Debra Prinzing

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

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers

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

Canadian-grown flowers by Becky Feasby

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

Fresh and dried flowers designed by Becky Feasby

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

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

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

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

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

Seasonal flowers designed by Becky Feasby of Prarie Girl Flowers

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

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

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

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

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

Kentucky-grown blooms at Starry Fields Farm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truly, we have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast.
Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Turning On the Lights; Simple Melody; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 399: Celebrating our 300th Episode with Teresa Sabankaya, the Posy Book and Our State Focus: Kansas

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

This is the 300th consecutive episode of your weekly podcast about American flowers and the people who grow and design with them. It’s all about making a conscious choice and I invite you to join the conversation and the creative community as we discuss the vital topics of saving our domestic flower farms and supporting a floral industry that relies on a safe, seasonal and local supply of flowers and foliage.

I have a very special guest to help me celebrate our 300th episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Yes, for 300 consecutive weeks, ever since the first episode aired on July 23, 2013, I’ve brought you original programming about local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and the people who grow and design with them.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is different. My audio storytelling is inclusive and welcoming to you, and I hope you picture it the way I do: we’re all sitting together in a beautiful field of flowers or curled up around the fireplace sipping mugs of tea. It is a community gathering place for voices, insights, ideas and encouragement, bringing you nearly six years of meaningful and informative content — delivered through your ear-buds. The Seattle Times just called this podcast a lively platform for voices in the local-flowers movement throughout the country, which will have you craving blossoms and blooms.”

Each week, you join my engaging conversations with flower farmers, floral designers, cut floral and plant experts, authors, entrepreneurs and innovators in the Slow Flowers Community.

Teresa Sabankaya in her garden in Bonny Doon, California

And I thank YOU for joining me! For our 300th episode, I’m so pleased to welcome Teresa Sabankaya of the Bonny Doon Garden Co., based in Santa Cruz, CA. Teresa is a past guest of this podcast, but it has been quite a while since you’ve heard from her here — more than four years, actually, since we recorded our conversation back in April 2015 when I visited her shop, studio and garden.

A lot has happened with Teresa who I call a Slow Flowers Pioneer! Like me, you may have first met this passionate artist in the pages of Flower Confidential, Amy Stewart’s 2007 book about the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers.

Teresa Sabankaya at the 2017 Slow Flowers Summit

And while so many people say they want to write a book, Teresa’s book idea has actually become a beautiful reality. Her new endeavor, The Posy Book, will be published in one week by The Countryman Press, a division of W.W. Norton & Co., and we have the exclusive first peek inside its pages with today’s conversation with Teresa. I’m so excited to welcome her here — and be sure to listen scroll to the bottom of this post — where you’ll find the details on how you can enter a random drawing to win a copy of this special book.

The Posy Book’s tagline is “Garden-Inspired Bouquets that Tell a Story,” and in its 255 pages, you will find Teresa’s floral recipes for more than 20 flower arrangements, along with the message each flower communicates — yellow roses convey friendship; silver-leaf geranium articulates admiration, for example. There are step-by-step instructions, ideas for seasonal variations and a modern floral dictionary with hundreds of entries.

After hearing from Teresa Sabankaya, you’ll also believe that whatever the sentiment, say it with a posy. Check out Teresa’s New Language of Flowers Dictionary, online.

Here’s how to find and follow Teresa:

Teresa Sabankaya on Facebook

Teresa Sabankaya on Twitter

Teresa Sabankaya on Instagram where you can search by #theposybook and #sentimentinflowers

ENTER TO WIN THE POSY BOOK!

Thank you so much for joining me today! To enter your name in our drawing for a free copy of The Posy Book, you’ll need to do two things. First, visit Teresasabankaya.com, where you will find Teresa’s New Language of Flowers Dictionary — and look up the meaning of your favorite botanical element — flower, herb, tree or shrub. Then, post your thoughts about that flower and its meaning in the comment section below.

We will draw a name from the comments that appear by midnight Pacific time on Saturday, May 4th and announce the winner in next week’s show. Thank you to Teresa’s publisher The Countryman Press. This giveaway is limited to US and Canadian entrants.

