The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczynski is considered a must-read, top-shelf resource by many. After finishing the book, I can totally understand why! I’ve heard so many interviews and podcasts where people mention that this was the transformational book for them. A lot of “dreamers” have taken the leap and started their farm using this book.
The book was published in 1997 and then a second edition came out in 2008. Byczynski really seems to be one of the pioneers of sharing information on her flower farming experience and the local flower movement. She covers all the burning questions I have about starting a new farm. What really impressed me is that I felt like I came away with actionable information. The information was simple, cost-effective and doable.
- Basics for Beginners
- Site and Soil
- Buying and Starting Plants
- Growing in the Field
- Season Extension
- The Dried-Flower Garden
- Woody Ornamentals
- Harvest and Post-Harvest
- Arranging Fresh Flowers
- Growing Flowers for Market
- Marketing Flowers
- Recommended Cut Flowers, Sources and Resources
Things I Liked:
- Loved the features on different flower farmers around the country. It was really interesting to hear how everyone got started and about the paths their businesses took.
- This book is realistic. She goes into detail on how to start just about every aspect of the business. What’s the minimum effort to get a seed-starting area going? How do you start selling to florists? How do you work with a grocery store for the first time? How do you choose what to grow? All the information feels very attainable. Even though she’s been flower farming for more than 20 years, it feels like she remembers just starting out.
- So. Many. Resources. Seed and bulb suppliers, tools, irrigation suppliers and more. There’s lots of information on growing and harvesting specific genera of flowers, as well as recommended varieties.
- This book really helped me get a handle on the bare minimum I need to get started. I have basic ideas for seed starting and irrigation because of her recommendations.
- She focused mostly on production, but I did appreciate the primer on floral arranging. I don’t have plans to offer arranging as a service, except for myself or possibly for markets. I’m more interested in figuring out growing first! But her intro made me realize I should familiarize myself with some basics, even if just to make prettier arrangements for friends and family!
- She has a section on dried-flower gardening, which I had never even thought of before. I don’t know how interested I am in dried flowers, but it’s always fun to find new possibilities. I’ve been very interested in a natural dye garden, so I may combine the two ideas.
Here’s a link to the book!