Debra Prinzing

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Episode 409: Learning to See Color in Nature, and in the Garden with artist Lorene Edwards Forkner, plus our State Focus: Montana

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
Lorene Edwards Forkner (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Oh my gosh, Slow Flowers Podcast listeners, you are in for a wonderful treat today because my guest is one of my lifelong friends and dearest sister in all sorts of horticultural, floral and artistic adventures in this world. It is my deepest privilege to introduce you to artist and designer, writer, editor and educator Lorene Edwards Forkner.

Lorene is a columnist for the Seattle Times weekly gardening column called GROW, along with her colleague Colin McCrate of Seattle Urban Farm Co. She is author of five garden books, including The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Pacific Northwest, and Handmade Garden Projects, bestselling titles from Timber Press.

October 21, 2007. Lotusland. Lorene and Debra together in the garden.

Lorene owned a popular and beloved boutique specialty nursery in Seattle for more than a decade, called Fremont Gardens; she has served on the boards of a number of horticultural organizations, has edited a horticulture journal and is the designer of two gold medal display gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival.

A polychromatic series: Seeing Color in the Garden @gardenercook

Most recently, Lorene’s creative life can be found on Instagram, where @gardenercook she is in the 2nd year creating and sharing a series called “Seeing Color in the Garden.”

She started this project on April 3, 2018 as part of #the100dayproject as #100DaysofSeeingColorintheGarden. She continued her series through the subsequent months and this past April 2019, kicked off #Another100 DaysofSeeingColorintheGarden, which concludes today, July 10th.

So our timing is perfect to sit down with Lorene and learn more about this visually engaging, spiritually uplifting creative project. I’m so happy that you are joining my chat with this highly intuitive observer of color in nature, in plants, in flowers and even in the kind of organic objects you might pick up on a walk and drop in your pocket.

When she kicked off #100 days of seeing color in the garden, Lorene wrote this:

“And so it begins. #the100dayproject is here and so am I—well, sort of. These days life is charged with loss and grief on many levels. But if I’m honest with myself (& desperately trying to keep on keeping on) I have to acknowledge that without great love and joy there would be nothing to lose, nothing to grieve. So however hard, this pain is a gift.

“#100daysofseeingcolorinthegarden will be my #dailypractice starting today. My hope is that this daily interval focused on seeing my beloved garden will provide refuge and a way forward. They say that time heals. I’m curious to watch that unfold. How cool would it be (WILL it be) to witness the process playing out in real time. A powerful anchor for future losses.

“So for 100 days I will be making time to see and interpret color in my garden. It’s basically permission to pause and play.

She continues, “. . . this idea had to be something simple, intuitive, and soothing. I like to say color is my native tongue, and I’d pretty much lost all other words.

“It’s now nearly 150 days later and while I’m not still counting, I am still painting. SeeingColorInTheGarden has become a daily practice, permission to step away from work, house, garden—even play. When I sit down at my table with my oh-so-humble watercolors, a brush, and blank sheets of watercolor paper the world goes calm.

“Occasionally I get asked “HOW.” I don’t know how else to describe it but seeing with all 5 senses… things go quiet, time stops, and everything is focused on the blossom, twig, rock, or the occasional snail. My paints are nothing special, but they’re familiar to me and I feel comfortable with the visual vocabulary I’ve developed with them. For all that this project has played out in public on Instagram, it still feels strange to write about something so intimate and deeply personal. Except that, along with my finding a measure of peace, I have also found a community of people who are also in pain, stressed, or simply in need of a little colorful refreshment. A chromal chord has been struck.

She concludes: “At the end of the day, the swatches and test strips are my secret sauce. A record of how I hunt and peck and forage for the right color. The paintings themselves without their subject are pretty flat and lifeless compared to the energy of painting + plant. But these little swatch strips please me to no end.”

Find and follow Lorene Edwards Forkner at these social places:

LEF on Facebook

LEF on Instagram

A Handmade Garden Blog. Sign up for Lorene’s newsletter here.

THANK YOU for joining me today as I indulged in an entirely inspiring conversation with a dear and personal friend. As Lorene Edwards Forkner and I discussed, she has agreed to come to the 4th Annual Slow Flowers Summit, which takes place June 29-30, 2020 in Santa Cruz, Calif. In fact, Lorene is the first featured presenter we’re announcing for 2020. I’ll have much more to share about her presentation at the Summit and about what you can expect to experience as the planning evolves.

For now, I urge you to find a set of watercolors and begin to emulate the daily or even weekly practice of looking at flowers, petals, pods, leaves, bark and other minute details from your own environment in a new way — to let the color palette of nature speak to all of your senses.

George Hart of Missoula, Montana-based Hart’s Garden & Nursery

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with George Hart of Hart’s Garden & Nursery in Missoula, Montana.

Dahlias at Hart’s Garden & Nursery

I met George and Marcia Hart in September 2017 when they hosted a lovely gathering for Slow Flowers members in Western Montana. What a fabulous experience getting to see where they live and farm, and to connect with an incredible community of growers and floral designers who are bringing local flowers to Missoula and beyond.

Harts Garden and Nursery grows tulips, irises, peonies, delphinium, dahlias, chrysanthemums, liatrus, rudbeckia, zinnias, hellebores, lilies and several kinds of decorative grasses.

The September 2017 Slow Flowers Meet-Up at Hart’s Garden & Nursery

The Harts’ mission is to offer attractive, locally-grown flowers and bouquets to residents and businesses of Missoula and Western Montana. They offer several locally-grown varieties of lily bulbs for sale at area farmers’ markets, as well as perennials well-suited to Western Montana. I’m so pleased that George agreed to jump on the line with me this week to talk about what’s happening in this community, as well as give you a preview of an event on September 27th when I’ll return to Hart’s Garden — and you’re invited.

Here are the details:

MONTANA FLORISTS ASSOCIATION Annual Convention
Fri., Sept. 27, 7:15 p.m. Farm Tour & Dinner

HARTS GARDEN & NURSERY, Missoula, Montana

Debra Prinzing will join Slow Flowers members Harts Garden & Nursery as they host a local-flowers reception during the Montana Florists Association annual convention. The Slow Flowers members are invited to join us! As George Hart says: “$10 buys dinner and contacting me puts your name on the list. This is a chance for Montana flower farmers to learn and dine with fellow farmers and florists who care about local, Montana-grown blooms! For more information or to sign up, please contact George Hart atmghart@bresnan.net or call: 406-396-8245.

Thank you for taking the time to pop in the ear buds and join the Slow Flowers Podcast. Thank you to our entire 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.

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. The upcoming regional conference takes place this weekend — Sunday, July 14 & Monday, July 15 — in Maine and is called “In the Thick of It.” The gathering features flower farm tours, networking with other growers, and bonus tours of Johnny’s Selected Seeds and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

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.

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. Spring bulb season is almost here – my tulips are poking out of the ground already! Visit Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 492,000 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:
Castor Wheel Pivot; Betty Dear; Gaenaby 
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 403: The Inspirational Royal Florist Shane Connolly and Our State Focus: Maryland

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019
My guest is Shane Connolly, plantsman, sustainable designer, author, educator, environmental advocate

Last week, I enjoyed a five-day whirlwind trip to London; my itinerary was filled with all things flowers and gardens. It was an incredible trip, made all the more enjoyable thanks to unseasonably beautiful and dry London weather that made everything sparkle.

