Farming is more of a way of life than an occupation. Most farmers love what they do. To quote one of our friends, “You’re never going to meet a happier group of poor people than a room full of flower farmers.” There is a sense of satisfaction from seeing the entire lifecycle of a supply chain. Farming is a very vertical market. In some cases you gather the seeds, plant them, grow the stuff you harvest, package it, take it to market, and in the case of a farmers market or DIY wedding, sell it to the end consumer.
Not a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
To be clear, farming in general, and especially flower farming, has a horrible hourly wage, but there’s something about it that compels farmers to stick with it despite the low ROI. Actually, there are riches in farming, they’re just not monetary. When you farm you have some flexibility in your schedule. You can go shopping on a Tuesday morning or take an afternoon off if you’re willing to work hard the next day. You can eat lunch at home and your commute never requires a traffic report (or a vehicle). Farmers get to organize their work, call the shots and see the results of their efforts.
Early Morning Risers
Farmers tend to get up early because they want to avoid the heat of the day while doing their field work. Getting up early means going to bed early, too. In June, when the days are 15 hours long, we tend to rise with the sun and go to bed when it sets. And, yes, we sleep well! There’s something about crawling around on your hands and knees for hours on end that cures insomnia.
We were never so aware of weather forecasts, or the weather for that matter, until we started farming four years ago. Temperatures and rainfall are critical to success and farmers have to pay attention to such things. Sun and soil conditions are important, too.
We like growing flowers because the feedback loop is so clear and decisive. You don’t need an expert to tell you that your flowers are beautiful. You know when a crop succeeds. You learn from failures. It’s exciting when you see the first blooms in the spring or when your plans are doing well.
Forever learning. Be adaptable there’s something about owning the land that you’re working and growing the products that you sell with.