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Stacy Schmidt of Narrow Trail Farm in Baldwin City, Kansas. Stacy writes this on Narrow Trail’s web site:

Narrow Trail Farm CSA bouquets

Narrow Trail Farm is a small family farm committed to bringing you the best sustainably grown, specialty cut flowers, vegetables, fruit, honey, and small batch handcrafted goods. Our farm is located between Baldwin City and the historic Vinland Valley on the original Santa Fe trail. We are committed to using only organic and sustainable growing practices and clean solar energy to offer you the healthiest products while protecting the environment. As we discuss, you can find Narrow Trail Farm at the Baldwin City farmers’ market and the Lawrence, Kansas farmers’ market, or at their own farm store Monday and Wednesday 4-8pm May through October or by appointment.

Thank you so much for joining me today, and I’m so pleased to share the stories and voices of Teresa and Stacy — and 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.

I thought of the Slow Flowers Movement while reading an article last weekend written by New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, acknowledging the James Beard Foundation’s media awards for 2019 that named the NYT publication of the year. Sam wrote this: “Our goal is simple: We seek to help people understand the world through food.” That sentence gave me chills, because it is exactly what I want to convey about our work — helping people understand the world through flowers. Pretty inspiring!

As I teased at the top of the episode, today we’re launching a special ticket-promotion for attendees of the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit — which takes place two months from today, actually, 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!

For a limited time — today 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.

We’ll meet you in St. Paul-Minnesota, aka the Twin Cities, on July 1-2, 2019 for the best and most inspiring floral mind-meld around! Join an amazing community of progressive designers, farmer-florists, flower farmers and leaders in the sustainable floral marketplace. 

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

I look forward to connecting with you at the Slow Flowers Summit July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as at the bonus pre-summit event — Dinner on the Farm taking place Sunday, June 30th.

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.

I want to send a special shout-out this week to Aaron Stierle of Solitude Springs Farm & Vineyard in Fairbanks, Alaska — he contributed to the Podcast as well as joined Slow Flowers — all in one week. Aaron wrote: “Hi Debra, Love your podcasts! They’ve inspired me to take my farm to a new level by adding specialty cut flowers in addition to the peonies I grow for the Arctic Alaska Peonies cooperative.”

Well, that’s pretty cool! THANK YOU, Aaron, and welcome to the community! 

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

Welcome back to returning sponsor Arctic Alaska Peonies for 2019 and the timing couldn’t be better. Arctic Alaska Peonies is 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.

Our final Sponsor thanks today goes to Longfield Gardens. 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!  

1. Take a photo of something that’s currently blooming in your garden. Show us one flower, 100 flowers or a bouquet — you decide.

2. Post your photo on Instagram and tag it with #LongfieldBlooms. On Facebook, leave it as a comment under our weekly post.

3. Include the flower type (and variety if you know it), the date the photo was taken and where you are located.

We will select and re-share one winning photo each week from now through May 24. Good Luck!

I am in love with my greenhouse, designed and built sustainably by Oregon-based NW Green Panels (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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:
Heartland Flyer; Skyway; 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 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 397: On Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden with Jennifer Jewell of Public Radio’s Cultivating Place, plus State Focus: Indiana

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Jennifer Jewell, creator and host of “Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden” (c) Delaney Jewell Simchuk

I’m delighted to introduce you to my featured guest today: Jennifer Jewell, creator and host of Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden.

Cultivating Place plays a significant role in the audio space, not just on North State Public Radio in Chico, California, the show’s home base, but everywhere through the power of Podcasting. I know many of our Slow Flowers Podcast listeners have already discovered Jennifer and this wonderful one-hour weekly program — in fact, Jennifer and I are frequently drawn to the same guests and topics.

Jennifer Jewell of Cultivating Place in her beloved Northern California home (c) John Whittlesey

Cultivating Place is an incredible platform for dialogue with people for whom nature and gardening is a central, essential act. Jennifer is passionate about conversations that often include the simple question: What is your garden practice?