The people behind the Facebook Garden (which won a Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show) asked me to share my favorite gardening tip at “The Message Tree”

I’ll be covering the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a Best of Chelsea report for Florists’ Review’s August issue – out later this summer. In the meantime, I have a very special episode to share with you today.

My guest is Shane Connolly of  Shane Connolly & Co., whose web site carries this royal warrant of appointment: “By Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales, Supplier of Flowers for Events.”

If you track royal weddings at all, you will know that Mr. Connolly designed the florals for the marriage ceremony of Will and Kate, that is Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In 2005, he was honored and delighted to be asked by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to design her bouquet and all the other flowers for her marriage to HRH Prince of Wales and the service of dedication in Windsor Castle. In recognition of this, Shane was awarded a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales in 2006.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, trees courtesy of Connolly (c) Financial Times

In 2011 Shane was appointed Artistic Director for the wedding of TRH’s The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and was awarded a second Royal Warrant of Appointment, to HM The Queen in 2015. HRH The Prince of Wales has long been a campaigner for the environment and has recognized the dangers of intensive farming, imported and GM food very publicly. Both he and his eldest son, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, are crusaders for environmental wellness, which provided Shane the tremendous distinction to design the florals for both of their marriage ceremonies in a naturally stunning, eco-conscious manner.

Shane and I posed for a portrait at his studio (left); just-arrived, gorgeous stems from Usk Roses in Wales, held by Lily Matilda, a freelancer for Shane Connolly & Co.

There is something very flattering when you arrange to meet someone for tea and he shows up holding a copy of your book, The 50 Mile Bouquet, asking you to autograph it. There is something entirely surreal when that person is Shane Connolly. What a lovely surprise.

It turns out that Shane acquired The 50 Mile Bouquet several years ago when he was teaching at Flower School New York, where they keep a small selection of books in the school shop. I think that’s perhaps how Shane learned of my passion for local and seasonal flowers — and we became Instagram aquaintances.

A fanciful Shane Connolly headpiece, truly seasonal and inspired!

I sent him a message several months ago, asking if he would be willing to record an interview for the Slow Flowers Podcast while I was in London. What a thrilling treat that Shane said “yes.”

As it turns out, in order to have a quiet space for the recording, we walked from his North Kensington studio just a few blocks away to Shane’s home that he and his wife Candy have recently established in the neighborhood. Pinch me – I was seated on the linen sofa, surrounded by antiques, textiles, books, art, and flowers – interviewing this warm, kind, funny and intelligent floral artist.

A botanical table design by Shane Connolly + Co. (c) Thomas Alexander Photography

Shane is a true pioneer and he is a vocal leader in sustainable floral design in all of its facets — a kindred Slow Flowers spirit who asks about the origin of the flowers he sources and is working to change the floral industry’s conventional, less-than-sustainable practices by example.

An exquisite detail from the table shown above. (c) Thomas Alexander Photography

Here’s more about Shane Connolly:

Shane Connolly & Co. has been creating timeless, artisan, floral arrangements and decorations for over twenty-five years, and still gets excited about the next event. Shane Connolly set up his eponymous company in 1989 after training with some of London’s leading flower designers.

Summer (left) and Autumn (right), interpreted and expressed by Shane Connolly + Co.

Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Shane read Psychology at university but a lifelong passion for plants and gardening eventually led to a complete career change. Subsequently, he has built an enviable reputation as a floral designer with a small, dedicated and talented team of florists, artists and craftsmen working from offices and a large light-filled studio in North Kensington. He is the author of four books — Table Flowers, Wedding Flowers, The Language of Flowers and A Year in Flowers.

Find and follow Shane Connolly on Instagram

Read a Financial Times interview with Shane Connolly

Other items we discussed:


These pressed flowers were collected by George Marr whilst serving as a soldier in Salonika, Greece, during the First World War. On his death his daughter, Georgeann Slater, found the notebook he had kept during his service in Greece.

The Garden Museum in London, where the piece shown above is on display. This is the specimen Shane mentioned using in his recent comments in the FlowerSchool NY panel on Beauty & Ethics: The Art of Sustainability.

British Flowers Week including British Flowers Week events at the Garden Museum.

An allee of stems decorate the table at the V & A Directors Dinner, designed by Shane Connolly + Co.

There’s not much more to say other than — wow — what an incredible human and what an incredible experience to spend time with him! It was an honor to share this conversation with you.


A stunning perspective from the end of the table at the V & A Directors Dinner, designed by Shane Connolly + Co.

I will leave you with my favorite quote from today’s episode, Shane quoting Spain’s most famous architect is Antoni Gaudi:

“If you want to be original, you need to get back to the origin.”

Shane continues and asks: What is the origin of flowers? What is essential? Why do we bring flowers inside? It’s because we want to see nature. Where do they come from: a garden, a field, from nature? if you detach from that, you might as well use fluffy cushions!

He reminds us to not forget the fundamental reason for having flowers. What a beautiful lesson to learn and re-learn.

Ona Rose Pappas of Ona Rose Floral Design in Maryland

And now, let’s visit the state of Maryland and meet Ona Rose Pappas of Ona Rose Floral Design – she’s part of our Fifty States of Slow Flowers series, which continues today.

Ona Rose Floral is a boutique floral design studio based in Bethesda, Maryland on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., specializing in one of a kind arrangements and floral designs which are solely sourced from flowers from Ona Pappas’s personal gardens, and from local flower farms and growers across America. 

A Maryland-grown bouquet by Ona Rose Floral Design

One of Ona’s studio values is to provide an extremely personal approach often unseen in the event industry today. In addition to event design, we also offer seasonal a la carte wedding florals, daily arrangements for your home and celebratory occasions, as well as private workshops.

Ona Rose Floral Designs for local weddings

Ona sources her seeds from a variety of the top American seed companies and farmers including Floret Flower Farm, Baker Creek, Botanical Interest, Johnny’s, Seed Savers, Southern Exposure, among others. She only uses organic seeds, fertilizers, soil, etc to ensure that the flowers being utilized for her special event clients are free of any chemicals. And I’m especially grateful to read a section about the Slow Flowers movement on Ona’s “FAQ” page — that’s a smart way to share her values and brand affiliation!

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.

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 

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.

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. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

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

I am so excited about the upcoming SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT and I hope you can join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. 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! Please grab your tickets before we sell out! This is the very last week to take advantage of our special PLUS ONE Ticket Promotion, which expires on May 31st, so take advantage of this generous offer.

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

That’s right, 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. And don’t procrastinate because you only have a few days left to grab that plus-one ticket.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 470,000 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:
Castor Wheel Pivot; One Little Triumph; 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

Episode 402: The World of British Garden Murder Mysteries with Author Marty Wingate and State Focus: Maine

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
Marty Wingate, on location, at a favorite garden spot in the U.K.

If you’re listening on this episode’s release day — May 22nd — I’m coming to you from London, where I have traveled to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and report for Florists’ Review and its sister publication. This incredible trip would never have happened without a surprise birthday gift from my husband Bruce Brooks, who completely floored me with a dream experience.

