Greetings on this lovely Tuesday! I hope all is well in your part of the world.
I’ve recently been thinking about the money I made last year from this new adventure of being a cut flower grower/farmer, what my goals are, what I want, and where I want to go. I still have a full time job at the school, so I can’t go too far, but it’s always a good idea to reassess goals and expectations.
This year I purchased plugs from a wholesaler, The Jolly Farmer. The team was super nice, answering my questions, taking time to talk to me about certain things I didn’t understand, both via the phone and email, and the prices seemed super reasonable to me.
I ended up with a ton of starts – obviously because that’s what you do when buying from a wholesaler- buying in bulk to save money, but you end up with a ton of stock! My greenhouse isn’t big enough to house all of it, so I had a quick sale to make some room. People were eager to drop in and purchase what I had for sale. I was able to sell more in that week then I sold in three months in the stand – however….there was an initial cash investment, but I have paid off that cash investment, and have a little extra to show for it.
It was a fun process to track how much a product cost me, definitely some mental gymnastics to figure out how much to mark it up to know how to cover my costs and make a little money. I learned a lot, and enjoyed making the spreadsheets, I enjoy running numbers and playing with “what-if” situations.
I’m beginning to recognize that maybe selling my cut flowers or bouquets isn’t really a money making process. Obviously I’m not going to give up that part of it because you can never measure the price of something that brings so much joy to a person, but it’s interesting to see what sells and doesn’t sell well. Considering last year was my first year, I certainly can’t write it off as it didn’t go well, maybe the people who are buying starts from me now, only know of me because of last year…we’ll see how it goes this year-and of course every year will be different!
Also, I’m one of those people who tries something, gives it my all plus ten percent more then decides “well, I’ve done that, I wonder what’s next, what if I try this”. This has included things like, crocheting, quilting, paper crafting, baking, and a few other things that were such a short flash in the pan that they weren’t that memorable. I don’t really master a skill, but I try it, do a bunch of stuff with it, then move on, but usually tend to loop back around.
Some may say that is a character flaw, but I’ve been told it’s healthy to try new things. I’ve loved most of what I’ve tried, and am looking forward to trying a few other things – wood working and clay work are definitely on my list of things to try.
Of course it’s a good thing to have variety in a persons life, enjoying new things and being open to failure and open to learning is a big part of living a full life. I certainly don’t regret trying the cut flower business, but it has certainly been overdone and seems to be a huge fad right now, which kind of makes me want to a different avenue, try something that isn’t such a huge fad.
I see my prices are a bit higher than the big box stores, but I recognize that not everyone wants to shop at the big box stores, and their prices are lower because they have bought in bigger bulk. I’ve had people reach out to me asking me if I have this or that, and telling me that they want to buy from me first. That’s really encouraging, though I do know that people often times talk a big talk, but sometimes follow through isn’t there!
I will definitely order again from Jolly Farmer and definitely look at other plants and things to buy. I’m already looking forward to next year, pouring over their beautiful full-color catalog, marking flowers that spark my interest, pricing things out, looking at the space I have…..and even considering events here at the farm.
Until next time have a fabulous Tuesday, hugs to you and yours!