By Ines Kagubare The Joplin Globe, Mo.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 16 year old Abby Meyer has created a steady flower business where she plants, grows and sells her own mums.
It all began her freshman year of high school when Abby Meyer, 16, decided to take over her uncle's business of growing and selling mums.
Two years later, Abby is her own boss. She plants, grows and sells mums on her own, although sometimes her parents help her in the field or give her suggestions, she said.
This season, Abby grew 400 mums and sold nearly 350 within the past two weeks.
She prices them between $10 to $12 per pot, and makes deliveries throughout Newton and Jasper counties. On Saturday mornings in the fall, she is a fixture at the Neosho Farmers Market.
She said her customers seem shocked at her endeavor.
"They're like, 'I didn't think that a 16-year-old girl could do this on her own,'" she said.
She ordered eight colors of mums at Grimes Horticulture in Springfield and bought about 1,500 pounds of soil.
The mums, which come in flats of 50 plugs, were planted in pots at the end of May.
Once planted, the pots go on a drip-irrigation system she uses to fertilize them every other day with an injector. She also waters them every day for two hours.
It takes about two to three days to do the planting. Four months later, Abby says, the mums are blossomed and ready to be sold.
"I can't believe they started that little," she said of the plants that now are gigantic.
She said she sells two shades of red, lavender, gold, pink, burnt orange, yellow and white. Selling season began at the end of September and will end at the end of October.
Aside from her flowering business, the junior class member plays volleyball at Seneca High School and is also a member of the Future Farmers of America through her school.
After she graduates, she would like to go into the nursing field, but also continue to grow and sell mums when she can.
"Once I started selling, I realized how much I liked them and how pretty they were," she said. "I plan on doing this for as long as I possibly can."
Abby Meyer said she has made about $3,000 this season. Last season, she made about $2,500 and, after paying her bills, was able to buy herself a truck.