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February 22nd 2016

Online Resources (and blogs to stalk) for Farmer-Florists

Written by
Floret

One of the great joys of this business is having the opportunity to teach, assist and mentor other flower farmers, floral designers and farmer-florists.  I absolutely love being able to support folks like you who share my passion for seasonal flowers.  I want to do whatever I can to see you succeed, whether that’s starting a simple little cutting garden in the corner of your yard, or whether you’ve taken the leap to be a full time farmer-florist.  I want to make sure you have all the information, tools and resources possible to make your wildest flower-filled dreams come true.

So, just in case the Floret February ‘Blog Blizzard’ wasn’t already an information overload, I thought I’d compile some additional websites to check out that have great information, inspiration –or a bit of both– for flower lovers.  Warning: some of these sites will suck you in!  I take no responsibility for the hours of lost productivity that ensues from discovering some of these sites.

photo by Heather Payne

 

Love ‘n Fresh Flowers — Many of you are likely already familiar with Jennie Love’s fantastic little urban flower farm and floral design business in Philadelphia.  Jennie is a great farmer, designer, photographer and writer and her posts are always filled with beauty.  For an added bonus:  check out our cross-country creative collaboration from 2013, the Seasonal Bouquet Project, the result of a challenge–a dare, really–to post one bouquet each week that featured the best that was in bloom in our gardens.

Saipua— Sarah Ryhanen, the flower star behind New York’s Saipua and World’s End Farm also maintains an interesting online blog journal with her personal reflections and observations on flowers, farming, her travels and life.  Her posts are insightful, interesting and are often infused with equal parts humor, sarcasm and poetry. I am particularly smitten with her essays and photos from World’s End.  Related:  Floret’s Farmer & the Florist Interview with Sarah.

Sarah Raven’s YouTube channel--These short clips contain lots of useful tips and tricks for getting the most out of your cutting garden.  Sarah’s approachable style (and her sweet, lilting British accent) make these great fun to watch.

Bare Mtn Farm  — Tony and Denise Gaetz are phenomenal flower farms and generously share their knowledge and expertise with others on their website.  I regularly refer folks to their excellent guide to constructing caterpillar tunnels.

Flower Farmer Facebook Group–this is an extremely active, positive community of flower growers that generously shares growing advice, marketing tips and even helps others identify mystery plants and pests.  Note: as a closed Facebook Group, you must seek permission to be added.

 

Flowerona— This UK-based blog is a great place to keep up to speed with the seasonal flower movement across the pond and around the world.  I can literally spend days clicking through all of Flowerona’s Links feature, which is a roundup of the best flower-related news, resources and inspiration.

Botanical Brouhaha—  Each and every post on this blog is eye candy.   These beautiful images from some of the very best floral designers are usually grouped by imaginative themes focused on specific flowers, colors, styles and trends.  Their Expert Panel also shares great insights and advice on a variety of floral design topics.

Flirty Fleurs –This is another must-read blog for floral designers.  Their posts–particularly their rose studies– are killer!

Slow Flowers Podcasts— Debra Prinzing’s blog and podcasts include profiles and interviews with the ‘Who’s Who’ of the flower world in the U.S.  I know a lot of other flower farmers that love listening to podcasts as they work in the greenhouse and while working on seed starting.  Related:  Farmer & the Florist Interview with Debra Prinzing

Johnny’s Selected Seeds— In addition to being a great supplier of seeds and garden supplies, Johnny’s also has really great online resources for growers.

Back issues of Growing for Market— Full Access Subscribers can read 15 years worth of back-issues of this great publication.  While mostly focused on local food producers, the flower column (of which I authored for several years) is chock full of practical growing information.

ASCFG bulletin board— The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers maintains an online forum–dating back more than a decade–with loads of information and growing advice from professional flower farmers from across the country.  While based on an older platform, the search function can be a bit unwieldy, but the insights shared by experienced growers is absolutely invaluable.   Note: you must be a member of ASCFG to access.

Whew– that’s a lot of sites to stalk!  The scary part is that I could go on…and on…and on.  But I know that many of you likely didn’t even make it to the end of this post, because you got distracted by one or more of these great sites.  If you DID make it to the end of my list I’d love to know what other flower-focused blogs and and websites inspire you. Please share your favorites in the comments below.

