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  • Hosting a Make and Take Bouquet Event on Your Flower Farm

    January 07, 2024 5 min read 0 Comments

    Flowers of different varieties in galvanized buckets on a wooden table with empty jars nearby for arranging bouquets.

    Guide to Hosting a Bouquet Workshop on Your Flower Farm

    When Vail Family Farm was started three years ago, a large part of the vision for our specialty cut flower farm was always to invite people to our space. Our specialty cut flower farm is home to over half an acre of cut flowers, and it is the place where I go to feel grounded. 

    I found flower farming at a time in my life when I was knee-deep in raising young children, going to school for a master’s degree in another profession, and when the world was dealing with uncertainty. The cutting garden, which was really just 8 raised beds and unamended soil, provided so much solace and nurtured my spirit through a difficult season of life. 

    For my family and I, it felt like a natural next step to invite folks out to experience the place that had brought me to feel more connected to nature so they could experience the same.

    As we were planning our first on-farm events, there were several components that needed consideration before folks actually put boots on the ground. In planning, we evaluated the who, what, when, and where of the workshops.

    zinnias planted in rows with landscape fabric on a flower farm

    Who should you invite to your DIY bouquet event?

    I had to ask myself exactly who would be interested in coming to a flower farm 10 miles north of the next large town. We started marketing to an already established customer base. The folks who supported our farm through flower subscriptions were invited first. We know these people already enjoyed our flowers, and they always receive news from the farm before anyone else.

    We utilized email marketing to ask them if this was something they would be interested in and a majority were in favor! After we invited our current customers, we expanded to offering tickets to the public using both email marketing and advertising on our social pages.

    What will you be doing for your farm event?

    Our next step was analyzing exactly what we would be doing for our on farm event. We had a few ways to go with so many options, but something that our customers have commented on in seasons past was how simple yet beautiful our cut flower arrangements are.

    We settle on guiding participants through a simple mason jar arrangement, which is our signature vase for markets and subscription bouquets. I picked the flowers 24 hours before participants arrived, the standard for our flower offerings. 

    various harvested flowers for a make and take event on a flower farm

    When will your events take place?

    As a business owner, I feel it’s important to make your business work for you. As you consider when you might hold your events, you have to decide what days will work well for you and your customers. Saturday mornings and evenings are what we landed on as the best option after soliciting feedback from our current customer base.

    I also learned that Saturdays can coincide with concerts, festivals, and other events, so that is an important detail as you work to schedule your workshop.

    Where can you host events on your farm?

    Obviously, we were inviting people to the farm, but where on the farm would we host? I thought about purchasing or building a picnic table, but I realized I tend to stand when moving and making cut flower arrangements. Purchasing chairs would have been an expense, so I decided to forego the chairs unless I had people make requests. 

    I wanted to keep costs minimal and expand the space when I knew that it was something people would enjoy. 

    When it came time to decide on a working surface, my Reluctant Farmer Husband (also known as Matt), is a firm believer in doing all things himself, so he chose to make a fun working table with an awning. We purchased the wood for the table, Matt welded the support for the canopy, and we found a local seamstress to sew a top made out of canvas. (Pictured below)

    Harvest table arranged with tools for making bouqets on a flower farm

    Important Considerations for on Farm Events

    Before we posted tickets and invited people to our event, I also needed to consider the age of people attending the event. I chose to offer our first bouquet workshop to persons ages 13 and older. Kids' workshops and classes are things that I think would do well for our farm in our area, but I wanted to keep these events for a more mature crowd. 

    We did have folks reach out and ask if they could bring a guest, even if that person wouldn’t be making a bouquet. In all honesty, the parking space on our farm is limited, as is the space at the table. For these reasons, we limit the participant number to 15 or less for on-farm events. I also feel that keeping groups small contributes to a more intimate experience and allows me to give one-on-one attention to each person.

    Harvest pale pink and dark pink flowers in black buckets


    The first thing I do when pricing anything we offer is market research. I look to others in my community with comparable businesses and business models to figure out a starting point. Another place I often look is at other flower farmers that I admire and consider experts in their field, while remembering that what one customer might be willing to spend in a coastal town is not what they would be willing to spend in my area. 

    After I’ve looked at the market for comparable events, I consider what it costs me to produce the flowers I am offering. Review the cost of the seed, the soil, the water, and the labor required to take that flower from seed to bloom. I then move to the price of the jars or vessels I use. After all of that is taken into account, I also want to pay myself for my time, the most valuable resource there is! 

    mason jar bouquets in custom made wooden carrying trays.

    After a few workshops, we were able to refine the process and adjust it for the components we would like to change based on customer feedback. We had been harvesting flowers and setting them out for participants before the workshop. Harvesting the flowers was included in the cost of the ticket.

    However, we found that customers truly wanted to experience cutting their own! We changed our process after the first few workshops to ask participants what their preference was: you cut or we will cut for you. This choice also led to a change in pricing. The great thing about allowing participants to harvest their own flowers is that it reduced my labor! 

    Related: Running a Successful You-Pick Flower Farm

    flower beds with stray pink flowers in the center

    Final thoughts for your make and take bouquet workshop

    It is important to meet participants where they are at. I assumed that most customers didn’t know the flower types. Some were flower enthusiasts, while some didn’t know the different names of flowers. It helps to label the flower and give customers a stem count.

    This ensured that there were enough flowers to go around and prevented arrangements from becoming too full. I like to demonstrate to the customers how I make my arrangements and then set them free to make their own. I always make sure to let participants know that there is truly no right or wrong way to make a flower arrangement! Beauty is the eye of the beholder, and this rings especially true in the case of flowers.

    Written by: Ashley Vail @VailFamilyFarm