Debra Prinzing

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Melissa Feveyear of Seattle’s Terra Bella Flowers – Pioneering Local and Sustainable Floral Design for 10 Years (Episode 210)

September 9th, 2015

Love this portrait of Melissa, the crown of her head encircled with flowers.

Love this portrait of Melissa, the crown of her head encircled with flowers.

This week’s guest is my very good friend and “flower-sister” Melissa Feveyear, owner and creative director of Terra Bella Flowers.

Melissa’s appearance on the Slow Flowers Podcast  is especially exciting this week because she and her work will be showcased at the next Field to Vase Dinner, set for Saturday, September 12th at Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, just north of Seattle.

Only 10 designers in the country have been invited to create the floral installation for the Field to Vase Dinner series, a very special pop-up, floral-centric dining experience pairing local flowers and local food.

Terra_Bella_Logo_plain_hires

 

It is fitting that Melissa is the featured designer this week because she is a longtime customer of Jello Mold Farm and the entire floral community of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

You’ll hear us discuss her role in the Market’s origins as the first cooperative marketplace connecting local flower farmers with local florists.

Melissa, left, on location in her Seattle shop during our stylized photo shoot for The 50 Mile Bouquet. My talented friend Jean Zaputil, right, was our stylist.

Melissa, left, on location in her Seattle shop during our stylized photo shoot for The 50 Mile Bouquet. My talented friend Jean Zaputil, right, was our stylist.

Terra Bella is located in Seattle's Phinney Neighborhood on a busy pedestrian corner.

Terra Bella is located in Seattle’s Phinney Neighborhood on a busy pedestrian corner.

The visionary of Terra Bella Flowers, Melissa combines her obsession with all things rooting and a background in Environmental Studies/Hazardous Waste Management.

After working in the field and becoming aware of the amount of pesticides used in the production of cut flowers, she realized she couldn’t consciously support the conventional side of the floral industry. Melissa created Terra Bella Flowers nearly 10 years ago to prove that the business of flowers can be a beautiful thing, from the time the seed is planted, until her bouquet arrive at your door.

As we discuss in this episode, Melissa and her business are featured in The 50 Mile Bouquet, the book I wrote in 2012 featuring the photography of David Perry. As a special gift to you, I’ve included the free chapter called “Sublime and Sensuous,” which you can download her and read more of her story: MelissaFeveyear_The 50 Mile Bouquet Chapter

Melissa and Tutta Bella appeared in The 50 Mile Bouquet

Melissa and Tutta Bella appeared in The 50 Mile Bouquet

I began that chapter with this description of Melissa:

Curiosity and intentionality are two of her design tools; she selects foliage, blooms, and other fresh-from-the-field elements with the same care as if she personally grew each ephemeral blossom or stem in her own backyard. That connection with nature is vitally important to her artistic philosophy.

“If flowers aren’t locally or organically grown, then they are most likely coming from some huge factory farm,” she said. “My customers do not want flowers dipped in strong pesticides on their dinner table.”

Melissa has been a fabulous supporter of Slowflowers.com from the moment it was just an idea of mine. She has contributed her time and talents, appearing on the 2014 Indiegogo campaign video that helped raise more than $18,000 to launch the online directory (see above).

We’ve also teamed up to promote Slow Flowers on local television and at special events — and I know you’ll find Melissa and her story inspiring.

Another lovely seasonal floral arrangement from Terra Bella Flowers.

Another lovely seasonal floral arrangement from Terra Bella Flowers.

A lush, seasonal summer bouquet from Terra Bella Flowers.

A lush, seasonal summer bouquet from Terra Bella Flowers.

Here’s how you can connect with Melissa and Terra Bella Flowers:

Terra Bella Flowers on Facebook

Terra Bella Flowers on Instagram

Greater Seattle Floral Association

In August, Melissa and I did a pre-F2V Dinner walk-through of Jello Mold Farm with flower farmers Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall - don't they all look happy in the flower fields?

In August, Melissa and I did a pre-F2V Dinner walk-through of Jello Mold Farm with flower farmers Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall – don’t they all look happy in the flower fields?

Seattle-page-001 Thanks for joining me today. If you’re in the Northwest and you want to experience the magic of Melissa’s Northwest Gothic floral installation at the September 12th Field to Vase Dinner, there’s still time. A few tickets are still available and I can’t wait for you to be part of the evening on a flower farm. Follow the link to reserve your seat at the table and use the special discount code SLOWFLOWERS to enjoy a $35 discount when purchasing your ticket.

Episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast have been downloaded more than 63,000 times and I thank the progressive floral community for supporting this endeavor. It is nothing short of inspiring to see the listenership increase each week – and we have received only 5-star reviews on iTunes, 22 in all.

Until 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. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

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 Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.

One Response to “Melissa Feveyear of Seattle’s Terra Bella Flowers – Pioneering Local and Sustainable Floral Design for 10 Years (Episode 210)”

  1. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 253 Two generations of creativity with Seattle designer Sara Jane Camacho and her Kentucky farmer-florist mom Sara Brown Says:

    […] in The 50 Mile Bouquet, at her shop, Terra Bella Flowers in Seattle’s Phinney neighborhood. Melissa is a past guest of this podcast. Sara Jane worked with Melissa for a number of seasons while also developing her unique point of […]

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