Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category

Episode 393: Andrew Mefferd and The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution; Plus State Focus: Georgia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Andrew Mefferd at these social places:

Growing for Market on Facebook

Growing for Market on Instagram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find and follow Holly at these social places:

Floretry on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

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

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

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

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, including today’s spotlight supporters:

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

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Spring bulb season is almost here – my tulips are poking out of the ground already! Visit Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

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

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

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

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 425,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Bending the Reedby Gillicuddyhttp://freemusicarchive.org/music/gillicuddy/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspirationby Blue Dot Sessionshttp://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 389: All About Herbs with Designer Sue Goetz, author of A Taste for Herbs, Plus State Spotlight: Colorado

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

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

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

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

Recipe courtesy of Sue Goetz, A Taste for Herbs

Here’s more about Sue Goetz:

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

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

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

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

Recipe courtesy of Sue Goetz, A Taste for Herbs

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

Find and follow Sue Goetz at these social places:

The Creative Gardener on Facebook

The Creative Gardener on Instagram

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download the full transcript of our conversation here.

Find and follow Blue Door Farm at these social places:

Blue Door Farm on Facebook

Blue Door Farm on Instagram

The Vacation Rental/Guest House at Blue Door Farm

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

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

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

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

Our first Sponsor Spotlight and thanks goes to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.  

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

Our final sponsor thank you this week goes to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry.

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

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

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

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 411,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Loopy; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspirationby Blue Dot Sessionshttp://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 388: Stacey Brenner of Maine’s Broadturn Farm on social entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainable business practices, Plus State Spotlight: California

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019
Stacy Brenner of Broadturn Farm

I’m delighted to share today’s conversation with Stacy Brenner of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, Maine.

Back in May 2012, after the publication of The 50 Mile Bouquet, I received an email from my dear childhood friend, Shari Shambaugh.

We went to high school youth group together in Portland, Oregon, but she had since moved with her family to Portland Maine.
As part of her newsy email, Shari wrote:

Our CSA farm starts up soon, so we’ll be having our source of wonderful produce back from Broadturn Farm. We tried a meat share with another farm this winter, both stepping back from the amount of meat we eat and choosing better/local sources. I am also thinking of getting the flower share this year, a weekly bouquet of flowers from our food CSA.

You would love the blog site of our farmers (lovely people – we had dinner with them a few months ago at the home of mutual friends). Their daughter is a gifted photographer and Stacy (the mom) is a gifted arranger/grower. I knew they grew local blooms, but didn’t know there was a Slow Flower movement. Makes so much sense.  I may go out and paint a few times this summer. I would be nice to get out into the open, and their farm has wonderful vistas.

John Bliss, Stacy Brenner and family
John Bliss, Stacy Brenner and family
Broadturn Farm flowers, grown and designed
Broadturn Farm flowers, grown and designed

Just months later, I met Stacy Brenner and John Bliss of Broadturn Farm when they traveled to Tacoma for the ASCFG Conference — and we connected the dots that my friend Shari was one of their CSA customers. Love the small-world personal connections that happen when you talk about local and seasonal flowers!

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to invite Stacy (and John, who was otherwise detained when we recorded today’s episode, reportedly working in their greenhouses) to be a guest on the Slow Flowers Podcast. So pleased we were able to record today’s episode via Skype this past week.

Broadturn Farm's vivid branding embellishes the delivery van
Broadturn Farm’s vivid branding embellishes the delivery van

There has been a lot of excitement coming out of Maine in the Slow Flowers world lately, including two back-to-back successful years with the Flowering in the North conferences, not to mention Slow Flowers’ relationship with our sponsor Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and our support of Rayne Grace Hoke’s Slow Flowers-inspired design workshops.

Broadturn Farm, Scarborough, Maine
Broadturn Farm, Scarborough, Maine

So, the focus on Maine is growing. Let me tell you more about Broadturn Farm and its owners, Stacy Brenner and John Bliss:

John Bliss and Stacy Brenner share the work of running the farm and raising two daughters, Emma (22) and Flora (12). They both grew up in the suburbs of large cities, with no direct relationship to agriculture, but they started farming together in 2002.

In their bio on Broadturn Farm’s web site, John & Stacy describe themselves as middle aged, at times cynical, hardworking and always delighted to have a good laugh with friends and co-workers. Good food is a high priority, as is travel and plenty of time to binge on TV in the winter during a snow-storm. Access to real food, a strong need for connection to sustenance, and the potential to connect the verdant world with social justice is what urged this couple to put their hands to the earth.

