- Additional Plants: native plants
- Crop Production: alley cropping, conservation tillage, crop improvement and selection, drought tolerance, pollinator habitat
- Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
- Farm Business Management: market study, new enterprise development
- Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
My project will trial 20 native, herbacious perennial plants in the field for their value as cut flowers and foliage. Trial plants will be assessed on their productivity as well as their marketability when sold wholesale direct to florists and distributors. The project will culminate in a mini-marketing campaign to promote the plants that performed well and educate growers and florists about their value and seasonality.
Florists have many options when it comes to sourcing stems; the industry is dominated by product that is shipped internationally. Michigan’s cut flower season is short, and our crop selection limited. Growers are always looking for new varieties to catch the attention of fickle buyers.
Florists already know that locally-grown product has the advantage of being fresher than stems that are dry-shipped. This project will cultivate another reputation that locally-grown flowers are more unique than other wholesale flowers. Florists value new and unique stems that are also sturdy and reliable to integrate into their designs. Native perennial cut flower crops can offer just those kinds of unique stems.
Project objectives from proposal:
- To produce a list of nativeplants that have value in the wholesale floral industry. The list as well and our production methods will be shared with other flower growers via 2 Field Days, a workshop and conference presentation.
- To promote these plants within the floral industry via a mini-marketing campaign. We will share marketing materials with our regional florists and distributors via an industry event held at the end of the project timeline. The materials and event will aim to educate florists about these native crops and other perennial crops, how to use them, and what their seasonal availability is.