Debra Prinzing

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Episode 422: Flower Math with Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business, plus, our state focus: Pennsylvania

October 9th, 2019

Alison Ellis photographed while designing in Vermont (c) Sarah Collier, Taken by Sarah

Late last month, I traveled to Vermont – my second trip to this beautiful state in 2019. Earlier this year you heard my interview with Tom Jennings of Green Mountain Florist Supply — an independent, full-service wholesale hub serving much of New England. I interviewed Tom after teaching creative writing as part of their spring workshop series.

This time, I returned to Burlington, Vermont, to be part of The Floral Fieldtrip, held at Mountain Flower Farm where owner Walt Krukowski grows exquisite cut flowers for the professional florist — from peonies to hydrangeas. Walt shared his flowers and his knowledge with the attendees during a two-day visit to his fields.

Alison’s “Flower Math” presentation at the recent Vermont workshop (c) Sarah Collier, Taken by Sarah

Several other instructors also presented, including Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore and Mary-Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet, organizers of the event (and past guests of this Podcast). I gave a Slow Flowers update and led the designers and flower farmers through a creative writing exercise. And today’s guest, Alison Ellis, a local Vermont florist and owner of Floral Artistry, presented “All Things Pricing,” a mini-version of her popular Flower Math course.

In the classroom at Knoll Farm; in the flower fields at Mountain Flower Farm – both in Vermont (c) Sarah Collier, Taken by Sarah

I’ve known Allison mostly through social media over the years and I’ve watched how her business of teaching and education has really grown. We also share a fun connection through Florists’ Review, where I’m a contributing editor and Alison is a regular business columnist.

I couldn’t skip the opportunity to record an in-person conversation with Alison to share with you. Lately, I’ve been in conversation with many of you about the term “Sustainable,” and in addition to having sustainable practices in our businesses, I strongly believe the term also applies to ensuring florist and flower farmers are SUSTAINED by their businesses; that they are paid a living wage and compensated fairly for the beauty they bring to the world.

Alison is one of the people helping make that happen, especially as she coaches others how to build profitability into their flowers.

She loves her job! Alison Ellis, photographed at Knoll Farm (c) Sarah Collier, Taken by Sarah

A New Jersey native, Alison took her first floral design class when she was in 5th grade. (Even at that young age, she was hooked.)

She moved to Vermont to attend the University of Vermont, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Plant & Soil Science and a minor in Small Business. While attending school, Alison was a buyer and designer at a busy flower shop; and then, after working for a few florists in the Burlington area, as well as on an organic flower farm, she realized it was time to branch out on her own. She founded Floral Artistry in 2002.

Alison is also founder of realflowerbusiness.com and creator of Flower Math. She teaches florists around the world how to increase their income and have more freedom in their business; how to maximize profits and establish a long lasting brand.

Through her online courses, private & group coaching, and free videos, she’s helped thousands of florists streamline their business processes and make more money.

Alison’s videos and articles are featured in leading industry publications including Florists’ Review Magazine, FlirtyFleurs.com, BotanicalBrouhaha.com, and Mornings With Mayesh. In addition, she’s taught at The Chapel Designer’s Conference at Hope Flower Farm and The Floral Reserve in Providence, RI.

Alison says: “I love flowers, but cannot pick a favorite! Irises, poppies, orchids, ranunculus, roses, delphinium, clematis, dahlias…whatever’s growing in my garden right now!….They’re all my favorite. I can still remember the first bridal bouquet I ever made in 2001. (All white roses.) 2019 marks my 18th wedding season. And finally, I love my job.”

Download and read Alison’s free e-book: “Everything I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Business.”

Find and follow Alison at these social places:

Real Flower Business on Facebook

Real Flower Business on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today with Alison Ellis. We had a great time together in Vermont and I want to thank Kelly, Mary Kate and Walt for their amazing hospitality. You’ll see more photos from that tour in my December article about the Mountain Flower Farm — stay tuned.

Katie Smaglinski of The Rustic Bunch, our Pennsylvania guest in the Fifty States of Slow Flowers series

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Katie Smaglinski of The Rustic Bunch in Leesport, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

A bridal bouquet, grown and designed by The Rustic Bunch

Katie and Jason Smaglinski own The Rustic Bunch, a business that stemmed from a love of colorful blooms, a dedicated gardener and the joy that a fresh bouquet brings. Located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Katie and Jason are commited to providing locally grown and the freshest imaginable flowers to their community.

