Are you considering a flower farmer/florist for your wedding floral design? Learn what to look for in a farmer florist and the Top 5 Questions to Ask a Farmer-Florist.
- Ask how the farm handles crop failures and weather events. This could seriously impact your wedding flowers so it’s important to know the ‘backup plan’. At East Texas Flower Farm we work diligently to protect our crops and ensure each seedling or plug has the optimum potential to develop into stunning wedding flowers. That said, we have no control over natural events. Our ‘backup plan’ is our network of local flower farmers and the relationships we have built with our fellow growers over the years. When this occurs, our clients can be assured the blooms we source from off our farm were still American grown by farmers who are either certified organic or pledge to grow sustainably using organic practices. We also have a wholesale floral company who can assist with sourcing flowers from California and Washington state as a last resort. We have several back up plans and options for our own and our clients’ peace of mind.
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- Ask to visit the farm. A florist farmer should welcome prospective clients visits. At East Texas Flower Farm we have something growing year round. That does not mean we have flowers blooming in January. However, winter cover crops such as cereal rye, Austrian peas and winter oats are thriving in the warm days and cool nights. During your farm visit expect to learn about cover crops, crop rotation, and water conservation as well as vermiculture.
- Ask if the farm starts all their flowers from seed or uses plugs or a combination of both which is what we do here on our farm. A visit to the farm should not focus on your wedding details but rather on how the flowers are grown. Is the farm certified organic? Do they adhere to an organic growing philosophy using sustainable agriculture practices as much as possible? Our farm is not certified organic nevertheless we are committed to growing organically. That includes beneficial insects, vermiculture, crop rotation and only using OMRI certified sprays and fertilizers when necessary. We choose to be transparent about how we grow and let our clients determine if their ecological principles align with our farming philosophy.
- Has your florist farmer attended floral design courses and what experience do they have with weddings? Growing flowers is a different skill set from floral design. Your florist farmer should be knowledgeable of the latest wedding trends. A dedicated floral designer will have put in the time, effort and financial investment to learn the skills required to execute high quality wedding work. I value my experience working with floral designers and the education I have sought out to constantly improve my techniques. While living in California I discovered my love for floral design. I knew if I were able to establish my own florist business I would want to have more control over the growing and harvesting of the flowers as well as the design component. Once I was able to purchase our farm, my goal of becoming a florist designer/farmer became a reality.
- Do they own the land where the flower farm is located? This question can be tricky because the farmer may be sensitive to the fact that he or she is renting the plot. This is an important question because what happens if the landlord decides not to renew the lease? When the land is leased there can be significant limitations to structures and irrigation installation that is allowed on the land. Thankfully, we own over 5 acres of rich soil in the Piney Woods. Our farm has a deep water well and extensive drip irrigation to conserve the water and support our crops. We are able to forage almost all of the greenery we use for large installations from our land. Plus, we have established 100’s of perennials that will produce flowers for our clients for many years. We grow nearly 100 roses and focus on specific varieties chosen for wedding design; David Austin roses and Weeks famous varieties: Koko Loco, Honey Dijon, Distant Drums, Edith's Darling and Celestial Night. In addition to our roses we grow Coral Charm peonies, dahlias, speedwell, smoke-bush, hydrangeas and many others.
We encourage you to visit East Texas Flower Farm if you are considering a florist farmer for your eco-friendly wedding flowers. After your tour, enjoy a glass of iced tea on our porch swing. If you’re here at dusk you might get to watch the fireflies at the edge of the forest or listen to the whippoorwill call his mate.
Contact Melanie HERE to schedule your visit!