Growing Specialty Cut Flowers For Florists

Ep.9 With Flower Farmer Heather Cain of Petal Pink Flowers

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Getting to Know Heather Cain and Petal Pink Flowers

Heather Cain is an experienced, local flower farmer based in Eugene, Oregon. Her family owns and operates a 10-acre farm, where she currently utilizes one acre for growing flowers. Heather grows specialty, locally grown, cut flowers for florists and primarily sells to local florists. She also offers a bouquet subscription service and hosts workshops on her farm.

The Local Flower Market in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon, is a close-knit university town surrounded by outlaying farms. Having moved to Eugene from the Bay Area, Heather has successfully carved out a niche for herself in the local flower market. She primarily sells to florists in the area, offering them unique and specialty flowers that they may not find at the Portland Flower Market, which is the closest official big flower market.

Choosing Which Flowers to Grow

When deciding which flowers to grow, Heather follows her passion and intuition. She believes that if she loves a particular flower, others will love it too. However, she also pays attention to color trends and customer preferences. Heather takes into account the requests and feedback from her florist customers and adjusts her planting accordingly. She is always open to growing specific flowers for florists’ events or color palettes, as long as it aligns with her overall vision for her farm.

The Challenges of Flower Farming

Flower farming is not without its challenges. Heather shares some of the difficulties she has faced, such as unpredictable weather, pests, and diseases. She recounts a heatwave that caused her ranunculus crop to bloom prematurely, resulting in a loss of quality and quantity. However, she approaches these challenges with resilience and problem-solving skills, always striving to learn and improve.

Tips for Successful Flower Farming

Heather offers several tips for aspiring flower farmers:

  1. Grow what brings you joy: Choose flowers that you love and enjoy growing. When you have a genuine passion for your crops, it translates into better quality and care.
  2. Maintain open communication with florists: Regularly update your florist customers with a weekly availability sheet, including pictures, stem lengths, and quantities. This helps them plan their orders and ensures transparency in your business.
  3. Plan ahead and involve florists in the process: Reach out to florists early in the year to discuss their flower preferences and any specific requests. This allows you to plan your planting and ensures you can meet their needs.
  4. Experiment and adapt: Flower farming is a continuous learning process. Be open to trying new varieties and techniques, and be willing to adapt to changing circumstances.
  5. Build relationships with your customers: Take the time to develop strong relationships with your florist customers. Show them that you value their business and appreciate their support. This can lead to long-term partnerships and repeat orders.

The Joy of Growing Cut Flowers For Florists

One of the most rewarding aspects of flower farming, according to Heather, is witnessing the joy and excitement that flowers bring to people’s lives. She shares the joy of working alongside her teenage sons and seeing their connection with the flowers they grow. Heather believes that gardening and growing flowers can instill a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature in people of all ages.

Conclusion

Heather Cain’s journey to becoming a successful flower farmer is an inspiring tale of passion, resilience, and the joy of working with nature. Through her experiences, she offers valuable insights into the world of cut flower growing and the challenges and rewards it brings. Whether you’re a backyard gardener or aspiring flower farmer, Heather’s story is sure to inspire and encourage you to let your backyard bloom.

To learn more about Heather Cain and Petal Pink Flowers, tune in to Episode 9 of The Backyard Bouquet Podcast episode. You’ll gain an deeper understanding of the local flower market, the challenges of flower farming, and the joy that comes from growing and sharing beautiful blooms.

In this episode, you’ll hear about: 

  • 00:01:26 – Heather Kane’s introduction and background
  • 00:05:31 – Growing flowers in Eugene, Oregon
  • 00:08:46 – Building relationships with local florists
  • 00:12:08 – Weekly availability sheet for florists
  • 00:14:36 – Choosing which flowers to grow
  • 00:19:05 – Seed starting process in a water heater closet
  • 00:20:19 – Challenges faced during extreme weather conditions
  • 00:25:02 – Growing snapdragons and dealing with rust
  • 00:26:24 – Spring flower subscription model
  • 00:32:14 – The joy of growing daffodils and tulips
  • 00:35:56 – Challenges and lessons learned in flower farming
  • 00:40:13 – Moments of joy in flower farming
  • 00:49:38 – Involving children in flower farming
  • 00:54:03 – Advice for parents on involving kids in farm work

Learn more about Heather Cain and Petal Pink Flowers

Johnny’s Snapdragon Production Guide

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/flowers/snapdragon/snapdragon-production.html

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Discover More Episodes Of The Backyard Bouquet Podcast:

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