Debra Prinzing

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Episode 528: Meet farmer-florist Eileen Tongson of Orlando-based FarmGal Flowers and enjoy her harvest-cornucopia design demonstration

October 20th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! October is our celebration of our Slow Flowers members and one of my goals this month is to showcase and thank as many of our Premium Level members as possible, our top supporters.

Today, we’re visiting Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers, coming to us from Orlando, Florida.

As a farmer-florist, Eileen has experimented with a number of channels to market the flowers she grows, but she’s honed in on two key portions of her business: teaching workshops and designing for events.

Eileen Tongson
Eileen Tongson withone of her signature Florida-grown bouquets

When I asked her to join me during Membership Appreciation Month, Eileen suggested sharing a design demonstration during our interview. You’ll enjoy meeting Eileen and learning about her robust workshop schedule — offered all year long, season by season — to satisfy customers eager for ways to connect with locally-grown flowers and to learn more about gardening.

Eileen and I recorded this conversation and demo last week and I know hearing it and watching the video will get you thinking about harvest and holiday workshops that you can offer.

Eileen in her studio for Where We Bloom
Eileen in her home-based studio, featured in Where We Bloom

Here’s a bit more about Eileen before we get started, excerpted from her website:

For as long as she can remember, Eileen has truly loved gardening. Her parents were avid gardeners and the family spent countless hours outdoors cultivating vegetables, fruit, and of course flowers. They taught Eileen to appreciate nature and all that it provides, and she is so thankful to them for the early introduction to what has become a lifelong passion.

After all these years, she’s still just as inspired by the natural beauty and cultivation of flowers. Eileen considers herself a city dweller, turned home-grown FarmGal.

Life has taken her to the west coast and back, but her heart and my home have always been in the Sunshine State and the beautiful city of Orlando, Fl. It is where she has raised her family, and now with great enthusiasm that she gets to share her love for flower farming and floral design with her community.

Eileen has studied floral design at numerous locations including Floret Flower Farm, the City College of San Francisco, and Flower School New York. She also completed the University of Florida IFAS Master Gardener Program in 2009. I continue to expand and refine my skills regularly through floral design and flower farming workshops across the country and as a member of Slow Flowers Society and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Eileen’s flowers and gardening expertise have been featured in Florists Review, Edible Orlando, Houzz.com, TravelChannel.com, The Monarch Initiative, Ocala Magazine, Orange Appeal magazine, Team Flower, Glam.com and most recently, in my two books, Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One and Where We Bloom. She was also included in Floret Farm’s book, “Small Plot, Big Impact.”

Inside the studio
Inside Eileen’s efficient and compact studio, which opens onto her Orlando area garden

FarmGal Flowers was also named Best Florist in Best of Winter Park 2019. Clients have included The Ford Motor Company, Williams-Sonoma Winter Park, the Orlando Magic, the Orlando Museum of Art, The Grove Winter Park, and Salata Winter Park.

Eileen believes in locally and sustainably grown, seasonal flowers that support and beautify her community. And, if I am successful in creating a delightful bouquet or arrangement of freshly cut beauties for clients and local friends, then that makes me her HAPPY home-grown FarmGal!

Fern gown by Eileen Tongson
Slow Flowers Florida Botanical Couture Fashion Photo Shoot

Thanks so much for joining me today!

FarmGal Flowers, coming to us from Orlando, Florida.

As a farmer-florist, Eileen has experimented with a number of channels to market the flowers she grows, but she’s honed in on two key portions of her business: teaching workshops and designing for events.

When I asked her to join me during Membership Appreciation Month, Eileen suggested sharing a design demonstration during our interview. You’ll enjoy meeting Eileen and learning about her robust workshop schedule — offered all year long, season by season — to satisfy customers eager for ways to connect with locally-grown flowers and to learn more about gardening.

Eileen and I recorded this conversation and demo last week and I know hearing it and watching the video will get you thinking about harvest and holiday workshops that you can offer.

” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Click here to order your copies of Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One (Featuring Eileen’s Grown-in-Florida Fern and Frond Gown) and Where We Bloom (Featuring Eileen’s home-based studio). Participating in our promotional and PR campaigns like American Flowers Week is one of many opportunities available to Slow Flowers Society members like Eileen.