36 Comments

  1. Edward James on

    This is a great blog, thanks for sharing! Being a florist in today’s world is great competition. Thus, you have to have some online presence, have a blog, engage with your customers, let people know you exist.

    Reply
  2. Jody Schneider on

    I’m a flower farmer in Australia Queensland for 5 years. (Bundy Blossoms) I have had to just leave the farm and go back to my desk job, we were not making a profit. I was feeling ready to give up, and sell up. Your blogs have inspired me to keep going. It will be part time unfortunity, will still need to pay the bills! Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  3. Natalie Jones on

    Thank you for the link to Sunshine Farms. That was a real treat.

    Reply
  4. Melissa Brauneis on

    Oh my goodness, your humor comes through so great. I clicked on the Jonny’s Selected Seeds, and found it so humorous that you asked if you even made it down to the bottom! I look forward to spending many many nights starting with your informative blog, learning and learning, while my 3 sweet red heads are tucked in tight. Thanks so much for this blog/journal!

    Reply
  5. Allison on

    This looks like fun. Thanks for this and all your how-to posts. Johnny’s Seeds is the best!

    Reply
  6. Quinn Veon on

    What a wonderful collection of resources! My teenage daughter is an aspiring flower farmer and I’m sure she’ll be so thankful for all of the information you kindly take the time to share. I have so many pages bookmarked to print already. I tried to join the Facebook group you mentioned but it looks like they didn’t accept my request and then blocked me :( Bummer because it sounds like a great group. Thanks again!
    Quinn

    Reply
  7. Killoran on

    Wonderful list! YouTube is great – just searching for “urban” or “small scale” farming will bring up JM Fortier’s talks (hours worth of information!) and Curtis Stone. There’s Gardeners World from the BBC, which is packed full of tips.

    Clare Day (here in BC) is offering a free cut-flower video training course! I’m counting down the days!

    Reply
  8. Kathryn Cronin on

    Hello Erin- a huge thank you – as many others have noted- massively useful and insightful information generously shared – I would add green and gorgeous- I am visiting Rachel soon and am super excited about it – I am looking forward to your next blog post already – may the weather be everything you wish for this season

    Reply
  9. marybeth on

    oh my goodness! just when I think I’m beginning to get a handle on inspirational sites, you give me MORE to research!! thank goodness the weather tomorrow will be conducive to staying inside to read, plan and dream!!

    Reply
  10. Melissa - Tanglebloom Flower Farm on

    Field to Vase (fieldtovase.com) is another great resource with helpful articles, inspiration, and flower farm and designer profiles.

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Yes! This is another great one–thanks!

  11. James on

    Each and every single one of these postings is jam packed with such GREAT information. I am often overwhelmed by your generosity to share such things. Each and every single one of your posts continues to support, inspire, and challenge each one of us to follow that calling in our hearts.
    We are so LUCKY and BLESSED to have you share your years of trials and tribulations along with each and everyone of your moments of Success!

    I feel like I am now part of a “Secret” group that believe flowers give something that is very special, the gift of “beauty, perspective and LIFE”!

    Reply
  12. Donna on

    Never mind… it’s honeywort. Yay! I already bought a packet of these seeds from you!

    Reply
  13. Donna on

    What is the name of the flowers in the first photo? So lovely!

    Reply
  14. Madeline on

    I love reading your blog, and learn so much. I’d like to make a suggestion for a topic. I’m starting my 4th season as a flower farmer, and one of the biggest challenges for me has been figuring out what to spray and when. I’d love to know if there are any general rules that you follow. Which foliar fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides to use and when (such as at time of transplanting; before buds appear; early or late in the day; every week; once a month). I’ve learned the hard way that with some pests and diseases, by the time you notice them (like thrips), it’s really too late. I realize that every situation can be different, but are there some general lessons you could share?

    Reply
  15. Karen Cherry on

    Wonderful post, full of generous information, Thanks! I’d like to add local Botanic Gardens such as the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and Chicago Botanic Garden which are nearest to my garden, as a source of great information on culture and bloom time. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org http://www.chicagobotanic.org The Missouri Botanical Garden’s Bloom Time Summary (5 pages of peak bloom weeks) has been a great planning tool helping me to provide a bouquet a week for my pleasure and/or to use on the Communion Table at my Church for many years.

