I live with my family on a working dairy farm and started my flower farming career in early summer 2008 in a very small way – with just a small patch of annuals and a few perennials in the farm garden. I was amazed how well they grew and in August went to Stone farmers’ market for the first time. I sold my flowers at the ridiculous price of £3 for a large bunch and of course sold out by 10.30am.
As well as working on the farm milking cows every day, for the next few years I carried on with flowers in a small way, expanding my growing area a little with each passing year. I continued to sell at the farmers’ market and started to do a few wedding flowers also. But I struggled with confidence, especially with the marketing and pricing of my flowers.
In 2011 I joined a newly set up organisation – Flowers from the Farm. For the first time realised I wasn’t the only person growing cut flowers to sell. I remember going to my first West Midlands meeting at Maria Heywood’s (The Flower Patch) house and found myself sitting nervously with just a handful of strangers in her sitting room. I can say that although we came from very different backgrounds these people have become great friends and even though we don’t see each other often there is so much support for one another. Ten years on I am now near Leek in Staffordshire growing on approximately one acre, supplying flowers locally in the form of bouquets, wedding flowers and wholesale to other florists. Flower farming is my obsession and now my full time occupation with the cows happily taking a back seat. Flowers from the Farm provided the encouragement I needed to carry on, with so much great advice and support. Seeing other members doing so well in their own businesses has been a huge boost in giving me confidence with mine.