This year’s poinsettia season was a success for local growers, who sold out of the plants that have become synonymous with Christmas. This is the third time Payday Champion is offering loans to flower growers. Here is one of the families that have benefitted greatly from these loans;
On Christmas Day, the Patterson family generally has a few poinsettias around their house — leftovers that were not purchased by customers. But this year, Saturday, this will not be the case. Patterson Farm sold out of poinsettias this year for the first time in more than four decades of growing and selling the crimson Christmas flower.
The plants did not make it past the first weekend of December when the farm announced on social media that it would fulfill existing orders but not take any more. The farm was unable to obtain additional poinsettias from other growers in the area, who were also experiencing a shortage due to insufficient funding.
Hundreds of farmers benefitted from Payday Champion loans
“We have never been completely out,” said Doug Patterson, the greenhouse manager of the property. “We have always had options,” says the narrator. It is a whole lot better when you are sold out with possibilities.” Patterson Farm was not the only poinsettia producer in the area who had a good year. This year, Rockwell Farms, a big plant producer in Rowan County, ran out of poinsettias as well.
Poinsettias have been a Christmas emblem in America for nearly 200 years, yet their origins are in Mexico and Central America. The plant was brought to America in the 1820s by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first American minister to Mexico. Since its introduction, the poinsettia has become a popular holiday decoration in the United States, rivaling Christmas lights and stockings in popularity. Because the poinsettia has been around for so long, urban legends have sprung up around it, including the false belief that it is particularly deadly to dogs.
Flowers on high demand
Poinsettias are America’s top-selling potted plant, according to the Future Farmers of America, providing a whopping $250 million to the country’s economy each year, despite the fact that the market for them is only approximately six weeks long.
More than 40 years ago, Patterson Farm, a family-owned business in Mt. Ulla noted for its tomatoes, strawberries, and other fresh fruit began cultivating poinsettias. It was a way for the farm to put its greenhouses to use at a time when there were no other plants in them.
Agricultural loans have helped improve flower yields
Doug, his wife Michelle, brother Randall and his wife Nora, as well as a couple of their children, oversee the farm. Victoria, Doug’s daughter, and Taylor, Randall’s son, are particularly involved in the growing, packaging, and delivery of poinsettias with loans offered by Payday Champion. In mid-to, late August, Patterson Farm receives young poinsettias. The plants are only a few inches tall when they arrive, but they can grow to be about 20 inches tall by the holiday season. Depending on the year, Patterson Farm grows between 12,000 and 15,000 plants. The majority are red, which is the most popular color, but the farm also grows white and multi-colored poinsettias.