They happily deliver within Berks County and the surrounding area and have traveled to service weddings and events in Lehigh Valley, Lancaster/York, Philadelphia and the Poconos, even Delaware and NJ. The Rustic Bunch received the 2018 Best of Berks Award from Berks County Living Magazine.

The Rustic Bunch’s market bouquets for Pennsylvania flower lovers

Find and follow The Rustic Bunch at these social places:

The Rustic Bunch on Facebook

The Rustic Bunch on Instagram

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 526,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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 mayesh.com.  

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse in today’s show notes or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Sage the Hunter (rhythmic); Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 421: Patience Pickner and Ace Berry, two AIFD florists, on choosing local and domestic flowers for their Inspired Design Retreat, plus, our state focus: Oregon

October 2nd, 2019

Ace Berry and Patience Pickner
On location with the co-founders and collaborators of Inspired Design Retreat, Ace Berry and Patience Pickner

Join my fun conversation with two fascinating talents and frequent collaborators, Patience Pickner and Ace Berry.

Patience and Ace are both business owners and educators. Both are award-winning designers and members of AIFD. They travel the country with the goal of inspiring other floral artists to be the very best version of themselves.  

Ace Berry, AIFD, PFCI and TMF, is from the Houston area and is the owner of Fulshear Floral Design Gifts and Decor in Fulshear, Texas.

An early experience delivering flowers as a teenager returned Ace to the profession after he was laid off from an oil industry job in 2007. He devoted himself to his lifelong passion: creating beautiful flower arrangements to make people happy, and twelve years later, Ace was named the 2019 “Texas Floral Designer of the Year.” He is known for his high style funeral and wedding designs.

Patience Pickner, AIFD, PFCI and SDCF is from Chamberlain, South Dakota, a picturesque little town nestled on the banks of the Missouri River. She owns The Picket Fence, a full-service florist and gift shop outside of Sioux Falls, which specializes in romantic weddings and organic Sympathy and every day designs.

Patience purchased a failing flower shop in 1998 and quickly turned it around by specializing in great customer service, fresh flowers and unique designs — and by adding a large selection of home decor and accents.  The Picket Fence is now a destination boutique in central South Dakota, with more than 4,000 square feet of showroom.  

Patience has been active with South Dakota Floral Association, serving on the board for many years, currently as  immediate past president. She is also a past president for the Minndakota unit of Teleflora,and is currently the past-President Elect for the North Central Chapter of AIFD.  Patience has been awarded the South Dakota Floral Associations Designer of the Year 3 times. She was inducted into AIFD and PFCI in 2011, and is also a AIFD certified judge/evaluator.

Inspired Design Retreat
A beautiful installation at Inspired Design Retreat, a workshop produced by today’s guests, Patience Pickner and Ace Berry, which features South Dakota-grown, midwest-grown and American-grown blooms.
Another floral piece from the recent Inspired Design Retreat, co-founded by Patience Pickner and Ace Berry

Patience and Ace co-founded Inspired Design, a design team that spreads their love and passion of floral art across the country, through their educational floral bootcamps, retreats, stage programs and Hands-on classes.   

I’m delighted that Inspired Design has joined Slow Flowers as a member and that Ace and Patience share my passion for promoting local, seasonal and domestic flowers to their students.

Find and follow these guests and their creative endeavors:

Patience Pickner/The Picket Fence on Facebook

Patience Pickner/The Picket Fence on Instagram

Ace Berry/Fulshear Floral Design on Facebook

Ace Berry/Fulshear Floral Design on Instagram

Inspired Design on Facebook

Inspired Design on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining my conversation Ace and Patience. Right after we recorded this interview on September 28th, Ace and I were both inducted into the Society of American Florists’ Professional Floral Communicators International, joining Patience and dozens of others who previously achieved this credential. For me, the recognition of being included in PFCI means having a platform to educate and encourage others to embrace the Slow Flowers Movement, especially those in the broader floral profession and marketplace who may only recently have learned that domestic, local and seasonal flowers and sustainable practices are an important business niche and platform.

As we discussed, Ace and Patience have just announced their newest Inspired Design Retreat, which will take place March 30 through April 1, 2020, at HighPointe Estate in Liberty Hill, Texas outside Austin — and YES, Texas-grown flowers will be showcased along with other US-grown blooms and botanicals. 

