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July 26th 2021

The Story of the Floret Workshops Part 1

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Floret

I started growing flowers more than 15 years ago in my backyard when my kids were still really little. At that time social media wasn’t even a thing yet and blogging was just starting to gain popularity.

Flower growing was such an obscure topic and there was very little information available for me to reference. Lynn Byczynski’s book The Flower Farmer and Sarah Raven’s book The Cutting Garden were the only resources that I had to go off of.

Erin Benzakein and her kids in the Floret StudioRows of boxes for packing Floret flower ordersNot long into my flower growing journey, I joined the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) in hopes of learning more about flower farming. I was welcomed into a generous community of like-minded growers, which was the first time I felt like I had belonged anywhere in my adult life.

The ASCFG had a members chat room and I spent countless hours reading every past conversation thread, asking a million questions, and sharing any information or experience I had (which was very little at that time) on a given topic. I was what you would call a “power user,” and I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of the more experienced growers with all of my newbie questions, but for some reason they took pity on me and answered every one of them over time.

Erin Benzakein writing notes in a hot Floret hoophouseMy passion and curiosity quickly eclipsed the resources that were available, so I started looking around for other ways to learn more about growing unique flower varieties on a small scale without chemicals.

I started applying for growers grants in order to get funding to conduct variety trials. One of the grant requirements was that I would share my findings with others in my industry and that’s where I got my start with writing.

Erin Benzakein's office years agoThose trial reports eventually turned into articles for The Cut Flower Quarterly, then I got a job writing a monthly flower column in Growing for Market magazine, and then in an effort to practice writing, I also started this blog.

Buckets of tagged pink and orange celosia 2014 Growing for Market article by Erin BenzakeinI came to flowers and to writing with no formal training, just an insatiable curiosity and a love of sharing. I made a lot of mistakes in those early years but I also learned a ton, and over time built up a loyal following of readers both in print and online. Their encouragement spurred me forward to keep learning new things and sharing my findings.

Through the ASCFG, I met another young passionate farmer-florist who had a small urban flower farm in the heart of Philadelphia named Jennie Love. Jennie and I became fast friends and in an effort to keep our creativity alive while working incredibly long hours to build our flower businesses, we came up with a fun idea.

Erin Benzakein smiling at a beautiful large-scale flower arrangement she createdJennie and I dared each other to make a bouquet every week for the entire growing season using only locally-sourced flowers that we grew ourselves or sourced from local growers within a 60-mile radius. Living on opposite sides of the country in very different climates with very different tastes, we wanted to see what was happening in each other’s garden and keep creatively connected during our busiest season. Every week we posted a picture of our arrangements on our shared blog called The Seasonal Bouquet Project and listed the ingredients we used in our designs.

In addition to providing us with a creative outlet, we were trying to demonstrate that it was possible to use only local, seasonal product and inspire other growers and designers to think outside the box and work with what was available anytime of the year. At that time, this idea was completely unheard of. I don’t think either one of us knew how much of an impact that project would make, but by the end of the year we had built up quite the following and as a way of celebrating the project’s success, we decided to host a little class at Jennie’s farm to end the season on a high.

Outdoor table at a flower workshop by Jennie Love and Erin Benzakein Group of students at a local flowers workshop by Jennie Love and Erin BenzakeinTickets for our first workshop sold out within a couple of hours and to meet the demand, we added two more dates.

It was such an inspiring and eye-opening experience to see just how much people were craving practical knowledge about growing flowers on a small scale and arranging seasonal blooms in a natural way.

After that experience, I came home and decided that I wanted to help as many growers as I possibly could by teaching them about what we had figured out on our small farm. And that’s how the idea for the Floret Workshop was born.

Group of students gathered around Erin Benzakein at one of the first on-farm Floret workshopsWelcome chalkboard at one of the first on-farm Floret workshopsThe first few workshops we taught were pretty rough around the edges. We spruced up our dingy little garage and rented two dozen folding chairs and filled the days with as many hands-on demonstrations as we possibly could.

We had tiny spiral-bound notebooks printed which included my favorite plant lists, social media tips, and some simple step-by-step instructions for bending hoops, proper plant spacing, and succession planting.