So of course, I wanted to season today’s episode with all things British. Our guest is my dear friend Marty Wingate and I’m so excited to introduce you to her as she shares her journey — from successful garden writer to even more successful mystery writer. All of Marty’s titles are traditional mysteries that take place against her favorite British gardens, landscapes, estates and historic manor houses as backdrops. Her mystery-solving female protagonists are curious, clever and courageous, even when they get themselves into tricky situations that require their amateur sleuthing skills.

Marty Wingate, mystery writer, gardening expert, and lover of all things British.

Here’s more about Marty — excerpted from a 2017 profile I wrote about her for the Garden Writers Association’s membership publication.

Armed with a Master’s in Urban Horticulture from the University of Washington, not to mention being a bonafide King County (Washington) Master Gardener and a Seattle gardening personality who for years wrote a weekly newspaper column and appeared on the local NPR radio station, Marty Wingate knows how to diagnose dead plants.

Three book series! So fun — you must read them!

And now, after penning more than 10 murder mysteries and being named a USA Today Bestselling Author, you could say Marty also solves mysteries about dead characters.

The threads connecting these different chapters of her life tie together Marty’s skill for storytelling, her Anglophile tendencies and a love for all things botanical. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland and she is a member of the U.K.-based Royal Horticultural Society. In addition to being a longtime member of Garden Writers (now called GardenComm), she is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and the Crime Writers Association, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Royal Horticultural Society.

In 2014, Alibi, a Random House imprint, published The Garden Plot, Marty’s first book in “The Potting Shed” series. The books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England. Murder has a way of finding Pru, wherever she gardens. The seventh title in this series, Midsummer Mayem, was just released November 2018.

It all began with “The Garden Plot,” and here’s a photo of Marty at her book launch party in Seattle.

After her stories about Pru were well underway, Marty’s editor suggested she dream up a new protagonist to engage the birding crowd. Julia Lanchester, a bird lover who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village, was born, part of the “Birds of a Feather” series, with the fourth in the series Farewell, My Cuckoo, also published in 2018. Marty’s books are available on tablets and smart readers, with fans having downloaded more than 120,000 books in just four years.

Marty’s newest series—The First Edition Library (Berkley)—presents Hayley Burke, the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. The Bodies in the Library, book one, will be released October 1, 2019

How did this popular garden writer, who has authored five garden titles and whose byline continues to appear in Country Gardens, American Gardener and other publications, become a successful mystery writer? So many self-employed garden communicators are interested in diversifying their careers into “crossover” platforms such as culinary, travel, health and wellness or floral (that would be me). And yet, why not fiction?

Marty lives with her husband and two cats near Seattle, her local library standing in for a more colorful writing venue—say, Vita Sackville-West’s tower at Sissinghurst.

The Bluebonnet Betrayal, number 5 in The Potting Shed Series of mysteries ~ takes place at the Chelsea Flower Show in London!

Marty takes research seriously—she is a former how-to garden writer of numerous books and a countless number (at least, she stopped counting ages ago) of magazine and newspaper articles on everything from apple maggot to the prettiest daffodils and the best-smelling roses. Research took on an entirely new light when she began writing mysteries, and now she and her husband travel regularly to England and Scotland, where she plunges deeply into study concerning the next adventure for her protagonists — Hayley, Julia, and Pru—sparing not a few minutes a day to head to the pub.

You can find more about Marty and her books, as well as her other projects including her upcoming garden tour to the Cotswolds in 2020, in today’s show notes for episode 402 at debraprinzing.com. I’ll also share links to her social places.

Learn more about (and follow) Marty Wingate:

Marty Wingate on Facebook

Marty Wingate on Twitter

Marty Wingate on BookBub

Marty Wingate on Good Reads

Tour the gardens of Cotswolds in 2020 with Marty Wingate

Marty agrees that her horticulture background is an essential part of her narratives. “I love writing about gardens and about plants. I always have correct gardening information. Other than that, I can make up everything else.” I hope you explore her many titles and become as hooked on Marty’s storytelling as I am!

And now, a huge surprise! I have an advanced reader’s copy of Marty’s brand new book — it won’t be out until October — and as soon as I finish reading it, I’ll share it with one lucky listener in a random drawing.

To enter, post your best idea for a garden or floral murder mystery in our comment section by May 31st. We’ll draw a winner on June 1st and announce him or her on June 5th.

And by the way, the winner of this month’s earlier giveaway – of Teresa Sabankaya’s The Posy Book is Heather Coughlin of Pure Bloom Flowers in Long Grove, Illinois. Congratulations, Heather!

Rayne Grace Hoke, of Flora’s Muse in Biddeford, Maine

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with floral designer Rayne Grace Hoke of Flora’s Muse, based in Biddeford, Maine.

She writes: “I’m enamored with the beauty of nature and I love the thrilling mix of magic and science. The graceful weight of a tulip in the hand and the intoxicating aroma of mimosa brings pure joy and a bit of awe. It’s these nuances of the natural world which fascinate me. And soaking in these experiences is for me a point of divine expression and inspiration.

“And I’m so grateful my floral path has allowed so many opportunities to explore other artistic curiosities beyond flowers. In the 1990’s, I interned at the Textile Conservation Lab at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Additionally, I’m an Ambassador and graduate of the Beyond Startup and New Ventures business program. Via this inspiring organization, I advocate for small women-owned businesses on state and federal levels. But I’ve also tapped into weaving, perfumery, fashion design and even metalsmithing and currently I’m offering Slow Flower-inspired workshops in Maine!”

Rayne (left) with model Mary (right) at the autumn 2018 photo shoot for American Flowers Week. Their botanical couture floral fashion, produced with Johnny’s Seeds, will be unveiled in the June issue of Florists’ Review.

Download a PDF of my Florists’ Review March 2019 article about Rayne Grace Hoke of Flora’s Muse, and a Maine floral design workshop she produced last year with Laura Tibbetts of WestWind Florals.

Find and follow Flora’s Muse on Instagram

Check out the upcoming Slow Flowers Maine Meet-Up, scheduled for June 3rd & 4th — there is time to attend!

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

I am so grateful to you for joining me and for spending your time listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast today. Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement.

Earlier this month, our core member benefit — the slow flowers online directory — turned five years old! This is a major milestone and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see our cause gain more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry.

As I often say, and as you heard in my conversation with Rayne Grace Hoke of Maine, 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, 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. We are so excited that Syndicate has joined the Slow Flowers Summit as a sponsor — and if you attend, you’ll be heading home with some fun Syndicate USA-made swag!

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

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.

I am so excited about the upcoming SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT and I hope you can join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the top reasons our attendees love the Slow Flowers Summit is the opportunity to mix-and-mingle with other kindred spirits.

For a limited time — through the end of May — 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.

Join me! Slow Flowers Podcast (c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 467,000 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:
Our Son the Potter; Rabbit Hole; 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

Episode 401: Baylor Chapman and her new book Decorating with Plants and our State Focus: Louisiana

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
Baylor Chapman of Lila B. Design (c) Paige Green

Today’s guest is a long-time friend of mine and of the Slow Flowers Movement. I told this story in 2014 when I introduced you to Baylor Chapman in Episode 125. She and I originally met in the fall of 2010 when I was visiting San Francisco to give a lecture for the Garden Conservancy. We were introduced by a mutual friend, landscape designer and garden writer Susan Morrison, who told me: “You need to meet my friend Baylor when you’re in town. She’s into locally-grown flowers just like you are.”

