Bluma in the SF Chronicle
Bluma in Growing for Market Magazine
Bluma in J Weekly
Bluma in Sacred Lifestyle Magazine
Bluma in CUESA Newsletter
Bluma in ACRCD Beginning Farmer Newsletter
Joanna Letz of Bluma Flower Farm
Flower Farm Success Story
In late 2014, Joanna Letz was preparing for her first season running her own farm, Bluma Flower Farm, on 2.5 acres. She contacted the Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD), a Growing Roots partner, for support. Susan Ellsworth, Food Systems Specialist and manager of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program at the ACRCD, met with Joanna to provide one-to-one technical assistance.
During their first meeting, Susan helped Joanna better understand the ins and outs of cut flower farming, helping her avoid what may have been costly mistakes early on in her operation. "I'd never worked on a production flower farm," says Joanna, "so there were things I just didn't realize." Susan also recommended certain types of flower crops and suggested Mike Madison's book Growing Flowers for Market - A Practical Manual for Small-Scale Field Production and Marketing of Fresh Flowers. In late 2015, with her first season under her belt, Joanna paid another visit to the ACRCD, where Susan provided staffing suggestions as a growing farming operation.
After another successful season in 2016, Joanna is focusing on expanding her team and increasing efficiency. She is about to launch an online store, and is also developing relationships with a growing list of local florists - a market Joanna believes has the potential to provide significant new business opportunities.
Joanna continues to receive support from the ACRCD, most recently participating in a March field tour of Mike Madison's flower farm and olive orchard in Yolo County, and as a member of a Beginning Farmer and Rancher book club hosted by the ACRCD. The ACRCD is excited to see her continue to grow her farming business in 2017 and hopes to continue supporting her in her mission to make her farm more sustainable and successful in the years to come.