Flower Sales Grew 60% Over Last Year

Hey guys welcome back to Wood Street Farm I’m Phil and today I’m going to Give you an overview of how our flower Season went as quickly as it arrived it Is now over there’s still lots of Flowers in this field but we’re gonna Call the season over primarily because All of our sunflowers are done and I’ll Talk more about that in a couple minutes I wanted to give you a little overview Of what we have in the flower patch and I’ll talk more about what we think Worked well this year and what maybe Didn’t work so good In our Flower Patch we really only have Three kinds of flowers for picking we Have zinnias we have Cosmos and we have Sunflowers there are multiple varieties Of each and I want to share with you Some of the ones that I think did really Well for us and some of the ones that Were maybe we’re not going to do this Again first up right here we have these Are the Oklahoma gold I believe they Were called from Johnny seeds these were The first ones the bloom they started Blooming in like 35 days and they have Bloomed continuously without issue Throughout our entire season so these Have already been in bloom like a month And a half and I’m sure if we kept Deadhenning them they would just keep Coming back though you can kind of tell The plants are starting to get some age

On them and especially down low we’re Getting a lot of brown flowers where you Know fungal issues and some mildew has Gotten to the plants and that’s kind of Transitions right into one of the things I’m going to talk more about but our Plants are too close together and I’ll Give you a a close look as to why he Here in a minute the giant Dahlia Scarlet Um zinnias did really well for us too These are those many of those flowers Are well beyond their useful life but These have produced really well and the Plants have grown very prolifically We’ve been really satisfied with how They’ve done The double click bi-color Violet Cosmos Are now our favorite Cosmos they are Very very pretty to look at it took a Lot longer to bloom than any of the Other Cosmos but everybody just really Likes us so we’re gonna do more of those Next year the single color red Cosmos That I have in these next couple rows Here really not satisfied with those at All and I don’t think we’re gonna do Those again they seem to have a really Short Bloom life and in the vases this Really don’t last at all they’re pretty Out here in the field but you know They’re just not nearly as nice as even The the mixed you know we’ve got these Gold ones here or rather these orange

Ones here I’ve got some gold ones over There they do really well and I’ve got Some mixed color Cosmos as well they all do really well But the bi-color Violet everybody has Just been cutting those like crazy as Soon as they started to bloom so we’re Definitely going to do more of those Next year the mixed colored zinnias that We got this is actually our third year Planting those they continue to do Really well for us we did notice that People were definitely cutting the Bright pinks and the purples more than Everything else in these rows so next Year we’re going to look at getting some Dedicated rows for bright pink and Purple massive horse fly flying around Quit Right so next year we’re definitely Going to have some dedicated rows for Some pink and purples NES we’re going to Have more rows of the Oklahoma Zinnias and now the Oklahoma’s do have a Smaller Bloom than some of the others But it’s really nice in a bouquet with a Different size flowers here’s another Row of those gold ones looking good now Along the back of this plot we had a Couple different types of sunflowers and On the very back row we did these Mammoth and I did that primarily as a Screen we’ve got a neighboring property Over here there’s a house over here so

We kind of just did that as a screen so People couldn’t see the house and the Folks at the house couldn’t see down in The patch and I think that worked out Really well I wasn’t really expecting People to cut some mammoths but they did But some of those are huge and the birds Are absolutely loving them now they’ve Gone to seed in front of the mammoths we Had some Pro Cuts there’s not a lot of Those flower heads left many of those Got cut And there’s a couple of them over here These are pro-cut lemons or what’s left Of them just a couple of those left and Then pretty much all the Pro Cut oranges Ended up getting cut out of here so they All did really well So here’s something that did not work Out well and this is more just unique to Our property but I’m sure everybody has A little bit of this this section here Is completely different soil and the Flowers just did not come up as well Over here we also had some really heavy Rains early on and shortly after these Plants sprouted a couple of these roses Really got washed out pretty good you Can kind of see some of the ruts in here So this is part of the reason why we’re Shutting down for the year already these Were planted on a succession plan that Would have had us going into middle of September but uh you know there’s aren’t