Summer Camp at Broadturn Farm
Summer Camp at Broadturn Farm

While the desire to raise food was easy to intellectualize, flower farming is a hobby gone wild. Stacy and John both have a love for making and growing, thus flower farming and flower design work is like an extension of the challenges of food production melded with the art of design. Every bucket of blooms still makes them giddy. The first bunch of tulips, the perfect peony and the dahlia with just the right shade brings such joy. And, much like the first meal their family enjoyed with all farm-produced food, the first big wedding they produced with all farm grown and foraged goods made their hearts sing. John and Stacy are truly honored to put food on people’s tables and flowers in their arms.

They value Broadturn Farm as a gift, a real blessing, and they are open to sharing that with their community. There are trails to explore and fields to examine and there is always something going on with the livestock, from cud chewing to a mama hen trailed by her 6 chicks. And, if all that proves unexciting, the barn cats are sure to bring smile. If you come by, and you see John or Stacy puttering around, please say hello. They’re almost always busy in the season but never too busy to share a moment with a visitor. There are no regularly scheduled tours but don’t let that keep you from stopping by.

Dahlias at Broadturn Farm

I’m so pleased to share this conversation with you. Stacy has a lot of exciting news to share as well as insights that may inspire you to take a step back and reconsider your farm or studio’s mission and practices.

Beautiful Bird’s Eye view of Broadturn Farm

So much going on and you’ll want to follow and connect with Broadturn Farm. Find and follow the farm here:

Broadturn Farm on Facebook

Broadturn Farm on Instagram

Broadturn Farm Flower Shop at FORAGE (Portland)

READ MORE…

Episode 387: When Flowers are Your Side Hustle, with Nan Matteson of Queen City Flower Farm, Plus State Spotlight: Arkansas

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I continue to listen to your podcast. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queen City Flower Farm on Instagram

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

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

Althea Wiles, Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio

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

Follow Rose of Sharon at these social places:

Rose of Sharon on Facebook

Rose of Sharon on Instagram

Rose of Sharon on Pinterest

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

I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you to our Sponsors, including those highlighted today!

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

Madras, Oregon-based NW Green Panels, designer and builder of a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse here!

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

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 405,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Loopy; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Tracking Floral Futures: Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights & Industry Forecast 2019

Monday, February 4th, 2019

For the second year, Florists’ Review magazine published my annual forecast (aka Trend Report) for all things Slow Flowers in the January issue. In my presentations about the report, I have shared 10 Insights and 2 Bonus Insights that shine a light on the prevailing shifts in sustainable flower farming and floral design.

You can read the Florists’ Review report here and download a PDF of “Tracking Floral Futures.” FinalForecast2019

Above is a video of my 2019 Forecast Report, presented at the annual Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers’ conference last September. It runs for a full hour, but I wanted to post it here for anyone interested in learning more about the incredibly powerful shifts taking place in domestic floral agriculture and progressive floral design.

You can also download a PDF of the slide show here. Slow Flowers Presentation

Future Focus

I’ve already begun to compile my impressions for the 2020 Forecast and I’m eager to get your input. If you have thoughts or suggestions, please send my way: debraprinzing@gmail.com.

Episode 385: A Conversation with Soul Fire Farm’s Leah Penniman, author of Farming While Black, Plus State Spotlight: Alaska

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm and author of “Farming While Black.”

Please meet this week’s podcast guest: Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm. I am so incredibly excited to share our conversation with you as we discuss Leah’s brand new book, “Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land,” published last October by Chelsea Green Publishing.

Soul Fire Farm – a life-giving hub for education, advocacy and activism

Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY.

She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim an ancestral connection to land. As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs – including farmer trainings for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for people living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system.

Soul Fire Farm’s Leah Penniman and her family

Leah holds an MA in Science Education and BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University. She has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002.

The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Omega Sustainability Leadership Award, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, and Andrew Goodman Foundation, among others. All proceeds from the sale of Farming While Black will be used to support Black Farmers.

Pollinator flowers at Soul Fire Farm

Soul Fire Farm is a Black, indigenous, and people of colorcentered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system.

Soul Fire Farm raises and distributes life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of ancestors, the farm works to reclaim its collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system.

Soul Fire brings diverse communities together on its healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice. Leah and her colleagues are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.

I believe that Farming While Black is required reading for all farmers, and for anyone who wants to have a deeper insight into the often-ignored agricultural history of our country.

I highly recommend it — Leah’s passion and spirit jumps off the page as she inspires, informs, instigates and shares her important life’s work as well as her incredibly smart farming advice.