Julie and Duane Schiedler of Celebrate the Seasons in Bend Oregon
Julie and Duane Schiedler of Celebrate the Seasons in Bend, Oregon

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today as we visit Oregon and meet Julie Schiedler, who owns Celebrate the Season along with her husband Duane Schiedler.

They call their business a “flower garden nursery,” and it’s located in the beautiful destination and tourist community of Bend.

beautiful flower rows at Celebrate the Seasons in Bend, Oregon
Stunning rows of cut flowers are flourishing just steps from Julie’s design studio.

I was lucky enough to visit Bend in August, tagging along on a business trip with my husband, Bruce. And of course, I invited myself to meet Julie and Duane and see their flowers and  design studio, and to record this Oregon spotlight as part of our 2019 Fifty States of Slow Flowers series:

Find and follow Celebrate the Season at these social places:

Celebrate the Season on Facebook

Celebrate the Season on Instagram

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

Thank you so much for joining me today!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 524,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com and check out my past articles featuring the wisdom and voices of flower farmers.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time.

And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Rue Severine; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 420: Pamela Parker of JP Parker Flowers – on combining full-service retail & event florals with an Indiana flower farm, plus, our state focus: Oklahoma

September 25th, 2019

Pamela Parker of JP Parker Flowers, Indiana florist, event designer, retailer and flower farmer

I recorded this week’s episode while I was attending the 2019 Society of American Florists conference on Amelia Island, Florida. Before I left on this journey, I remember thinking to myself: “I will find a great guest for there to invite onto the Slow Flowers Podcast. And guess what? That is exactly what happened.

During flower farming season, you can find Pam in the fields more than in one of her two shops. Here, she’s touring the peony fields.

On my first morning there, I was seated in the back row of a presentation on editing photos for social media. I struck up a conversation with a woman next to me as we compared notes on Instagram. I leaned forward to look at her name badge and read: Pamela Parker-Tucker, JP Parker Flowers, Indianapolis, Indiana. “Pam, I exclaimed, It’s so nice to meet you – I’m Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers.”

I had a pretty good idea that she would know who I was because we have a mutual friend, Jo Ellen Myers Sharp, a long-time professional colleague and friend through my garden writing life. Jo Ellen is a popular Indianapolis garden writer, editor and columnist. She had told me about Pam Parker, a very successful florist in her city who also owned a local flower farm.

Well, once we figured out our connection, Pam and I continued the conversation. That led to her joining me today on the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Sunflowers — 300,000 of them each season!

Here’s a bit more about Pam’s story, excerpted from J.P. Parker Flowers’ web site:

After working in the floral industry for thirteen years in Minneapolis, Pam returned to Indiana to live on the family farm. A third generation farmer, Pam developed her love of flowers and growing from her deep Indiana roots. J P Parker Flowers was born when her sister, Janet, became her first employee. They began growing flowers such as sunflowers, alliums and zinnias on the family farm. While Pam enjoyed growing flowers, she missed the corporate and event floral work she had been involved in Minneapolis. She had produced major projects for clients such as General Mills and as a personal designer for the Pillsbury family.

In 1986, Pam decided to follow her passion and return to event and corporate flowers.

As you’ll hear us discuss in this episode, JP Parker Flowers made its local debut in the event industry by decorating Indianapolis’ Historic Union Station.

A JP Parker & Co.-grown and designed arrangement

The executives of Union Station invited a handful of talented designers from across Indiana to compete for a highly sought after opportunity to design and decorate the venue for the Holidays. With nothing more than a mind full of ideas and a briefcase in hand, Pam beat out the competition and landed the contract. In a few short months, she and Janet assembled a makeshift team, and they handily completed this enormous task.

With the well deserved recognition for their décor and design work at Union Station, JP Parker Flowers truly began to blossom. Among their décor accomplishments: the Pan Am Games and the 100 year anniversary of the Columbia Club. After opening a storefront first in Franklin, Indiana, they then branched out to their Indianapolis location in 2008.

Success with numerous corporate clients soon led to weddings and after several exciting years Pam felt she had come full circle when she returned to Union Station to produce a large event for Super Bowl XLI in 2012.

Pam is still the owner of JP Parker Flowers, but the crew has grown to 26 talented designers and dedicated employees. The goal of JP Parker remains providing beautiful custom designs and excellence in customer service with a personal touch.