Follow FarmGal Flowers on Social Media:
FarmGal Flowers on Facebook
FarmGal Flowers on Instagram


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

As I reminded you last week, we are in the midst of October’s Member Appreciation Month and I’m so pleased at all the great content we’ve been able to share with our community of members. If you aren’t a member yet — and why haven’t you joined us? It’s the perfect time to step up and commit. This month, all new members will receive our special Member Benefits Booklet with coupons, discounts and other perks from eight of our partners and sponsors — the savings will more than cover your annual membership investment. All new members also receive our Slow Flowers Society collector’s pin, made in the USA, which features our teal and lime green logo. Plus, if you upgrade to or join at the Premium Level, you’ll also receive the video bundle of all our Slow Flowers Summit 2022 speaker presentations, valued at $129.

Please head to slowflowerssociety.com and hit the “Become a Member” Button.


Before we wrap up, I have a special treat to share — also timed to coincide with Member Appreciation Month!

Yesterday, we unveiled the NEW Slow Flowers Video. I’m so thrilled to share it with you — this Video was created over the past several months with our favorite video talent Alayna Erhart of Alayna Erhart Studio. In just a few minutes, you’ll meet me in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden, catch a glimpse of the fabulous gathering of members at Filoli Historic House & Garden at the recent 2021 Slow Flowers Summit and join my visit to the UW Farm with member Riz Reyez of RHR Horticulture. Special thanks to the members who share their voices of endorsement and support, including Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern, Tobey Nelson of Tobey Nelson Events and Design and Laura Gonzales of Swallows Secret Garden! Look closely – do you see yourself here in our community!? We’re ready to welcome you as a member!


Thank you to our sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

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sponsor logo bar

Thank you to 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.

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Thank you to 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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 776,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Long Await; For We Shall Know Speed; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 527: Grow. Design. Teach. How Sweet Earth Co.’s Xenia D’Ambrosi fine-tuned her brand message with three essential words

October 13th, 2021

I’ve just returned from a short trip to New York City and Brooklyn, one of the highlights of which included my spending two days in the lower Hudson Valley doing some pre-planning for the 2022 Slow Flowers Summit!

Xenia D'Ambrosi and Debra Prinzing
Xenia D’Ambrosi and Debra Prinzing at Sweet Earth Co.

Of course I spent time at our venue for 2022, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, in Pocantico Hills, New York . . . and I’ll share much more about that in the coming weeks. But I also had a fantastic visit to Sweet Earth Co., located in Pound Ridge, just 20 miles away. Listeners of the Slow Flowers Podcast may recall that I hosted farmer-florist Xenia D’Ambrosi as a guest in January 2018, when she shared her story of recovering from cancer by moving away from corporate finance to a new life growing, designing and teaching around plants, flowers and wellness.

Sweet Earth Co.'s herbal tea collection
Sweet Earth Co.’s herbal tea collection ~ a diversified product from the farm.

Each of us has experienced our own version of a “pivot” due to the pandemic, and Xenia has done so herself. She’s tightened her focus on the essential aspects of Sweet Earth Co. and taken some very intentional steps in marketing and content development to communicate to her customers. Sweet Earth Co. is described as a floral and garden design studio located on a sustainable flower farm.

Sweet Earth Co bouquet
A glorious seasonal bouquet from Sweet Earth Co.

Here’s more about Xenia D’Ambrosi, excerpted from her website:

Xenia is lead designer and farmer-florist at Sweet Earth Co. Most wouldn’t have imagined that a city girl like me would find her calling amidst flower fields and gardens, but I can’t deny a history of generations of land stewardship & farming engrained in my DNA.

Having my hands in the soil brought me healing and ignited my passion for sustainable gardening and horticulture. In 2012 I started Sweet Earth Co. which specializes in growing specialty cut flowers and herbs, and in garden and floral design and installations.

After touring the growing grounds, I sat down with Xenia to continue our conversation, which we recorded in her studio. You can watch the video of that tour and interview above.

Find and follow Sweet Earth Co. and subscribe to Xenia’s newsletter here:

Sweet Earth Co. on YouTube

Sweet Earth Co. on Facebook

Sweet Earth Co. on Instagram

Sweet Earth Co. on Pinterest


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

We are in the midst of October’s Member Appreciation Month and I’m so pleased at all the great content we’ve been able to share with our community of members. If you aren’t a member yet — and why haven’t you joined us? It’s the perfect time to step up and commit. This month, all new members will receive our special Member Benefits Booklet with coupons, discounts and other perks from eight of our partners and sponsors — the savings will more than cover your annual membership investment.