Here’s how you can find and follow Leah Penniman, of Soul Fire Farm:

Soul Fire Farm on Facebook

Soul Fire Farm on Instagram

Here’s more about Farming While Black. And Leah’s Book Tour Schedule — I hope you can hear Leah speak and meet her in a city near you!

Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies

 

Kim Herning (left) at Northern Lights Peony Farm

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Alaska!!

And now, let’s meet Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies — who shares an Alaska floral spotlight.

You’ll want to hear from Kim about her journey toward peonies in her life. She is also on the board of Arctic Alaska Peonies, a past sponsor of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Left: Our Alaska Forget-me-Not coloring sheet from American Flowers Week; Right: Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

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

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

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

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 399,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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

Our first Sponsor Spotlight focuses on 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 and if you missed our recent interview with Johnny’s flower category expert, Hillary Alger, I’ll add a link in today’s show notes so you can find it easily.

Our Second Sponsor Spotlight today goes to 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.

Our final Sponsor thanks today 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.

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:

A Palace of Cedar; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions

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 382: Slow Flowers’ 2019 Floral Insights & Industry Forecast

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Welcome to the 2019 Forecast!

Happy New Year 2019!

I’ve finally put away the holiday decorations and with my thoughts already turning to the spring garden, it’s time to look to the future. Our BIG NEWS for 2019 is the launch of a one-stop web site for all-things Slow Flowers. Please visit our newly-branded site on the web — SlowFlowersSociety.com.

Check out the NEW Slowflowerssociety.com site!

It is fresh, user-friendly and gives you access to all of the Slow Flowers programs, events and channels in one place.

Why the Society? Our focus hasn’t changed. In fact our mission continues. Which is:  to change the flower sourcing practices of consumers and professionals through outreach and education that highlights the benefits of local, seasonal and domestic floriculture — and to build a movement that promotes cultivation and sales of those flowers while nurturing authentic connections between consumers, farmers, and florists.

Slowflowers.com is now part of the Slow Flowers Society underscores our inclusive community dedicated to preserving domestic floral farms and supporting safe, seasonal and local supplies of sustainablyfarmed flowers and foliage. Our members are engaged in all facets of the U.S. floral industry.

I’m excited to share highlights from the annual Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast.

This report originated in the fall of 2014, when I traveled to NYC to meet with garden and lifestyle media as part of the launch of Slowflowers.com. The publicists helping me, Lola Honeybone and Marla Kramer, suggested I produce a powerpoint presentation to help illustrate the central themes of the Slow Flowers movement. It was a great tool to walk editors and writers through our platform, and to discuss shifts taking place in the floral marketplace that directly reflected significant changes in how flowers could be grown, designed and marketed.

When 2015 rolled around just months later, I shared those insights on this Podcast — and it became the first of our annual ritual.

For each of the past five years, I have drawn from a number of sources to develop this annual forecast. Sources include hundreds of my first-person interviews for print and digital stories, input gathered from the Slow Flowers Community, conversations with past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast and idea-exchanges with other progressive leaders in the floral marketplace — farmers, florists and design creatives — who together inspire this “floral futures” report.

I hope you find these forward-thinking resources important and valuable. I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. Find an expanded version of this report, including a free PDF [Download here: Slow Flowers Forecast 2019].

You can also find an executive summary of the report in the pages of the brand new January 2019 edition of Florists’ Review.

A note about our programming change for 2019. Because of so much demand — all good — from podcast sponsors, we are trying something a little different for 2018. Rather than giving you a lengthy sponsor list at the end of the show, I’ll highlight just three sponsors during the episode — at the beginning, our mid-show break – and at the end.

First up: the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers.

Its mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product.

Learn more at ascfg.org. And check out the web site for details about the upcoming Focus on the Business of Cut Flowers Conference, set for Feb 18-19 in Denver.

Seven of the experts presenting at the conference are past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast, so you’ll recognize some familiar names and topics in the lineup!

The title of this year’s 2019 Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast is TRACKING FLORAL FUTURES

I know you’ll agree with me that the floral professional’s role is to connect consumers with the natural world through artistry and design. So it’s no surprise that this year’s emerging themes include ideas and concepts that strengthen community ties with values-driven consumers, as well as nurture entrepreneurial innovation in horticulture and floriculture. If you’re an “early adopter,” these concepts may resonate or reinforce your current approach to sustainable design.

In recent months, I’ve shared many of these ideas at top industry venues, including Hitomi Gilliam’s Trend Summit 2018, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers annual conference and the Southern Flower Symposium. I’ll also share this report at an upcoming member-only event for the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market on Jan 23rd. Find more details here.

Number #1 Experiences, Not Conveniences

In a retail climate where Amazon is king, those who engage floral consumers in authentic, tactile, visceral experiences will break through the click-and-buy or cash-and-carry mindset. Customers who connect with you, your story, your flowers and the origin of those flowers are the foundation of your loyal tribe.

And while efforts and actions that strengthen our ties with customers isn’t an entirely new concept, it is one you must habitually practice, especially in today’s cluttered and distracting marketplace. Events, tours, workshops and other experiential programming are critical — and much more powerful than touching customers through social media channels alone.

Many of you have a deep understanding of the power of experiences, and my advice to you is to continue investing time, resources and creativity to offer the floral marketplace a chance to forge a relationship with you and your flowers.

A Flower-Filled Community Festival at My Garden Over Floweth — all about EXPERIENCES! (c) Courtney Coriell Photography

For example, Slow Flowers members Teresa Engbretson and Katie Elliott of My Garden Over Floweth, open their Paterson, Wash., farm for two seasonal “Flower Fling” festivals each year. These farmer-florists have created events that provide a sense of community for their customers, while also offering a new venue for other vendors. In their recap post after the Fall Fling, they wrote:

We place so much thought, time and care into planning the best experience we possibly can and we hope that shows!  This is a space and a time where memories are made and we hope each and every person felt a warm welcome. We felt so much love yet again by all who attended, including amazing local vendor family.  Each vendor and their products speak to hard work, quality and friendship, we are so honored to have so many great people surrounding us at our farm!

You don’t have to be a professional event planner to pull off an experience-rich program. Not at all. Start small and open your studio or farm gate to flower lovers — you’ll be positively rewarded.

READ MORE…

Episode 381: A Year in Review – Slow Flowers’ Highlights for 2018

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

The Slow Flowers Community and listenership of this program have grown larger than ever, with more than 390,000 total downloads since this show launched in July 2013. That’s amazing news and I’m thrilled to share it with you.

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

Every single week this year; in fact, every single week for the past 282 weeks, it has been my privilege to feature the voices of our Slow Flowers community with you.

Unlike any other internet radio show in existence, the Slow Flowers Podcast is tailored to you and your interests, making its “must-listen” programming a habit among flower farmers and floral designers alike.

In producing and hosting the Slow Flowers Podcast, I seek out pioneers and personalities, style-makers and influencers — as well as unsung or little known heroes — who together are changing the floral landscape, disrupting the status quo, and bringing flower sourcing and growing practices, not to mention eco-conscious design methods, to the center of the conversation. And thanks for joining in. Whether you’ve just discovered this podcast or are a longtime fan, I encourage you to take advantage of the immense body of knowledge that can be found in the archives.

As I have done since the beginning of 2014, I would like to devote today to the Slow Flowers Highlights of this past year. Next week, on January 2nd, I will present the annual Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast for 2019.

I’m motivated as a storyteller to connect with the Slow Flowers Community in real and personal ways — and that was certainly the case in 2018. Rather than share a chronological travelogue of the year’s calendar, I’m mixing it up today.

I’ve looked in the rear-view mirror to remember 2018 and — wow — the themes bubbling up to the top are impressive. I’m humbled by the warm embrace of the Slow Flowers Community and more than ever, I realize that making authentic human connections with you is what really matters. Each experience is more meaningful because of the relationships we forge with one another.

I’ve identified 10 Top Themes of 2018 that I want to reflect on and share with you today.

Our speakers, from left: Mary Kate Kinnane, Kelly Shore, Debra Prinzing, Jonathan Weber, Jessica Hall, Walker Marsh, Christina Stembel, Kit Wertz & Casey Schwartz (not pictured: Mud Baron)

NUMBER ONE: the SECOND ANNUAL SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT

Slow Flowers Summit logo The Slow Flowers Summit is the LIVE event in the midst of American Flowers Week, created to serve the Slow Flowers community of progressive, sustainably-minded florists and designers and to engage attendees who want to network with one another.

Planning and producing the 2nd Summit was a huge financial risk, especially since it was the first time on the east coast, away from our original Seattle venue.

I knew we could lose money but my heart told me it was important to forge ahead, as I found myself inspired by the amazing sense of inclusion, connection, new ideas, beauty and humanity surrounding our floral-filled lives.

I believed taking that risk was essential. That risk paid off and we actually had a sold-out Summit on Friday, June 29th in Washington, D.C., with a remarkably welcoming venue host – the American Institute of Floral Designers.

