Sunday, January 7, 2018

Book Review: “The Flower Farmer, an Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers” by Lynn Byczynski Reviewed by: Joyce D’Agostino

Did you know that the majority of fresh cut flowers sold through the floral industry come from outside of the United States? Often this means that the flowers coming into the US for the florists shops travel very long distances, have been handled many times, cut days or weeks ago and may be exposed to herbicides and pesticides along the way.

The good news is that there is a new movement among growers to provide locally sourced, and often organically grown flowers. Just like “Farm to Fork” that supports growing locally grown fruits and vegetables, the “Vase to Table” flower growing effort may also provide more fresh, organic and local flowers for your use.

If you think you would like to grow flowers as a business, an excellent resource is the book “The Flower Farmer, an Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers” by Lynn Byczynski. Unlike many floral related books that are mainly a collection of beautiful pictures, Lynn not only provides full color pictures of flowers she has grown, but also provides a wealth of information from her extensive recordkeeping as they began their journey professionally growing flowers. 

Like any farming and gardening, growing flowers and floral industry related plants requires good recordkeeping as you test which flowers did not sell well in your market, but also perform well in your climate. Even if you aren’t planning on setting up a floriculture business, her book still has great information for the home gardener who might want to expand the variety and number of flowers they may grow each year. 

For those who might want to try to start their own floral business, the information takes you step by step for growing outside as well as in a greenhouse, when and how to harvest your flowers for the longest vase life, what equipment is needed to start and then expand your business and  establishing your market. This book has a wealth of information and is highly recommended reading for any gardener and grower, especially for those who love growing flowers.