All new members also receive our Slow Flowers Society collector’s pin, made in the USA and featuring our teal and lime green logo. Plus, if you upgrade to or join at the Premium Level, you’ll also receive the video bundle of all our Slow Flowers Summit 2022 speaker videos, valued at $129.

Interested in learning more? Head to slowflowerssociety.com and click our “Become a Member” Button


Johnnys Seeds Newsletter

Before we wrap up, I want to draw your attention to another incredible free and timely resource — an extensive report that we just produced for the October Johnny’s Seeds’ Advantage Newsletter. The article is called Collective Selling Models for Flower Farmers. As you have heard many times on this Podcast, it’s no wonder that over the past 10 years interest in collectives, cooperatives and co-marketing models is definitely on the rise. This change runs parallel to the general explosion of new flower farmers and increased demand among florists for local and seasonal product. But there is no one-size-fits-all template, which has been frustrating for some startup groups.

Our article for Johnny’s reviews three popular options for creating a regional wholesale flower hub, including Legal Cooperative; Multi-Owner LLC; and For-Profit Wholesale Business.I spoke withseveral Slow Flowers members who have formed regional marketing hubs to learn about the appeal of each model. Thank you to Slow Flowers members Diane Szukovathy of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market; Martha Lojewski of Alaska Peony Cooperative; Melissa Webster and Megan Wakefield of Old Dominion Flower Cooperative; Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange and nationally-recognized expert in shared ownership strategies Margaret Lund.


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

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The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.

Roadie, an on-demand delivery company offering affordable same-day and scheduled delivery. With a network of friendly, local drivers who handle each delivery with care, and one-on-one support from a designated account manager, Roadie guarantees a smooth and reliable delivery experience–from pickup to delivery. Sign up for your first delivery at Roadie.com/slowflowers and use promo code slowflowers–that’s one word–to get five dollars off.

Flowerfarm.com, our new sponsor. FlowerFarm is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at flowerfarm.com and find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 774,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Long Await; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 526: How a Full-Service Retail Florist Sources Montana-Grown Blooms with Lindsay Irwin of Bitterroot Flower Shop

October 6th, 2021

I have a great interview to share with you today — and it includes a virtual visit to Bitterroot Flower Shop in Missoula, Montana, where I caught up with owner Lindsay Irwin.

Local flowers “Designer’s Choice”

I first met Lindsay through fellow Slow Flowers members Carly Jenkins and Jamie Rogers of Killing Frost Farm. and their wholesale venture Farm to Florist Montana. They consider Bitterroot Flower Shop one of the top customers for their fresh, seasonal and local Montana-grown flowers.

Lindsay and Mom
It’s a family business! Lindsay Irwin (left) with Nancy Larson, her business partner and Mom

Over the years, on a few different visits to Montana, I’ve come to know Lindsay. She is active in the Montana Florists Association, having served as president in the recent past.  A few years ago, I was invited to speak at the MFA annual conference and we were hosted at Lindsay’s shop, Bitterroot, a sizeable retail and production space located at a strategic intersection in downtown Missoula. I was so impressed by the many conversations I had with florists across the state . . . including Lindsay, who are pursuing new sourcing models with local flower farmers.

Bitterroot circa 1952
Bitterroot Market circa 1952

Last summer, Killing Frost Farm reached out and asked if they could buy a gift membership in Slow Flowers Society for Lindsay — as a thank you for her support of their farm and their flowers. I was so touched by that creative way a flower farm connected on a deeper level with a key customer — and it’s a great client gift idea for other flower farmers to consider!

Bitterroot Flowers for a beautiful Montana wedding (c) Elizabeth & Samuel
Bitterroot Flowers for a beautiful Montana wedding (c) Elizabeth & Samuel

That gesture brought Lindsey and me together, too. When I was in Missoula earlier this month, she and I recorded an audio conversation, which you’ll hear today. We also recently recorded a virtual design demonstration, which appears at the top of this post. The flowers she used are all Montana-grown, along with beautiful fruiting raspberry branches from Killing Frost Farm and some California eucalyptus.

Let’s jump right in and meet Lindsey Irwin of Bitterroot Flower Shop in Missoula, Montana.

Follow Bitterroot Flower Shop on Facebook

Find Bitterroot Flower Shop on Instagram

Bonus: Listen to my 2020 interview (Episode 473) with Jamie Rogers about how Killing Frost Farm is getting more Montana-grown flowers into the hands of Montana florists!


