the irresistible fleet of bicycles

making market bouquets

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…Let’s say last season I had a 70 foot bed (roughly 500 plants) of Bells of Ireland. Each plant produces between 6-8 stems that are tall enough for bouquets, for a total of 3-4,000 stems. Bells are great bouquet filler and I like to use three stems in each one to make things go fast. So a 70 foot bed will allow me to make between a 1,000-1,200 bouquets.

We harvest off of a bed of Bells for about three weeks before plants start to slow down. We also have a standing order for 400 mixed bouquets a week with one of our favorite grocery chains. So I can figure that the one bed of bells will give me two and half to three weeks worth of bouquet filler for that account.

I do this same process for every week of the bouquet season, with each of our key crops. Once I know how many plants I need of each, and when I want them to bloom, I plug this information into my seed-sowing schedule. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but a day or two at the table planning gives me a steady seasons worth of production without too much headache.


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