That led to a wonderful visit to tour Baylor’s former “loading dock” studio in San Francisco’s Mission District. Susan and Rebecca Sweet, another fellow garden designer and blogger, met me at Baylor’s. The three of us had lots of fun drooling over Baylor’s floral creations and learning more about her design philosophy based on seasonal and locally-grown floral elements. 

Baylor in the pages of The 50 Mile Bouquet (with photography by David Perry)

Baylor is the creator and owner of Lila B. Design, a San Francisco-based design studio. Her creative path is well documented in the pages of The 50 Mile Bouquet where we featured her in a chapter entitled “The Accidental Flower Farmer.”

Writing, teaching and consulting about designing with plants has occupied a good part of this creative woman’s life for the past five-plus years. She hasn’t completely shifted from growing and designing with cut flowers, but she has found a special place in the living plant world, an important and growing niche in the floral marketplace.

Today she is described as an author, plant designer, botanical strategist and promoter of all things green. In 2014,  Baylor produced and wrote The Plant Recipe Book: 100 Living Arrangements for Any Home in Any Season (Artisan Books, 2014), with photography by Paige Green

Last month she released a new title: Decorating with Plants, also published by Artisan Books, with photography by Aubrie Pick.

Decorating with Plants

Here’s a bit more about Decorating with Plants:

In Decorating with Plants, Baylor Chapman walks readers through everything they need to know to bring houseplants into their home.

First, there’s Plant Care 101: from how to assess light conditions to tricks for keeping your plants alive while on vacation, Baylor gives readers the simple, foundational info they need to ensure their plants will thrive.

Then she introduces the reader to 28 of her favorites—specimens that are tough as nails but oh-so-stylish, from the eye-catching Rubber Tree to the delicate Cape Primrose.

Finally, she guides readers through the home room by room: Place an aromatic plant like jasmine or gardenia to your entry to establish your home’s “signature scent.”

Add a proper sense of scale to your living room with a ceiling-grazing palm. Create a living centerpiece of jewel-toned succulents for a dining table arrangement that will last long after your dinner party.

From air purification to pest control, there’s no limit to what houseplants can do for your home—and Decorating with Plants is here to show you how to add them to spaces big and small with style.

From “Decorating with Plants”

Here’s a bit more about Baylor Chapman, excerpted from the Lila B. Design “about” page:

Baylor writes: Every day I am inspired by the raw beauty of nature, and constantly think about ways of how to bring it into my home — and yours. I believe that nature is handsome more than pretty, and am always searching for an unexpected definition of beautiful.

I love working with plants so much that I’ve spent more than 15 years surrounding myself with them. I attended the UC Berkely program for garden design, founded Lila B., a San Francisco green-certified plant and flower design business, authored my first how-to title called The Plant Recipe Book — and built a parking lot garden in the middle of a big city.

A Woodland Kokedama Tablescape, from the DINING ROOM chapter of Decorating with Plants

Bringing nature to the city is essential to what I do, so you can often find me creating botanical arrangements in the urban industrial Mission district neighborhood where my own garden and studio reside.

For me, it all comes back to the idea that even if you have a really small space, you can bring a little bit of green inside. Whether it is an elaborate living centerpiece or tiny single succulent, through plant design you can make any space feel at home.

I spent my childhood on a farm, followed years working on an eco-friendly estate which lent a natural edge to my design aesthetics. Now I live in an apartment located a converted box factory, a testament to my commitment to design and my back deck is home to many of my favorite plants.

The Plant Recipe Book, publised in April 2014.

In the spring of 2014 I published The Plant Recipe Book, which features more than 100 lush photographs of creations similar to the ones I make for Lila B. In the same year a major international hotel chain asked me to collaborate on their worldwide botanical strategy.

My work has also appeared in Sunset Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Better Homes and Gardens.

I have been a guest a guest on PBS’ “Growing a Greener World” and a DIY expert on HGTV.com and HOUZZ.com. I love to travel around the country teaching people how to beautify their home “living centerpieces.”

I’m so pleased that Baylor joined us for an update on her deep passion for and creative life built around plants.

She has tapped into the life-giving force that inspires her three-dimensional botanical art and I hope hearing from her has opened up your thinking about adding or expanding the way you engage with the plant world.

Find and follow Baylor Chapman at these social places:

Lila B. Design on Instagram

Decorate with Plants on Instagram

Baylor’s upcoming Workshop Schedule

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with farmer-florist Mary Marston of Plum Nelly Flower Farm in Coushatta, Louisiana. Plum Nelly Flower Farm is a Louisiana-licensed florist as well as flower farmer.

Mary writes this on the Plum Nelly “about” page, saying all our flowers are planted in the rich alluvial soil of the Red River. The term “Specialty Cut Flowers” means our flowers are the best ones to be grown locally. We grow them to their peak of perfection and sell them fresh to local florists and shop owners as well as the general public.

Follow Plum Nelly Flower Farm on Instagram

Like Plum Nelly Flower Farm on Facebook

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

I am so grateful to you for joining me and for spending your time listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast today. Thank you to our entire 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.

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 when the normal growing season is complete. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.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. It’s fitting that ASCFG is mentioned here, because today’s Fifty States of Slow Flowers guest is a member of both ASCFG and Slow Flowers.

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 and join the spring flower photo contest going on now through May 24th. Share a photo of what’s blooming in your garden, post to Facebook or Instagram, and you might win a $50 dollar gift card from Longfield Gardens!

Before we sign off, can I tell you how truly excited I am about the upcoming SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT?! I want you to join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. Please grab your ticket to join us. The very last day of our special PLUS ONE Ticket Promotion ends today, May 15th, so take advantage of this generous offer.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 462,000 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:
Children of Lemuel; Dance of Felt; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspirationby 
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 398: Join me at the Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, plus State Focus: Iowa

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
Flavorful and local food, community, agritourism and FLOWERS create a wonderful Dinner on the Farm experience

I have a delicious treat for you! The Slow Flowers Summit is just 10 weeks away, on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota — so I’ll be featuring all the Summit details, people, places and flowers in the coming weeks. There’s lots in store for you at our 3rd annual Summit, dubbed a Ted Talk for Flower Lovers, and I’m so eager to share our incredible program and special events with you.

A roaming culinary event! Attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit are invited to the first Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm.

Today, we have a preview of our bonus event, Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, which is scheduled for Sunday, June 30th at Green Earth Growers in Prior Lake, Minnesota. BONUS: Listen to our January 16, 2019 episode with Jenny and Jolea of Green Earth Growers.

This is an incredible dining experience designed to please all of your senses. You’ll also get to meet our Summit speakers who will be there to mix and mingle with all attendees. It’s separately ticketed at a fabulous rate of $100 per person.

Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange (left) and Monica Walch of Dinner on the Farm (right)

Our guests today are Monica Walch, founder and director of Dinner on the Farm, a Minnesota-based organization known for its roaming culinary events. Monica is joined by Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange and Foxglove Market, co-host of the Slow Flowers Summit.

I’m so grateful that Christine introduced me to Monica in the early stages of Summit planning. Her suggestion that we include a flower farm dinner option for Summit attendees exceeded all my dreams and expectations for building community and showcasing regional agriculture.

I simply could not envision how to pull off a dinner not knowing the local foodie scene, but fortunately for me Christine and her husband Steve Sollien are a big part of Dinner on the Farm’s event production team and their relationship with Monica opened the right doors. You’ll hear more about that collaboration in our conversation today.