I have so many people to thank for helping produce the Summit, so let me get started. First of all, thanks to Bob Wollam and his team at Wollam Gardens for opening up their Virginia farm the day prior to the Summit for tours, lunch and community. That bonus pre-event was so positive that it inspired us to add two pre-event flower farm tours for our 2019 Slow Flowers Summit. THANK YOU all!

Ellen Seagraves, Cathy Houston and Dana Sullivan ~ the talented florists who led our interactive floral installation.

We had wonderful day-of volunteers, but I mostly want to single out Ellen Seagraves of Chic Florals and Dana O’Sullivan of Della Blooms, both Slow Flowers Members and part of Independent Floral Designers of Maryland, for volunteering to create the Summit’s interactive floral installation. We had so many wonderful donations from flower farms to pull this off — including Charles Little & Co., FernTrust, Green Valley Floral, LynnVale Studio & Farm and Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers — as well as EcoFresh Bouquets, which provided wraps for the foam-free installation.

I can’t forget to thank our speakers — without whom the day would have been an empty room, of course. Our keynote speaker Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers wowed us with a frank discussion of building a self-funded floral business through grit and determination.

We enjoyed two visually and intellectually-inspiring design + business presentations geared toward florists who are committed to the Slow Flowers ethos, in their sourcing and in the ways they build community — Thank you Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore and Mary Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet and thank you Kit Wertz and Casey Schwartz of Flower Duet.

Our Flowers + Tech panel introduced a fascinating discussion about the challenges of transportation, infrastructure and shipping — thank you to Jonathan Weber of greenSinner, Jessica Hall of Harmony Harvest Farm and Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers for their excellent presentations and for helping us look toward the horizon of new business models.

And finally, thank you to our final two speakers, men who are passionate about flower farming as a tool for improving the lives of their communities ~ Walker Marsh of Tha Flower Factory in Baltimore and Mud Baron of Flowers on your Head in Los Angeles.

Flowers on my head, courtesy of Mud Baron.

Among other messages, we learned from them about sowing future seeds of hope through flowers. If you were in attendance – or if you followed the fun on social media, you also know that Mud was a flower force to be reckoned with as he festooned our heads with bouquets to fulfill his mission of photographing as many humans as possible for his Flowers on Your Head photographic project.

If you missed the Summit, you can find all the video presentations available to watch for just $48 on Vimeo — a full day of ideas, information, inspiration, inclusion and instigation with each of these speakers.

Watch a free clip of my opening remarks about the origins of the Slow Flowers Summit.

And I can’t finish this section without reminding you to register for the 3rd annual Slow Flowers Summit, taking place July 1-2, 2019 as an expanded conference, offering you more value and benefits for attending.

The early-bird pricing continues through Dec. 31st so there’s not much time left to save $100 and grab a seat to join me and some wonderful speakers in St. Paul Minnesota!

NUMBER TWO: AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK 2018 (June 28-July 4)

This original flower promotion holiday, launched in 2015, celebrated its fourth annual campaign. I was encouraged and inspired by friends behind British Flowers Week to create American Flowers Week (and to continue their generosity, I helped support the creation of Canadian Flowers Week this past September).

This grassroots, all-inclusive campaign provides editorial, branding and marketing resources to flower farmers, florists, designers, retailers and wholesalers who wish to promote American grown Flowers.

And wow, did you participate this past year! We have been tracking engagement on Instagram and Twitter, which this year was tricky because new rules on those platforms restricted our ability to measure the potential engagement of our followers’ followers (IF you saw what happened with Facebook this year, I’m sure that make sense)

Even with those tracking limitations, you and your participation in American Flowers Week generated amazing numbers — 3.6 million impressions in the month leading up to the 2018 celebration. We know the real total engagement was much higher, due to tracking tools not being able to capture Facebook traffic.

#americanflowersweek on Instagram this week!

All I can say is THANK YOU to each one of you who joined in the fun by designing red-white-and-blue bouquets, taking photos and posting/tagging them as #local #american and #seasonal and #slowflowers.

Rita Anders of Cuts of Color in Weimar, Texas, delivered American Flowers Week bouquets and bunches to Central Market stores in Houston.

Thanks to those of you who ordered our bouquet labels to use on your market and grocery bouquets, and for CSAs and popup events. And thanks for building the buzz to raise awareness about the importance of conscious choices when it comes to buying flowers. The more fun and fashion we can share with flowers, the more their origin becomes a top-of-mind decision at the cash register.

And speaking of fashion, 2018 was the third year of our American Flowers Week – floral fashion collection, a brilliant season of botanical garments revealing the beauty of flowers, the people who grow those flowers and the floral artists who reimagine them into garments.

