Flowers are a great option to sell at the farmers market. Not only are they beautiful but you can make a fair profit on them. You have the option to sell loose cut flowers as well as making up bouquets to have on-hand. Other farmers at market might also be selling flowers but by making your bouquets unique will help you stand out and bring more people to your booth. Here is a list of the top 10 flowers to sell at market:
A showy flower that makes a lasting impression.
Growing tip: They like full sun and neutral PH soil.
A very easy flower to grow. They grow quickly and bloom heavily.
Growing tip: Do not seed until the last frost has passed.
A free flowering annual that is extremely easy to grow.
Growing tip: Don't over water.
A spring blooming perennial that grows between 4-28 inches tall in many different colors.
Growing tip: Plants the bulbs deep; 8 inches. Plant different varieties with varying bloom times.
A big, bright large stemmed flower and can grow over 16 feet tall.
Growing tip: Plant in full sun. They are heliotropic, and follow the sun through the day.
An oldie but a goodie.
Growing tip: Deadhead to keep them blooming and wear sturdy gloves.
A short-lived perennial that may not come back every year. They come in wide variety of colors and heights.
Growing tip: They prefer cooler soil so don't use a seed mat.
Also called bachelor's button. It is an annual that grows about 1-3 feet in height.
Growing tip: Drought tolerant once established they will benefit from mulching with bark.
A showy perennial flower that is either a bulb or rhizome.
Growing tip: Especially bearded irises do not like shade.
These can be a little challenging to grow but are well worth it once they get going.
Growing tip: Watch the watering. Too much can cause pythium.
If you have the space, adding flowers to your farm can bring a profit and make your market booth look more appealing as well. This list is a great place to start but keep your eyes out for types of flowers that no one is selling and bring those. Whatever you don't sell you can always take to the local florist to see that they might want as well.
Finding the right person for the job is hard for any business but it is especially hard to find good help on the farm. Here are a few tips to help you find the best workers.
1) Provide candidates with clear expectations
Give the low-down on the job and your expectations. If you're able to communicate what they need to accomplish and what is expected you can find out a few important things.
1.) Are they the right person for the job.
2.) Are they are going to be happy working for you.
3.) Are they going to stay (so you don't have to repeat this process as often).
2) Test for motivation
It's important that you find the person who is best suited for this job. That might not be a close friend or even a friend of a friend. Lots of people will tell you whatever you want to hear to get the job but you should make sure that they are motivated to work in this type of job and have the qualifications.
Possible questions to ask:
Of course you want to talk about the job and a potential employee is qualified for the job but there is a lot more that you can find out and save yourself many hassles down the road.
It's also good to note what questions you are not allowed to ask. Things like age and race are off limits. Here is a helpful list of questions that are off limits to ask. https://www.betterteam.com/illegal-interview-questions
3) Provide follow up
It's a good plan to know this before you start interviewing. When will you be getting back to applicants? What can they expect? What is the process? Here is a list of steps to take.
Steps to take before you have your first interview:
4.) Be prepared
There are many resources out there that give information on hiring and firing. Here is a link to a guide that covers farm hiring from A to Z and tackles many of the hard parts of hiring/firing.
The guide covers:
5.) Places to post jobs:
Here are a few places to post jobs that you have around the farm. If you have suggestions we would love to hear them!
Additionally, here is a blog post on hiring immigrants through the H-2A program. https://www.farmaid.org/blog/fact-sheet/immigration-and-the-food-system/
Finally be part of the team. Sure, you're the boss but it shows a lot if you work a long side your employees at times. You could also plan employee fun time (when there's time) to bond as a team and show your employees that you care.
Best of luck with hiring for the coming growing season!