US (SC): New cut flower co-op working to market wholesale blooms

2 Min Read

For Melissa Smith, it’s dahlias. At her Upstate farm, she farms cut flowers full-time on an acre of land, while her husband raises pigs. She’s grown a lot of flowers in the past 12 years, but dahlias are what she loves most—and where her expertise really shows. Smith is one of five founding members of a new agriculture cooperative in South Carolina that is working together to market wholesale cut flowers to the floral industry.

Along with Smith, who owns Fraylick Farm, the co-op members are: David Blue of Farmer Blue, Linda Bradley of Purple Tuteur Farm, Lisa Rudick of Clear Spring Gardens, and Julie Rainey of PearlGirl Flower Farm.

With members in the Upstate, Lowcountry, and Midlands, these five farmers are already selling to florists throughout the state. Working together, they think they can leverage their experience and locations to serve more wholesale customers.

South Carolina’s geography and diverse climate works in their favor, Smith says. Lowcountry producers can grow flowers through the winter, while the Upstate can grow through the summer, with the Midlands filling in throughout the year. “One area might have a crop for four weeks, but if you look across the state, you can take that four weeks and turn it into three months,” she says. As with many crops, extending the season helps farmers build a market for the product.


Share This Article
Leave a comment