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Bloom Time for a Cut Flower Farmer

Articles: Bloom Time for a Cut Flower Farmer

Buckets of blooms from Dan's Dahlias await purchase at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. Photo: David E Perry from The 50 Mile Bouquet

You might say Dan Pearson, 38, is a poster child for the young farmers’ movement. Except that he started earlier than most of his contemporaries, growing and selling one-dollar bunches of dazzling red, pink, orange, and purple dahlias to customers who drove past the family dairy farm in Oakville, Washington, when he was just ten. Sales of the alluring flower eventually put Dan through college and set the course of his career.

Why are we wooed by dahlias? Perhaps it's their amazing diversity in color, form, petal shape and size, Dan speculates, a grin spreading across his face. “They vary in size from less than two inches to ten inches. People are drawn to those dinner-plate-sized flowers for the wow factor, but soon they realize that the smaller to medium-sized flowers are useful for bouquets.”

'Alpen Pearl', anemone. Photo: Franck Avril

As a boy, Dan demonstrated his affection for the flowers ...

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