Creating a harvest list (or availability list) for florists is your ticket to becoming the go-to farmer for florists looking to source beautiful, fresh, and local flowers. Having an easy-to-access harvest list saves everyone time. This isn’t just a list—it’s a strategy. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of creating a list that’ll put the ‘bloom’ in booming business.

1. It Starts With Planning
Dive into some detective work and find out the most sought-after flowers. Utilize resources like industry publications, local market demand, and social media trends. Better yet, reach out to local florists to ask what sort of local blooms they’d be interested in. Flowers like dahlias, zinnias, and snapdragons are often in demand for their vibrant colours and versatility in arrangements, and can be difficult to source.

2. Knowing What and When
Understand your growing season and how it aligns with floral demand. Make sure you match flower types to their blooming period, considering local climate. For instance, asters in the fall can provide vibrant colours for autumn arrangements.

3. Quantity Meets Quality
Estimate how much of each variety you need. Do this by analyzing past sales data or average orders from florists. Remember, it’s better to err on the side of abundance—nobody likes a shortage of sunflowers just when they’re the talk of the town.

4. Record Keeping
Good records are key. Use a tool like Bloom Manager to keep track of planting dates, bloom times, and harvest quantities. This data can be a lifesaver for forecasting next year’s plan. For instance, if this year’s peonies were a hit, note down the conditions and plan to plant more.

5. Categorizing Your Crops: A Logical Layout
Organize your list into categories—early season, mid-season, and late-season blooms. Or better yet, break it down by week so your local florists can plan with even more specificity. Logical categorization will help the florists plan their designs and ensure longer-lasting arrangements for their customers.

6. Communication: Cultivate Relationships
Use your harvest list as a communication tool. Share your upcoming bounty with florists, advising them on what incredible varieties are heading their way. For example, let them know when those lisianthus are about two weeks out so they can plan their floral wizardry.

By following these steps, you’ll create a harvest list that is both practical for you and invaluable to your florist customers.

So you’ve got your list ready, but what should it look like, and how do you share it? Let’s transform that list into a vital organizational tool for florists.

Designing Your List

Your harvest list should be a neat grid of information that is as pleasing to the eye as the flowers you grow. Either use a pre-made solution like Florlist or build your own.

  1. Clear Categories: Break down your list by season, then by bloom time within each season. Next, list the flower varieties along with their cut stage, vase life, and any special care instructions.
  2. User-Friendly Format: Use tables for easy reading. For example, have columns for ‘Flower Variety’, ‘Bloom Time’, ‘Color’, ‘Quantity Available’, and ‘Vase Life’.
  3. Visual Appeal: Incorporate a touch of flair using images or color codes to represent different seasons or bloom types. For instance, use a soft pink for spring flowers and warm amber for autumn varieties.
  4. Accessibility: Ensure the font size is readable, and the overall layout isn’t cluttered. This list isn’t just a tool—it’s the face of your farm.

Sharing Your Harvest List

Gone are the days of smoke signals and carrier pigeons. Sharing your harvest list in the digital age can be as simple as a click of a button.

  1. Digital Tools: Use free platforms like Google Sheets or the free dedicated tool Florlist, both of which allow for real-time updates and easy sharing. You can share a link and they can be accessed by florists anytime, saving you from a flood of phone calls.
  2. Regular Updates: Keep your list as fresh as your flowers. Set a schedule for updates and stick to it. If ranunculus are running late, let your florists know!
  3. Feedback Channels: Provide a way for florists to give feedback. Whether it’s a comment section in your shared document or a quick survey form, knowing what works for them helps you grow together.
  4. Educational Extras: Throw in a fact sheet or care guide for less-common flowers. If a florist knows how to handle that delicate chocolate cosmos, they’ll be more likely to order it.

By crafting a well-organized, visually appealing, and shareable harvest list, you’re setting the stage for a perfect partnership with your florist friends.

Updated February 5th, 2024

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