Thanks so much for joining me today! As October gets underway, this is the first podcast episode of the month featuring visits that highlight our members and the ways they share the Slow Flowers Message with their customers and marketplace. Join me, each Wednesday, for a new live-stream video interview on YouTube and our Facebook page, and here on the Slow Flowers Podcast for the audio conversation.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Connect with Slow Flowers Society for our Facebook Live Content


Sarah Reyes and Toni Reale
Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern (left) and Toni Reale (right) of Roadside Blooms

Slow Flowers Meet-Up Logo Art As I mentioned last week, October is Slow Flowers Member Appreciation Month! We have lots planned each day of this month to connect with you and others in our community. This Friday, be sure to join our Member Virtual Meet-Up — and hear from two members, retail florists who will share their marketing and branding tips to leverage the Slow Flowers message to their customers.

We’ve invited Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern based in Oakland, Calif., and Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms, based in North Charleston, S.C., to discuss some of the ways they have successfully developed Slow Flowers’ messaging, marketing & PR, and consumer education programs that underscore their values about sourcing and sustainability.
Bring your questions!! 

Here is the LINK to pre-register — and we’d love to see you this Friday, October 8th in the zoom room at 9 am pacific.noon eastern.


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo bar

Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.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. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.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.


Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 772,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Molly Molly; Turning on the Lights; Gaenaby
Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field; Redwood Trail
audionautix.com

Episode 525: Flipping the Script after 18 years as a wedding and event florist with Anne Bradfield of Analog Floral

September 29th, 2021

You may have met today’s guest as the owner and design director of Floressence, an event floral design studio focused mainly on weddings . . . over the years, thousands of weddings!

In 2020, Anne Bradfield followed her dream to become a full-service floral studio, providing deliveries for daily floral needs, subscriptions, as well as wedding and event florals. In the spring of 2021, Anne officially made the leap and rebranded as Analog Floral.  

analog floral logo

Anne Bradfield
Anne Bradfield from Analog Floral, teaching wedding design with locally-grown flowers at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Analog Floral is home to artfully irregular floral design committed to sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, and connecting people through the joy of flowers. Anne is one of the very first florists I met on the sales floor of the brand new Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in 2011 and she has been a huge supporter — and member of the Slow Flowers Movement, committed to sourcing flowers from local flower farms whenever possible.

I visited Anne recently in her Seattle studio, located in a warehouse district next to the train tracks (you might hear train noise in the background!) and I filmed her designing an arrangement using a bucket of blooms I brought from my garden.

I forgot to mention that you can also find a link to my first Podcast interview with Anne Bradfield from Episode 236 — I can’t believe it’s from 2016 — wow! You’ll love learning more about Anne’s path to flowers.

I captured a little video showing Anne’s photography setup in her studio. Notice the retractable shade that serves as an always-clean backdrop!
briday bouquet by Anne Bradfield
Bridal Bouquet by Anne Bradfield (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Find Analog Floral on Facebook

Discover Analog Floral on Instagram


Bonus: Flower Farming School Online with Lisa Ziegler

Here’s a bonus conversation with Lisa Ziegler of The Gardener’s Workshop, a Slow Flowers Sponsor. I spoke with Lisa recently about her upcoming course: Flower Farming School Online — registration opens on Oct 1st — so you’ll want to stay with me to hear an update from Lisa.


We’re almost to October and I want to give you a head’s up that We’re almost to October —  that’s when we kick off our 2021 Slow Flowers Member Appreciation Month!
Every day during October, we’ll be thanking YOU, our members, and highlighting their stories. Yep, 31 days of Slow Flowers and we promise lots of surprises, perks and fun conversations with our community. Keep an eye out for our Slow Flowers Society Newsletter on October 1st and watch our social media channels on Friday, October 1st — where we’ll share the Full Schedule of Daily Events during October — stay tuned!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo bar

Thanks also to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Thanks to 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.

Thanks 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. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 770,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Castor Wheel Pivot; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field; Redwood Trail
audionautix.com

Episode 524: The Business of Selling Your Flowers to Florists – Expert advice from farmer-florist Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat

September 19th, 2021

I have a very special treat for you. Earlier this month, I traveled to Missoula, Montana, where I gave the opening presentation to the Montana Cut Flower Workshop. The conference planners asked me to share a national overview of the insights and forecast for the Slow Flowers Movement, including flower farming and floral design trends.

