Flourish Flower Farm
After years of working in outdoor education, running a small business, helping to start a charter school and volunteering as a farm hand, Niki Irving was restless and decided it was time to follow her heart. She started a flower farm on three-acres outside of Asheville, North Carolina.
Niki and her husband William are now growing close to 200 varieties of flowers. She decides what to plant by doing research.
"Looking at what other flower farmers are growing or seeing a picture that I like and then I say ooh I wonder if I can grow that, and so I look it up and figure it out," says Niki. "I think just looking at what demand is, I talk to a lot of the florists in the area and see what higher-end flowers, or what doesn’t ship well that they wish that they could get locally, and then try to grow it."
Niki puts together bouquets for grocery stores and weddings. She has a lot of focal flowers, but realized she didn’t have enough greenery or filler flowers to make a well-balanced bouquet. She does now.
Niki loves creating experiences for people, and holds workshops on her farm. She also invites local artists, photographers, and bakers to round out the events.
"For example, a watercolor theme. This local baker, she’s making watercolor cookies to go along with it. And when you bring someone like a calligrapher, a chalk board that I could scribble something on, the calligrapher can make it just beautiful," she says. "And I love creating that for people, because I think that it takes whatever experience it is to the next level, and it really showcases other people’s work as well."
Niki says it’s hard work, but she’s never grumpy in a flower bed.
Learn more about growing flowers for profit
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