Here is more about Cultivating Place. The program’s premise is that gardens are more than collections of plants.

Gardens and Gardeners are intersectional spaces and agents for positive change in our world. Together, we center gardens and gardeners as paradigm shifters improving our relationships to and impacts on the more-than-human natural environment, on the larger culture(s), and on our communal and individual health and well-being.

Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens and gardening are integral to our natural and cultural literacy – on par with Art, Science, Literature, Music, Religion. Gardens encourage a direct relationship with the dynamic processes of the plants, animals, soils, seasons, and climatic factors that come to bear on a garden, providing a unique, and uniquely beautiful, bridge connecting us to our larger environments — culturally and botanically. With 38% of US households engaging in gardening – we are many, and especially together, we make a difference in this world. These conversations celebrate how all these interconnections support the places we cultivate, nourish our bodies, and feed our spirits.

Jennifer Jewell, photographed at the Fairoaks Horticulture Center in the Sacramento area (c) John Whittlesey

Here is more about Jennifer Jewell:

Host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate.

Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father. Jennifer has been writing about gardening professionally since 1998, and her work has appeared in Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, Natural Home, Old House Journal, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, and Pacific Horticulture. She worked as Native Plant Garden Curator for Gateway Science Museum on the campus of California State University, Chico, and lives and gardens in Butte County, California.

Jennifer’s first book about extraordinary women changing the world with plants, is due out in early 2020 from Timber Press. I’m so honored that she asked me to be part of this project as one of the women profiled — and in the coming months, I’ll have more details to share with you. She is currently at work on her second book highlighting wild gardens of the west and their relationship to the natural beauty of their places, with photographer Caitlin Atkinson. 

I’m so pleased to share my conversation with Jennifer today. Here are some of her social links for you to follow:

Cultivating Place on Facebook

Cultivating Place on Instagram

Listen to my guest appearance on Cultivating Place (July 2016)

In her favorite place! Our guest today, Jennifer Jewell, creator and host of Cultivating Place (c) John Whittlesey

You can find and follow Jennifer Jewell and subscribe to her program Cultivating Place at cultivatingplace.org or follow these links below:

Amy Beausir of Molly & Myrtle, on a floral life in Indiana

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Amy Beausir of Indiana-based Molly & Myrtle, an Indianapolis “urban flower farm”  & design studio filled with curated wedding supplies to help couples “go green.”

Amy Beausir (center) sharing her Indiana-grown and designed bouquet with of her many bridal clients

Amy started out about 8 yrs ago as a farmer’s market vendor selling cut flowers surrounded by garden foliage; now everything she grows supplies her weekly business. Establishing relationships with small & large business owners comes naturally to Amy, a former marketing director at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. When she personally delivers weekly flowers it’s a weekly highlight to catch up with customers, including a 13-room boutique hotel, an all-organic restaurant, artisan icy pop shop, an international brand retail store, and a senior living facility. Molly & Myrtle’s bread & blooms so to speak are weddings, in addition to workshops, special events & philanthropy.

A local and seasonal bridal bouquet designed by Amy Beausir of Molly & Myrtle in Indiana.

Amy shared her “back story”:

“I was born in the small town of Cary, Illinois, and my childhood provided an idyllic environment for a kid and priceless experiences stored away have given me channels of  inspiration for a grown up designer. The glacial region supplied rich black dirt, and on our property, manure from a Hertz family Kentucky Derby winning race horse and then Curtiss Farms prize bulls made our family garden flourish.

“A special neighbor named Louise was a conservationist ahead of her time. Louise and a few helpers built a wildflower trail down the hill from us off Turkey Run Rd.  Louise carefully marked the solomon’s seal, trillium, trout lilies, and dozens of other specimens that lined the forested trail that finished at the beginning of a group of natural spring fed  trout ponds. I learned how to make watercress sandwiches & candied violets from foraging “small servings” from the woods & wildflower trail. 

