[Market-farming] The End and another Beginning

sunnfarm at netscape.net sunnfarm at netscape.net
Fri Jan 3 21:34:47 EST 2003

Happy New year to all. I shipped the last poinsettia two weeks ago, got a short vacation, just transplanted my pansy crop and today started harvesting cuttings of geraniums from my stock plants, which will keep me bizzy for the next five months.
 Last fall was the best ever, pumpkin and mums sales were the highest yet, this year the larger size Howden type pumpkin was best seller, last year it was the smaller Pam type, I don't know what to expect next year. People were buying very large mums I grew in two gallon containers, best colors were yellow followed by white then red, bronze did not sell well and pink shades always do poorly.   NJ is the second largest mum market, the crop is nearly worthless from massive overproduction, retailing  3 for $10 4 for $10 and even 5 for $10, I opted for a take it or leave it price of $5 each and sold out. Best mum sales were between Oct 1 to Nov 1.

Christmas sales were very good,though sales did not pick up until mid December.  I have been making cemetary pieces for 21 years and this was a good year. grave decorations only last one season then get tossed so people need to buy new pieces every year. The only thing that did not sell was wreaths either they buy blanks at the bigbox stores and decorate them or they buy plastic wreaths and re use them.. I don't know...

Have you priced pinecones lately, I usually pick them up wherever I can without getting arrested, but ran short and had to buy from a wholesaler, small cones from 2-5" can cost 15-75 cents each. I use seed pods from gum trees, they are balls about 1.5" diameter,look nice on wreaths, wholesaler wanted 39 cents each!, I found a clear stand of gum on state land where the ground was covered with millions of them. I guess if you live where there are no gum trees or pines you just might pay 39 cents each. Perhaps this is another crop some of you can capitalize on.

I hope you all made out well this year, this is a terribly hard business to make a living in, this will be my 30th year at full time market farming, the excitement and optimism remains...Bob.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton, NJ.

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