Hear how Monica Walch of Dinner on the Farm feeds all the senses at her culinary events.

Here’s a bit more about Monica Walch, founder of Dinner on the Farm:

It all began on an organic dairy farm in Southeastern Minnesota, where Monica Walch grew up as one of four sisters. Spring and summer were spent picking berries, wildflowers, and names for the new kittens. Fall and winter found the girls bottle-feeding calves and building snow forts with purple-stained fingers from plucking pickled beets straight from the jar. Every evening ended with a home-cooked supper together, as a family…a celebration of the love and hard work that went into growing the ingredients for the meal.

When Monica moved away from the farm as a young adult, she chose to hold fast to her roots in the midst of the city. She spent time at markets and restaurants, helping the chefs and buyers connect to farmers in the area. At the same time, Monica was coordinating a nationwide marketing campaign to bring awareness to organic foods. It was then that she realized that connecting these two worlds could produce a whole lot of positive change in the way people think about food.

Monica believes that eating sustainably-grown, fresh food is a pleasure that deserves to be celebrated. And creating unique events designed to celebrate local food and farms has always been her work.

Dinner on the Farm produces unique events designed to celebrate local farms, with al fresco  dining, farm tours, locally-brewed beverages and live music.

Flowers are on the menu, too!

Oh, and with Christine Hoffman involved, you can be sure that local and seasonal flowers are part of the mix. As the Twin Cities first exclusively local and chemical-free florist, Christine is a slow flowers advocate striving to form a strong community of sustainable flower farmers, small business owners, and folks who care about supporting these mindful endeavors. By providing a local, sustainable option to traditional flowers, putting a premium on collaboration, and reaching out to the community, she has fostered significant change in the local floral marketplace.

Christine Hoffman (left) with Debra Prinzing (right), in 2015.

Hear our past Slow Flowers Podcast episodes featuring Christine Hoffman here:

Episode 193, May 13, 2015

Episode 290, March 29, 2017

Rachael and Jon Ackerman with their three children at Blue Sky Flower Farm (c) Photography by Red Bird Hills

There’s more to your experience: on Sunday, June 30th, the afternoon begins with two flower farm visits for attendees as a free, self-guided visits. The first stop is at Rachael and Jon Ackerman’s Blue Sky Flower Farm. You can hear Rachael’s story on Slow Flowers Podcast Episode 378 here.

The beautiful farm that is home to Green Earth Growers in Prior Lake, Minnesota

The farm tour moves next to Green Earth Growers, owned by Jenny Hotz and Jolea Gress. After the tours wind-down, dinner festivities begin, so you’ll want to grab your ticket to stay for an incredible Dinner on the Farm experience featuring flowers and produce grown on-site. All the details are available here.

(c) Niesha Blancas

Now is the time for you to commit to joining me and the Slow Flowers Community, people who are part of the progressive floral marketplace, to connect at the Slow Flowers Summit July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as at the bonus Dinner on the Farm taking place Sunday, June 30th.

I also wanted to note a reminder that we forgot to mention during the interview with Monica. The Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm is an adult-only event.

Martha Pineda of Martha’s Gardens — based in Dubuque, Iowa

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with farmer-florist Martha Pineda of Dubuque, Iowa-based Martha’s Gardens,

Martha’s Gardens
Zinnias from Martha’s Gardens

Martha writes this on her web site:

At Martha’s Gardens, we are committed to growing sustainable flowers, free of pesticides and chemicals. Within the flower community, you’ll often hear this referred to as the “slow flowers” or the “grown not flown” movement.  As a small business committed to using the resources available, we subscribe to this mindset. In keeping with this, when it’s necessary to supplement our flower stock with other partner growers, we are mindful to use American growers only.  We believe that reduction of the carbon footprint is the responsible choice.

Martha shared this fun photo that she created with her flowers.

Thank you so much for joining me today, and I’m so pleased to share the stories and voices of Monica, Christine and Martha — I am continually inspired be 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.

We’ve spoken a lot about the Slow Flowers Summit, coming up soon on July 1 & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than half of the registration slots have been grabbed, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to join with Slow Flowers thinkers and doers in person.

One of our past year’s speakers dubbed the Summit a “floral mind meld,” and I love that concept. Come and be a part of the incredible and uplifting experience! You can make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Subscribe to Summit news and updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

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.

The 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.

This week marks the 8th Anniversary of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market — what an achievement! I’d love you to hear more about this intrepid hub connecting flower farmers with floral designers. Here is a link to my 2017 interview with Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm and Vivian Larson of Everyday Flowers, two of the founding farmers of that enterprise. Happy 8th Birthday to the growers, leadership and staff!!

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.

Congratulations to Syndicate Sales and Holly Chapple for the feature in Martha Stewart Living this month!

This is a big week for Syndicate’s USA-made mechanics – the pillow and egg product line affectionately called Holly x Syndicate! The reusable armatures for floral designing are featured in Martha Stewart Living’s current issue and that’s a good thing. Congratulations, Syndicate and Holly Chapple for the recognition. Here’s how you can order your own Holly Pillow – and related products.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 450,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

(c) Jean Zaputil

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:
The Basket; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration 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 393: Andrew Mefferd and The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution; Plus State Focus: Georgia

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Andrew Mefferd, author of The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution book

As an avid flower gardener, I love learning from the pro’s — flower farmers whose methods and practices often influence my own backyard steps to growing cut flowers. Some of the techniques used on commercial flower farms are not in my toolbox, which only makes me hungrier to learn from those growing flowers day in and day out.

No-Till Farming is one such technique. I’ve heard flower farmers discuss the No-Till approach and I also *thought* I knew what the term meant.

However, thanks to today’s guest and his new book, I now have more understanding and much deeper insights about the term and why it’s one worth considering for your flower-growing enterprise.

Tony and Denise Gaetz of Bare Mtn. Farm in Oregon welcomed Andrew and shared many techniques and practices for his book.

Our guest today is Andrew Mefferd, author of the brand new book  The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution — High Production Methods for Small-Scale Farmers.

Andrew is the editor of Growing for Market magazine. He has spent 15 years working on farms in six states, including a year working on a no-till research farm. He worked for seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Andrew travels around the world consulting with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing and sustainable agriculture. He is the author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Growers’ Handbook and he has a passion for cooking and promoting local farming. Andrew lives and farms in Cornville, Maine.

I first met Andrew after he acquired Growing For Market from founder Lynne Byczynski. Later, I contributed a few articles about Slow Flowers topics for Growing For Market and had the pleasure of witnessing Andrew’s passion for farming education and advocacy.

Jonathan and Megan Leiss of Spring Forth Farm are featured in the new book, The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution.

I wanted Andrew to come onto the Slow Flowers Podcast to talk about his new book, especially after Jonathan Leiss of Spring Forth Farm posted on Instagram that he and Megan and their No-Till Flower Farming methods are included in the new book. I’m so pleased that Andrew interviewed and profiled a number of Slow Flowers members about their farming practices for this essential guide.

Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Farm is featured in The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution.

I appreciate that he considers floral agriculture as an equally viable pursuit for anyone who wants to farm. It’s not all about veggies and produce in this man’s view. In fact, Growing for Market, inspired by founder Lynne Byczynski, has always made space in its pages for flower farming.

