Debra Prinzing

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Episode 398: Join me at the Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, plus State Focus: Iowa

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

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

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

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

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

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