Opening pages of “Field to Fashion,” in Slow Flowers Journal for Florists’ Review (June 2018)

This year, we called the theme “Field to Fashion,” and revealed all five floral couture looks in the pages of Florists’ Review magazine. Producing this floral narrative began in Homer, Alaska, where Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore partnered with Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies to envision a styled shoot reflecting just-picked peonies with a storyline that reflects the character, history and geography of Homer.

The series continued with photo shoots taking place through subsequent months of the year, as designers and flower farmers collaborated to turn cut flowers into haute couture, including a session in Sonoma County, with design talents from farmer-florist Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Flower Farm and dazzling dahlias grown by Kate Rowe of Aztec Dahlias;

a winter woodland narrative reliant upon farmer-florist Carly Jenkins of Killing Frost Farm’s penchant for foraging from the forests and woodlands of the Pacific Northwest and Montana;

Alison Higgins and Nicole Cordier of Grace Flowers Hawaii’s Big Island homage to locally-grown tropical flowers and foliage with two regal looks for male and female models;

and Faye Zierer Krause of Flora Organica Designs’ tribute to the Iris, straight from the Sun Valley Flower Farms’ greenhouses of Arcata California.

It is a privilege and an honor to experience this level of creativity and commitment to American Flowers Week. The inventiveness expressed by the Slow Flowers community — flower farmers and floral designers alike — elevates American-grown botanicals to new levels.

Click here to find the photos of the entire 2018 American Flowers Week collection of botanical fashions, including the stories behind each look.

I also need to thank and acknowledge the talented photographers who made each of these beautiful ideas come to life through their lens, including Alex Brooks, Becca Henry, Megan Spelman, Joshua Veldstra and Leon Villagomez.

Botanical artist Ellen Hoverkamp created our American Flowers Week 2018 image and branding!

One more artist gets a big thank you for helping make American Flowers Week more beautiful – and that is Ellen Hoverkamp of My Neighbors’ Garden. We invited Ellen, a Connecticut-based artist, to create a red-white-and-blue bouquet using her signature scanner photography technique and the result was a stunning image that helped us promote the campaign all year long. Her all-American botanical tribute wowed everyone and I’m excited to be able to use American Flowers Week as a way to highlight the work of such a talented artist.

And now’s the time to mark American Flowers Week 2019 on your calendar — June 28 through July 4 — because it will be our fifth annual campaign celebration! I’ll have more to share in the coming months, but you are invited to check out two links I’ll share in today’s show notes — first, a look at the 2019 botanical art branding we commissioned from Josephine Rice, and second, a sneak peek to introduce the florists and flower farmers who are busy creating American Flowers Week botanical fashions for next year’s editorial package.

READ MORE…

Episode 380: Slow Flowers’ Holiday Music Special with Nathan Leach and Eva Leach of Nathan and Eva

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Eva Leach and Nathan Leach of the Charleston-based duo Nathan and Eva (c) Taken by Sarah

It’s that time again, the annual Slow Flowers Holiday Music Special!

I’m incredibly excited to welcome the sibling singer-songwriter duo Nathan Leach and Ava Leach. In today’s episode, you’ll hear four original songs: Allie; 330; Belgium Fields; I Wish and one Amy Winehouse song: Valerie.

Eva (on drums) and Nathan (with guitar) performing at Flowerstock (c) Taken by Sarah

If you’ve attended Holly Chapple’s Flowerstock Festival, you’ve already been treated to live performances by Nathan and Eva. That’s how I met them and I’m so excited they’ve agreed to join the Slow Flowers Podcast to share their story and music with us as we ease into the holiday season!

It’s mindboggling to say this, but music videos on the Nathan & Eva YouTube channel have been viewed more than 26 MILLION times, so it is very special to speak with these young talents about the music they create and have shared with so many.

I love these glimpses of Eva and Nathan, captured by photographer Sarah Collier at Flowerstock (c) Taken by Sarah

Nathan & Eva is a Musical Duo from Charleston, South Carolina.The origins of their story are pretty recent and immensely fascinating. While in school at USC Columbia, Nathan longed to get back into guitar playing, so he began to post cover songs on YouTube. Over time, he expanded the roster of featured talent to include the occasional help from his sister, Eva. In 2013, they posted a cover of Family of the Year’s “Hero”. In 2015, that video went viral.

Here’s that video from 2013:

Media outlets began sharing this unassuming video everywhere. Starting on the San Francisco Globe, the video bounced around from outlet to outlet and received the attention of major players in the media and music industry: among them the Glenn Beck show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, America’s Got Talent, the Voice, and Walk Off the Earth. The French site Féroce shared a separate version of the video as well, where it garnered millions more views.