Before I turn to my extended conversation with Andrew, I want to let you know that New Society Publishers has donated a copy of The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution book for us to give away.

Follow Andrew Mefferd at these social places:

Growing for Market on Facebook

Growing for Market on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining me today. If you want to be entered into our random drawing to win a copy of Andrew’s new book, make a comment about the best tip that Andrew shared in our conversation.

We’ll draw one name from all those who comment before midnight Pacific Time this Saturday, March 23rd.

To purchase the book, use the coupon code slow before the end of April. Andrew has set up the 20-percent-off discount code for anything you purchase, subscribe or renew in the Growing for Market Bookstore.

Holly Duncan of Floretry, who shares Georgia floral news today! For this arrangement, Holly incorporated local and American-grown flowers, plus foraged branches and textural elements.

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Holly Duncan of Georgia-based Floretry. 

As owner and lead designer of Floretry, Holly carefully curates luxury florals for weddings and private event clients and is located in Roswell, just north of urban Atlanta, Georgia. With more than 20 years of experience, Holly pairs lush blooms with seasonal textures and colors to create sensory floral designs.  

A keen listener and client partner, she goes the extra mile to elevate her clients’ vision and reflect their personalities, creating a floral experience beyond their expectations. Wherever possible, Holly advocates use of seasonal and local, American-grown flowers in her designs. You may even catch a glimpse of her foraging roadside for elements that add a special and one-of-a-kind touch to her clients’ events.

A Floretry design featuring all-Georgia-grown blooms grown by 3 Porch Farm (and honeysuckle vine from Holly’s backyard). 

Find and follow Holly at these social places:

Floretry on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope 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.

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.

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

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, including today’s spotlight supporters:

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. Check them out 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. Spring bulb season is almost here – my tulips are poking out of the ground already! Visit Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.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.

The Slow Flowers Summit is coming up soon — on July 1st & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than half of the registration slots have been grabbed, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to join with Slow Flowers thinkers and doers in person.

One of our past year’s speakers dubbed the Summit a “floral mind meld,” and I love that concept. Come and be a part of the incredible and uplifting experience! You can make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Subscribe to Summit news and updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

Here’s our latest March newsletter with updates on the Slow Flowers Summit, including details on lodging and a new speaker Q&A!

My tools of the trade — digital recorder & microphone (c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 425,000 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:
Bending the Reedby Gillicuddyhttp://freemusicarchive.org/music/gillicuddy/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspirationby 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 392: News from St. Louis-based Urban Buds and the ASCFG Urban Farming Conference; Plus Our State Focus: Florida

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack of Urban Buds.

Today, we return to St. Louis, Missouri, to check in with the dynamic duo, Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack of Urban Buds.

Not only will you hear more about their farm’s expansion news, I especially wanted them to share highlights of the upcoming Urban Farming Conference that they and others have organized as a program of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Every other year, ASCFG has a large annual symposium, such as the Raleigh conference last year. Then, during the alternating years, such as what’s happening during 2019, ASCFG produces several topic-focused sessions in regions around North America. Later this month, on Saturday, March 23rd, the second such event of the year heads to St. Louis.

You’ll hear a preview of some of the presenters and their topics covered at this one-day event, which includes a panel presentation from Mimo and Miranda and owners of two other Missouri flower farms — all about the results of their research and trials on Winter production. There will also be a tour of the local floral wholesaler, Baisch & Skinner, and a farm tour at Urban Buds.

Fresh, local, sustainable and beautiful ranunculus, grown in the heart of St. Louis at Urban Buds.

Spring will have barely arrived outdoors, but inside the greenhouses and high tunnels at Urban Buds, beautiful seasonal flowers will be on full display. I’m excited for the attendees — the city farm is a sight to behold and proof that a flower farm can be just as successful on small plots as well as on larger acreage.

2016: Photographer Tiffany Marie Buckley caught this image of me as I sampled (sniffed) the first crop of beautiful stock at Urban Buds

I love how the Urban Farming conference is described by ASCFG on its web site: “Not all cut flowers are grown on a traditional farm. Increasingly, more and more farmers are finding land within city limits, and producing a remarkable variety of cut flowers on a commercial level. Learn from two of the most successful, Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack, how they carved a one-acre cut flower farm out of the middle of a St. Louis neighborhood, and continue to expand their crop selection each year with innovation and environmental sustainability.”

Here is a link to the ASCFG Urban Farming Conference details, including registration and lodging.

Here is a link to my 2016 Slow Flowers Podcast interview with Mimo and Miranda, Episode 238.

Follow Urban Buds on Facebook

See more about Urban Buds on Instagram

Kate Read of Grey Tabby Gardens in Lake Mary, Florida

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Kate Read of Grey Tabby Gardens in Lake Mary, Florida.

Grey Tabby Gardens is located in the central part of the state; she describes her floral enterprise as “a boutique cut flower garden and design studio.”

Grey Tabby Gardens, where Kate Read lives and grows her beautiful, English-inspired cut flowers.

Kate grew up in England and brings a love of English gardens with her wherever she lives, including Florida, which she has called home for 18 years.

She writes this on her web site: “When I first moved to Florida there seemed to be very little interest in growing the type of flowers I was familiar with. My research led me to the “Slow Flower” movement and the desire amongst many flower lovers to source locally grown cut flowers, rather than imported flowers. I began to plan and plant a sizeable cutting garden where I could grow many of the lovely seasonal flowers that reminded me so much of those idyllic English gardens. The result is an ever evolving collation of unique and difficult to source garden fresh flowers styled into lush bouquets and arrangements and available to buy!”

The flowers that are grown at Grey Tabby Gardens are nurtured from seed to bloom and are tended using responsible practices. They have been naturally grown without the use of toxic chemicals or synthetic fertilizers and have been happily visited by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

A lovely floral arrangement from Kate Read

Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m just back from the Philadelphia Flower Show where my mind was fully blown, not only by the warm welcome shown to me on the Designer’s Studio stage, where I presented the Slow Flowers story through flowers, but also by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and cover the FTD World Cup floral competition.

Twenty Three countries sent a designer to compete on the world stage and over the course of three days, tens of thousands of flower show attendees witnessed the highest level of talent in real time. I’ll be writing about the competition for Florists’ Review and Canadian Florist, so you can read more about it in the near future. Suffice it to say, there is some kind of new dynamic, new energy being infused in the profession of floral design, especially here in the U.S., where florists of all stages of experience and style are inspired to elevate their craft and art to new levels.

Congratulations to all the remarkable FTD World Cup competitors — you are the cream of the crop — and special congratulations to Australian floral designer Bart Hassam for winning this international floral competition. I’ll have a link to beautiful images and videos from the World Cup in today’s show notes — you must take a look and drink it in.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope 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.

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.

The Slow Flowers Summit is coming up soon — on July 1 & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than half of the registration slots have been grabbed, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to join with Slow Flowers thinkers and doers in person.

One of our past year’s speakers dubbed the Summit a “floral mind meld,” and I love that concept. Come and be a part of the incredible and uplifting experience! You can make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Subscribe to Summit news and updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

Thank you to our Sponsors who we’ve spotlighted today:

And thank you to our lead sponsor, 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.

