Debra Prinzing

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ASCFG #3: Pamela Arnosky on Selling Your Flowers to Groceries (Episode 169)

November 26th, 2014

Veteran flower farmer and industry leader Pamela Arnosky, of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers.

Veteran flower farmer and industry leader Pamela Arnosky, of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers.

Today’s episode was recorded on October 20th at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and features veteran flower farmer Pamela Arnosky of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers in Blanco, Texas, west of Austin.

Pamela’s presentation — about selling to supermarkets — was paired with Lisa Mason Ziegler’s session on selling to florists, which you heard several weeks ago. Head’s up – like all the ASCFG sessions and panels, this is a one-hour presentation, so don’t feel badly if you have to take it in over several days.

Before we get started, here’s some great news I have been waiting weeks to share.

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Flower child and co-producer of the Peony Party, Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers. Photo (c) Victor Obeck

Flower child and co-producer of the Peony Party, Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers. Photo (c) Victor Obeck

Earlier this year, my friend Christina Stembel of SF-based Farmgirl Flowers, joined me on a fabulous 4-day trip to Homer, Alaska, where I spoke and taught for the Homer Gardeners’ Weekend. You can listen to our podcast episode recorded in Homer, here.

It was my second visit to Homer during Alaska’s glorious peony season and I was thrilled to both watch Christina’s discovery of these gorgeous, incomparable American-grown flowers and to introduce her to my peony farmer friends in that community.

Like they say, “all good things happen for a reason!” Not only was Christina instantly floored by the beauty of the Kenai Peninsula, she went crazy about fields and fields of Alaskan peonies available in July (the Peony season is CA is only the month of May.)

What could be more amazing that to stand in a field of peonies with the amazing Alaska glaciers in the distance?

What could be more amazing that to stand in a field of peonies with the amazing Alaska glaciers in the distance?

To this, I just smiled, knowing only more good things would come from her discovery in Alaska.

Pretty soon, literally within minutes of visiting the farm, our creative juices started flowing. We asked ourselves: “What if we bring other peony lovers here, all the way to Alaska — to discover and participate in the magic of what we just experienced?” 

Since the sun doesn’t really set until close to midnight, we brewed and brainstormed some unforgettable late-night conversations. Together with our delightful host, Beth Van Sandt, co-owner of Scenic Place Peonies, we started envisioning a “Peony Party,” a private, custom event, limited to an intimate group of flower lovers, florists, farmers and friends to come experience the magic of Alaska grown peonies.

The Peony Party was finally made real when the members and farmers of the Alaska Peony Marketing Group extended their enthusiasm and support in August of 2014.

Today, we’re launching the new web site and invite you to check it out at PeonyParty.com.

Our fabulous event is scheduled for July 10 to 13th, 2015 and there are only 20 spaces open to students.

Unlike most of the floral design and farmer-florist intensives you’ve seen in the past year or so, we’ve packed ours with serious value-added bonuses.

Most workshops like this do not include lodging or meals. Guess what? Ours includes 3 nights’ of lodging all but one or two meals. The early-bird price is $2995, a $500 discount if you sign up before end of January.

Black And here’s my wonderful little secret. If you sign up for an Alaska Airlines Visa Card ASAP, you will receive 25,000 bonus miles in your first year – that’s exactly what you need to fly round-trip from many US cities on the west coast or to cover at least a one-way ticket from many US cities on the east coast.

 

The unforgettable Blue Barn of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers.

The unforgettable Blue Barn of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers.

And now, on to Pamela Arnosky. With her husband Frank, Pamela farms 20 acres of cut flowers in Central Texas. The Arnoskys grow more than 70 varieties of flowers – year ’round – and sell through many grocery store accounts, as well as to florists and at their own on-farm market.

They are popular speakers at regional and national ASCFG events, thanks in large part to their expertise and humorous presentation style. They say they’ve weathered just about anything from hurricanes and tornadoes to Mothers of Brides. Previous guests of this podcast, you can hear their last interview in Episode 130.

Ready for delivery - Texas  Specialty Cut Flowers.

Ready for delivery – Texas Specialty Cut Flowers.

This is a priceless and highly practical presentation – and if you’ve ever contemplated getting into the grocery store bouquet business, there is one person you need to learn from – and that’s Pamela Arnosky. Sit at her feet and listen, learn and be inspired.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 25,000 times. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at hhcreates.net.

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