“To this day I have a keen eye, hand, nose and ear for all the beauty of nature whether it be a veined leaf, bird or bloom. In our gardens I often say ‘hello gorgeous’ when I discover a spectacular flower or ‘good morning’ to a bird or bee that zooms out of a flower as I’m walking thru. In your Slow Flowers book you use the description of ‘natural form & character’  and ‘how a vase can be a little garden.’ What a great way of explaining what gardeners & flower farmers experience with our up close relationship with the myriad of things we cultivate, nurture and harvest.   One of my very first jobs as a teenager was working for Ellen at our town’s flower shop, Cary Floral Gardens.”

Favorite things in the gardens:  lavender, ferns and hosta

Favorite short season crop from outside Indiana:  mock orange and quince

Thank you so much for joining me today, and I’m so pleased to share the stories and voices of Jennifer Jewell and Amy Beausir — they’re both contributing exciting chapters to the Slow Flowers story and I hope you find and follow them!

Thank you so much for joining me on this Slow Flowers journey as I seek 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.

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.

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

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, 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.

The 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.

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 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

You’re invited to be part of Longfield Gardens’ “Spring Flower Photo Contest,” 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! Here are the details:

1. Take a photo of something that’s currently blooming in your garden. Show us one flower, 100 flowers or a bouquet — you decide.

2. Post your photo on Instagram and tag it with #LongfieldBlooms. On Facebook, leave it as a comment under our weekly post.

3. Include the flower type (and variety if you know it), the date the photo was taken and where you are located.

We will select and re-share one winning photo each week from now through May 24. Good Luck!

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 444,000 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:
Le Marais; Rue Severine; Betty Dear; Horizon Liner; 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 396: Floral Artist Whit McClure of Los Angeles-based Whit Hazen, plus State Focus: Illinois

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
Whit McClure of Los Angeles-based Whit Hazen

Last week took me to Southern California and I covered a lot of ground while there, from participating early in the week at The Gathering Rose workshop produced and hosted by Danielle Hahn of Rose Story Farm and Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower, both past guests of this podcast, to visiting Mayesh Wholesale Flowers (a sponsor of the Slow Flowers Podcast) and connecting with today’s guest at the Los Angeles Flower District.

Whit recently wrote this on her Instagram feed @whit_hazen: “I’m building a business that provides a wonderful service to wonderful clients and is in service to my community, and hoping that it encourages you to do the same.”

I was so thrilled to spend time with Whit McClure of LA-based Whit Hazen, a studio designer who is a featured speaker of the Slow Flowers Summit coming up in July. While we are “friends” via social media and have chatted on a telephone interview for a story I wrote for Florists’ Review’s Slow Flowers Journal last December, nothing can compare with face-to-face conversation. Whit and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast and then we recorded the interview you’ll hear next.

A botanical installation for one of Whit’s restaurant clients

Here’s more about Whit:  

Studio floral designer Whit McClure moved to Los Angeles three years ago and she has been designing with flowers ever since. Her introduction to flower farming and floral design is rooted in connections made through food justice and the local culinary community in Washington, D.C.

Whit spent years after college working on farms, in community gardens, and in the nonprofit world, teaching folks of all ages and walks of life how to grow their own food.  Eventually she found floral design as the perfect blend of working with plants, crafting beauty, and collaborating with others, while also pursuing her committment to social justice. Ever-inspired by nature’s abundant beauty and driven to respect and protect its resources, Whit Hazen is motivated to bring more beauty in the world for others.

“Personal is Political” One of the images from my “Petals & Politics” series.
Orange and pink floral palette — one of Whit’s favorite combinations

Read more about Whit McClure:

Slow Flowers Summit – Speaker Q&A

December 2018 issue of Florists’ Review

Follow Whit McClure & Whit Hazen on Instagram

Had to share this cute selfie of Whit and me at the Los Angeles Flower Market last week.

Thank you so much for joining me on this Slow Flowers journey as I seek 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.

As we mentioned, Whit McClure is the Capstone Speaker at the 3rd annual Slow Flowers Summit, which takes place on July 1st & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. You’ll hear from Whit about her approach to floral activism as she encourages audience members to use their artistic platform for social change. I can’t wait for you to join us there.

It’s always wonderful to connect with floral influencers at the Slow Flowers Summit, including my friend and gardening blogger Teri Speight of Cottage in the Court.

It’s time to grab your seat at The Slow Flowers Summit. 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.

ILLINOIS: Kat Willrett of Willrett Flower Co.

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Kat Willrett of Illinois-based Willrett Flower Co.

How about those tulips?! Illinois-grown, of course!

As a farmer-florist, Kat’s wedding designs start with flowers cut fresh from her farmland where she grows organic, high end, cut flowers, on just a few acres in Northern Illinois. The farm is the heart of her business and she loves to show it off, often with a glass of wine and a walk through the field.

Find and follow Kat at these social places:

Willrett Flower Co. on Instagram

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.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 438,000 times by listeners like you. We wrapped up the month of March with more than 17,000 downloads — an all-time record listenership. So excited to see our community continue to grow. 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:

Betty Dear; Horizon Liner; 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 395: Petals and Alpacas at Gholson Gardens in Walla Walla, Washington, plus State Focus: Idaho

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019
Walla Walla flower farmer and alpaca farmer Elaine Vandiver

Last weekend I spent 2 days in Walla Walla, Washington, located in the Southeast corner of the state, where I joined the Washington-Grown Flowers promotion team at the Washington State Farmers’ Market Association conference.

Opening slide for our presentation at the Washington State Farmers Market Assoc. Conference

The Flower Promotion effort was funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and is being jointly administered by the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture’s Regional Markets Program and the Washington State Farm Bureau. They invited me to co-present on my Slow Flowers Insights, as well as about local flower promotion strategies for Farmers’ Market managers — what  a great opportunity to bring local and seasonal flowers to the forefront of the farmers’ market world!

Farmers’ Market managers gathered to learn how to make pin-in flowers and flower crowns, an activity which we encouraged them to bring to their own venues.

Thanks to Laura Ridenour and Laura Raymond of WSDA and to Suzanne Carson of the Farm Bureau for including me in this program, and to Emily Asmus of Welcome Table Farm, my co-presenter, who was super inspiring as a local flower farmer with great advice about seasonality and best practices for market managers who may not be as familiar with floral crops as they are with food crops.

Mike and Elaine Vandiver at Gholson Gardens

While in Walla Walla, I also had time to visit Gholson Gardens, owned by Slow Flowers member Elaine Vandiver and her husband Mike Vandiver.

Elaine and Mike are members of the Homegrown by Heroes organization, which supports veterans in agriculture careers.

Gholson Gardens is a small, 10-acre farm located in southeastern Washington state, in the quintessential rural community of Walla Walla.  Mike and Elaine are both U.S. Army veterans turned first generation farmers.

Gholson Gardens and Old Homestead Alpacas share the Walla Walla farmland and historic barn buildings.

As they share on their web site, “with no previous agricultural experience, we purchased the farm in May 2014 as a way to start anew after learning a traditional family wasn’t in the cards for us.  We didn’t have any immediate plans for the farm, which was mostly in pasture.  We simply hoped to enjoy the beautiful red barn, sweeping views of the Blue Mountains from the farmhouse porch, and maybe get some critters to complete the country scene.”

Elaine’s mobile farm stand — fashioned from one half of a vintage Studebaker pickup.
Another farm stand often used by Elaine — a VB van that carries and displays a lot of flowers!

The story unfolds in my interview recorded in the farmhouse’s dining room kitchen where Elaine and I sat comfortably while Mike kept their two Greyhound rescue dogs entertained outside.

Dye flowers and alpaca wool in the studio

This is a very personal, inspiring story for anyone who views growing cut flowers as a new way of life, perhaps as a catalyst for all sorts of change.

Farmhouse and flowers at Gholson Gardens.

For Elaine and Mike, growing flowers is the latest chapter of their agricultural lifestyle, one that began with a llama and too many adorable alpacas for me to accurately count, continued to a flower and herb garden to grow plants that produce natural dyes for the wool, skeins and garments made with the alpaca fiber, and expanded just over a year ago to become a full-fledge cut flower farm.