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 422,000 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:
Dirtbike Lovers; Symphony 40 in G Minor; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspirationby 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 389: All About Herbs with Designer Sue Goetz, author of A Taste for Herbs, Plus State Spotlight: Colorado

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
Today’s guest, herb expert Sue Goetz

Whenever possible, I enjoy sharing those connections with the Slow Flowers Community. Because many of you come from these closely-related disciplines, I know you’ll enjoy today’s interview with my friend Sue Goetz. Sue is the owner of The Creative Gardener, based in Tacoma, Wash. She is a certified professional horticulturist, an author, speaker and award-winning designer.

I consider Sue a “sister” because we share the same book publisher, St. Lynn’s Press. While I’ve been writing and documenting the Slow Flowers movement, Sue has been writing, designing and photographing inspiring books about herbs.

Her first book, The Herb Lover’s Spa Book, is filled with ideas and recipes about growing fragrant herbs in your garden and how to use them to create a luxury spa experience. Her newest book, A Taste for Herbs, moves from the aromatherapy into the culinary  realm. I asked Sue to join me on the Slow Flowers Podcast to talk all about her favorite subject. I’m sure you’re growing herbs and I know this conversation will spark new ideas for what, how and why to add more herbs to your garden, farm, containers or greenhouse.

Recipe courtesy of Sue Goetz, A Taste for Herbs

Here’s more about Sue Goetz:

Writing and speaking are Sue’s favorite ways to share her love of gardening.  Her motto “…inspiring gardeners to create” defines all of her talks with hands-on workshops, how to’s and other projects that inspire creativity in and out of the garden. In 2012, she was named educator of the year by the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association.  Sue is a member of GardenComm, formerly the Garden Writers Association, and her work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines.

Search for Sue’s fun garden wisdom series on Instagram #stickybookquote

Sue Goetz is a garden designer, writer and speaker. Through her garden design business, the Creative Gardener, she works with clients, personalizing garden spaces from the seasonal tasks to the design of large projects. Sue’s garden design work has earned gold medals at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, including the Sunset Magazine Western Living award, the Fine Gardening best design award and The AHS environmental award. Her home garden was featured in Northwest Home and Garden magazine, as well as Country Gardens Magazine.

Sue is a member of APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) and the Northwest Horticultural Society. Sue lives and gardens in Washington state. She has three daughters, who no matter how far they roam, they still call home for some of mom’s fragrant, herbal concoctions.

Recipe courtesy of Sue Goetz, A Taste for Herbs

You can find all of Sue’s herb-related content and details about her two books, her lectures, and lots of recipes at herbloversgarden.com.

Find and follow Sue Goetz at these social places:

The Creative Gardener on Facebook

The Creative Gardener on Instagram

Robin Taber, Blue Door Farm
Colorado’s Robin Taber of Blue Door Farm
Our fabulous group of flower friends gathered at the Rocky Mountain Field to Vase Dinner. From left: Andrea K. Grist, me, Alicia Schwede, Robyn Rissman, Meg McGuire, and Robin Taber

Our theme for 2019 – #FiftyStatesofSlowFlowers – continues today, with Robin Taber of Blue Door Farm in Grand Junction, Colorado.

I first met Robin through her friend and fellow Colorado flower farmer, Megan McGuire of Red Daisy Farm, a Slow Flowers member and past guest of this podcast.

We both traveled to the Denver area in 2016 to stay at Meg’s wonderful farm and participate in a Slow Flowers Potluck as well as attend the Field to Vase Dinner at The Fresh Herb Co. It impressed me that Robin traveled 250 miles all the way across the state to be part of this gathering. It’s not unusual for flower people to do that sort of thing and we had a wonderful time together with Meg and also Andrea K. Grist, who joined us from Kansas City. See the cute photo of our time together above, along with Alicia Schwede and Robyn Rissman.

Bodacious Blooms: Robin taught floral design at a 2-day Blue Door Farm workshop last year in a collaboration with professional artist Dianna Fritzler.

Robin is deaf and communicates by lip-reading. In our conversation you’ll hear her speak with a mild accent. Her husband Mark Taber assisted us during the Skype interview.

Download the full transcript of our conversation here.

Find and follow Blue Door Farm at these social places:

Blue Door Farm on Facebook

Blue Door Farm on Instagram

The Vacation Rental/Guest House at Blue Door Farm

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope 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.

This was a week of highlights, including lots of great press attention for Slow Flowers during the lead up to Valentine’s Day. I’ll share all of those links in our March newsletter, so if you’re not a subscriber, you may wish to sign up at debraprinzing.com.

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.

And thank you to our lead sponsor, 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.

Our first Sponsor Spotlight and thanks goes to 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.  

Our Second Sponsor Spotlight today includes a thanks to 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.

Our final sponsor thank you this week goes to the 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.

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.

The Slow Flowers Summit is five months away on July 1 & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. We just wrapped up a very successful Galentine’s Day-Valentine’s Day promotion for the Slow Flowers Summit, generating new registrants to bump us well over the 50% sold-out mark for the 3rd annual Summit

I owe a big bouquet of thanks to event manager Karen Thornton and social media manager Niesha Blancas for all their extra effort to make that happen!

Make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Subscribe to Summit news and updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 411,000 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:
Loopy; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspirationby 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 387: When Flowers are Your Side Hustle, with Nan Matteson of Queen City Flower Farm, Plus State Spotlight: Arkansas

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Queen City Flower Farm’s flowers, grown by today’s guest, Nan Matteson

Nan Matteson of Queen City Flower Farm, based in Cincinnati, Ohio

I’m delighted to share today’s conversation with Nan Matteson of Queen City Flower Farm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I met Nan virtually in 2015 when she emailed me to introduce herself. It was a lovely note from a woman who would become a kindred spirit and friend. Nan wrote this:

“Once vase at a time.” That was the line that hooked me. I could make one vase.

I’m a podcast junkie and a gardener.  Slow Flowers hit my radar either via Ken Druse or Riz Reyes early in the game. I listened all summer. I wanted to hang out with these people. I showed up at the ASCFG meeting in Delaware to explore more. Met you ever so briefly.   

Came home wondering, how can I be a part of this movement?  I could read between the lines. People already owned the land. There was a husband/family in the background. But let’s be honest. I’m single, in my late 50’s, and wasn’t about to leave my good job w/ benefits.

More beautiful bouquets and field-grown zinnias from Queen City Flower Farm.

However, one afternoon in late November I had coffee w/ a local CSA farmer who had no interest in flowers. She said, “Nan, come grow for us on our land.” An offer I couldn’t refuse. 

I spent the winter reading, ordering seeds and tubers. Listening to more podcasts. By spring I knew I still knew nothing about growing cut flowers, but took the advice offered in multiple podcasts, “Just start.” 

So I have spent this summer providing mixed bouquets for Finn Meadows CSA. A barnacle business as Elizabeth Artis would say. A mini-micro biz I say. I average 7 bouquets a week. Not much, but seven more vases of fresh, local, seasonal flowers sitting on someone’s table each week. 

And I continue to listen to your podcast. 

Lucky for me I’m heading to NYC this week-end. And although not planned it turned out that I had scheduled myself the same week as the Field to Vase dinner in Brooklyn. Oh my gosh! So what’s another day in NYC if I can catch that event? I hope to see you there.

Final thought: trend is not a bad word  – embrace it. You’ve created a wonderful trend! (Who am I to tell you what to say?!) 

