We have three-amazing-acres with great soil and sun. It’s been fun growing a veggie and fruit garden over the last eight years. We have grown flowers too, but now I realize there is a need for local, organically grown flowers and I can help out with that (I am a helper by nature…whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen, but that’s the way God made me and I won’t complain).
In order to be a successful flower farmer, I took a series of classes at the Oregon Small Farms Conference (February 20th, 2016) and I learned a TON! It was an amazing gathering of minds!! It only cost me $45, but what I learned and the people I had the opportunity to meet was priceless.
It was held in Corvallis, Oregon at Oregon State University. Saturday was the Small Farms of Oregon conference, but I took only the flower growers classes out of the 30+ classes offered. There were vendors selling their gismos and gadgets and organizations sharing their mission throughout the day. A lot of info in one place with the friendliest of faces.
My first class was taught by Shannon Algiere called “An Intro to Growing Specialty Cut Flowers.” She was awesome and told how she practices resilient agriculture and uses sustainable farm practices.
My second class was called “Business Planning and Marketing for Cut Flower Farmers” taught by Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm, Molly Sadowsky the Manager of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in Seattle, WA, and Joan Thorndike of Le Mera Gardens. I can’t tell you how instrumental this class was to my research into flower farming! These women are my personal heroes!
The last class of the day was “Beyond the Annual Field: Successful Strategies for Growing and Selling Cut Flowers in the PNW Shoulder Seasons.” I learned from the best in the biz: Tony & Denise Gaetz of Bare Mtn Farm, Vivian Larson of Everyday Flowers, and Kendra Neveln of Glenwood Farms. They showed me that I can extend my growing season with some easy additions like a hoop house and unheated coverings.
I was late to the next day’s event, the PNW Flower Grower’s Meet-up, because I was so inspired and I was planning my flower farm! But it was a great meeting with awesome people and a ton of information to help with all things flower farming.
Thanks for all the people who put on such an informative event and for the sponsors who helped make it possible!