Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County will be offering a three-part workshop series about growing and marketing cut flowers. The workshops will be held at the CCE Resource Center at 34570 State Highway 10; Ste 2 in Hamden on March 13th, 20th, and 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Nationwide, there has been a big shift in floral trends. Brides, romantics, and home-decorators are opting for farm-fresh sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias over imported roses and carnations. As with the local foods movement, buyers want their flowers in-season, organic, and sustainably produced. In response, thousands of small flower farms have popped up in rural and urban areas in all climate zones. Many of the farmers also do design work, which can range from simple market bouquets to elaborate weddings. Several have gained fame via social media and have gone on to launch books, seed companies, and online schools.
Despite our rocks, hills, and short growing season, cut flowers can be grown very successfully in Delaware County and could be a great add-on to an existing farm or agritourism operation. They could also be a good enterprise for a new farmer looking to grow a high-value, niche crop without having to invest much in terms of land or equipment.
The series will be taught by Betsy Busche, owner of Spongetta’s Garden in West Winfield, NY. She grows her flowers on multiple properties totaling just under an acre. She sells her bouquets through multiple outlets including a CSA, farmer’s market, retail stores, and directly from her home studio. She also offers arrangements and bulk flower buckets for events such as weddings and parties. Betsy is a Delaware County native, and credits the 4-H program for her lifelong love of plants, sewing, and cooking. Visit her website https://www.spongettasgarden.com/ to learn more about her and her beautiful blooms.
Workshop participants will receive a selection of starter plants, seeds, and bulbs. Planting schedules and other printed resources will be provided as well. The cost for the for series is $60 and lunch will be included.
Crop Planning for Cut Flowers
Thriving without a Greenhouse
Marketing Cut Flowers
Perennials as Cut Flowers
Growing Quality Cut Flowers
Maintenance and Weeding Control
Slow Flower Movement
Harvest and Post-Harvest
For more information, contact:
Carla Crim, Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator
Phone: (607) 865-6531
email: [email protected]
The Farmer Education Series is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County and the Watershed Agricultural Council.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by calling 607-865-6531 by 3/2/20. Requests received after this date will be met when possible. The Watershed Agricultural Council is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer. The Watershed Agricultural Council is funded by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A. and other sources.