Steve and Gretel Adams started Sunny Meadows Flower Farm in Columbus, OH in 2007. In this episode, we dive into what it has taken to build a year-round business with multiple year-round employees, the diverse ways they sell their flowers across the country, and how they reduce the overwhelm with careful planning.

In This Episode:

>> Why Steve and Gretel farm and how it looks different for each of them

>> The planning system that they use to easily manage a full team of employees with many moving parts on the farm

>> The diverse stream of incomes that grow their business and how that creates self-insurance from an economic downturn.

>> The challenges and advantages of farming together and how they share the workload

Quotes from the episode:

“Farming with a partner is all about communication.”

“Efficiency is a mindset, and having a bi-monthly meeting that you require employees to talk about their ideas for efficiency helps train that.”

“Beginning farmers frequently don’t charge enough, what their crop is worth.”

“One of the reasons I love farming flowers is the emotion and joy that it creates in our customers.”

“Farming can be overwhelming, and breaking out long to-do’s into daily, weekly, monthly and our master list help fight the overwhelm.”

About the Guests

Steve and Gretel started Sunny Meadows Flower Farm in 2006 and are first-generation farmers. They’ve both been working on the farm now full-time, year-round for 7 years, and also employ 17 employees in the summer and 6 employees in the winter. They’ve been presenting at farm conferences since 2013, and have written 30 articles for Growing for Market. They sell wholesale to florists & grocers, retail to the public at farmer’s markets and their on-farm stand, design florals for weddings, and are shipping to florists across the nation. Another facet of their business is selling dahlia tubers and wreaths online, so there’s lots to keep them busy throughout the year even though blooms are being sold March- December.

Resources and mentions

Connect with Gretel and Steve on their website, Instagram and Facebook

Evernote is how Steve and Gretel manage their farm tasks

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy is a great book around getting things done in your business

Richard Wiswall’s book is The Organic Farmers Business Handbook

Cramer’s Flower Farm is a mentor of Steve and Gretel

Steve and Gretel are very active in the ASCFG

the weeder that Steve and Gretel uses widely on their farm.