Cut Flowers in the Hoophouse
Written by Laura Haselhuhn
Growing & selling cut flowers from the hoophouse offers numerous advantages especially for those who direct market their products through farmers market. Having bouquets of flowers on the table along with some great looking produce can help to catch a customer’s eye and draw them in to your stand at market. Early cut flowers are perfect for selling to customers looking for spring/early summer holidays: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Weddings, Fourth of July, graduation parties & hostess gifts.
Target new segments of the market:
Home gardeners may be less likely to buy cut flowers at a market when they have cut flowers of their own blooming in the gardens. However if you are selling cut flowers before they have flowers blooming at home, you can target this new market segment. This market segment could be a valuable one to target as they already have an appreciation for cut flowers but would not normally make a purchase during the typical growing season.
Hoophouse grown cut flowers could open up a new market segment to sell to: florists. Florists desire long stems and high quality flowers. Both of these product attributes can be achieved through growing flowers in the protected environment that the hoophouse provides. Growing cut-flowers in a hoophouse can enable you to deliver on the product attributes that florists desire and thus target a market segment that you otherwise might not have been able to attract.
Increase Average Revenue per Customer at a farmers market
Having flowers gives the customer one more item to buy at your stand. So instead of just buying tomatoes at your stand, they might be buying tomatoes AND a bouquet of flowers. This would increase your average revenue per customer. In a smaller market less foot traffic, increasing average revenue per customer could be crucial to success.
Here’s a photo of some sunflowers that were direct seeded in a mid sized tunnel on April 20th. The cover is now off of the tunnel now & they are ready for harvest! Some have already been harvested. They were sold in bunches of 5 for $5 per bunch at a local farmers market (after-tax take home revenue was $4.82 per bunch).
Don’t forget about sales tax:
In Michigan you must collect sales tax for cut flowers, in other states this is perhaps not the case, check into your state’s tax laws.
An easy way to collect tax is to figure it in to the sale price.
For example in Michigan sales tax is 6%.
-If you have a $4 bunch of flowers to sell, charge $4.25, to cover the $0.24 tax.
-If you have a $6 bunch of flowers to sell, charge $6.50, to cover the $0.48 tax.
What are your favorite cut flower varieties to grow in the hoophouse?
Thanks and Happy Hoophouse Farming!
Hoophouse Outreach Assistant
Michigan State University