June was an exciting month at LSF Wholesale as we kicked off our flower harvest 2022.
The months recent spell of glorious sunshine energised and fuelled the flowers, which provided a much-needed growth spurt for all flower types that are growing this year on the LSF Wholesale farm. Cornflowers, Wheat, Bearded Wheat and Lagurus were first to bloom, so harvesting these was top priority for us throughout June.
The flower harvest 2022 would not be able to commence without our amazing team of seasonal workers who greeted us the first week of June. The workers arriving is always a joyous time for us at LSF Wholesale, as they are mainly returnees who have been working repetitive summers on the flower farm for years. We love catching up with them and hearing what they have been up to since we last saw each other.
These workers work incredibly hard during the flower harvest season and are highly skilled. We wouldn’t have any petals or dried flower bunches without them, so we always make sure our workers are paid fairly and treated with much respect.
The first pick of our flower harvest 2022 was the wonderful blue, burgundy and lilac cornflowers. We love cornflowers, as they bloom beautifully and provide us with star-liked slender petals. Cornflowers are a magical crop, as once the heads are picked, they grow back again 1-2 days later allowing us to pick cornflowers for their petal’s multiple times in one summer season.
Another benefit of cornflowers is that they provide a perfect haven for a variety of bugs and insects. Bees are especially big fans of cornflowers, they’re always buzzing around the the cornflower heads collecting pollen and nectar – what a delight it is to see!
When picking cornflowers the workers split into teams, then each team will slowly work their way up the sea of cornflowers picking the heads off the top of the crop. The heads are then put into a small bucket, once the bucket is full, they will decant the bucket of cornflower heads into crates that are situated on a trailer. This action is then repeated until our daily cornflower picking target is hit.
Over the three weeks of picking cornflowers, the teams harvested 1274 crates of blue cornflowers, 1082 crates of burgundy cornflowers and 465 crates of lilac cornflowers, totalling 2,821 crates of cornflowers harvested.
June is prime time for both the wheat and bearded wheat to be harvested for bunches. With this in mind, the harvest managers go out to check the quality of these crops every couple of days. We know the wheat and bearded wheat is ready to be harvested when the spike (top of the wheat crop) is looking less green and the kernels (the grain) holding the wheat tight is not as full.
Ideally, we need perfect sunshine when harvesting wheat and bearded wheat. Luckily, this year, we had exactly that. It was an early start for the team harvesting this crop, they headed to the field at 7am and finished at 2pm. Within this time, they managed to harvest 946 bunches of wheat and 542 bunches of bearded wheat.
Harvesting wheat and bearded wheat is super satisfying. A chosen member of the team is tasked with the challenge of controlling the cutting mower that goes up and down the lines of growing crop. The mower is clever, it cuts the bottom of the crop, splits it into a bunch and then drops the bunch to the side. The team then works around the mower collecting the bunches that are deposited on the ground, quickly pops an elastic band round the bunch and then places it on the trailer to be counted.
The Lagurus harvest happened towards the end of June. This year’s lagurus crop was truly stunning, it grew beautifully with long golden stems topped with large fluffy bunny tails. We can’t wait to show off these lagurus bunches on the LSF Wholesale website, as they’re top notch quality.
It was a very hot day with bright blue skies when harvesting lagurus, so we made sure the workers were all staying hydrated with many refills of water bottles. When harvesting lagurus each person is given a pair of secateurs, which they use to cut the bottom of the crop with until a full bunch is created. Once the bunch has been made, they pop it into a crate and then pass the crate to Ionut (chief supervisor) who then pops the finished bunches onto our giant stillages.
When the flowers are finished being handpicked in the field, they are then processed and accounted for by the harvest managers back on the LSF Wholesale farm. Once this stage of the harvest has been done the stock is then put into our high-tech driers ready for the drying process to begin.
It’s been a great start to our flower harvest 2022, we are excited to see how this summer goes and we are looking forward to keeping you all posted on the harvest happenings that go on throughout this summer.
Keep your eyes peeled for an update on the picking of the Delphinium flowers for our wonderful dried petals.