Thousands of Indiana peonies!

On top of all this, J. P. Parker Flowers is deeply rooted in Indiana’s agricultural history. Part of Pam’s heart and love of flowers resides at the family farm, where literally thousands of flowers grow each year. The farm is full of beautiful field crops during the growing season. In addition to sourcing local flowers from the Parker Family Fields, JP Parker Flowers buys from other area flower farmers, too.

I’m delighted to welcome Pamela Parker to our Slow Flowers Community – as she has just joined us as a new member.

The JP Parker Flower Farm

You can find and follow JP Parker Flowers at these social places:

JP Parker Flowers on Facebook

JP Parker Flowers on Instagram

JP Parker Flowers on Pinterest

Thank you so much for joining me today and learning from a very experienced retail florist who has built her entire business on the origins of flower farming.

The fact that I came to last week’s conference with no guest lined up for today’s show . . . and that I miraculously found myself there, seated next to someone who I’ve been wanting to recruit into our community, well, that was pure kismet. Pam referred to her “luck of the irish woman,” so I’ll claim that for myself – I’m ¼ Irish, after all.

You never know where and who I’ll bump into my next guest – and it could be you!

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Terri Barr of Wild Lark Farm. Located about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa, in Claremore, Oklahoma, Wild Lark Farm’s tagline is: SEASONAL CUT FLOWERS FROM THE HEART OF GREEN COUNTRY

Wild Lark Farm is a small family farm committed to growing specialty and heirloom flowers. By using a mindset of sustainability, Terri is focused on the best of what Oklahoma has to offer – from mid-May to the end of October.

She says: “Flowers are what we love to do. They lift spirits and bring joy to countless lives, and we are honored to be a part of it. All of our flowers are grown using organic methods which promote a healthy environment for both people and pollinators. In keeping with the nature of Oklahoma farmers, we strive to make the land better than we found it.”

Thanks so much for listening today! You can find and follow Wild Lark Farm at these social places:

Wild Lark Farm on Facebook

Wild Lark Farm on Instagram

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 522,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community

FarmersWeb software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. By lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, reduce errors, and work with more buyers overall. Learn more at www.farmersweb.com

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Glass Beads; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 419: Meet Slow Flowers’ youngest member, 18-year-old farmer-florist Mary Schaefbauer of Sonnenblume Flower Farm & Design, plus, our state focus: Ohio

September 18th, 2019

I want to introduce you to Mary Schaefbauer of Brainerd, Minnesota, a compelling young floral entrepreneur who is using her passion for Slow Flowers to build an impressive name for herself.

As you’ll hear in today’s episode, I met Mary when she attended a July 2018 meet-up hosted by Twin Cities Flower Exchange in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sonnenblume is the German word for Sunflower, which happens to be one of Mary’s favorite flowers to grow and design with

Mary’s story struck me as one I wish I had lived. Since her early teenage years, she has been driven to become a floral designer. And because she couldn’t afford to buy flowers with which to design, Mary started growing flowers on her family’s property — flowers that soon became more than just art supplies for a self-taught designer. Soon, a business emerged, one that serves her local community of Minnesota’s “Lakes District,” a vibrant destination wedding and tourism region.

Unique and beautiful: Grown and designed by Mary Schaefbauer

Sonnenblume Flower Farm and Design is a full-service floral design studio and flower farm in Brainerd, Minnesota. The flower farm is nestled in the old hay field behind Mary’s family’s home. The land is surrounded by forest and meadow, and is the perfect place to grow more than 40 types of flowers and hundreds of cultivars that supply customers whose flower needs range from weddings and events, everyday floral designs, farmers markets, and more.

Another take on sunflowers

Mary Schaefbauer is committed to customer satisfaction, delight, and education. She writes this on her web site: “I strive to use only the highest-quality local flowers, the most interesting and delightful varieties, and to educate customers about the joy of flowers through community outreach.”

She continues: “Sonnenblume floral designs are a celebration of color and texture. The flowers grown here on the farm come in a wide range of hues, allowing for beautiful tonal color combinations in each arrangement. I also love using a variety of textural elements, which are what make my designs so interesting and pleasing to the eye.I choose flowers that are unique and unusual, so I can surprise my customers with flowers they might never have seen before.

