No water, no power, no problem! Sustainable small scale cut flower production with limited resources.

Project Overview

FNC21-1298
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2021: $7,086.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Petal Flower Farm
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Morgan Rich
Petal Flower Farm

Commodities

No commodities identified

Practices

No practices identified

Proposal summary:

No water, no power, no problem!  Small scale cut flower production can be a profitable use of small plots such as city yards, undeveloped or abandoned lots and rural residential land lacking farm infrastructure. Common challenges on these types of plots are poor soil, no water and no electric.  Cut flowers can be grown with annual precipitation alone, however, having consistent germination and yields is much more challenging and unpredictable.  Consistent irrigation and high organic matter soil provide higher yields, better germination, better transplant survival and superior blooms. 

We will use rain catchment to stockpile water for dryer months.  Solar powered drip irrigation will deliver stockpiled water in consistent amounts throughout dryer months.  Soil amended with high amounts of organic matter will help retain water and increase fertility.  And the use of silage tarps and reusable plastic weed barrier will suppress weeds, retain moisture and help protect soil from erosion. 

Project objectives from proposal:

  1. Demonstrate that solar powered drip irrigation is viable
  2. Demonstrate that rain catchment is a viable irrigation strategy for small scale cut flower production
  3. Demonstrate that intensive flower production does not have to intensively impact top soil, water resources or the electric grid
  4. Provide a “blue print” or “road map” that will allow farmers to convert poor and unimproved land to profitable and scalable flower production by replicating our findings and method.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.