Diane cofounded the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market when she realized the need to expand her farm’s reach without putting more hours into marketing and distribution. We discuss the establishment of the cooperative and its journey to self-sufficiency, including details about how the cooperative has brought on staff and set standards for its growers.
Diane also digs into the details of producing cut flowers at Jello Mold Farm, where she and Dennis manage annual and perennial flower and foliage crops. She shares her techniques and perspective on weed management and pest control, and gets into the nitty gritty details of how they produce top quality cut flowers – including an excellent tutorial on cleaning buckets and totes. We also talk season extension in the high tunnel, and forcing woody crops to flower in order to have products to sell in January.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
[Regarding pricing:] There are a lot of different factors going on that are in some way or another subsidized or that have a different economy to them than just trying to make a living off of a piece of land.
I have in mind the pyramid versus the round table in terms of models for running a business. And a business like ours which is already a cooperative really works best when certain people aren’t more important than other people.
Certainly when you’re talking about local agriculture and being able to sell within sixty miles of your farm, I feel like there should be a way of doing that. Working hard outside and gambling with mother nature ought to be enough obstacles.
We have been about coming together and finding our similarities rather than making rules or squeezing people out if they’re a little bit different. We need each other to survive.
I’m not concerned about what the farm looks like as long as we’re able to grow healthy crops and take good-looking product to market.
Diane was a board member of the ASCFG.
Jello Mold, and many other farms in the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, have opted for Salmon-Safe Certification as an alternative certification to certified organic.
Jello Mold loves their Procona buckets, designed for the flower industry.
Woody Cut Stems for Growers and Florists is a bible for Diane – not in print right now, but available for Kindle.
Diane also considers Specialty Cut Flowers: The Production of Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Woody Plants for Fresh and Dried Cut Flowers to be a foundational text for flower farming.
From Chris: Despite our best efforts, we don’t have the transcript ready for this show yet – I sincerely apologize if you came here looking for it. We will make the transcript available just as soon as possible.