Selling Questions -- Beginning Phase

miss_huff(7)November 13, 2008

Hi all! I cannot believe there is a cutting garden forum!

My daughter and I are trying to think up ways to raise money so she can attend camps this summer. I can't believe the prices.

I was thinking how great it could be if she sold cut flowers we grew together to raise money.

1) I am already wondering about the legalities of it. If she ran it like a lemonade stand -- I wonder if we would get in trouble!

2) What type of paperwork do you need to participate in a Farmer's Market? We would have cut flowers cheeses, soaps, veggies, etc. Flowers only. You have to buy a business license ($75 here in Atlanta)....and anything else? If you sell cut flowers, do you have to have special certification...any inspections? (This is Georgia.)

3) The intown farmer's markets have booth space about $10-$15 weekly (one day, 3hrs). Could we break even?

4) What are your prices usually on, say, daffodil stems? Daffodils are something we're looking into -- I know I'd have to act quickly. I don't want to scare away w/ high prices, but I don't want to give them away free, either! Say,....a bundle of 5 specialty ones for $2??? We have no idea about pricing.

5) Is there a good book written about the selling of cut flowers from the backyard?

Thank you! We will be here w/ lots of questions, I'm sure!

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While I consider myself one of the rookies on this forum, I'll take a stab at your questions. :)

1.) Depends on your local zoning. You'd have to check out the regulations, I believe, to see if selling from a stand on your property is allowed. Don't forget things like liability insurance.

2.) You need to contact your local market master/manager. Every market is different and I would think he/she would be the best guide to what you need to participate in the local market. If you're not sure how to start, call your town/city hall and tell them you want to speak to the person who runs the market. They should be able to put you in touch.

3.) Maybe. $10-$15 sounds pretty low-priced. You'd have to try to estimate how much you could sell (and what price you would sell for.) Personally, I think you could easily break even on the market fees. What you really have to consider is if you will break even or make a profit on all your time, work, supplies, etc.

4.) Sorry, I don't sell daffs. Our market doesn't start until July. So I can't be specific on that particular flower. Pricing was difficult for me. I looked at what the other cutflower vendor was selling and how she priced, took a look at some local supermarkets, and tried to price from there. It's kind of a trial-and-error process that varies from region to region and depends on where your market is, I believe.

5.) Two books that were recommended to me and which I found helpful were Specialty Cut Flowers by Allan Armitage and Judy Laushman, and The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczinski. Byczinski is also the editor of Growing for Market, a helpful newsletter. And the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (I think I got that right!) has a website that is helpful - sorry, don't know it off the top of my head, but you can look it up.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:35AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

To get a good overview of the growing and selling, try "The Flower Farmer" by Lynn Byczynski. Read it from cover to cover and it will answer a lot of your questions.

It's hard to answer questions about legalities, since they vary from state to state. You might try asking folks at your local market about that stuff. They should know, although I've found that sometimes they are just kind of skating by the regulations.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:40AM
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