What this all amounted to was a crazy few weeks for the siblings, who were both still in school at the time. With a newfound international fanbase and a Youtube audience that had exponentially exploded overnight, they began working on cleaning up their live act and beginning to produce original songs.

(c) Taken by Sarah

Here’s a video of Allie, which you’ll hear on today’s episode (2018):

Having released their first EP of original songs under their self-titled EP, ‘Nathan & Eva’ in early April, the duo are hard at work establishing a local fanbase in Charleston and producing the next album. You can order the EP on Spotify here.

This is an extended episode featuring five of their musical numbers interspersed in our interview.

Please enjoy this Slow Flowers holiday gift follow Nathan and Eva as their careers continue to soar.

I’m so so inspired by hearing this story of two young talents with drive, heart and determination to share their music with the world.

Whenever I’m in the presence of people whose work and art I admire, I feel inspired to up my own game and pursue my dreams. I hope that’s your takeaway, too!

Nathan and Eva performed inside the barn at Flowerstock (c) Taken by Sarah

Find and follow Nathan & Eva at these social places:

Nathan and Eva on FACEBOOK

Nathan and Eva on INSTAGRAM

Nathan on Instagram

Eva on Instagram

Read more about Nathan and Eva in Charleston City Paper

Thanks so much to Nathan and Eva for sharing their music with us today! What a lovely experience – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I know you’ll want to follow their music in the coming year! Thanks, too, to Andrew Brenlan, our gifted editor, for helping me assemble this episode!

Next week, our final episode of 2018, will feature our Year in Review, and then, on January 2nd, I will reveal the 2019 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast. It’s a time of reflection of all this community has achieved and a time to reimagine and dream for our future. Please join me.

Don’t forget to visit the Slow Flowers Summit web site for all the details about the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit, scheduled for July 1st & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota — you can grab an Early Bird ticket and save $100 if you register by December 31st. Slow Flowers Members receive preferential pricing, so check it out.

We’ve also just posted all the details about the June 30th pre-conference tour of two Minnesota flower farms — Blue Sky Flower Farm & Green Earth Growers, both Slow Flowers Members, AND the first-ever Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, with the Summit Speakers and fellow conference attendees, which will take place at Green Earth Growers outside Minneapolis. This is a ticketed event and you can find details here.

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 Podcast has been downloaded more than 389,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!


Thank you to our sponsors for supporting The Slow Flowers Podcast.

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.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

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

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

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

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org

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.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

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

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:

Episode 379: How Creatives can Be Authentic in the Digital Age, a conversation with Robin Avni of Bricolage*

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Robin Avni

Today’s guest helps us step out of the world of growing and designing with flowers and into the larger arena of creative strategy and the way we express ourselves and our brands through digital media.

I am delighted to welcome Robin Avni to the Slow Flowers Podcast.

The timing is ideal, as we come to the close of a calendar year and if you’re like me, you’re also finally allowing yourself to dream and imagine goals for 2019.

Robin’s consulting practice is called Bricolage; when translated from the original French.

The term means: *CREATION FROM A DIVERSE RANGE OF ELEMENTS. 

Nearly a decade ago, I received a surprise invitation from Robin Avni to join a cohort of creatives she called Lifestyle Insights. Real Women. Real Life. 

Tthat experience included me in a dream team of 12 female lifestyle experts, each of us with knowledge on a specific subject matter ranging from design, food, fitness and health to gardening, travel and family and parenting topics.

I’ve always been drawn to Robin and her energy. She is a multi-talented, idea-a-minute visual and written communicator. I remember reading Robin’s home+technology design stories in the Seattle Times long before I was fortunate enough to meet her – which I recall was on a press tour of the former Seattle Interiors Show in 2004. Thanks to LinkedIn, we stayed in touch and years later, even though I was living in Los Angeles at the time, we’d get together when I was in Seattle on business.

Robin pioneered the idea of a female-focused creative media and consulting agency. Described as a select group of savvy lifestyle experts focused on how real women live, make choices and craft their worlds, Lifestyle Insights developed new-media content shaping messaging, programming, strategy and knowledge with intent – and a little bit of soul. Robin coined the phrase the MOMMY TO MAVEN™ marketplace.

Here is one of the 2010 Lifestyle Insights. As Robin and I say: “We were ahead of our time!”

