Growing and Selling Flowers
Fields of flowers are dreamy and bursting with joyful color, but unless you have background knowledge on production techniques and a solid plan for selling them, those flowers can be more costly than profitable or enjoyable. This course will introduce you to the topics, resources and questions you'll need to answer if you intend to operate a flower farm or add flower production as one component of an established business.
Aspiring/Beginner - if you have 0-2 seasons of experience growing flowers for commercial sale, this course was designed for you. Those with more experience will also glean some good information but may find the course too basic for their needs. Climate, soils, production systems, and appropriate varieties vary a lot from region to region, and this course mostly presents production information relevant to farmers in the humid, temperate climate of the Central and Northern United States. Farmers outside the region are more than welcome to register and will likely still learn a lot since many considerations for flower production are relevant regardless of geography.
By the end of this course, you will:
- Understand the seasonal cycles of a flower farm
- Have a basic understanding of production techniques and growing season management of pests, weeds, and diseases
- Have several ideas of what species you could grow, where you could sell them, and whether these ideas are viable
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and non-graded review quizzes in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, live webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
In 2023, this course will be offered live for 6-weeks on Mondays from 6:30 – 8:00 PM (Eastern) from October 30 – December 4. While we encourage live attendance, so you have the opportunity to engage with presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in the online classroom to watch anytime. Once enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish. Join us!
Betsy Lamb is the coordinator for Ornamental
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for the New York State IPM Program. She
works with ornamental producers to find effective, economical and
environmentally sound techniques
to prevent losses from insect, disease, weed, and other pests. She has
been in this position, part of Cornell Cooperative Extension since
2006. She has a MS from Cornell and a PhD from the University of
Minnesota. One of her primary interests is in the use
of biological control to manage insect pests.
Hannah Volpi is the owner of Foxi Flora, a Cut Flower, Herb & Vegetable Farm in Trumansburg, NY. She grows a wide variety of goodies for her weekly CSA, gifts, events, DIY U-Pick, and truly enjoys the floral design elements equal to growing. Her business has grown slowly and steadily each year; with emphasis on mindful practice in relation to everything from the ecosystem of her land to how she interacts with the community. She also started the Ithaca Beer Company Farm to Table program, partnered in
Ithaca Beautification Brigade, and offers independent Garden &
Landscape design work. When she's not in the gardens, she's walking and swimming with her dog Ruby, and thinking about what other spaces she can turn into gardens!
PreviewWeekly Webinar Schedule and Participants' Guide
PreviewKiva US - 0% Loans up to $15,000
StartNavigating in Teachable, Getting a Course Completion Certificate, and More
StartFlower Enterprise Plan: Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Beginning
StartWeek 1 Webinar Slides, and Recording
StartFORUM: Getting to Know Each Other
StartInformation on management of insects, diseases, weeds and other pests
StartPests of the week: Aphids and Botrytis
StartRecommended Books and Websites
StartASSIGNMENT: Beginning Your Flower Plan and Your Pest Management Plan
StartWeek 2 Webinar Slides, and Recording
StartRecommended Resources for Further Exploration - from Week 2 Webinar
StartChoosing what to grow: Cornell Cut Flower Resources
StartPests of the week: Caterpillars and mildews
StartSoil: Types and Testing
StartFORUM: Soil, water and equipment
Start"Soil As The Soul"