Were are keeping up with the chaos, but barely. This time of year is all about abundance, for the past 6 weeks we haven't been able to write because it is all we can do to harvest and process these flowers. Not to mention, we've been planting fall seeds for salad, roots, ect. - but thats another post for another day. 

 Celosia mostly fills this image and strawflower in the bottom right. Thanks to all the wonderful friends and family that have come to help me!!!

Celosia mostly fills this image and strawflower in the bottom right. Thanks to all the wonderful friends and family that have come to help me!!!

Celosia is processed either by pressing or by hanging upside down. Strawflower is processed in multiple ways....

 Celosia and Ageratum getting ready to press.

Celosia and Ageratum getting ready to press.

Ben made me a press out of two pieces of plywood, two straps, cardboard, and thin brown craft paper. The above picture is freshly harvested flowers getting set to go into the press. After they are all piled I put the straps on tight and Ben takes them to the UNL driers, which is lucky for us. Below is finished Ageratum, when I unload the press I put all the flowers into a container, we will use these on the tables. 

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 A close up of what the container looked like a month ago, now it is full.... Fleabane and St. Johns Wart are accompanying Ageratum and Celosia here.

A close up of what the container looked like a month ago, now it is full.... Fleabane and St. Johns Wart are accompanying Ageratum and Celosia here.

Now, Strawflowers are the flowers I planted the most of, so they get a few different treatments. In the first picture of this blog, if you look closely at the white 5-gallon bucket in the lower right hand corner you will see it is full of strawflowers with the stem on. I prune plants during harvest to keep them productive. Then at home, I separate the flower top from the stem. They produce about one 5-gallon bucket full each week. Next, one of three things happen: 1) I run out of time and leave them on the counter. This has happens about every other week. If you don't process them right away, they dry too much to do any added effort, but they are still cool table toppers nonetheless. Shown below

 Strawflower, Yellow Yarrow, White Statice, and Bells of Ireland. 

Strawflower, Yellow Yarrow, White Statice, and Bells of Ireland. 

2) For weeks and weeks I was wiring the Strawflower to place in all the fun nooks and for people to hook on their cloths or wear in their hair. Since this was a long task I often took them along with me and encouraged others to help.   :)

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As you can see above, we have tons, this is only one of many stacks of wired strawflower. I imagine fairyland with flowers in all sorts of random magical places. See below, one example of how they can be set anywhere once wired. 

 Ben made this ceramic carafe with sweet matching small glasses and the Strawflower is wired on the edge. Bells of Ireland, Pink Gomphrena, Yellow Yarrow, and White Statice pictured.  

Ben made this ceramic carafe with sweet matching small glasses and the Strawflower is wired on the edge. Bells of Ireland, Pink Gomphrena, Yellow Yarrow, and White Statice pictured.  

3) I eventually said enough with all the wiring and thought to string the Strawflower with a needle and thread, the below picture only represents the beginning. After all the wonderful friends and family came to help me on my birthday our house looks like Mardi Gras with Strawflower strands everywhere.

 Besides Strawflower strands, you see dried Bells of Ireland, drying Statice, and drying bouquets of Ageratum.

Besides Strawflower strands, you see dried Bells of Ireland, drying Statice, and drying bouquets of Ageratum.

 Praying Mantis, protector of the Strawflower.

Praying Mantis, protector of the Strawflower.

There are few other flowers that only have about 10-20 plants of, they are put into bouquets and hung to dry when harvested.

 Sweet Annie, Tassle Flower, Persian Jewels, Bachelors Button, Statice, Ageratum, and Gomphrena

Sweet Annie, Tassle Flower, Persian Jewels, Bachelors Button, Statice, Ageratum, and Gomphrena

 Yellow Drumstick Flower, Bi-Colored Purple Bachelors Button, White Statice, and Pink Persian Jewels

Yellow Drumstick Flower, Bi-Colored Purple Bachelors Button, White Statice, and Pink Persian Jewels

Sunflowers have begun being harvested, we are growing the Sunbright variety that is geared for drying. They do well in the drier and on our drying racks. I love them. 

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We will close with a note about how much we are enjoying growing the wedding. This process of growing the food and flowers brings us great joy and we are happy to be sharing it with you along the way. 

 We eat well!

We eat well!

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