With the New Year upon us, I’m sensing that we’re all taking a huge, collective breath of fresh air as we turn toward the upcoming floral season and devote our energies to creating the best year ever in our floral businesses. In many regions across the country, flower farmers and florists are gathering to listen and learn, dream and collaborate, network and connect. I’m excited to learn how your events are coming together and if you have something on the calendar, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share the details with listeners of the Slow Flowers Podcast.
In just 10 days, folks in the central portion of the U.S. will gather at the third annual networking event hosted by the Midwest Farmer-Florist Collaborative. The day is filled with some inspiring and knowledgeable speakers, which ensures a great turnout in Omaha, Nebraska. I wish I could be there in person!
The instigator of this gathering is today’s guest, Jamie Rohda of Harvest Home Flowers, based in Waverly, Nebraska. Jamie and her husband Norman have farmed since 1994 and today their family-owned flower farm produces a wide variety of naturally grown, specialty cut flowers for local florists, designers and DIY brides. Harvest Home is located between the major cities of Lincoln and Omaha.
Jamie is also the new North and Central regional director for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, so she’s a great resource for members in a large geographic area with so much potential for floral agriculture.
The upcoming one-day workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about flower farming and floral design. Jamie and I discuss the program schedule and I’ve also shared all the details below:
9:00-Arrive, check in and catch up with your flower friends!
9:30-Welcome by Sheila Fitzgerald
9:45-Two Models for Designing and Selling Bouquets at Your Local Farmers Market- Adam and Jennifer O’Neal from PepperHarrow Farm and Jamie Rohda with Harvest Home Flowers
–With over 20 years experience selling fresh cuts at a local market, Adam, Jennifer and Jamie will walk us through their two different methods for designing and selling bouquets.
10:15-The Ins and Outs of Selling to Florists and Designers- Jamie Rohda of Harvest Home Flowers
–Whether you currently are or you’re just considering selling to local florists, Jamie will help calm your fears and give you the courage and some tools to dive in and do it!
11:15-Alternative Revenue Streams For a Cut Flower Farm-PepperHarrow Farm
–Be prepared to get some ideas for making your farm more profitable.
12:00-Lunch will be provided and during this time we are honored to have Judy Laushman, of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, joining us to fill us in on what’s happening with the ASCFG and the local flower movement.
1:15-1:45-Social Media Tips and Sourcing Local Flowers by Mercedes Iverner of Honeysuckle Hollow
1:45-2:30-Farm to Arm- Natalie Elsberry of I Bloom Flowers
–Natalie will be doing a bouquet demo for us and talking about how local flowers have helped her grow her business.
2:30-3:00-Floral Trends and Forecasts for 2018 by PepperHarrow Farm
–Hear about and be prepared for the latest trends in the floral industry.
3:00-4:00-Drawing for door prizes, must be present to win! Time to network with that farmer or florist you’ve been hoping to meet.
4-4:30– We’re saving a bit of time at the end of the day if there are any growers interested and would like to join in a round table discussion. Bring your specific burning questions and we’ll see how many we can get answered!
RESERVE CONFERENCE TICKET HERE (Full-day ticket $45 / Half-day afternoon ticket $25)
As the Slow Flowers 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 right column of our home page.
I also want to announce the winners of our year-end giveaway. Tina Sawtelle of Pinewoods Yankee Farm in Lee, New Hampshire, and Art Flower & Gift Shoppe in Rockville Center, New York, will each receive a 2018 Flowers on Your Head Calendar featuring Mud Baron’s engaging portraits. Congratulations!
And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new monthly Slow Flowers Journal section, which you can find 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 here.
Thank you to our family of sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.
Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers. To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.
Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of 50 family farms in the heart of Alaska providing high quality, American Grown peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com
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. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com
Longfield Gardens 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. Visit them at longfield-gardens.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.
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. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.
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
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 shellandtree.com.