Farm-Grown Knitwear

Elaine’s narrative on Gholson Garden’s web site continues: “Knowing that the fiber takes 2 years to bring to market [1 year for the alpacas to grow it and the better part of another year spent professionally milling, knitting and then hand dyeing], we quickly realized that growing cut flowers could be a great way to diversify the farm.  And that’s what we did!  We sowed our first seeds in late February 2018 and began field production in early May, selling them at the local farmer’s market from June through September.  We sell primarily at the Walla Walla Downtown Farmers Market and to a few local florists, but are also offering a ‘bouquet CSA’ starting in Spring 2019. You can find Gholson Gardens at the downtown Walla Walla farmers market in 2019 from May through October!”

Elaine and Mike Vandiver of Gholson Gardens and Old Homestead Alpacas

I’m so pleased to bring you this interview for many reasons, including how encouraging it is.

Find and Follow Gholson Gardens:

Gholson Gardens on Facebook

Gholson Gardens on Instagram

Old Homestead Alpacas

Elaine Vandiver of Gholson Gardens.

My time in Walla Walla allowed me to connect with so many fabulous people in the farmers’ market community, people who are excited to bring the story of locally grown flowers to their customers across the state. I will share more in the coming months about the exciting Washington-Grown Flowers project, as I believe it can be a great template for anyone to bring to the department of agriculture and farm bureau agencies in their state. As I said, more to come, soon!

Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston of Bindweed Farm

Our #fiftystatesofslowflowers series continues today with a stop in Idaho and Deadhead Cut Flowers’ Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston. The couple are past guest of this podcast and you can hear our 2016 interview here, recorded on the occasion of the publication of Deadhead: The Bindweed Way to Grow Flowers.

A lot has taken place since then, including the sale of Bindweed Flower Farm to their nephew. Last year, Ralph authored All Pollen, No Petal: Behind the Flower Farming Dream, and we talk a little about its message in today’s conversation.

Coming up on May 2nd & 3rd, “INSIDE FLOWER FARMING—the real deal,” the Deadhead Cutflowers/Bindweed Farm Flower Growing School, returning in the Spring of 2019 with a two-day session for beginning and intermediate growers.
A major focus will be to make flower farming transparent by showing the actual tax returns of the farm, as well as costs and income so you can better see where you stand and what is possible. 

Killing Frost’s Jamie Rodgers will join Ralph and Jeriann for the session to provide his and Carly Jenkins’ success with organic pest and disease control.
If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own cut-flower farm or are ready to make the jump from hobby/master gardener to cut-flower farmer, we are here to help you.  Class size will be limited to ten individuals in order to give close attention to each farmer.

How was this for a bonus segment! Amazing — what a great chance to speak with Elaine Vandiver at the beginning of her flower farming journey, and to hear from Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston, who are looking at some of their journey in the rear view mirror while sharing their knowledge and experience, stories and art with the rest of us.

Bindweed Farm in Blackfoot, Idaho ~ God’s Country
Clematis recta purpurea — the plant Ralph and Jeriann raved about in today’s podcast.

Thank you so much for joining me on this Slow Flowers journey as I seek 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.

We brought the Slow Flowers Summit 2018 to Washington, D.C. and we’re coming to the Twin Cities in 2019!

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.

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 433,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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.

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 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.

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:
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; Acoustic Shuffle
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 394: The Wholesale Florists’ Outlook with Tom Jennings of Green Mountain Florist Supply in Burlington, Vermont

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019
Tom Jennings and Debra Prinzing (left); Debra and Susan McLeary (right) (c) Amy Bennett Photography

A few weeks ago, I traveled to the charming town of Burlington, Vermont, located on Lake Champlain, with beautiful views of the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.

Green Mountain Florists Supply hosted me, along with Susan McLeary of Passionflower, to teach for its spring education series. Owners Tom and Kim Jennings and their amazing staff made sure we had not only a wonderful time but a perfect environment for lecturing and teaching. The images shared here are generously provided by Green Mountain Florist Supply and Vermont-based photographer Amy Bennett. Learn more about Amy’s work here.

