by Toria Britten, Flowers from the Plot, Southwest Co-ordinator, FFTF.
(photo right: Sarah Wilson of Compton Garden Flowers on a workshop earlier this year)
As the season changes and the autumn leaves fall, it's a good time to reflect not just on your growing season (we all know that it has been a challenging one) but also to reflect on what workshops you might do to develop your skills for the one ahead. There are so many workshop choices available now, from something relatively inexpensive and local, to national or even international courses.
So why attend a workshop?
Were there times this season when you were asked to do something and you wished you knew more, or were just not quite confident enough to take it on? However experienced you are, workshops are always worth considering as there's always something new to learn, even when they're on a topic or task that you're already familiar with. There is often still one thing on that day that sparks a 'Eureka!' moment: a different way to make a bouquet, a little trick for attaching ribbons, foam free mechanics, growing tricks, marketing. These may save you so much time and effort and give you more confidence in your business over the next 12 months.
It’s not just about the workshop content either - it’s also about meeting new people, sharing ideas and knowing that you are not alone in what you are doing. Life as a flower grower can be quite lonely sometimes: working long hours in the field, coming in exhausted and beginning on admin to keep the business moving on. Friendships and networking are a great way to learn and sometimes you just need some time away from the ‘everyday’ to give you a new perspective on your business.
It's easy to think you ‘don’t have time’ or ‘can’t afford it’ - I've been there!! But by taking a step back, you can see that you deserve some time out, need to learn more, and to share your experiences with like-minded souls. Scholarships to fabulous workshops are often advertised through social media - it’s always worth applying for these as you've got nothing to lose by doing so. And of course, on the Flowers from the Farm events diary you can also find details of workshops offered by members.