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 my first year of growing cut flowers, I had 5.5 acres of neglected land, a teensy budget, and one summer helper. We had a late winter (heavy snow until April 29th), and were only able to break ground on 1/4 acre. It was one of the driest summers ever, we were bombarded by pests, and an early frost knocked us out by the first week of September. It was HARD. I got very good at changing plans on a dime, adapting, breathing, and learning to let the chaos wash over me. When the season ended and it was finally time to take stock of what we'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 the journey. We grossed $25000 that year. In our second year, we more than doubled that.
The reason I want to offer this course now, before we're any further along, is because we're at the *key* phase of transitioning from a "newbie" farm into a more balanced, established operation. At this point in our adventure, the starting point is still close enough that I can actually show you, in real, achievable measures, how to build 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. I want 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 my farm. What grows well in this climate, and when to start it. What you'll want vs what you'll need. How to grow beautiful babes, how to maintain them, how to harvest them, and how to market them. How we water, fertilize, weed, and protect our 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 a talented florist, who will lead us in a specialized floral arrangement workshop. After this workshop, we'll discuss the benefits and challenges that come with "farmer-floristry".
Everyone will leave with worksheets to help plan their plots, as well as a complimentary hard copy of DON'T PANIC: A Business Guide to Small Scale Cut Flower Farming, Year One.
Participants may camp in one of our farm's campers for a discount of $150 (one spot left), 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. Each day will start at 8am and end at 3pm, and lunch will be provided all three days. The cost per person is $1000. Participants may register via our website before July 3rd, 2020. We have some wonderful guests currently signed up, I can't wait to meet everyone!
Space is limited to ten participants, so save your spot by registering today!
SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST: Runs until October 31st, 2019!
"This One's for The New Kids": Write 500 words about your most impactful "new kid" experience, whether a new school, town, job, etc... and how you got through it. Then tell us about your anxieties stepping into the flower farming industry, and how this workshop might help ease those anxieties! Entries can be submitted to Sarah directly (email embedded here). We look forward to hearing from you!
*Please note that "purchasing" this workshop is effectively registering for it. Please disregard "shipping" options upon checkout.