But let me back up and first tell you how I got there.

I believe in serendipity and connections, and this story is a perfect example of that. My trip to Burlington began in 2017 when Holly Chapple invited me to teach creative writing for florists at her 2nd Flowerstock festival.

There I met Vermont-based florist Jayson Munn, one of those quietly talented guys who gets things done, and anticipates everyone’s needs before they know them. Jayson’s presence definitely supported Holly and all the thousands of tiny moving parts of the Flowerstock machine, and yet he had time to chat and we got to know one another.

Last October, when I returned to teach at Flowerstock again, Jayson and I reconnected in person and he mentioned wanting to invite me to Vermont for the workshop series he coordinates for Green Mountain.

So it happened and the visit was a delightful experience! When I arrived at Green Mountain Florists Supply, I was warmly welcomed by Tom Jennings and the team of professionals. They set up a beautiful teaching space, where I gave a morning presentation — basically the story of Slow Flowers.

Tom and his team unroll the pre-order floral timeline for weddings, with artist Peter Baldor standing at left.

Once the other instructors, staff and students had devoured a delicious catered lunch seated among the showroom displays, Tom kicked off our afternoon with a presentation on flower sourcing behind-the-scenes. He and his team unveiled an illustrated timeline of special events and wedding flower ordering, using a 15-foot-long scroll of paper with drawings by Peter Baldor, the company’s Road Supply Sales Manager. As it turns out, Peter is also a humorist and cartoonist known as “Baldy” and I’ve added a link to his “In the Hothouse” web site in our show notes — check out his quirky, plant-focused world view through hand-drawn scenes.

Jayson Munn, Bailey Hale and Debra Prinzing

Bailey Hale of nearby Ardelia Farm & Co., followed with a presentation including his story and insights about flower farming in Vermont.

I love how Amy Bennett captured my demonstration with local and domestic flowers. It was a joy to design with these botanicals in a cool vessel from Green Mountain Florist Supply.

As a bonus, I was invited to design with a vase-full of perfectly formed white ranunculus stems that Bailey harvested from his winter greenhouse, demonstrating a large arrangement of all-American grown floral elements.

A wonderful environment for teaching creative writing and sharing the Slow Flowers story!
Getting started with our writing prompts!

That interlude led to our 3-1/2 hour afternoon devoted to creative writing for florists, flower farmers and farmer-florists. What a fabulous group of willing participants. I loved meeting such wonderful women, each of whom brought her unique point of view to writing about flowers, color palettes, personal stories and design. I hope to share some of their pieces in a future post, so keep an eye out for that. Suffice it to say, we had a rewarding day together.

Susan McLeary — such an artist and inspiration!

The following day, Susan McLeary taught her distinct bouquet design techniques and floral wearables — and I was able to watch a good portion of the morning session before heading for the airport.

A peek inside the beautiful and very tidy, well-organized Green Mountain Florists Supply showroom.

The visit to Vermont was not complete without me asking Tom Jennings to sit down and record an interview for this podcast. Established wholesale florists are in a unique position these days. They are juggling customer demands to bring the world of flowers to their doorstep, while also responding to increasing requests for seasonal, locally grown options. I value Tom’s perspective and I know you’ll learn from this conversation.

Um, wow! Amazing inventory and aesthetic at GMFSI in South Burlington, VT.

Here’s a little more about Green Mountain Florists Supply:

Serving floral professionals in Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and beyond, Green Mountain is Vermont’s premier provider of wholesale cut flowers and floral supplies.

The company opened its doors in 1982 in Middlesex, Vermont, under the astute leadership of Tom’s parents, Charles and Sue Jennings, who saw the need for a first-rate flower supplier in the region.  After graduating from Middlebury College, Tom joined the budding new business in 1983 and assumed ownership in 1997. Since then, Tom has continued his parents’ commitment to superior service and long-term relationships — values that still guide us today.

