Dave Dowling owned a cut flower farm in Montgomery County, MD for 20 years.
With field, high tunnel, and greenhouse production, Farmhouse Flowers & Plants produced cut flowers year round. Most of the flowers raised were sold at farmers markets, including two year round markets in the Washington, DC area. For several years, flowers were also sold to Whole Foods. Cut flowers were sold direct to retail florists and designers from Baltimore to Washington, DC through Capital Flower Growers, LLC, a cooperative formed with two other flower growers in 2013.
Early in 2014, Dave closed his cut flower business and began working for Ednie Flower Bulb, which is now a division of Fred C Gloeckner & Co. He keeps busy as sales rep and advisor to cut flower growers across North America with small to medium sized farms. Dave also works on promotions and new cut flower products at Ednie/Gloeckner. Dave has an online class produced by The Gardeners Workshop that teaches growers about Perennial, Bulb, and Woody cut flower crops.
He served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers from 2002 through 2004, and served as President from 2006 to 2009, and again from 2016 to 2018. He was the ASCFG Industry Liaison from 2014-2015.
Greenhouse 16 - Do High Tunnels Make the Cut for Specialty Cut Flowers: Top crops, Production and Handling Pointers
9:00 AM: Are high tunnels worth the investment and potential headache over producing specialty cut flowers in the field? Roberto will share research information on how timing, yield and quality of a wide variety of specialty cuts are influenced between these two production techniques. Lastly, he will cover how to prolong the life of these varieties.-
9:50 AM: Adding shrubs to your cut flower production extends your sales season, provides a long-term income stream, and can utilize areas of your property that may not be suitable for growing other cuts. Join us to learn which plants to choose, how to grow them, and how and when to harvest for maximum profitability with minimal effort.
10:40 AM: What does it take to start a cut flower farm? Dave show us how to create a viable cut flower operation in a smaller space with little startup expense the first few seasons. Learn how to avoid making the same mistakes others have made and hear about some time-saving tricks everyone should try. Topics covered will be useful for new growers as well as those with a few years of growing experience.