- Crop Production: varieties and cultivars
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, workshop
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, value added
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities
Seasonal wreaths have the potential to be a profitable value-added product on small farms. We want to analyze the production costs, required labor, marketability, and profitability of growing specialty cut flowers and grasses specifically for wreath production. Additionally, we will compare the cost effectiveness of annual flowers and grasses to botanical material that already exists on our farm like herbs, cover crops, and hedge row. In doing so, we will also note the challenges of each method.
We will use crop enterprise budgets developed by Richard Wiswall to understand the net profit per wreath.
Furthermore, when researching wreath production using dried flowers, herbs, and ornamental grasses, little information was found that provided growers with required stem counts. For example, it would be extremely useful to know 1) On average, how many stems of a specific variety are needed to make a 8" or 14" in wreath and 2) How many marketable stems are produced on each plant per year. This information is essential to crop planning. Rather than guessing the required row feet needed to make x number of wreaths, farmers could enter values into a mathematical equation.
Our outreach strategy will share the findings, including the crop enterprise budgets with fellow growers. The workshop session will be held in Central New Jersey and promoted through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension with the help of our Technical Advisor.
Project objectives from proposal:
We expect to produce and know the following information:
-Is growing specialty cut flowers and ornamental grasses for wreaths profitable?
-What type of wreaths are most profitable?
-How many stems are required to make a wreath? Specifications for types of wreath and crop will be included.
-How many marketable stems are produced from each plant per season? Specifications for variety will be included.
-Is using botanical material that is already available on the farm profitable? Includes cover crops, perennial herbs, and hedge rows.