Debra Prinzing

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Episode 400: Slow Flowers in Calgary with Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers, plus our State Focus: Kentucky

May 8th, 2019

Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers

Thanks to a small but fabulous network of Slow Flowers members in Canada, I’m so happy to say that the Slow Flowers Community is taking hold across the country in numerous provinces. I’m very jazzed to welcome today’s guest, Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers, based in Calgary, Alberta. She’s helping me kick off the 10 Provinces of Slow Flowers, a sister series to 50 States of Slow Flowers in the U.S. Over this coming year, I will bring you voices from members in as many provinces as we have in the community.

Canadian-grown flowers by Becky Feasby

As we discuss in this episode, Becky and originally I met at the Whidbey Flower Workshop in 2018, where organizer Tobey Nelson invited me to return and teach a creative writing module. Over the three days together, I enjoyed getting to know Becky and was swept up by her infectious personality and her embrace of Slow Flowers Values. Since she has joined Slow Flowers, it has been rewarding and fascinating to watch her develop her platform as an activist for sustainable design practices and local flower sourcing in Calgary and beyond.

Fresh and dried flowers designed by Becky Feasby

When Florists’ Review acquired Canadian Florist magazine at the end of last year, I was eager to connect Becky with the editors. As a result, Becky has begun to contribute stories to that publication.

Her first piece appeared in the March-April issue entitled “Slow Flowers Are Blooming In Canada.”

Here’s more about Becky, excerpted from Prairie Girl Flowers’ web site:

Becky is a passionate gardener-florist who creates natural arrangements centred on the vibrant colours and textures that make up life on the Canadian Prairies. 

She takes great care in selecting materials for floral commissions and designs and uses as many locally sourced products as possible, in an effort to reduce waste and cut back on the use of plants and flowers that need to travel long distances to reach Calgary.  Dedicated to seasonal flowers, Becky loves collaborating with farmers, growers and creatives in her community

Seasonal flowers designed by Becky Feasby of Prarie Girl Flowers

Becky believes that ethical and sustainable floristry involves looking at not only how and where flowers are sourced, but also considering the waste generated by designs and packaging.  Like other agricultural crops, she wants the floral industry to examine not only the carbon footprint of flowers, but also the use of pesticides, water pollution, exploitation in the supply chain, and waste. 

Becky completed her gardening and landscape design training in New York, Calgary and Chicago and completed the Floral Design program at Mount Royal University.  She has also completed workshop training with many incredible, innovative florists and growers who support the foam free and Slow Flowers movements.  

Becky previously worked as the Horticultural Therapist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where she oversaw the design and management of five acres of gardens.  In creating prairie girl flowers, she wanted to utilize all of her training to bring sustainable beauty to Calgarians – and to cultivate a change in the floral industry.  A change that makes florals better for the planet and create opportunities for clients to make a conscious choice that supports local growers and our environment.

Jessica Broyles of Starry Fields Farm in Bowling Green, Kentucky (c) Emily Rose Photography

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with farmer-florist Jessica Broyles of Starry Fields Farm based in Bowling Green.

Kentucky-grown blooms at Starry Fields Farm

Jessica and her husband Ryan share this on their web site:

Here at Starry Fields Farm we are captivated by the beauty of flowers.  We believe that flowers have a transforming power that changes and connects people in a way that nothing else can.  Flowers often communicate what words cannot – feelings of comfort, love, and appreciation.

When flowers are grown locally and in harmony with the seasons, they carry a certain vibrancy and energy that is absent from imported flowers.  You will immediately notice that our flowers are healthy and long-lasting, and our wide variety of blooms will delight your senses.  We invite you to join us in experiencing the magic of fresh cut flowers.

Spring in bloom at the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Thank you so much for joining me today, and I’m so pleased to share the stories and voices of Becky and Jessica — I am continually inspired by the incredible people who are making our world a better place through flowers and farming. As I seek new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you, it’s my wish that today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

Hey, the clock is ticking and I’m eager for you to take advantage of the special ticket-promotion for attendees of the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit — which takes place in less than two months, on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Take advantage of our Plus-One Ticket Promotion for the Slow Flowers Summit!

One of the top reasons our attendees love the Slow Flowers Summit is the opportunity to mix-and-mingle with other kindred spirits. So we want to make it easy for you to experience the Summit and bring along your BFF, partner, colleague or team member with our Plus-One Ticket Promotion!

For a limited time — through May 15th only — when you register for the Slow Flowers Summit, you can add a guest for $275! This applies to anyone who has already registered, as well as new ticket-buyers.

You can find the Plus One promo option by following the Register link at slowflowerssummit.com.

Spring in bloom at the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Truly, we have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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.

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 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

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 458,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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:
Turning On the Lights; Simple Melody; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration
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

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