A woman called Alison Ellis who gives advice to 'floral entrepreneurs' - has been talking about the benefits of blogging. She is very likeable and convincing so here I am! I intend to post at least twice a month so I hope you'll check back here regularly.
I am just back from a weekend in Kilkenny, meeting up with around 30 other Irish flower farmers. Yes there are at least 30 of us (!) - and this was our third meeting in the space of the last 12 months. Lots of work is going on behind the scenes and we are going to be launching a Flower Farmers of Ireland association later this year. We feel that the world needs to know about the beautiful flowers we are growing, and to know that Irish grown flowers are an option when you are buying flowers.
So what does your average Irish flower farmer look like? I'd say at least 75% of us are female and many of us are on our second careers - having worked previously in diverse fields such as law, HR, education, or in my case, architecture. Some were enlightened enough to choose horticulture from day one! We all share a real passion for what we're doing - which is pretty important to get any self employed person out of bed in the morning. We all have reasonably clean finger-nails at the moment (but only because it's January), we are happy sharing information on how to avoid back pain, and we enjoy nothing more than talking about the latest dahlia variety.
Even though the meeting was an AGM - and its hard to get excited about topics such as 'mission statements' and 'election of new committee' - I really enjoyed the day with this bunch of people. Stay tuned for more news about our launch and in the meantime here is a great blog by Fiona, a fellow flower farmer in Co. Mayo