That many of those blooms left and then I actually had more planned for over Here and we had some of the same issue Where the flowers just weren’t coming up Well and a couple of our rows got washed Out so here we are now after four weeks Of picking and we hardly have any nice Looking sunflowers I think right here I Had six rows of black oil sunflowers I’ve already mowed those down they were Some of the first ones to bloom to some Of the first one ones to come and go and I just mowed them down so we didn’t look At the ugly Brown stalks there and right Next to those this is where I planted my Saved pro-cut seed from last year but You can tell because of the soil Conditions and because of the washout That we had there aren’t that many Coming up but I did an experiment last Year and I posted a video last year and Several of you have since asked me hey How do those Pro Cut seeds come back Because last year I didn’t even know if We could save that seed in fact some People had told me oh that seed sterile It’s not going to produce flowers or Whatever we’ll take a look at this Even though these plants are short They are absolutely making flowers Okay so there we go there’s that There’s that There’s another one of those now what We’re seeing in here is a whole lot of

Branching That the original Pro Cuts didn’t have Much of so that might be an output of The saved seed I don’t know But all throughout here the few Surviving plants Everything has a head now we may not get A genetic clone to the original Pro Cut That we saved it may have been Cross-pollinated with something else and I think that’s what you know I have to Do another follow-up still to show you These when they’re open and that’ll be Next week because you can see how they Look right now And uh we’ll end up seeing what they Look like hopefully like they look Pretty good but those you know a couple Flowers right there 20 30 flowers that’s All I would have open for sunflowers for Next week if I decided to open and I Just don’t want people showing up Expecting sunflowers for sure and only See 20 or 30 flowers that’s just not a Good experience so if you saw our Planting video back in the beginning of The season I showed that we use this Ground cover for the first time this Black plastic mat that’s a woven plastic That’s on the ground I showed how we set That up we melted holes and what I can Say now what I’ve learned is for the Types of flowers that we’re doing for Primarily for zinnias and Cosmos the

Eight inch grid that we set up for this Is way too close together so we’ll roll This stuff up at the end of the season We’ll use it again we’re going to buy More for next year and do more rows with Ground cover because this saved us so Much work for maintenance Compared to previous years previous Years we spent a lot of time weeding This year Didn’t really spend much time at all so The other rows that are in our patch That don’t have ground cover We kind of selectively walk through Those tried to pick weeds when they were Young and then just before we opened we Went up and down all of the rows all of The ioas and sprayed all of the Iowa’s With herbicides so any of the large Weeds were just you know they’d burn off And get smashed down as people started Walking and that works out really well So we’re going to expand upon the ground Cover because I think it’s going to work Really well we’re definitely going to Change the grid because these are too Close together one thing when it was Really wet we got a lot of rain kind of Early in season recent weeks here have Been drier but you could tell the plants Were really struggling to breathe there Were some mildew issues that kind of Just kind of carried themselves as Things dried out we didn’t spray any

Fungicides or anything on these plants And they all did pretty well so that is The lesson learned with the ground cover Is just for from a time saving Standpoint if you want to do more you Know being able to get back some of your Time on the maintenance on the weeding And on the cleaning ground cover really Helps with that it was super tedious to Set up but I think in the long run over The course of the summer so so worth it On the topic of ground cover we did use A four foot wide ground cover and then When we laid it down we weren’t super Precise about it but we left at least a Foot and in some cases about 18 inches In between the ground covers so that That meant between the ground cover that Doesn’t have plants and the uncovered Area there and then the next ground Cover that doesn’t have plants we were Expecting to have at least like a three Foot aisle way but these plants kind of Grew out so much and actually kind of Varies based on the plant but you get Over here in these Scarlets for example Where you look at where the cosmos are They’ve completely closed off our rows And there were some areas I had to Constantly kind of maintain and I would Actually come through with a long Shearing knife the same long knife that I use on Christmas trees and I would Just hack off branches that were laying

Out over the row so that people could Get through so next year we’re going to Definitely space these out a little bit More I don’t know if I’m going to Experiment with wider ground cover or Not because obviously if we use the same Ground cover width and we just space it Out that’s going to be more aisle way Area that’s going to be susceptible to Weed growth so I’ll have to give that Some thought but I’m still really Pleased with how it went it’s just a Little lesson learned there with the Spacing People don’t really like to go up and Down the aisles with plants brushing up On their legs they think there might be Have they might have bugs crawling on Them or something I guess but we found That people really use the Iowa’s that Were most open and you could tell at the End of a picking weekend where where all The flowers were missing they were Missing from the rows where the aisles Were most open and there were plenty of Blooms on the aisles where the rows were A little bit tighter so something to Think about as we’re laying things out But for next year we’re definitely going To space things out more we’re Definitely going to do more with zinnias And we’re going to look at getting some More I keep calling them exotic Varieties of zinnias but there’s you

