US (GA): ultra-local zinnia grower delivers to local florists

Heather Moore walks down a row of zinnias while pointing out the variety of colors from pink to coral to deep red. “These ones here are called the Queen Lime series so they have lime and blush or lime with orange. They’re kind of like antiques so I think those are cool,” she said. “I’m like ‘look at the colors on this one.’ They’re so pretty and different, so much variation.”

The zinnias are just one type of flower Moore is growing at her business Fields of Heather Flower Farm, a cut flower micro-farm, in Perry. Others include lisianthus, which Moore said resemble roses, snapdragons, double daisies, mums, sunflowers, and more. 

Moore has been practicing for a few years but this is the first year she has started selling her flowers to local florists. She started working with Harper Rose’s Floral and Gifts and Perry Flowers by Donna Jean earlier this summer. Another business, Britches 'n' Bows in Panora, plans to get flowers from Moore this fall.

Cherie Welch, owner of Harper Rose’s, and Donna Jean Cronk, owner of Perry Flowers by Donna Jean, have appreciated adding a local grower to their list of vendors. Moore sends a list of what’s available Monday morning and each florist picks what they would like to order. The flowers are then picked that night and delivered the next morning.

“It’s been really nice. It's local, obviously, so she’s cutting one day and we’re getting it the next day which I think is huge, for our customers to know they’re getting super long-lasting stuff,” Welch said.

Welch enjoys having access to flowers like zinnias that her other vendors don’t typically offer. “I think that the zinnias have just been a huge hit just because they’re different and they just look so good,” she said. “The colors are just amazing and we’ve ordered them in every color.” 

Moore has been happy to see the positive responses as she wasn’t sure how it would go during her first year of selling flowers. It’s gone so well that she already has plans to expand next year. She plans to add a couple 50-foot rows as well as two 75 foot rows for more sunflowers. “I was surprised at how receptive people were. We’ve been getting really good responses,” Moore said of the local florists. “I always said if nothing came of it then we had pretty flowers so it’s a win-win either way.” 

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