A playful bouquet by Mary Schaefbauer

“My designs have been described as romantic, natural, organic and different. People love how many different kinds of flowers there are in each arrangement, and how no two arrangements are ever the same.

A seasonal arrangement with lots of elements!

Find and follow Mary Schaefenbauer at these social places:

Sonnenblume Flowers on Facebook

Sonnenblume Flowers on Instagram

Mary poses with one of her lush, dreamy bouquets

Thank you so much for joining my conversation with Mary Schaefbauer. As you heard, she is hoping to freelance outside of Minnesota this coming winter and early spring. Having experienced her as a volunteer at the Slow Flowers Summit in St. Paul this past summer, I’m a big fan of Mary and her work ethic, maturity, creativity and personality.

You may want to invite her to work with you for a specific event or season. Mary is the future of the Slow Flowers Movement and I draw great comfort and encouragement knowing her.

Flowers from Rooster Ridge Farm in Bryan, Ohio

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Teresa Brown of Rooster Ridge Farms in Bryan, Ohio. From seed to bloom, Teresa grows and designs with flowers she loves, but also flowers that are unique and heirloom. Rooster Ridge offers beautifully fresh cut flowers through various channels, including supplying wholesale flowers to florist and serving local customers from the farm’s small design studio Seasonal floral subscriptions and delivery service is available.

Wedding florals by Teresa Brown of Rooster Ridge Farm

Find and follow Rooster Ridge Farms:

Rooster Ridge Farm on Facebook

Rooster Ridge Farm on Instagram

Rooster Ridge’s high tunnel filled with beautiful lisianthus

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 518,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

We’re so grateful for two recent donations from listeners who shared their love and support. Thank you to Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas and Gholson Gardens – a Slow Flowers member and past Podcast guest who wrote: “I love the show, your work, your enthusiasm and all the inspiration you put into this world and our industry. And I had a great August, so wanted to share. Keep on keepin’ on!”

And thank you to aspiring Mississippi grower Mary Beth David who sent this note with her contribution: “Thank you for the hours of learning and entertainment with the Slower Flowers podcast!” 

We are so grateful for our listener support. It’s a blessing!

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

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 mayesh.com.  

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse in today’s show notes or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Photographed at Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, Wash. (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Spunk Lit; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 418: A visit to Utah’s emerging cut flower community with Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms; plus, our state focus North Dakota

September 11th, 2019

Laura Pittard (right) of Poppin’ Blossoms, today’s guest, recently hosted my visit to her flower fields in Orem, Utah

I just returned from a short trip to Salt Lake City, where I attended the GardenComm annual conference, the gathering of professional garden communicators with which I’ve long been affiliated.

dahlia fields at Poppin' Blossoms
Dahlia Fields at Poppin’ Blossoms

I’ve known I would be traveling to Salt Lake in early September for quite a while — and I also knew I wanted to visit today’s guest while there. You see, Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms was the first Utah member of Slow Flowers.

Laura Pittard at Rose Design Workshop
Laura designing with roses at All My Thyme in Mt. Vernon, Washington (c) Becca Johnson of B. Johnson Photography

She joined a few years ago after we originally met in 2016 at Red Daisy Farm outside Denver. Laura was new to flower growing and she was pretty isolated as one of the first growers in her region, so I was doubly impressed that she flew to Denver to network with others at the Slow Flowers meet-up and BBQ hosted by Red Daisy’s Megan McGuire for Colorado flower farmers and florists. Laura and I reconnected on several other occasions – at conferences and workshops — and earlier this year, I was able to feature Poppin’ Blossoms’ profile and flowers in Florists’ Review’s Rocky Mountain-themed issue.

Poppin’ Blossoms’ dahlias are featured in a beautiful bridal bouquet (c) Bobbi Tolman Photography

Laura and her family (including husband Brian and son Grayson) welcomed me to Poppin’ Blossoms in Orem, Utah, about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City. We started off by recording this episode, followed by an informal gathering as seven local flower farmers and farmer-florists joined us for a tour of Laura’s beautiful growing fields. We enjoyed a great discussion over lunch, which Laura provided.

For me, it was an honor to witness the emerging and exciting local floral scene in Utah. There are many talented folks doing community-focused and collaborative projects — and I hope to feature some of them on upcoming episodes.

