Floret Alumni

FLORET WORKSHOP RECAP

Last year, I completed the 2018 Floret Online Farming Course that Erin Benzekein gave from her Washington farm AND I completed an entire season of growing using her techniques. It was a whirlwind of information, a lot of hard work and planning, but I’m happy to report (after a few months of rest) that I had a very successful first season. Growing flowers in virgin soil has its challenges but I am hear to say its possible. And bringing flowers to market locally, welcomed. People were excited to find locally grown flowers. They purchased all of the CSA shares I offered, I built relationships with florists, and I even had to turn away a few brides because I didn’t have enough flowers.

I wanted to wait to post a recap until I actually tried out the things I learning. So now, after implementing Floret’s techniques for an entire growing season. From beginning to end. I can honestly say everything I did that she recommended was highly successful. From starting dahlia’s early from cuttings so I could rapidly increase my inventory, to weekly compost tea, all the way to understanding the sales distribution channels across the industry—I found the information to be spot on. The course was in-depth, professionally and thoughtfully designed for serious growers to backyard gardeners.

Being that I am growing in a completely different climate, I did learn that I need to adjust some practices because what works in Washington doesn’t always work in Colorado. One example is watering techniques. Watering sandy soil is very different than watering clay soil. Another technique that I’ll adjust is the use of so much netting. While I found it helpful on some flowers I found it difficult to harvest on others like basil, zinnias, gomphena, and somewhat wasteful. Many flowers could grow without netting and be fine so next year I’m planning to tweak some things, while remaining pretty true to what I learned from Erin.

People ask me if it was worth the cost. Hands down…I say Yes! I’ve taken numerous courses, have attended many conferences, and I have a 4Y college degree. This course pays for itself quickly. I will never regret taking it and investing in myself. The knowledge I gained, the friends I made, and the confidence I built is priceless. Thank you Erin for sharing so freely and cultivating a love of flowers in me.

You can learn more about Floret Farms and their workshops here.