Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Episode 606: The Profitability Sweet Spot for Selling to Wholesale Florists with Jessie Witscher of Vermont’s Understory Farm  

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

Last month I participated in the Spring Educational and Workshop Series presented by Green Mountain Floral Supply in Burlington, Vermont. It was a Slow Flowers love fest, bringing me together with Tom and Kim Jennings, owners of Green Mountain; Jayson Munn, seminar coordinator; Holly Chapple, who taught floral design and business workshops for three days; and today’s guest, local Vermont flower farmer Jessie Witscher, co-owner with her partner Gregory Witscher of Understory Farm — all Slow Flowers members.

Jessie Witscher by Jenna Brisson
Jessie Witscher, photographed by Jenna Brisson at Green Mountain Floral Supply
Understory Farm
A bird’s eye view of the beautiful Understory Farm

Jessie was invited to share about her flower farm, and to discuss growing premium specialty cut flowers to supply Green Mountain. We also heard a presentation by farmer-florist Abby Matson of Diddle & Zen, also located in the Burlington area. I took advantage of a free day to invite both Jessie and Abby to record conversations to share with you. We’ll hear from Abby in a few weeks, but today, you’re in for a treat to learn from Jessie.

Drone image of the flower fields at Understory Farm
A stunning drone image of the flower fields at Understory Farm

We’ll learn how Jessie and Gregory do the math to calculate profitability for their mostly wholesale-focused operation. Nearly 80 percent of their flowers include wholesale channels to Green Mountain Floral Supply and to two grocery coops in their region. If you’ve always wondered how to make it work, learning from Jessie’s insights is a great place to start.

Grocery bouquets from Understory Farm
Grocery bouquets from Understory Farm

Find and follow Understory Farm on Instagram and Facebook

Understory Farm Newsletter signup

FarmFirst Peer Support Network

Slow Flowers News

Johnny's Seeds Webinar Graphics

In other news, if you’re a Southeastern flower grower, you’re invited to Join Slow Flowers +Johnny’s Selected Seeds at attend a free webinar on April 27th (2 pm Pacific/5 pm Eastern). I’ll be co-hosting the session with Johnny’s Seeds’ Flower Product Manager Hillary Alger for a discussion on what it means to grow flowers in the challenging climatic conditions of the southern United States.

Our guest panel of experienced Slow Flowers members are cut-flower growers from Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. We’ll hear their farming stories firsthand and discuss regional growing challenges, lessons learned, and their favorite varieties. You’ll meet and learn from them:

Rita Anders, Cuts of Color, Weimar, Texas

Eileen Tongson, FarmGal Flowers, Orlando, Florida

Taij & Victoria Cotten, Cotten Picked, Pittsboro, North Carolina

Julia Keel, Full Keel Farm, Fort White, Florida

The webinar is free and you can sign up at the link below.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at

Thank you to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at

Thank you to Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details is here to improve profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music credits:

Drone Pine; Enter the Room; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field