Erin Benzakein and Jill Jorgensen planning early Floret workshopsAfter each workshop, we would spend the next week debriefing how it went, how we could do better next time, where students still had questions, what we needed to expand upon…

The list of improvements went on forever and we revamped and upgraded after every single workshop until we eventually built a full curriculum and wrote a complete course book.

Erin Benzakein teaching a group of students at an on-farm Floret workshopOver the next five years, we welcomed more than 500 students to our tiny little farm for three-day intensive classes. In all, we hosted 24 on-farm workshops on small-scale flower growing and seasonally-based floral design.

The experience was life-changing for everyone involved. We watched students from all over the world go through our workshops and have huge breakthroughs in their lives and then go on to start hundreds of successful flower-based businesses.

For each workshop, we assembled the most amazing support team of experienced farmer-florists, many of whom still help us today. Having a chance to share their wisdom with so many newcomers was both rewarding and really meaningful.

Erin Benzakein teaching a group of students at an on-farm Floret workshop Students arranging local flowers at an on-farm Floret workshopFor me personally, the workshops pushed me so far out of my comfort zone (I’m an extreme introvert) and it felt like taking a crash course in leadership and public speaking.

In order to show students exactly how we built Floret from nothing into a thriving business, we opened up our farm and home so that they could see the full picture.

Erin Benzakein teaching a group of students at an on-farm Floret workshopA group of students working on their vision boards at an on-farm Floret workshopSimultaneously we were working on developing a comprehensive curriculum, demonstrating all of the techniques that we used on our farm in a way that would accommodate different learning styles (visual, physical, logical, etc.) all while answering every question that was asked and adhering to a really tight schedule.

Chris Benzakein photographing a beautiful tablescape an on-farm Floret workshopOur small team managed to pull off the massive feat of planning, coordinating, and hosting these jam-packed events all while creating such a warm and safe environment where students could really let down their guard and dig into their dreams.

They managed to do this seamlessly each and every time no matter how crazy things were behind the scenes.

Erin Benzakein working in the Floret studio with her daughter Close-up of a messy table in the Floret studio where Erin Benzakein is working with her daughterWe did all of this while continuing to run our wholesale flower business and arrange flowers for dozens of weddings each season.

When I look back at that time, I still don’t know how we managed to do it all. It was one of the hardest, most rewarding, and fulfilling times of my life.

A group of students and Erin Benzakein cheers at a beautiful candle-lit dinner at the close of an on-farm Floret workshop A beautiful flower arrangement at an on-farm Floret workshopEach year when we would open up registration, tickets would sell out faster and faster until finally we filled seven workshops in under 2 minutes and crashed our website.

At that moment we realized that hosting workshops on the farm just wasn’t sustainable anymore.

People who had been on our waitlist for three or more years weren’t even able to secure a seat and we knew there had to be a better way.

Erin Benzakein, Jill Jorgensen and Susan Studer King work to create the Floret Online WorkshopWe spent the better part of the winter holed up in my dining room transitioning our in-person curriculum into an online program that we then filmed over the course of the next growing season.

The online format opened up a whole new world of possibility and allowed us to take students through an entire season here on the farm, getting to demonstrate all of the important techniques in detail, and giving students the ability to rewatch any of the videos they wanted whenever they needed a refresher.

It also removed a lot of barriers. We no longer had a limited class size, students didn’t have to travel, they could go through the program at their own pace, and we could expand and upgrade the material based on the needs of our students at any time.

On-farm Floret workshop students smile and share dahlia tubersWhen we transitioned the workshop online we were so worried about losing the community and connection piece that was the heart of the on-farm experience. But what we found is that nothing could be farther from the truth.

The amazing farmer-florists that once assisted at our in-person workshops now moderate our online community forum and lend their advice and wisdom to students all over the world. And we’ve seen so many students form real-life friendships, set up dahlia tuber exchanges, host meetups, go in on plant orders together, and visit each other’s farms to learn and get inspired by one another.

Chris and Erin Benzakein lay landscape fabric over irrigation at Floret farm Erin Benzakein packaging bouquets of pink flowers into kraft paper sleeves in the Floret studioNow, nine years later, our little farming course has evolved into a full curriculum that spans six foundational modules, includes more than 140 video tutorials, and has a 280-page printed course book, which we lovingly refer to as book number 4.