Love your podcast. Its growth proves its worth. Sincerely, Nan Matteson

Event bouquets (left) and a gift bouquet (right), grown by Nan Matteson of Queen City Flower Farm.

Isn’t that just the kind of email to savor again and again?!

Nan (right) with her sister, at Flower House Detroit in 2015. The women are wearing botanical brooches, which Nan made.

As it turns out, I met Nan that summer of 2015 in Brooklyn, and subsequently, at Lisa Waud’s Flower House Detroit, just a few months later.

She joined Slow Flowers as a member, came to the Slow Flowers Summit #1 and #2 (and she’s already scheduled to join us in St. Paul at Slow Flowers Summit #3).

We’ve met up at other flower events and when Nan came to Seattle last month for a short visit, I told her we needed to record an episode for the Podcast!

Lucky for me, she said YES! I know you will enjoy our conversation and laughter.

And you’ll be inspired as I am, by Nan’s joie de vivre and her determination to keep on growing flowers, even if just for a single vase of beauty.

Find and follow Nan Matteson at these social places — she’s one you’ll want to follow and connect with.

Queen City Flower Farm on Instagram

The Marmalade Lily, where Nan will be growing dahlias this coming season.

All Arkansas-grown wedding by Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio

Althea Wiles, Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Arkansas-based Althea Wiles of Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio.

Follow Rose of Sharon at these social places:

Rose of Sharon on Facebook

Rose of Sharon on Instagram

Rose of Sharon on Pinterest

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you.

I hope 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.

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.

Slow Flowers Summit logo The Slow Flowers Summit is six months away so please save three dates on your calendar as you plan your travel to St. Paul, Minnesota.

First, our bonus flower farm tours and Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, taking place on Sunday, June 30th.

On Monday, July 1st, we will all gather at Paikka Event Space for day one of the Summit.

On Tuesday, July 2nd we will tour the Twin Cities Flower Exchange as it’s swimming in locally grown flowers.

I can’t wait to see you there! Ticket sales continue with a special Slow Flowers member discount at $375.

You’ll learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Sign up to receive updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

Thank you to our Sponsors, including those highlighted today!

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.

Madras, Oregon-based NW Green Panels, designer and builder of a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses. 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 here!

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 here.

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 405,000 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:
Loopy; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Episode 384: Blending Cut Flower Production with a Nursery Business at Minnesota’s Green Earth Growers, Plus our new State Spotlight: Alabama

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Jolea Gress and Jenny Hotz of Green Earth Growers

Please meet this week’s podcast guests, Jolea Gress and Jenny Hotz of Green Earth Growers. In today’s conversation, you’ll learn about their thriving business, their flowers, their wholesale and retail operations — plus, you’ll learn how you can join all three of us at the special Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, taking place June 30th prior to the third annual Slow Flowers Summit in St. Paul Minnesota.

The beautiful farm that is home to Green Earth Growers in Prior Lake, Minnesota

Our delicious and beautiful Flower Farm-to-Table meal will take place at Green Earth Growers, in Prior Lake, Minnesota. This established, women-owned plant nursery, vegetable and cut flower farm will wow you and I’m so pleased that Jolea and Jenny are sharing their story here today. Green Earth Growers is one of the Minnesota flower farms selling to the floral marketplace through the Twin Cities Flower Exchange wholesale hub. TCFE is our co-host of the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit.

The flower harvest at Green Earth Growers.

Here’s a bit about their story:

Green Earth Growers was established in 2004, located just south of the Twin Cities. Jenny and Jolea began by growing quality plants, produce & cut flowers for local farmers, fundraisers, garden centers, landscapers, farmers markets and restaurants. Slowly, throughout the years, they have expanded their greenhouse growing space and farmland.

A vivid and freshly picked CSA bouquet from Green Earth Growers.

The women continue to be committed to growing and producing quality products with an emphasis on sustainability. All their production (plants, produce and cut flowers) are grown in accordance with the National Organic Standards. Green Earth Growers is a Certified Naturally Grown business.

Beautiful field-grown sunflowers from Green Earth Growers.

In 2008, Jenny and Jolea introduced Green Earth Growers CSA, growing the program from supplying an initial 20 families with fresh weekly produce, to more than 70 CSA members today. They added a flower shares option in 2014, and say they love the personal connection with those CSA customers.​

CSA Bouquets (left) and bedding plants and hanging baskets inside the Green Earth Growers’ greenhouse.

The retail center, Green Earth Gardens, opened in 2013, operating seasonally, late April to July. The center offers sustainable grown plants that are Minnesota hardy and an alternative to the plants you find at big box stores. Always experimenting with new plant varieties and growing methods, you can tell that Jenny and Jolea are passionate about flowers plants. Their passion is contagious and I can’t wait to visit them in June!

Find and follow Green Earth Growers at these social places:

Green Earth Growers on Facebook

Green Earth Growers on Instagram

Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle with one of her bridal bouquets

I love our Alabama state flower coloring page with a Camellia, designed by Jenny Diaz for American Flowers Week!

I want to share about our special theme of 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – which begins today, and continues through the end of 2019, for fifty consecutive weeks, I will devote a bonus mini-interview at the end of each episode to speak with a member about what’s happening in his or her state.

Averaging 10 minutes or so, we’ll give you a snapshot of floristry, flower sourcing and the unique character of the Slow Flowers scene — from Alabama to Wyoming and everywhere between. We’ll also make some important stops along the way to speak with members in the Canadian Provinces — yay!

Today’s state spotlight begins with Alabama’s Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle.

Thorne and Thistle is a destination wedding and floral design studio with a passion for travel and creating meaningful, memorable moments for our couples across the southeastern states and beyond.

You can read more about Lisa in a feature I wrote for the November 2017 issue of Florists’ Review, called “A Southern Sense of Style.” Click here to read.

Find and follow Lisa Thorne at these social places:

Thorne & Thistle on Facebook

Thorne & Thistle on Instagram

Thorne & Thistle on Pinterest

Thorne & Thistle on Twitter

A beautiful Alabama tablescape, designed by Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope 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.


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.

The Slow Flowers Summit is six months away so please save three dates on your calendar as you plan your travel to St. Paul Minnesota: First, our bonus flower farm tours and Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, taking place on Sunday, June 30th; then, Monday, July 1st, where we will all gather at Paikka Event Space for day one of the Summit, followed by Tuesday, July 2nd where we will tour the Twin Cities Flower Exchange as it’s swimming in locally grown flowers.

I can’t wait to see you there! Ticket sales continue with a special Slow Flowers member discount at $375, so please make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Sign up to receive updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 397,000 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

SPONSOR THANKS:

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.

Today’s first thank you goes out 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.

Team Flower Conference – a professional floral event where flower lovers from all over the world gather for networking, learning, and celebration. It’s a special time for the floral industry to come together and whether you’re a farmer, designer, wholesaler, or just love flowers, you’re invited to attend as Team Flowers dreams big for the industry’s future. Head to teamflower.org/slowflowers to learn more about the 2019 conference in Waco, Texas!

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. And check out the web site for details about the upcoming Focus on the Business of Cut Flowers conference, set for Feb 18-19 in Denver. Seven of the experts presenting at the conference are past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast, so you’ll recognize some familiar names and topics in the lineup!

Music Credits:
On Our Own Again; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions