Weekend Growing Workshop: Farming Cut Flowers in the Canadian Prairies
Join Sarah at Alberta Girl Acres, August 1st to 3rd as she hosts this flower farming adventure!
"It was such a great weekend! It was so much fun to be outside amongst the flowers and really get a sense of the business and your lifestyle. The "workshopees" were so lovely and friendly. The content was interesting and the hands on exercises were helpful. But the best was the free flowing conversation. Lots of questions, answers and more questions. The concentrated weekend made me objectively consider the reality, pros and cons, of growing flowers for sale. Wishing the Alberta cut flower industry a wonderful future." - Victoria
"The workshop was so much more than I expected. It was eye opening to see what ACTUALLY goes into flower farming - to see more than the perfect instagram post. It was nice to know that one can start without having all the bells and whistles you'd think you'd need. Being innovative and motivated will take you a long way. I liked how transparent you were with successes and failures, that made it really easy to relate to you as a grower and business owner. I also appreciated that you brought in Becky [florist], allowing us to hear another perspective and learn a bit about foam free design. All in all I can't thank you enough for putting on such an inspiring weekend." - Kailee
In Sarah's first year of growing cut flowers, she had 5.5 acres of neglected land, a teensy budget, and one summer helper. Winter stayed late (heavy snow until April 29th), and they were only able to break ground on 1/4 acre. It was an extremely dry summer, they were bombarded by pests, and an early frost knocked out production by the first week of September. It was HARD. Sarah got very good at changing plans on a dime, adapting, breathing, and learning to let the chaos wash over her. When the season ended and it was finally time to take stock of what they'd accomplished, the list was long. A greenhouse, productive beds, successful workshops, happy CSA members, a book, and a whole year of beautiful photos, documenting their journey. They grossed $25000 that year. In the farm's second year, they more than doubled that, grossing $57000.
Based on the farm's successes and challenges in its early years, Sarah is eager to share real, achievable measures, for building a productive small scale flower farm from scratch. It doesn't have to be perfect all in one year, but there are critical pieces that should be in place. Sarah wants to show you what you can do with minimal equipment, two hands, and a small parcel of parched prairies.
This workshop, taking place from Saturday, August 1st to Monday, August 3rd, will walk you through every piece and process of Alberta Girl Acres. What grows well in this climate, and when to start it. What you'll want vs what you'll need. How to grow beautiful blooms, how to maintain them, how to harvest them, and how to market them. How to water, fertilize, weed, and protect your darlings. Risk mitigation techniques that won't cost your life savings, and essential tips for marketing your flowers via streams that makes sense for YOU and your family.
On Monday, August 3rd, we'll also welcome talented florist, Chelsa Larson of BLOOMdiggity, a wonderfully fun, inclusive, and community focused florist studio in Lethbridge. Chelsa will lead us in a specialized floral arrangement workshop, where we create stunning pieces using florals harvested by particpants that very morning. After this workshop, we'll discuss the benefits and challenges that come with "farmer-floristry".
Everyone will leave with their notebooks packed with information, as well as planting schedule worksheets, seed sowing info lists, and a complimentary hard copy of DON'T PANIC: A Business Guide to Small Scale Cut Flower Farming.
Each day will start at 8am and end at 4pm, and lunch will be provided all three days. Space is limited to ten participants, so save your spot by registering today!
The cost per person is $1000. Participants may register via our website before July 3rd, 2020. We have some wonderful guests currently signed up, we can't wait to meet everyone!
Participants may camp in the farm's camper for a discount of $150 (capacity two people max), or bring their own camper/tents for a discount of $200. Participants who would rather not camp will be accommodated at Tree House Bed and Breakfast in the town of Vulcan 15 minutes from our farm.
*Please note that "purchasing" this workshop is effectively registering for it. Please select "no shipping" upon checkout.