Know some of the queen mixes and there’s Some multi-colored blooms and there’s All these different size blooms that we Could experiment with so I think zinnias Are so easy to grow they’re so versatile They have a long base life and people Really like them and obviously they grow Well here which is kind of the whole Other thing we’re probably going to do At least like 50 more zinnias for next Year like I said expanding on the Different varieties we’re going to get More of those Oklahoma varieties with The smaller blooms we’re going to get Some of the really small Jazzy type ones We actually had some jazzies in here This year we kind of accidentally mixed It up with another seed and we just Thought oh we’ll make a little blend Here in this row but what happened was I Didn’t realize the Jazzy zinnias were Such smaller plants and they ended up Just kind of getting crowded out and They didn’t really Bloom well so we’ll Have a dedicated spot for some of the Shorter varieties with the smaller Blooms like the jazzies we’ll have you Know the Oklahoma’s in several different Colors we’ll have multi-colors again We’re going to do some of the queen mix And there’s several other Different varieties of zinnias that We’re going to try we’re going to do More with those bi-color violets like I

Already mentioned the cosmos five color Violet Cosmos we’re going to get more um Sweating we’re going to get more Sunflowers The of the pro-cut variety and uh I’m Not sure what else with sunflowers I Think we’re going to get some of the Branching types and Um what else we’re gonna get some of the Mexican sunflowers as well we’ve Actually never grown those but I’ve seen Them they look pretty cool and it looks Like the way that they branch and the Way they that the Mexican sunflowers Kind of bush out they’ll probably create A nice little block of those because They create kind of a dense hedge Depending on how you lay them out so That’s a little bit of what we think did Well from a planting aspect but let’s Talk about how the actual business and How the operation went this year All right so I walked over to our hidden Field The Flower Patch I was just Showing you is right through there we Just put that road in last winter so People could come straight downhill from The Flower Patch into our hidden field We call it because you can’t really see This field from anywhere else in the Property and this is where we set up Games and activities for the whole Family to enjoy so there’s swings and a Playhouse and checkers and giant Jenga

And cornhole there’s a couple shaded Seating areas for people to sit down and Relax we got the new tractor tire Mountain over there which uh was fun to Build those tires are really heavy but Because we’re you know climbing all over That having a great time and that has Kind of become a Hallmark of the the Events that we do out here and we want To make sure that we’re providing a Venue for young families to get outside And enjoy themselves and make some Memories and of course we want young Families to come back here for Christmas Time so that’s part of the reason why we Started doing flowers in the first place Is that we wanted to try to attract some Similar people some people who you know Who like to cut flowers may also like to Have a real Christmas tree at home at Christmas time and we thought that would Be kind of a good cross marketing Opportunity for us as our farm grows so Anyway I wanted to show you what we got Going over here because we do make more Of an event out of our Flower Patch than Just flower picking we try to bring the Whole family out and we try to give them All something to do while they’re here So now I’m going to walk you through our Shaded path here that goes to the other Flower Patch it’s like a three or four Minute walk it might be 120 130 yards From one patch to the other but it’s uh

This was brand new for us last year we Made everybody walk across our Christmas Tree field and in August and September In Virginia it’s just so hot so humid There are a lot of people that just kind Of weren’t pleased with that long hot Walk so we’ve got this new road this New Path and everyone seemed to enjoy it but This is where I’ll show you the crazy Patch So over here I got a couple buckwheat Patches going we’re just using these Both as a soil amendment but also for Photography so that one over there is in Bloom this one will start blooming in The next week or two and then just Uphill from that I’ve got another Succession started up here this will be A little bit more wild we just seeded The buckwheat into the cut grass so We’ll see how that goes There is the crazy patch and here’s Where I’ll stop and talk to you about The other things I think worked well and Uh some things we’re going to change for Next year So for pricing I talked about this last Year and I didn’t really change anything We charge a five dollar admission just To get on the property and then there is A fee to pick flowers as well we have Three different sizes this year and we Did a 20 ounce cup for twelve dollars That’s up from 10 is what we did last

Year we had a 0.6 gallon bucket that was 26 and then we had a larger two and a Half gallon bucket for 60. last year we Did have a 40 dollar bucket that slotted In between the 26 and the 60 bucket and We sold quite a few of those I didn’t Find any of those this year so Unfortunately we didn’t have that as an Option and that may have hurt our bottom Line a little bit just because I think a Lot of people that maybe would have gone To the 40 bucket just stayed down to the 26th so next year we’re gonna look at That again and make sure that we have Another option that helps people spend a Little bit more if they want to on the Top of think of getting people to spend A little bit more on our third week we Did try something different that I think Is a big win and we’re going to continue To do it for every event in the future We offered a deluxe admission that Included a popcorn and a drink and Um Holy cow Put a saddle on that thing Quit it in our third weekend when we Offered the deluxe admission we found That about 40 percent of attendees or 40 Percent of our admissions on that day Were the deluxe admission so I think That’s pretty awesome because it’s 60 Percent more costly forty percent of Those visitors decided right at the gate

