Q and A with Lindsey McCullough of Red Twig Farms

US (OH): "The first week, we sent almost 900 boxes of flowers"

Red Twig Farms is a returning Slow Flowers Summit sponsor this year as one of two Presenting Sponsors. Debra Prinzing recently spoke with Lindsey McCullough, who operates Red Twig Farms along with her husband and flower farmer Josh McCullough, for an update on their activities.

What is the niche at Red Twig Farms?
"We're known for tulips, peonies, and at the holidays, dogwood and willow branches. We are expanding the nursery side of the business to sell what we grow, including dahlia tubers, tulip bulbs, peony plants, and bare root peonies," Lindsey explains.

In the past few years, Red Twig Farms seems to have rapidly transitioned from a local cut flower farm to a national, direct-from-the-farm, online store. How did that happen?
"Yes! We went from having a Peony Festival and selling one-thousand potted peony plants in two days to now, literally shipping our peonies, bulbs, bare roots, and tubers all across the United States."

Did you ship much previously?
"Red Twig Farm had shipped before to a couple of florists, but nothing of any volume and nothing direct to consumer. With branches, you're not worried about the heat blowing open the blooms. Fresh flowers are a different challenge."

How did you crack the code on shipping fresh flowers?
"We joined CalFlowers to immediately get their FedEx discount rate. We picked a lot of brains among our Alaska peony farming buddies about how they ship. We figured out shipping tulips, and the first week, I think we sent almost 900 boxes."

The Tulip Program you started during COVID. Did you continue it this year?
"Yes, we sold almost all of our inventory again through the Donate Tulips From a Stranger to a Stranger. Besides that, we offer 10-stem tulip bunches for $10 or $12, and some people purchased strictly for a donation or bought one bunch for themselves and one for a donation."

When do you ship the peony roots?
"We sell peonies starting in January for March and April shipping, and then we open up online orders later for fall shipping," Lindsey added. "The tulip, alliums, and daffodil bulbs are shipped in the fall, and the dahlia tubers are shipped in early spring."

For more information:
Slow Flowers Summit
www.slowflowerssummit.com


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