presentation

bryan_ut(z5UT)January 22, 2008

Here is what I have so far for my ag conference presentation. Please give me any comments/help that you can.

Where to start

(This will depend on your growing experience and your personality traits. The following are some of the steps you will probably run into or need to do).

Marketing

( I start with marketing because I like to walk through the flower shops, wholesalers, farmers markets and see what is available and prices I have to match or beat. I also like to start with marketing to see if I can sell portions of the product before I even start to grow them. Areas to research are: Wholesalers; Retailers; Farmers markets; Subscriptions; cut your own operation; Restaurants (edible and bouquets); Contract; Weddings and Friends). (Maybe you want your weekends off and wholesale or CYO will be the way you want to sell. Maybe you only want a big splash or sales in spring and peonies will be your thing. Perhaps you are an artist and love to interact with your customers and farmers markets are your selling point).

Growing

1: What to grow

(This depends on your limits for example zone in which you live, how much area you have, what the wholesalers or retailers want to buy from you).

2: Perennial versus Annual

(Most growers will grow a mixture of all types of flowers that grow within their zones, unless they are going for contract or wholesale).

3: Woodies

(One of the easiest to grow, but takes more space. These can also extend your sales: such as curly willow, rosehip, holly in the winter, pussywillow, forsthyia, flowering fruits in spring).

4: Resources

(Now that you have decided on what types of flowers to plant you need to find your seeds, plants, bulbs, or cuttings. (list of seed companies and websites).

5: Germination to transplants

(You just received your first shipment of seeds. Hopefully you have decided on how you will grow or germination your new seeds. Using a local greenhouse might be a first step or maybe jumping in with both feet and making a greenhouse and germination room is in your future. Maybe direct seeding will be your first new step in cut flower growing).

Soil prep

(This step might began before or during another step such as growing, but you want to have you beds or garden area ready for your seeds or plants. Use an extension service or local university to check your soil for you).

Irrigation

(This step too might be started before or during another step. You must decide on how you will water your new garden. Drip systems work the best, either by tape or by hose. If you can refrain from using overhead sprinklers or flood irrigation, it will be better).

Harvest

(Harvesting is one if not the most important step. Ensuring that you harvest each type of flower at the best time is where Quality comes into your new business).

Post Harvest

(How will you cool and store youre freshly cut flowers is probably the second most important step in the whole process. If you are selling wholesale or directly to the retail shops this will be less as important as you can cut and ship directly).

Pricing

(Where you will sell and to who will determine some of this for you. If you are selling wholesale or to retail flower shops they might tell you what they pay. If you sell CYO or subscription you can name your price. If you are selling at a local farmers market, other vendors and area might have an impact of your pricing. If selling at a FM do not under sell yourself or other vendors).

Resources

(List seed, plant, bulb companies).

I still need to expound, add pictures and put it into a powerpoint presentation. Also prepare some hands on stuff.

Thanks!!

Bryan

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all_bout_flowers

Good stuff, some of the things I wish I would of thought about before I began. Employees- were to get them, family or friends? Train how to cut and post harvest, very important or they could ruin a whole bunch of stuff. Also, if they are weeding they don't think your whole new row of alstromeria that you started from seed is a noxious weed and pull it out. Bookkeeping and advertising (web page update), yuck. How to figure how much to charge and what to do with an over abundance of one flower.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:16PM
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bryan_ut(z5UT)

Kathy, great points. I had forgotten about employees. I guess I forgot about weeding since I did it all in such short time last year that I overlooked it. I have found that in our direct seeded area the employees get to wheel hoe within a few inches on the rows, but only myself or some-one that knows what the babies look like get to weed.

Over abudance of one type of flower. I haven't really ran into that. At the end of our FM, if we don't have another soon, we give away any non dryable flowers to the little girls at the market or to other vendors that bring us thier veggies/herbs/honey/bread etc.. Any flowers that dry come back to the farm to go into wreaths.

Bookkeeping: what is that. One of these days, when I am rich I want a palm pilot to take to the field with me.

Thanks.

Bryan

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 9:36AM
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flower_farmer(5/6 MI)

Bryan,

Thank you for sharing your presentation, and allowing us to voice an input as you gather your information.

Just read the comment about employees. The first year I wouldn't expect the grower would hire any employees since this is the learning curve year. After that, yes, employees are a really big issue. And, some need to retrained again and again each and every year. And, sometimes you just happen upon someone who is a good and trusted employee.

We've also given away the remaining flowers at the end of the market. Children love them. Some elderly adults are reluctant to take them.

Your CD of bouquets and flowers was sent via USPS yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

Meanwhile here are a couple market photos of our smaller Wednesday market. This market was new last season.

This one reminds me of a pen and ink drawing:

Warmest Regards,
Trish

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 4:37PM
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