Being an entrepreneur is not something I thought would be in my future. For someone like me who is very task-completion oriented, it’s both fulfilling, and challenging. Fulfilling for all the reasons we talked about in the previous parts, and challenging because I have two speeds; on or off.
When I’m “on”, I’m a yes person. We’re doing all the things. But that’s not realistic and, a lot of times, doesn’t make good business sense. Slowing down and calculating each step is so important for me. The main reason is time. I grow this business in pretty tight windows of time outside my full-time job. Brain training, saying “not right now” and putting the idea on the back burner for the future. Like my desire to grow tulips and daffodils- that’s going to wait until fall 2024 at the earliest. I just do not have the time in the fall to plant thousands of bulbs, in addition to all the other fall tasks here like digging and storing dahlia tubers, harvesting pumpkins for the farm stand and other things for our commercial farm, AND raising the tiny humans.
I did make an investment this year for the future, and that was in peony roots. Fiona and I planted 30 peony roots in 5 different varieties. Peonies take their time getting comfortable in a new home, so I do not expect to have peonies for sale until 2024 or 2025 depending on the summers we have between now and then! I will certainly see a few blooms in the spring, but will not cut many stems off so the plants have lots of resources to establish themselves.
Other ongoing projects include establishing perennials like shrubs and flowering branches that make beautiful additions to bouquets. Establishing perennials also helps spread out some of the risk in growing annuals. After-all, flower farming is just as risky as commercial farming- weather, pests, diseases, and weeds can all make for a struggle of a season. I had so much success in my first year with perennials, I could see how integral their role is in the longevity of a flower farm.
And that’s the ultimate goal, longevity. Growing a business that grows with the family and brings pleasure and joy, not resentment and strain. I think the biggest part of growing this young business is the willingness to change, and maybe even walking away from something you thought would be a sure component of your business. My trial u-cut events this year were an awesome introduction to workshops and were received so well by all of you! Workshops feed my desire to teach, in a way. Not that I wanted to become a teacher for my career, but sharing what I’ve learned, and sharing the beauty of flowers with all of you, that’s way up there on the “brings joy” list.
Thank you so much for following along this 5-part series about my flower farm. Like I said in part 1, this was not intended to be a how-to guide, but more of a real-life peek at what starting this business was like for us! Don’t hesitate to ask questions, leave a comment, or reach out to me on our social pages!
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!