To go ahead and spend 60 more that’s Fantastic if we did that weekend week Out we would have had several hundred Dollars more in admission Revenue than We would have had in previous or without It so Um anyway that’s a that’s a big big win I think next year we’re gonna bump the Price on that just a little bit because It was only three dollars more and People just looked at that and was like Yeah no-brainer I’ll go ahead and do That we’ve always had a little snack Stand where we sold like prepackaged Snacks we sold bottled drinks and Whatnot and you know we sell a little Bit of it here and there but compared to The Upfront sale I mean our volume for Drinks and popcorn went up like 600 Percent on that first weekend we offered That so I think just bundling it up Right there at the gate just took the Optional Sail Out of the equation and Didn’t give people a chance to say no Later which plenty of people did and Um you know just go ahead and bank that Revenue our total sales this year were Significantly higher than last year Though last year we tried to smush Flower fast into one weekend so we had Like we actually had four weekends we Were open altogether but the three of Those four weekends were kind of like Yeah we’re here come pick flowers if you

Want and we didn’t do the whole flower Fest and have all the games and Activities out and everything we didn’t Charge admission on those weekends we Only charge for flowers so we had last Year three just come pick and pay for Flower weekends and we only got you know I don’t know a few hundred dollars total Across all those weekends really wasn’t Worth it and then we had the big flower Fest weekend which was really good last Year we actually had some news coverage Last year and just brought a lot of People out in one weekend this year we Actually did about 60 percent more in Revenue but we did four weekends Straight and every weekend was quote Unquote flower Fest and we had the full Suite of activities we charged admission For all of those and like I said uh did A lot better this year than we did last Year but it was more work we also had Bigger flower patches we had more Flowers we had more invested in the Whole thing than we did in previous Years so we had high expectations and Actually the event overall did not meet Our expectations yes we did 60 more than Last year but we had a much higher Growth goal in mind and we just didn’t Hit it so next year we’re going to try a Little bit harder we’re going to Increase the number of flower types like I said we’re going to add more to our

Games and activities we’re going to try To make even a bigger event out of it For families in the future and we’re Also going to do more with our Advertising and whatnot to try to drive People out here who maybe don’t have Young children anymore because we did Learn this year we did Whitney that Plenty of people that come out are just You know maybe Um that maybe maybe their kids are older Or maybe it’s just like you know an Older couple or whatever so they’re Coming out here they’re they’re not Obviously a young family they’re not That Target demographic that we’ve Always had our site set on but they’re Still you know great customers for us so We’re gonna switch up some of our Marketing in the future to make sure We’re trying to appeal to some of them As well and you know all in all everyone Who came out no matter what their age They came out here they said they had a Good time they really enjoyed it they Love seeing the flowers they love seeing The butterflies they love seeing the Gold finches flying around in the Sunflower patch trying to find some Seeds to eat and there’s just you know a Lot of fun had by everybody we didn’t Hear a single negative comment this year Where last year we did have several Negative comments about the distance

From the entrance to the Flower Patch Which was all the way over here this was The only Flower Patch last year and I Made a big deal last year about saying Okay we’ve got to get a flower patch Closer to the entrance well this year we Had a handicap accessible parking that Was right around 100 feet from The Flower Patch so plenty of people who Wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it in Previous years were able to enjoy it This year and for that I’m proud I’m Thankful for the people that came out This year I’m thankful for the business That we got because like I said it was 60 more than last year and Um you know now it’s time to switch Gears time to you know fold this up mow This down plant our cover crop for the Fall and for the winter and now we think About doing firewood sales and then We’re going to think about doing uh Prepping for Christmas and then the Whole cycle continues as we get through The winter and start looking at Spring Of next year and planting flowers again So thank you guys for watching if you’ve Got any questions about how we did Things here how we run our event what we Planted how we planted any of that kind Of stuff Um you know leave those in the comments Because if you got the question somebody Else watching probably does too so let’s

Get it a good list of questions going Down in the comments and this will be a Good resource for people who are looking To do this kind of thing in the future And are learn it as they go just like I Am so thanks for watching guys I’ll see You on the next video bye