Courtesy of Roxanne C., Philadelphia PA
Farm to Vase. Slow Flowers. Floral Foraging. Handcrafted Heirlooms. Seasonal Blooms. The 50 Mile Bouquet. Sound sort of familiar?
All the groundbreaking trends that powered the local food movement are now doing the same for local flowers. Is it a good time to get into the business?
SPIN-Farming makes it very low risk to find out. It's even easier to find plots, if you don't have your own, because front yards can be pressed into service. Flower farms look no different than traditional gardens.
You don't have to be an expert grower. Single flower bouquets are enough to test the market. Dahlias, gladiolas, sunflowers tulips and zinnias all catch people's attention at market.
But basic bouquet arranging is easy. You build around a single large stemmed flower such as a lily or sunflower. Then fill with foliage and some fill flowers. You can also add aromatic herbs to the arrangement like dill, mint or cilantro that has gone to seed. Common roadside weeds like chicory, goldenrod, Queen Ann's lace and tansy add a rustic character. By making a bouquet arrangement look full, customers think they are paying less for what they are getting. Just be respectful of native habitats and do not harvest more than 1/10th of the area. Leave plenty for the bees and butterflies. Once you establish a market and start growing your business, you'll start growing much more of your own stock, and that will help support even larger populations of pollinators.
At market, it's important to emphasize presentation. Bouquets can be sold from attractive water-filled stainless steel containers rather than 5 gallon plastic pails. Good price points are $5, $7, and $10, depending on the size.
While the local food movement has gotten all the glory, flowers are finally coming into their own. Consumers are looking for affordable indulgences, and if you have a desire to build a career in the floral industry, now is a good time to indulge it.
If you'd like to sit on a one hour training session for our members on August 31 in which they will learn how to startup a 6,000 sq. ft. backyard flower farm business that grosses $33k, you can sign up for membership here.