Today’s Fleurisher serves as the ultimate example of how to travel through all of life’s adventures on your own two feet. “Oma”, as she’s known to her grandson who submitted the nomination, was born into a generation of self-sustaining farmers, raised a large and loving family of eight children, and is now, at the golden age of 90, once again “fleurishing” all by herself in their family home. Come and take a peek at what lessons “Oma” has to teach us!
Working the land with your own two hands was something that came naturally to the generation of children born in the early 1900s. Land was meant for planting, harvest meant for eating. “Oma” was no exception. While out in the fields, she and her female friends covered themselves from head to toe in order to maintain their (then aesthetically ideal) porcelain-colored skin. “Oma”‘s attention to aesthetics paid off when her future-husband spotted her from across the room at a village dance in Valkenburg. Her late husband’s lifelong dedication to the agricultural industry fueled their self-sustaining ambitions, and their land was constantly producing food to eat… potatoes, beans, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, raspberries, and even rabbits, chickens, and cows.
In addition to practical produce, their gardens were always full of flowers as well. A particular specialty of “Oma”‘s is cultivating hydrangeas of all sorts. Her’s is the only bush on which I’ve seen blue, purple and pink hydrangea heads growing all at once.
She’s also a master at over-wintering her flowering friends. Everything from geraniums to petunias find their way to the garage where they wait out the cold winter weather before blooming again in spring. An avid walker, “Oma” has always enjoyed the rolling hills of her hometown. During recent years, “Oma” has found a new companion in her adopted cat, Miemie. As if animal intuition alerted Miemie to the void left after the sudden death of “Oma”‘s husband, this furry friend began frequenting her gardens. As they slowly gained a mutual trust, their friendship blossomed, and Miemie now happily calls “Oma”‘s home her own.
The two can often be found sitting outside or wandering around the garden, where “Oma” still busies herself. She picks raspberries straight from the bush for an afternoon snack and sells containers of fruit to neighbors and friends. When the autumn winds blow, “Oma” is sure to be found scurrying around the back field collecting walnuts, which she year-after-year gathers up and sells by the bag!
Determined to keep up her self-sustaining lifestyle, “Oma” tries to still do as much as she can herself. She has a nice backyard veranda from which she can admire her garden and flowers, even if the weather isn’t so cooperative. “Oma” is generous enough to allow neighbors to swing by every so often to pick some of her beautiful hydrangea flowers. She was also nice enough to let me take several huge flowers home as well! :)
I think that our generation of “want” and “waste” can learn a thing or two from the generations past. Instead of idling in a constant state of want, why don’t we focus on the things that we need? How can we learn to provide for ourselves? Sure, not everyone has enough land to grow adequate produce to support a whole family. Maybe we can make a start by appreciating what we have, learning how our food is grown, and being aware of where our food comes from. Support the farmer down the road, or frequent your local farmer’s market. Take part in a co-op offered by some hard-working folk near you. You might be surprised at the new foods you get to try, and you might make some new friends in the process!
Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?
Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!
For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?
Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!
Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you all tomorrow!