Local women turning flowerbeds in to businesses - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Local women turning flowerbeds in to businesses

Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT
Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT
Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT
Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. Source: WLBT
RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) -

When you purchase a bouquet of flowers, most times they are marked "products of Ecuador, California or Florida, but what if they were all marked 'grown locally in Mississippi'?

Two metro area women have started a campaign to make locally grown cut-flowers the new locally grown product to buy. 

The cut flower industry in Mississippi is a $10 million business.

"When you think about it, you buy flowers for a lot of different reasons," said Donna Yowell. "From weddings, to events, to banquets."

Donna Yowell is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Forest Council and a former flower shop owner. 

Nellie Neal is a flower expert and radio personality.

Together, the women created the Mississippi Grown Cut Flower Association.

Since January, they have been hosting a series of workshops entitled, 'Cut Flowers: Growing for Fun and Profit', at the Mississippi Craft Center. 

Recently, they say, florists have asked for locally grown flowers.

The problem, however, is that the majority of flowers sold on the market in Mississippi are imported.

But almost 90 percent of the flowers imported can be grown in Mississippi and that's why they are encouraging others to get a little soil on their hands and start growing.

"We know that there is a market here," said Neal. "When you go to a farmers market, the first thing that sells out every Saturday are the cut flowers."

Turning a small flower garden into a business might seem a little daunting, but according to Neal, it's not hard to do or expensive to start.

"A pack of any of those beautiful cut flowers, that we're teaching here, have the opportunity to grow for that little price," added Neal.

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