As a floral industry expert, Tom and his  outstanding team of floral professionals create a unique wholesale experience like no other. With locations in Middlesex and South Burlington, and scheduled delivery routes that extend throughout the three-state region, Green Mountain brings the freshest products right to customers’ doors. At the South Burlington showroom, where I taught, wholesale shoppers can choose from the latest floral supplies and home décor. Artfully arranged each season, the environment serves as an ideal setting for educational opportunities and hands-on workshops. Green Mountain’s Mobile Showroom brings hardgoods, tools and floral supplies to those customers who can’t make it to either wholesale branch for their floral needs.

Find and follow Green Mountain Florist Supply:

Weely Cooler Tours give long-distant florists a first-person view of product availability

Follow Green Mountain Florists Supply on Facebook

Find Green Mountain Florists Supply on Instagram

See Green Mountain Florists Supply images on Flickr

Andrew Mefferd, author of The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution book

Thanks so much for joining me today. Last week, we announced a giveaway of Andrew Mefferd’s new book The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution — and we’ve drawn one winner from all who posted comments in the show notes by Saturday, March 23rd. I loved reading listeners’ comments about the best tips learned from my interview with Andrew.

Our winner is: Melissa Garcia Perry of Howland Whistle Flower Farm who commented, “So timely! Listened to this podcast while tackling our new acres. Bumping up from super-small urban flower growing to acreage is full of challenges and has me questioning my methodologies. I want this new land to be No-Till but there are so many other growers around me telling me this is a fantasy. Andrew’s best tip for me was witnessing for himself how the absolute pro growers at Bare Mountain Farm simply covered sunflowers beds, stalks and all, with tarps and let their ground peeps do the work. Yes! I can do that.”

Congratulations, Melissa: We’ll get your address over to New Society Publishers so they can send you a copy. And thanks to all who commented and entered!

Don’t forget that Andrew has generously created a coupon code “slow” to give you 20% off your purchases or subscriptions – through the end of April – at his site, Growing for Market. Follow our link in today’s show notes to take advantage.

I was hoping to continue our #fiftystatesofslowflowers series today, with Hawaii, but was unable to entice anyone to join me.

I’ve had our most active Hawaii members on the podcast in the past, so follow a link to my interview with Alison Higgins of Grace Flowers Hawaii in Hanokaa on the Big Island — she has a lot of great stories about local flowers and the floral business of destination weddings you’ll want to hear if you missed the original air date. We need more active members — growers and floral designers — in Hawaii, so spread the word!

Next week, I promise you, we will hear from another State Voice — we have four I states coming up — Idaho, IllinoisIndiana & Iowa, so that will bring us through the month of April.

Outake! I’m not sure what Jayson Munn and I were laughing about as Amy Bennett captured the hilarity, but it captures our wonderful time together in Vermont.

I also have an reminder for ASCFG members or prospective members. The organization’s popular Mentor Program continues for the 2020-2021 seasons and if you’ve been thinking about apply to serve as a flower farming mentor or to be considered as a mentee, take note of the March 31st deadline.

And to learn more, listen to our past interview with ASCFG mentors and mentees in episode 295 from 2017. This is an incredible opportunity and the deadline is quickly approaching.

S-L-O-W F-L-O-W-E-R-S in pink and white dahlias

Thank you so much for joining me on this Slow Flowers journey as I seek 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.

I love hearing from listeners and here’s an encouraging note that I received from Michelle Haynes of Rusty Dog Ranch, who contributed a donation in support of the Podcast. She wrote:

“Debra ~Thank you for your wonderful podcasts! I am at the very beginning stages of setting up a cut flower farm and native plants habitat here in rural north Texas. I’ve created beds and planted seeds inbetween my day job, and I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m trying not to overthink it. Your interviews and stories keep me company and encourage me during this solitary work. Every time I hear the name of a flower, one that’s contained in one of my seed packets, I think, “Well, THEY did it, so why can’t I?!”

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.

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 in today’s show notes or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 428,000 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:

Not Drunk by The Joy Dropshttp://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Joy_Drops/Not_Drunk_EPhttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Color Country; 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 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