Erin Benzakein and Jill Jorgensen holding buckets of specialty tulips in the Floret studioDuring the online workshop, Jill and I host weekly Q&A sessions and students have the opportunity to participate in the Floret Learning Community, which is an online forum moderated by some of the best flower farmers in the country.

We’ve poured so much of our hearts into this program, and of all the things we’ve ever made, it’s by far the one I’m most proud of. It has been so rewarding to have the opportunity to share what we’ve learned along the way with so many people around the world.

Bucket of Iceland poppies in the back of the Floret truck at duskThis fall we will be opening up registration for the Floret Online Workshop Class of 2022.

If you want to learn more about the program and get special updates about what we’re adding to the course, sign up below. 

Thanks for joining me on this little walk down memory lane!

48 Comments

  1. Marcella Kammerer on

    I wanted to share my story and hope it will inspire others as a few people like yourself have and continue to inspire me. I suppose my love of gardening came to me through both my parents right from as early as I can remember.

    My parents are originally both from Vienna and only lived a few houses apart. When I say a few houses from each other, they were on 10 acre lots backing onto the Black Forest. So both my parents grew up learning how to Grow their own food which they needed to do during the war, raising bees for honey, and of course the necessity of flowers to brighten up their lives. From as far back as I can remember which is about two years old, I remember being in the garden with my mother as she tended to her garden.

    Some of the plants I remember with great fondness are as follows, Sweet William, the Smoke tree, tulips, ground cover sedum, daffodils, A large crabapple tree which always housed a family of Robins each spring, Forsythia and Weigela.

    When I was five my mother decided that she wanted to bring her family to farm life, so my parents bought a 50 acre farm, which was mostly an overrun neglected farm.

    So at five years old my father decided he would like the black forest or something similar to back in his backyard. At the time the local government sold yearling trees in bulk to encourage treeplanting. Each year for 10 years we planted 14,000 trees by hand. So our family of five spent every evening and every weekend working on my dad’s vision.

    In addition to the planting, my dad had two massive pond dug which spend the width of the property which is 1100 feet. He also spent numerous hours puttering around with his backhoe, often getting it stuck in the valley, as he continued to work on his dream.

    Every Sunday he would take the whole family around Ontario and collect plant material for the farm, my father’s favourite plants to collective course we’re ferns, many different water plants for our ponds, and he also propagated hundreds and hundreds of evergreens which he then started the base of the gardens around The farmhouse.

    The farm was my Mother and father’s beautiful creation. When my father passed away in 2007 I knew I needed to keep the property close to me in order that I could keep his memory alive so I purchased it from my mother. For A decade I worked at the landscaping somewhat and rented out the house.

    I was a very successful real estate broker one of the top in Canada when a chain of events really changed my life. In 2017 I lost three of my beloved dogs and my mother also passed away. In 2019 I was diagnosed with two very aggressive types of breast cancer.After two years of battling cancer and undergoing extremely aggressive treatment, I made the decision I needed and wanted to change my life. It was time to start to follow my dream and be happy.

    Of course I’ve been buying plants wholesale in the intention of selling them to the public, but they never ended up in pots to sell they ended up in my garden, and so my garden on the farm expanded and expanded.

    It’s been a year since I’ve had the whole property to myself and I’ve done nothing but work on the gardens and it has made me so incredibly happy. So this is what life is supposed to feel like. I discovered a few key people that influenced my life and help me make the decision to finally make the farm my number one focus and passion, and turn it into a real business.

    I first discovered Laura from Garden Answer Who then introduced me to Floret and a few other seed companies. I was so inspired by the two journeys from garden answer and florettes I’m working on opening up my small boutique garden centre next spring. This is the most exciting thing I can remember doing for such a long time.

    I have learned so much and I’ve been able to have developed a much larger vision and understanding on how to grow for the market but of course I’m just beginning. I’m so grateful for people like yourselves and Laura that enable people like myself to realize their dreams.

    My 50 acre Farm (Kammerer Heritage Farm) is a zone 3-5 in the Niagara region in Ontario Canada. I also raise Heritage poultry and free ranging Peacocks to complete the picture.

    I dedicate the remainder of my life to this amazing property and in honour and memory of my parents Victor and Fredericka Kammerer.

    The farm will be donated to conservation and to support the wildlife that have made this beautiful farm their home.

    With gratitude Marcella Kammerer

    Reply
  2. suzanne muzechuk on

    ERIN AND FAMILY (STAFF), THANK YOU FOR THE BEAUTY YOU BRING TO OUR WORLD. GOD KNOWS WE CAN USE AS MUCH OF IT AS WE CAN GET. IT AMAZING TO ME WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE TIME YOU HAVE. I HAVE A FARMER FRIEND WHO I BOUGHT YOUR BOOKS FOR . SHE HAS TAKEN ONE OF YOUR COURSES AND IS GROWING DAHLIAS . THE NAME OF HER FARM IS “SCASNTIC VALLEY FARM” IN SOMERS CT. I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE OVER THE LAST 20 OR SO YEAR TO WATCH SHE AND HER HUSBAND TURN HER GRANDPARENTS FARM INTO SOMETHING SO AMAZING. STRAWBERRYS, BLUEBERRIES, FLOWERS, BEEF, PORK AND EGGS. THE YOLKS OF WHICH ARE SO BRIGHT ORANGE THE COULD BE CONSIDERED NEON. THE FARM IS SO BEAUTIFUL. THANK YOU OR ALL YOU HAVE DONE WITH YOUR PEOPLE . AND WHAT A HUSBAND . SOOOOO SUPPORTIVE. SUZANNE MUZECHUK

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  3. Delores McNair on

    I need to know if Tubers for Dahlias are available from Florets

    Reply
  4. Hallie on

    How much does the Fall online course cost?

    Reply
  5. Mavis Zvobgo on

    Truly amazing people still around in this world. I get amazed by Erin’s energy & story all the time. I was generously awarded a scholarship for the 2021 workshop. I gained knowledge which I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I’m putting final touches to my new flower garden as a beginner. With God & hard work I know it will be a success.
    Thank you Erin, my warmest regards to your husband & your children & Team Floret. Receive blessings & continue with your amazing work.

    Reply
  6. Molly. Turkey Ridge Farm on

    First thank you Erin for your knowledge!!!!! I have read and listened to everything I can find about your flower farm. I am NOT internet savvy at all. I don’t know when or what workshop it was but the one thing that helped Me a lot was when you said. Sometimes you have to just accept that you suck at flower farming. That is what I did this year but I learned so much from my mistakes. Thank you for letting me know it is ok to suck but keep going ON it will be ok.

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  7. Molly hunt. The potting bench at turkey ridge. on

    I have watched everything about your farm I can watch. I am not that internet savvy. I can’t remember when or where you said this but it has helped me MORE THAN ANYTHING I COULD HAVE EVER READ.
    You said you have to accept that sometimes you SUCK at flower farming and it is ok cause you have learned ALOT from your many mistakes. Thank you for ALL your knowledge,successes and failures. It helps me know if I keep on going it will be ok.

    Reply
  8. Rebecca Rowley on

    @Mary Woodall – I am a Floret alumni from 2021 and grow my flowers without any pesticides (even Neem oil!). I live near Birmingham, AL (Ingadi Flower Farm) and even though the pest pressure is great, the beneficial pests are doing their job. I have occasional holes in leaves, but overall the flowers look great! We also accidently allowed sunflowers to go uncut on the side of our flower field and unbeknown to us at the time, was the best thing ever. Many insects were attracted to the sunflowers that were not cut and left our cutting flowers alone. Not spraying pesticides is also a time and money saver. Best choice I could have made. Healthy soil also means healthy plants, which also mean more resistance to disease and pests. And raised rows and weed matting have been the best thing we could have done this year as well with the record breaking rain we’ve had.

    Reply
  9. Tatiana Penner on

    I attended the very first workshop on the farm with you and Amy Merrick so many years ago. It was honestly a highlight of my life. It made such an impact on not only my business and designs but also on my heart. Thank you for being so generous with all that you do and all that you are!

    Reply
  10. Mary Woodall on

    You are living the dream of many people. Thank you for your sharing heart. I don’t understand how you can grow such beautiful flowers with out insecticides? Glad you can but we have so many pests here in the south. Praying for your continued success.

    Reply
  11. Amanda on

    So you are officially one of my very favourite people to listen to and learn from, you are a talented teacher and your passion shines through in both your writing and videos. This will be my third year of growing dahlias in our teeny urban garden and I had very high hopes of having my own rural flower field this year but Covid and the crazy housing market has put the brakes on that for now. Nevertheless I was thrilled to be able to offer buckets of free flowers to my local community last year from fewer than 40 plants and have promised to grow dahlias for my sisters wedding this summer (in New Zealand so February) so am going to be signing up to your workshop in preparation and I cannot wait! Thanks for sharing all you do ☺️

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  12. Noelle on

    Where may I watch the Magnolia series on your farm?

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  13. Bree on

    Erin you are the real deal. An amazing, caring woman that happily shares her knowledge & with a beautiful, warm personality. I watched the interview with Marie Forleo and you are truly inspirational and honest. You deserve all the accolades and I wish you much happiness on the next chapter in your wonderful life x.

    Reply
  14. Dawn on

    Rabbit hole moment! I clicked on the link for “The Seasonal Bouquet Project” wanting to see all the beautiful arrangements between you and Jennie Love and I saw the photographer’s name mentioned. I recognized Brooke Courtney as my daughter’s wedding photographer! My daughter was married in July of 2014 and I made her dress and also did all the flowers for the wedding. I grew a few, but bought the zinnias from a cut your own farm in our area. Looking back on them, there’s a lot I would do different now, but I had so much fun doing those designs for her and they were made with so much love. Anyway, your post led me to look at the photo pass again (https://brookecourtney.pass.us/davebriana/) and brought back memories of a wonderful, beautiful, joy filled day!

    Reply
  15. Kris Rittel on

    The Floret Online Course is amazing. I am part of the class of 2021 and started my cut flower garden this spring. To me it was a great success and a huge learning experience. I cannot begin to list all the useful things I learned from the online course. I had numerous moments were I was like “I see why Erin says to do that.” I was able to give away a few bouquets, which totally took me out of my comfort zone. Seeing the sprouts, the flowers mature and then the smiles on peoples faces when I gave them the bouquets was so much fun. I am already planning to expand in 2022. Thank you so much Floret team for the opportunity to learn from you!! You are definitely a blessing!!

    Reply
  16. Karen Scott on

    I’m right there with ya! I’m 77 and have a big-ish, sunny back yard full of flowers in West Seattle, many inspired by Erin. My daughters have given me all three of her books for birthdays/Christmas, and they are chock-full of amazing, generous information. I highly recommend all three, but the first is the most useful for my purposes as a home gardener. (“Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden – Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms”) I have so many tiny Post-it notes sticking out along the edge where I found something I wanted to access again! I think her books are reasonably priced, and worth every penny, so give that first one a thought. Also, I hope you’ve signed up for her free mini-classes. She emails about them each year. And spend some time on her website! It’s full of wonderful information. Erin just loves to share her expertise and passion, and even if you aren’t planning to become a commercial cut flower grower, there’s loads of useful information there, to say nothing of “CopterChris”‘s amazing photography! Happy Gardening! ~Karen

    Reply
  17. Norine on

    I just watched the Magnolia four part series about your farm and your passion. I love your open heart and brain.

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  18. Julia on

    You guys are an endless source of inspiration! Thanks for all the hard work that goes into everything you do. It brings so much beauty into the world.

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  19. Rachel on

    What an inspiring story. I bought your Cut Flower Garden in late 2017 and have been growing a small cutting garden in pots ever since. This year with some help I have created our first garden beds, and have quadrupled my space. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Reply
  20. Katherine Sandow on

    Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and passion. It’s helping me find hope at a time when it’s difficult to come by. I have spent most of my life caring for others and now that I have time for myself I find myself facing disabilities, but watching and learning from you and the other amazing gardeners gives me ideas of how even I can enhance my own situation as well as bring some joy to others.

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  21. CATHY R KAMPSTRA on

    Thank you for opening up your farm and your heart. I love gardening but seem to get over whelmed with procrastination. You are an inspiration.
    Bless you

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  22. Lindsay Garrett on

    I’m a new follower of you and your beautiful Floret farm. I’ve been so inspired by what you have accomplished and the beauty that you have created. We have 20 acres of farm ground that we normally rent out for corn/beans, but this coming spring you’ve inspired me to carve out a small section of that (maybe 1 acre) and create the cut flower area I’ve always wanted! I’m excited to start small and see where it goes from there. I’ve always loved the idea of growing flowers but never had the motivation or know-how to actually do it. Now I do! Thank you for helping grow that motivation in me!

    Reply
  23. Royce Schreiber on

    I can’t tell you the visceral reaction your pictures evoke! I can smell the green and floral scents. And the miracle of growing life for yourself and the market. Your story is inspiring. I look forward to seeing more!

    Reply
  24. Jay MacEwen on

    I am a graduate of the 2019 class and love keeping up with all you do. Your inspiration and work has helped me in my journey to grow cut flowers and start a small business while I still work full time it is so worth the work involved! A big thank you to the Floret team!

    Reply
  25. Leanna Syrene Forsman on

    Your videos rewarded my 80 years ( 5 generations actually) of gardening experience. HUGELY. Hugs and thanks for blood sweat and tears that produced such open-hearted sharing. Never knew my maternal grandmother, immigrated from Finland, but know she was thrilled to find DAHLIAS in her new world. Now granddaughters continue gardening where ever a space can be made. One in Pocatello built a multilevel veg bed to utilize air and sun vertically in a tiny condo patio. Such a joy to watch the world come to see LOCAL as VITAL, in flowers, veggies, community life.
    Best regards to your family support: husband children parents friends partners.

    Reply
  26. Edyta Jacobson on

    I just want to start with a thank you. Florets passion has rekindled my love for flowers. My question to you is are the workshops for the home gardener with a teeny yard or for people who are starting a cutting farm/business? I would love to learn more about container gardening and how to get the most out of my small space for personal use and enjoyment. After the shows, mini courses, and book – I went to our nursery and felt overwhelmed. Would love more guidance and education around the home hobby.

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  27. Wendy Freer on

    You are amazing and so talented, what a hard worker. Makes me wish I was younger and could do more. But even at 70 I enjoy reading all about your business and getting your mini tips on flower gardening, I am in two gardening groups, one at my church where we have a garden that we work at and do arrangements for various needs. You inspire all people and all ages, thank you for all you share with us.
    Blessings to you.

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  28. Sue Kang on

    So thankful to have found you all when I did. You have been the best resource, teacher, and community, not to mention online shop. Team Floret forever.

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  29. Helen Noren on

    Wow wow wow I love you, your team and your story beyond words! Thank you for sharing, thank you for following your heart and setting this industry on fire! I love the principles you practice and promote – as graduate of the workshop I can attest it is truly life changing and the work of your lives. Thank you for encouraging openness and community 🙏 all my
    Love!

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  30. Donna moline on

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. Because of you I have a small greenhouse and 2 new raised beds with another to come next Spring. I’m grateful that digging in dirt is in my family genes – there is just nothing like it!
    Keep going – you’re an inspiration!

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  31. Lisa on

    I love to hear (read) how people got there start. I think you are doing amazing work. I hope to start a cut flower garden next year. It won’t be the biggest or fanciest but learning from you it will be awfully pretty. Keep up the great work! You are in inspiration!

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  32. Badge on

    I love reading about ‘beginnings’ and this post was as always inspirational and from the heart. Thank you Erin and all who work with you and support you. I took the online workshop 2021, I was inspired, overwhelmed and encouraged. I started. I have created a very tiny flower business. Following the teaching of an amazing woman and team, I cannot thank you enough. There has been challenges and lessons and glorious flowers. There have been tears and fears, but in the end there are smiles and happy customers. I do not know if I could have done it without your wisdom guiding me along.

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  33. Heidi on

    I look forward to every post; there’s nothing better than a cup of coffee and a virtual visit to Floret in the morning! It’s hard to put into words how much your passion for growing new things resonates with me. I often find myself teary-eyed with the complete joy of it all. Currently I grow just a few zinnias and dahlias along with some perennials in a cutting garden, and am watching in wonder and anticipation as a couple sweet autumn clematis wind their way up a new arbor in that space. I imagine myself as a real flower farmer when I’m out pinching, gathering, deadheading, or just admiring in my potager. I toy with the idea of taking the workshop just to learn more, even though a real flower farm doesn’t make sense as my retired self contemplates downsizing. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and inspiring me and all the friends I’ve gushed to about all things Floret.

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  34. Sue on

    I’m a local, who was introduced to you by a mutual acquaintance. Your books are absolutely beautiful and informative. I only have space for a small, backyard flower garden, but I’ve been reading every one of your posts and have viewed your training videos, learning so much about maintaining a healthy garden. I’ve enjoyed following your success and look forward to learning more from you.

    Reply
  35. Greg Cannistraci on

    It is inspiring to follow the journey of this “introvert” who with friends has stimulated a growth of creativity and personal accomplishments. As I watch Erin teach, it’s hard to imagine her as an introvert but as the story unfolds I see how she has created boundaries while sharing her gift and that of the entire Floret Team. I’m retired from medicine and really don’t “need” a job but flowers are overtaking my vegetable garden now. Thanks everyone for what you are doing.

    Reply
  36. Susan Richards on

    I don’t know if I will ever get to a size to even be considered a “small flower farm”, but I love learning about all the flowers and how to get the best growth and most flowers. I also love that I have been able to learn how to make bouquets. They might only be for friends at this time, but who knows about the future. I learned so much from the mini lesson and now I have all 3 of your books. I am enjoying everything I am learning. You have such a talent for writing and speaking that I watch every IGTV, story and read everything you post. I hope you never retire. LOL

    Reply
  37. Heather Francis on

    Learning to be excited about life this first year after all my kids have flown the nest, has been a challenge. My coping mechanism of watching tv however brought me to you through the Magnolia Network, and a glimmer of excitement is beginning to form. It’s time for me to do the things I’m watching, and live MY life! Your life and flower wisdom has truly inspired me! I even sent a quote of yours to two of my children who are venturing out of their comfort zones and doing great things that are hard: “I win, and I learn, but I never lose”. Profound. Thank you for bringing some life back into my nurturing veins. Can’t wait to participate in your workshops!

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  38. Meghan Murphy on

    Super nice to hear about this journey, especially about the writing part and the early days in the growers association. Thank you for sharing. 🌸

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  39. Shari Froelich on

    I took the course from this past winter (2021) and enjoyed it immensely and would highly recommend it to anyone who has a love of cut flowers. I used so much as a beginning cut flower grower as I eased into retirement. I made many mistakes, but the mistakes were far fewer than if I hadn’t taken the course. I’m planning on taking the course again this winter. So grateful to Erin and Jill for this amazing opportunity to learn and grow!

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  40. Laurie on

    I enjoyed reading all the emails I have received from you. The mini courses were full of tips and I learned a lot from them! Your work is inspiring and you are an eloquent writer 😊

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  41. Marcia Sharkey on

    A landscape gardener friend directed me to your site and I’m so thankful. I’ve enjoyed reading everything you’ve sent so far. I’m amazed at how much you have accomplished with your business and look forward to more very useful information. Wish I had found you years ago!

    Reply
  42. Barkat on

    Hi
    I visited your site. I read your information. Very god & usefully. I am so glad. Good work. I like.

    Reply
  43. Carmen on

    Erin,
    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m excited to sign up for your course this fall.

    Reply
  44. Beverly Lorig on

    I am thrilled to learn from this large, passionate and accomplished community. Thanking you all for your generosity and vision!

    Reply
  45. Cheryl on

    Love your story. I am a backyard vegetable gardener. Last year I joined a flower club and started learning about flowers. Now I have flowers and vegetables growing in my yard. I have always believed in saving seeds and replanting them.
    After meeting you on Magnolia Network, I want to try some danish’s. I am excited to bring more beauty to my world. My famous saying: There is life in the dirt.

    Reply
  46. Joanne Rowsell on

    I so enjoy reading about your journey – you are genuine in sharing your experiences and knowledge learned over the years with others. While I do not plan on creating a cut flower farm, I love flowers and the sky is the limit on colours and variety, so each season, I try to grow something different with a different colour scheme. It keeps things interesting, doesn’t it? To you and the Floret team, keep up the good work!

    Reply
  47. Keona Johnson on

    The story was awesome. I’m very interested in the classes. I have been following Floret for a couple of years, and I have loved every moment.

    Reply
  48. Trina Mitchell on

    Kia ora koutou, (Greetings to you all)- Erin and your awesome team,

    First and foremost your never ending energy, passion and inspiration just blows me away.
    Truly, I have never come across the likes of such warm generous sharing of your business ethics, giving of your experiences that touch the heart of many I’m sure.
    Thank you, I wish you well.
    Nga mihinui
    Trina (NZ)

    Reply

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