I was a novice gardener back in 1997 when I discovered that cut-flower farming was a career possibility. I had never dreamed I could become a flower farmer. Besides not knowing anything about farming, I lived in the middle of the city and only had a large yard. Looking back now, what appeared as odds stacked against me, actually became a big part of my flower-farming-business success story.
I launched my urban farming business in 1998 and for the first 11 years, I farmed and produced great abundance from less than a half-acre garden. In 2009, I was able to purchase the adjoining acre and a half of land, and my little city farmette took a big leap in production. For the following 8 years, it was a full production farm serving over 20 florists, 2 farmers’ markets, 2 supermarket chains along with two CSA type programs. I was growing a bunch of flowers…
Today, I still maintain an acre and a half working garden as I pursue writing and teaching to share my experiences from the past 20 years as an urban farmer. My farming focus has evolved as I no longer produce cut flowers for the masses. I am growing for my projects, and the resulting cut flowers are sold to existing customers.
I truly believe, that anyone who wants to, can become a successful flower farmer. Take what you have and make the most of it—dreams do come true. I have created Flower Farming School Online to offer the steps so you can realize your dreams, too.
Click here to be notified when the registration doors open for Flower Farming School Online!
About my farming conditions:
- An urban farm located in the southeastern part of Virginia.
- Do not have a greenhouse or hoop houses; all of my growing is done outdoors in the garden. I do occasionally use low tunnels.
- I start all of my transplants in my work building/garage using the soil blocking method and grow lights.
- The farm is in winter hardiness zone 7; with a first expected fall frost date of mid-November and the last expected spring frost is mid-April.
- Winter temperatures go into the teens with single digits for short periods.
- Occasional snow.
- Typically do not have much spring but go from cold to hot quickly.
- Summers are long, hot, can be dry, and humid.
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.TheGardenersWorkshop.com .
Order Lisa’s new book Vegetables Love Flowers now!