Together our group launched the daily blog, “Lifestyle Insights. Real Women. Real Life” in September 2009. The experience gave me a new forum to write in a new way, including fun, memoirish, essays, as well as outdoor living and gardening topics. I had to learn how to communicate my ideas in 300 words or less, which in today’s world of bite-sized journalism, is an excellent skill to have.

Through our blog and related projects, such as white papers and trend reports, Real Women. Real Life. spoke with a powerful voice urging corporations to re-think how to communicate with their female customers.

One of the highlights of that time was co-presenting with Robin at the Independent Garden Center conference in 2010 on the topic of: “The Female Gardener: Mommy to Maven.”

Our workshop shared some of the research and insights collected by Lifestyle Insights, with the goal of helping independent garden center owners and garden-related companies to understand the female consumer not just by obvious demographics of age, ethnicity or economics but by her life stages.

Botanical Prints by Robin Avni — I love that she is exploring her printmaking passion

“Daisies,” by Robin Avni

Before we start the interview, here is a bit more about Robin Avni:

Robin’s #1 agenda these days includes her role as Grandmother!

Throughout her career in the media and high-tech industries, including eight years as a Group Design Manager at Microsoft, she has managed high-profile projects and award-winning teams.

As an Assistant Professor of Design at Cornish, Robin managed several academic/corporate projects including two collaborations with Amazon and a special grant from the Microsoft HoloLens team.

The Microsoft HoloLens Strategy Team sought to leverage the creative, problem-solving disposition of artists to explore the artistic possibilities of mixed reality.

The project culminated in a 2016 mixed reality gallery showing on the Cornish campus in Seattle showcasing unique mixed reality experiences through design, dance, and theatrical performance.

During her tenure at Microsoft, Robin created and produced V-Style, one of the first online style webzines, helped launch MSNBC, managed internal training resources for the product groups, and was a Group Manager for Design and User Research for Windows and SQL Server. Her years at Microsoft enabled her to catch the wave of a new era in design; one that would profoundly change the course of the design profession as new technologies changed methods of communication, content, and interaction design.

After Microsoft, Robin transitioned to consumer research managing a portfolio of Fortune 500 clients as a Senior Director and Lead Consumer Strategist at Iconoculture, and as a Senior Ethnographer at The Hartman Group, where she engaged in primary consumer qualitative research.

In 2015, she became an Assistant Professor of Design at The Cornish College of the Art where her academic research focused on visual communication, social photography, and the intersection of technical tools and creativity.

Robin is a frequent speaker at industry conferences as well as serving on national and local boards and commissions; including the Knight Curriculum Advisory Committee at the Indiana University School of Journalism, where she received her BA in journalism. She holds a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington. Robin was also the recipient of a post-graduate Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

This is an insights report that Robin wrote for Iconoculture back in 2009 on “A Return to Heartland Values.”

Robin mentioned several of the design forecast reports she uses, so I’ve pulled links to those to share in our show notes, as well.

Other key links:

Find Robin Avni at her web site

Follow Robin Avni on Instagram

Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network 

Design Matters class at the BARN (January 26-27, 2019)

JWT Intelligence Forecast 

Adobe Visual Trend Forecast

Getty Images Forecast

I think we all need to draw inspiration from the larger cultural landscape, or as Robin says, the cultural zeitgeist, to guide our own branding choices, so be sure to check out what inspires her — I hope you find something new that triggers a fresh idea or path to take for 2019.

Eva and Nathan Leach (c) Charleston City Paper

Next week, I invite you to enjoy our fourth annual Slow Flowers Holiday Music Special Episode, and I’m incredibly excited to welcome singer-songwriter duo Nathan and Ava Leach.

If you’ve attended Holly Chapple’s Flowerstock Festival, you’ve been treated to live performances by Nathan and Eva. That’s how I met them and I’m so excited they’re coming on the Slow Flowers Podcast to share their story and music with us as we ease into the holiday spirit!

Don’t forget to visit the Slow Flowers Summit web site for all the details about the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit, scheduled for July 1st & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota — you can grab an Early Bird ticket and save $100 if you register by December 31st. Slow Flowers Members receive preferential pricing, so check it out.

We’ve also just posted all the details about the June 30th pre-conference tour of two Minnesota flower farms — Blue Sky Flower Farm & Green Earth Growers, both Slow Flowers Members, AND the first-ever Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, with the Summit Speakers and fellow conference attendees, which will take place at Green Earth Growers outside Minneapolis. This is a ticketed event and you can find details at Slow Flowers Summit.com.

Take the Pledge!!!

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 Podcast has been downloaded more than 387,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting The Slow Flowers Podcast.

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 passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

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

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

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

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org

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.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

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

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: