For a while now, my dream has been to turn our property into a food and flower farm.
Slow Food has been around for a while now and most people are familiar with the concepts of reducing food miles and supporting local farmers.
And now Slow Flowers has become a hot topic. If anything, flowers tend to travel even further than food and be produced in less fair conditions for workers. In Australia, roses, orchids and carnations will often be imported from countries like India, Kenya, Thailand, Colombia and Ecuador.
This is an interesting article by Choice, investigating where cut flowers come from, particularly those sold in supermarkets, the health and safety issues, including workers' conditions and chemicals used, and quarantine/contamination issues.
I have started growing some flowers (and per my previous post, I am planning on planting some more roses!)
I had great success last season with a trial of growing dahlias from seed. I am trying to start on a very tight budget, so dahlia tubers at $7-$8 each were just not possible. Growing dahlia from seed means that you cannot select varieties and the colours will be whatever turns up. But I loved that part of it! It was like waiting for treasure, waiting to see what colours would appear. These are some photos of the dahlias I grew this summer.
I had a little rummage around and all the plants have formed good tubers. So the question will be, will they re-grow next year from these tubers? If so, I will be able to grow a paddock of dahlias for next to nothing!
I also grew some carnations from seed which are growing well. I have planted a few salvias, gerberas, yarrow, lavender and penstemons.
I have finally finished bulb planting as well - 800 ranunculas, 1000 daffodils, 300 irises and some tulips. The chickens keep getting into the ranunculi bed and digging them up, so I am hoping they will be OK.
I am planning lots of sunflowers as I feel they are always popular. And we all know my obsession with having a field of sunflowers one day!
It has always been my dream to have a little farmstand - does anyone else do this? I would love to hear your successes and pitfalls to avoid. Especially if you are selling farm grown flowers - what are your go-to flowers and how do you present them?