These photos bring back memories of meeting up with Laura in 2018 at the Rose Design workshop held on All My Thyme farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington (c) B. Jones Photography

Please enjoy this conversation with Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms. Laura’s mission is to supply her marketplace and community with the highest quality, premier specialty cut flowers. In my opinion, she has already reached that level of excellence — and the future is rosy as the momentum can only grow for local, seasonal and bespoke cut flowers.

Find and follow Poppin’ Blossoms at these social places:

Poppin’ Blossoms on Facebook

Poppin’ Blossoms on Instagram

Poppin’ Blossoms on Pinterest

Download a PDF of the Rocky Mountain-themed “Slow Flowers Journal” section that includes a piece on Poppin’ Blossoms

05_Slow Flowers Journal_FR

The emerging Utah flower farming community gathered at Poppin’ Blossoms on September 7th. I’m so glad I met everyone!

So happy we visited Utah — and a special shout-out of thanks to Laura for hosting our Slow Flowers meet-up. I’ve written a recap of my visit to Poppin’ Blossoms and the wonderful group of kindred spirits I met last Saturday. We now have five members in Utah, representing the exciting shift towards seasonal and locally-grown flowers serving everyone from farmers’ market customers and CSA subscribers to wedding florists and event designers.

Tammy Krein, photographed at the recent Inspired Design Retreat, courtesy of Patience Pickner and Ace Berry

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Tammy Krein of Ken’s Flower Shop in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Tammy Krein’s designs using all domestic flowers, photographed at the Inspired Design Retreat.

Ken’s is a local, full-service floral retailer based in the state capital of Bismarck. Tammy purchased an established shop in 2001 and decided to retain its original branding, although she has put her own spin on the business, developing a loyal customer base.

Bridal flowers by Ken’s Flower Shop and owner Tammy Krein

I first learned about Tammy through one of our South Dakota members, floral designer and educator Patience Pickner, and through Jason Lenz of Minnesota-based Len Busch Roses, which supplies Ken’s Flower Shop and others with a regular flow of fresh, high quality midwest-grown blooms on its delivery route through North Dakota. You’ll hear Tammy and I discuss the challenges to sourcing local flowers faced by a florist like her, located in a northern state (wedged between Minnesota and Montana, and sharing its entire northern border with Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Inspired Design by Tammy Krein

Find and follow Tammy Krein at these social places:

Ken’s Flower Shop on Instagram

Ken’s Flower Shop on Facebook

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 515,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com.

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Bombadore; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessionshttp://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 417: Meet Hometown Flower Collective – a Mobile and Digital Florist on Long Island

September 4th, 2019

Jaclyn Rutigliano and Marc Iervolino of Hometown Flower Collective (c) Hometown Flower Co.

Jaclyn Rutigliano of Hometown Flower Collective is today’s guest. During our conversation, you’ll hear us trying to recall how we originally connected. And finally, while writing this intro, I searched my email archives to find the back story of how Jaclyn and I really did meet!

A new concept (with a twist) for Long Island floral customers — the mobile flower truck that comes to you! (c) Erica Schroeder photography

In March 2015, she reached out to me via the Slow Flowers “contact us” form. She wrote:

Hi there, I handle public relations and communications for the slow fashion brand Zady (Zady.com) and we are currently coordinating our events for Fashion Revolution Day and Earth Day. 

I am wondering if there is someone I can speak with about possibly bringing in a slow flowers aspect to our events. 

I would love to connect and look forward to hearing from you.

Long Island-grown flowers on the “baby blue” mobile flower shop (c) Erica Schroeder photography

That email led to a long phone call during which Jaclyn brought me up to speed on slow fashion and I brought her up to speed on slow flowers — and we discussed some possible cross-promotions and collaborations. In her follow-up note to me, Jaclyn signed off with these comments:

I am going to spend a ton of time digging into your site  but if you have any other initial suggestions for where I can begin to tackle these issues from the retail and floral design standpoint, I would love to look into that for my parents. Who knows- maybe I will take on the family business one day after all! 

Fast-forward to this past January and I again heard from Jaclyn. It was long after her gig with Zady ended and many years after my Field to Vase Dinner Tour consulting that we referenced. But of course I remembered her immediately.

Hometown Flower Collective’s web site

This time, Jaclyn had some news that delighted me:

Happy New Year and I hope this finds you well. You likely don’t remember but we had emailed nearly four years ago at my previous job when I was representing a company called Zady which was focused on the sustainable fashion movement. I am from a family of florists and when I heard about your slow flowers movement, it really resonated with me and you were kind enough to provide some additional reading materials for me to further educate myself. 