    Reply
  16. Brother Placidus Lee OSB on

    I already have a Sarah Raven book on its way here from your post on your book collection, but it’s nice to have her Youtube channel too! I am much more of an experiential learner than understanding the theory, so it’s nice to see what I’ve been reading about in practice! Thanks for the resources!

    Reply
  17. Ali on

    Two days ago I was trying to find more flower blogs to follow! Great timing! Your blog is something I look forward to reading on the daily and it truly starts my day off on a positive note! Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge!

    Reply
  18. Robin on

    Cerinthe or honeywort :)

    Reply
  19. Kirsten on

    Thanks for this…It’s on the tip of my brain but I can’t quite name the flower in the very first picture. What is it again?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Robin on

      Cerinthe (honeywort).

  20. Joan on

    Great resources here, thanks Erin!! Some of those blogs I read regularly, but some are new :). I’m also suggesting Higgledy Garden; he’s a fount of flower knowledge and his seed collection is staggering! Recently I joined ASCFG and there is a ton of information there as well as on the Flower Farmer FB group. I’m so thankful for folks like you, and other teachers out there, who are willing to help new flower farmers like myself!

    Reply
  21. Ronda Schlumbohm on

    Thank you Erin for the inspiration. I take something to heart each and every time I read your posts. You’ve inspired me in many ways. Now here’s to our farm producing this year! Thanks for the help!

    Reply
  22. Bibi on

    Erin, thanks for sharing those great sites, one question on your honey wort you’re holding, how do you get them that tall, most of ours didn’t get that tall, have any ideas why not?

    Reply
  23. Elisabeth Ontario on

    Some great ones, and I can’t wait to see what other people suggest. One from the UK I like is Higgledy Garden. Benjamin Higgledy is hilarious in a dry British humour kind of way, and I’ve found myself laughing out loud more than a few times while reading through his stories about relatives and origins of different flowers. He updates regularly, which is a huge plus for blog readers. I also love “Fairest Farm Flowers” by Elizabeth Harris. She grows and arranges some gorgeous stuff. I have pinned many of her posts and I love that she lists the ingredients, very helpful, and great eye candy. I love her colour combinations too. Since getting a smart tv I’ve been watching whatever I can find on You tube to do with flower farming. This blog is by far my favourite though!

    Reply
  24. Angela on

    Thank you for the information. It’s people like you and many others that encourage me to live my dreams. I really couldn’t do it without you. It’s such a beautiful community. And even though I know I’m just a tiny farm (really just a space) just starting out. …I have faith that I will grow and be successful.

    Reply
  25. Gretchen on

    Perfect and timely! I was feeling overwhelmed by online resources and didn’t know where to start. Thank you

    Reply
  26. Lynn on

    YOU, of course! I have never in my life been so inspired as I am constantly by your bog, I’m so thankful I found it. I have never learned so much in one place and when I have a question on growing, your articles are my first go. And, my other favorite, thanks to you, is Sinclair and Moore, another wonderful site! Your generosity with sharing your hard-won knowledge and educating everyone is amazing. Thank you.

    Reply
  27. rebecca on

    Thanks for the long list! I just joined the ASCFG and am excited to get started. So many new things, to be inspired by and to learn. Thanks for keeping the channel tuned to flowers, flowers, and more flowers.

    Reply
  28. Frank on

    Amazing post as always. Thank you Erin for all you’re great content. Ill be back reading these posts for years to come. Your sharing nature and community driven spirit are a blessing to all of us growers new and old.

    Agreed you could have listed another dozen or two without even trying. Id be remiss if I didn’t add another resource, a local farmer by the name of Curtis Stone has a great youtube channel,
    https://www.youtube.com/user/urbanfarmercstone
    he focuses primarily on vegetables but his tips and information would be highly useful to all small scale flower farmers, videos on succession planning, use of landscape fabric and no-till strategies are all covered.

    Keep the “blog-blizzard” coming and know how much we all appreciate it!!!

    Reply

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