the unique combinations, your electrolyte drink can be fun and interesting day to day. These drinks are really so tasty and you’ll love sipping on it during the hot summer. My hope is that you can empower yourself to stay hydrated, take good care, and listen to your body.

 

All the Best,

Katie

Being an Entrepreneur and a Full Time Mama

As I sit here to write this post, I’m reflecting on managing motherhood and work. I had put my son, Nalin, to bed a bit ago and then promptly went to my small office, sat down at my computer, and proceeded to bust through some emails that have been stacking up as well as drafting and sending wedding estimates.

Earlier in the day, I made an errand to pick up seeds and managed to sow a bunch of things in the greenhouse, meet with a client, consulted with another farmer-florist, and I also, somewhere in there, managed to get groceries for the week. It was presidents day, and most people had off work.

Small business owners rarely ever “take off” work. Especially not farmers. We have to plan well in advance and try really hard not to work. I recently saw on Instagram, a post that read, “Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” where the later was crossed out so that it read, more appropriately, “Love what you do, and you’ll kinda work all the time” Hah. This is so true.

So how do we manage it all as business owners, mothers, farmers, and florists?

You’ve heard it time and time again… business owners wear so many hats! We not only are good at our trade, but we have to handle all the marketing, accounting, customer relations, pricing, website, social media, etc. etc. Be grateful if you are able to hire out any of these tasks, but for a lot of small business owners, we wear all these hats for far too long. Burn out is a real thing, so how can we avoid it?

Let’s say you’re a mother (or father), too. Well, your duties just tripled and if you work from home with your kiddo(s), well good luck to you! Everything, with kids involved, takes literally twice the amount of time as it would on your own.

So how do I manage it all? I get asked this question A LOT. Usually, it’s rhetorical. People will just state this out of amazement, but not really expect an answer. Well, here in this post, I’m going to try my best to answer because I bet there are others out there trying to juggle it all just like I am!

I am a small business owner. I am a single mom. I am a farmer, and I am also a florist. My life sometimes feels like one great big balancing act!

Some of my success I can attribute to my own character. Drive, determination, and resilience seem to be inherent in my nature. A lot of what I do, though, are simple lifestyle changes or perspective shifts that help me to stay balanced and manage all the things. I’m going to highlight some of them…

Staying Organized: This is key! You have to have some order to your work space, computer files, paperwork, calendar, tools and supplies, etc. If your work spaces are messy and chaotic, you’ll spend more time shifting through the crap and feeling discouraged than if you could just walk into your space and start the task at hand. So if you’re not an organized person by nature, set aside some time to make your spaces organized. It will really help!

Positive Self Talk: How do you talk to yourself in your head? Do you constantly put yourself down or worry about what’s to come? If so, you need to shift this! Everything is energy and the law of attraction says that what you put out into the world is exactly what you receive back. If you are negatively affirming yourself all the time, that is the energy you’re sending out and it’s the same energy you are going to attract back. You will be in this perpetual cycle. Instead, you can choose to make the cycle positive! Send yourself positive thoughts and you will be rewarded with positive energy. An easy way to do this is through affirmations on sticky notes. I do this all the time, in fact. I will write something positive on a note and stick it somewhere I’ll read it often. Reading it will help re-train your brain to think this way, even if you don’t believe it at first! Some of the things you could say are “I am so loved” “I bring so much joy and beauty to my community” “I am supported” “people value my gifts” You get the picture!

Continually Shifting Focus in a Positive Way: My work and being a mom with my son at home most of the time are very intermingled so I’m constantly being pulled between mothering and working. It’s true I include my son in a lot of my farming and I can see how that’s benefiting him so much; However, there are times that he needs just my pure focused attention (and it’s more-so the younger the child). So rather than getting frustrated and annoyed that I can’t complete a work task, I instead shift the focus of my intention. I tell myself that I will tend to his needs fully before coming back to my task. Whether that’s getting him a snack, changing out his soaking wet tennis shoes and socks, or watching him learn a new skill or show excitement over something, each moment should be experienced with presence and I will keep my attention on him as long as he needs. Children should be your priority, but it definitely is hard when you’re trying to manage all this work with them around. I get it. This is not to say that whenever you’re child needs something, you drop everything to tend to them. Often I tell Nalin to wait, but whenever I do shift focus to him, I do it positively and presently. Even if the present moment sucks, still being with it and accepting it, will help to ease stress and anxiety.

Setting Smaller Goals: This sounds weird to say, but especially running a business AND being a mother, I have to not make sure I’m not constantly falling short of my own expectations. To do this, I just set smaller goals. You may think of it as a reality check, or be real with yourself on how much you can accomplish. This was hard for me to learn because I hold very high standards for myself and I expect a lot out of myself. I usually think I can accomplish WAY more in a day than is realistic. If you operate like I did, you’ll always come up disappointed. So instead, just be real from the get-go! Don’t make your daily list too long. Make it actually achievable

Self Care: You need this to keep going. To stay sane, stress free, and balanced. Try to set aside time for the things you love or things you can relish and relax in. Whether that’s a yoga class, a hot bath, going for a walk, journaling, or anything else soothing, you need regular doses of this. Self care does not need to mean a grand vacation! Simple things you can do for yourself at home should become part of your routine. This can be as simple as making yourself a nourishing cup of tea. Love yourself and honor all this hard work you are doing! Keep filling up your cup and you’ll be able to show up as your best self!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and un-balanced, I hear you. You’re not alone. I hope some of these perspective shifts can help you on your journey. Know that you are doing the best that you can! May you continue to offer your unique gifts to the world, love yourself, and live presently.


~Katie