From Long Island flower farms to Long Island floral customers (c) Francesca Russell photography

Years later, my husband and I are in the planning stages to open up our own business . . . possibly a mixed use retail space which will have the retail arm of my parents’ floral event design business. I am keen to approach this differently as currently, I don’t believe there is any florist in Long Island focused on locally sourced flowers. I really want to provide artistically designed flowers that embrace natural beauty, lesser known flowers, greens, naturally grown varieties, etc. And it would be great to source these within a 50 mile radius or at least domestically. Our business will be focused on a tight inventory to minimize waste and to embrace what is readily available. 

I would love to receive some guidance in terms of identifying the right farmers, varieties, the questions to ask, etc. It will be easy for me to follow the same path of my family and just source product from a regular importer but I would love to support local small farmers and source directly- though there are concerns about the cost associated. We are even considering planting our own flowers as well.

Anyways, I’m not sure if you do this or are speaking anywhere on the east coast in the future but I would love to learn from you to help get on the right foot.

Hometown Flower Collective offers a floral subscription (left) and festive, floral-focused events (right) (c) Hometown Flower Collective photographs

It’s so wonderful how people can come into your life for what looks like one reason – only to learn from that experience that we can’t even predict how we influence and inspire one another. Hearing from Jaclyn four years later was an affirmation that all the messages and information I put out into the marketplace about flower sourcing and sustainable practices doesn’t land on deaf ears! When the timing was right, she eagerly devoured the mission of Slow Flowers.

Hometown Flower Collective’s beach-inspired flower crown party and feast (c) Christie Monteleone

Not only has Jaclyn absorbed these Slow Flowers concepts but she has put her entirely personal spin on them. Along with her husband Marc Iervolino, they launched Hometown Flower Collective earlier this year on Mother’s Day weekend, in fact. Their hometown is Huntington, New York – on Long Island. These two Long Island natives and residents are running Hometown Flower Collective as a family operation with their two daughters, August and Sage. Jaclyn’s the ones with her arms up in flowers, overseeing the floral designs, creative marketing, and branding for the company. Marc oversees the day-to-day business operations and logistics. Here’s a fun fact: they are two Leos who share the same birthday and a bold mission to shape a better future for their children and community.

More from the beach party (c) Christie Monteleone

Jaclyn and Marc write this on their web site:
Hometown Flower Collective connects people who love flowers with the local farmers who grow them. A new take on the traditional neighborhood florist, Hometown Flower Collective offers fresh, local varieties delivered right to your doorstep through monthly subscriptions, and through its vintage pick-up truck, Baby Blue, a 1976 Ford F-100, re-imagined to become Long Island’s first mobile flower truck.

The “baby blue” flower truck is party-ready! (c) Christie Monteleone

Our mission is simple: to encourage people to look no further than their hometowns to find beauty grown nearby, and to provide access to locally-grown varieties in places where our farmers are typically unable to consistently reach. Inspired by a third generation flower designer’s experience growing up around the floral industry and witnessing how removed consumers and retailers were from where and how their flowers were sourced, Hometown Flower Co. was founded with a strong desire to change the status quo and encourage people to embrace their roots.

Please enjoy this conversation and listen for some very useful tips from Jaclyn on how to interest the local media in your floral enterprise. I’m inspired and energized by Jaclyn and Marc’s story and I hope you can draw at least one wonderful branding tip or marketing technique from our conversation to enhance your efforts.

Social media, collateral material, messaging and education — all have helped launch Hometown Flower Collective in their marketplace (c) Francesca Russell photography

Find and follow Hometown Flower Collective at these social places:

Find HFC on Facebook

Discover HFC on Instagram

See more pretty from HFC on Pinterest

We’re taking a little hiaitus from our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – I’m committed to recruiting a North Dakota guest for you  and we just need another week to pull that off!

We learn so much when we gather together! This photo was taken at the August 28th Slow Flowers Summer Soiree for members in the Oregon & Washington area (c) Missy Palacol Photography

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

FarmersWeb. FarmersWeb software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. By lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, reduce errors, and work with more buyers overall. Learn more at www.farmersweb.com

Local dahias from Laughing Goat Farm, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden, arranged by Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore (c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 513,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
 
Lahaina; Flagger; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
 
In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com