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Candied Flowers Bring Premium Prices
Crystallized candied flowers are too expensive for an afternoon snack, but they can be a real draw at special events.
  California farmer John Clemons grows a variety of edible flowers in greenhouses on his 33-acre farm. Some are sold fresh. About half go through a meringue crystallizing process he patented that gives them up to a 2-year shelf life.
  “They are like a sugared potato chip, crunchy and sweet,” says Shanna Johnson, CEO and marketer for Sweetfields, the company that sells the flowers. “We do custom flavors and custom scents. We work with chefs and mixologists to complement their dishes or beverages.”
  With more than 100 edible flower varieties, there are plenty of options. Currently Sweetfields focuses on violas, snapdragons, pansies, mini roses and rose petals. While much of the business is wholesale, individuals can purchase flowers through the website. Prices for SweetCrystal flowers start at $28.75 for 25 violas. Order a mix of 25 flowers for $62.50 or 40 snapdragons for $76.
  For waterproof flowers that float in drinks, Sweetfields offers SweetGlaze packages starting at $39.30 for 15 Snapdragons. To really make a statement, check out the SweetDust flowers sprinkled with 24k gold or silver starting at $52.95 for 15 snapdragons.
  With recent endorsements and articles about Sweetfields in bride, food and drink publications, more bakers, chefs and bartenders are adding flowers to the menu, Johnson says.
  With its patented process, Sweetfields can mass produce the crystallized flowers. They can be refrigerated or frozen and will not absorb moisture.
  As Clemons focuses on growing quality flowers, Johnson works at marketing.
  “It’s a challenge to educate the public about eating flowers. It’s a newer concept,” she says. “But consumers are really starting to catch on.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sweetfields, Inc., 3264 Peg Leg Mine Rd., Jamul, Calif. 91935 (ph 877 987-9338; www.sweetfields.com).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #6