The Arnoskys' popular cut flower articles in Growing for Market magazine are compiled into this 124-page collection published from 2001 through 2009.
With irrepressible enthusiasm and humor, the Arnoskys grow and write about cut flowers at their farm in the Hill Country of Texas. "Never a dull moment" is their motto as they regale readers with tales of drought, floods, hail, and tornadoes. Nothing stops them; they keep growing more and more flowers every year, and they generously share their hard-won knowledge in their regular column in Growing for Market.
This collection of articles will introduce readers to a wide range of beautiful cut flowers that anyone can grow by following the expert advice herein. The Arnoskys give detailed information about all aspects of their business, including choosing varieties, starting seeds, harvesting, making bouquets, and marketing. The how-to aspects of their writing blend seamlessly with funny anecdotes about life on the farm. Aspiring and veteran growers alike will enjoy Local Color.
New varieties worth a try
Poinsettias come back in style as cuts
Planning to have bouquets all summer
Godetia is easy -- once you understand it
Solarize soil to burn out weeds and diseases
New crops prove to be big money-makers
Switching to vegetables, we have discoveries
New cut flower varieties for 2003
Green flowers still in style
How to force tulips
Fragrant freesias are a great winter crop
Save your own celosia seed for better flowers
Perennials for cut flowers, early and late
Yarrows great cut flowers for local sales
Meeting market competition challenge
Cut flowers: Zinnia post-harvest revealed
Plant succession of lisianthus, lilies, others
Establishing fall crops takes extra planning
How do you teach quality?
Tricks of the trade for starting flower seed
Trip to Ecuador provides ideas for U.S. growers
When frost threatens, know what to expect
Promising perennials, some old, some new
Our summer vacation: A Maine flower farm
Sweet peas are great in the winter greenhouse
Stocks a great local cut flower
The best of what's new
Our favorite flowers -- and our most profitable
Your most crucial task: Post-harvest handling
Sell plants so customers can grow flowers, too
Oriental lilies exotic, easy to grow
4,000 bouquets in 5 days!
Reinventing the farm
High cost of business calls for streamlining
Zinnia, yarrow top the "must grow" list
Peach trees bear flowers more readily than fruit
Harvesting techniques can improve efficiency
Fall is the best time to plant delphiniums
Ornamental sorghums for fall flower sales
For seed success, mimic nature's program
Adding supplemental heat to high tunnels
New Dianthus varities can be grown all year
Annuals you can plant now for early summer
New cut flower varieties for 2009
Blue flowers from the Campanula family
Plant extra seeds now and sell cut flower plants next month
Basil is great in bouquets
Make zinnias one of your most profitable crops
Flowers lost to seed industry changes
"It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results each time. Although we are as guilty of that as the next guy, we are always looking for new and better ways to farm. We've grown cut flowers, vegetables, bedding plants, and perennials. We've set up booths at farmers markets, run a route to florists, tried our hand at wholesale flower markets, and have developed our own brand to market to grocery stores. We've done weddings, and have run our own on-farm market. When it comes right down to it, we know in our hearts we need to do what we are best at: raising large quantities of gorgeous cut flowers. Despite repeated drubbings by the extremes of Texas weather, cantankerous floral buyers, competition both near and abroad, skyrocketing costs and the lack of available labor, we keep planting every year, trying to improve on what we do. In November, we ask each other, "WHY are we doing this?" But by January, the bruises have healed, bright red and purple anemones begin blooming, fields are mowed and orderly, beds are prepped and replanting has begun...and we remember that we love this!
Because of our flower farm, we have been privileged to know a wide range of folks, from Lady Bird Johnson and George W. Bush, to the Aztec dancers from San Antonio who always come to glean the marigolds and coxcombs from our fields for Day of the Dead celebrations. Our flowers have been used in many special events, but we've campaigned to make flowers less of a "luxury" and more a part of a well-balanced life. Our logo and our flowers have become recognized as a premier brand. We've created high expectations about local flowers, to literally outshine the competition.
Having moved to Blanco County, Texas, to begin farming almost 20 years ago, our kids and we have become 'local characters' in our community, providing 'local color' in more ways than one. We've always believed that it takes a generous person to prosper as a flower grower. And a great love of flowers. If you are looking to get a start in the flower business, the first question to ask yourself is this: "Do you grow flowers for your house now?" If you answer "no," you had best get out and buy some, value them, and keep them around you all the time. If you've said "yes," you are well on your way to being a flower grower. So go out, grow your own, make a name for yourself, and keep flowers in your life!" -- Frank and Pamela Arnosky, January 2010
Local Color: Growing Specialty Cut Flowers
124 pages, 8.5x11, Mac & PC friendly, 1.2MB, printable/searchable PDF!
Includes Eextended Download Warranty exclusively from Wheeler Arts (limited-time offer).