Julio Freitas
Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat

Immediately following my presentation was Julio Freitas, a longtime Slow Flowers member and owner of The Flower Hat, based in Bozeman. Julio originally entered the floral world as the designer of phenomenal weddings and events, but that pat led him to flower farming. He shared the how and why that happened in his lecture, which he graciously permitted me to record to feature today.

Julio Freitas_The Flower Hat
Meet Julio Freitas, The Flower Hat — a Bozeman, Montana-based florist-farmer putting his distinct style on the map.

The Flower Hat is a floral design studio and flower farm located in Bozeman, MT. In Julio’s very short season, he grows thousands and thousands of beautiful flowers for use in dozens of weddings throughout Spring, Summer and Fall.

The farming side of his business originated on a 1,800 sq ft parcel when Julio couldn’t get his hands on the quality of botanicals he needed for design work. Over the years, that growing space expanded to 1/4 acre, including leased land, to accommodate The Flower Hat’s demand for more flowers.  Today, The Flower Hat occupies five acres in Bozeman, Montanta.

I’m excited for you to hear from Julio about his approach to selling flowers to fellow florists. I know it will be beneficial. If you’re a florist, you’ll learn a thing or two about how to source from local flower farmers; and if you’re a grower, the tips Julio shares are priceless.

A seasonal bouquet by Julio Freitas

Below you will links to Julio’s social places. Visit his website to sign up for his newsletter, which means you’ll be the first to learn about the fall bulb sale that starts in just a few weeks on October 15th, and get advance details on Julio’s 2022 workshop series.

Check out “Montana Mentor,” my feature about The Flower Hat workshops that appeared in the January 2020 issue of Slow Flowers Journal for Florists’ Review (link below).

Follow The Flower Hat on Instagram

Find The Flower Hat on Facebook


BLOOM Imprint New Releases: Pre-Orders Open

Just a little news to share with you about BLOOM Imprint, our book publishing division of Slow Flowers. We have just posted pre-ordering for two new books, out later this year. Pre-orders are open for A Life in Flowers, by Holly Heider Chapple, which will be released at the end of October. Be inspired by Holly’s story and learn all about her floral design aesthetic, her innovations, her mentorship and community building, and Hope Flower Farm in Virginia, where she has established a center for floral education.
You also can pre-order Felicia Alvarez’s new book on growing garden roses for the floral design, called Growing Wonder, based on her experience as a rose farmer and educator. This is the only rose book developed with our Slow Flowers Community in mind — because it is focused on rose selection, cultivation, harvest, post-harvest care and crop management for cutting gardens and flower farms. This book will be released in January. And if you’re over at bloomimprint.com, you can also order my signed copies of our first book, Where We Bloom, perfect for the gardener and flower lover in your life.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

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Roadie, an on-demand delivery company offering affordable same-day and scheduled delivery. With a network of friendly, local drivers who handle each delivery with care, and one-on-one support from a designated account manager, Roadie guarantees a smooth and reliable delivery experience–from pickup to delivery. Sign up for your first delivery at Roadie.com/slowflowers and use promo code slowflowers–that’s one word–to get five dollars off.

Flowerfarm.com, a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 767,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra in her cutting garden
In the #slowflowerscuttinggarden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field; Redwood Trail
audionautix.com

Episode 523: Vashon Island Flowers, Part Two: Meet Halee Dams of Marmol Farm

September 15th, 2021

I’m excited to share Part Two of my visit to Vashon Island and introduce you to Halee Dams of Marmol Farm. Halee describes herself as a small-scale grower who uses organic and earth-friendly practices.

Halee with her flowers
Marmol Farm’s Hallee Dams with her flowers

She has a farm stand and a flower truck and she supplies private customers and Island shoppers through a retail partner on Vashon Island.  The name Marmol Farm comes from Halee’s great-grandparents Agnes and Martin Marmol. They were dairy farmers in Canada (where she’s from) and she likes to think they’re the inspiration for her love of farming.

Halee and Russell
My visit to Marmol Farm, where Halee Dams and her son Russell welcomed me on a recent September morning

Halee is also a mother to two-year-old Russell and a palliative care social worker. She’s balancing quite a lot and I know many of you can relate to the demands of trying to do it all well. I found Halee’s attitude refreshing as we discussed the so-called work-life balance (does that really exist?). Anyone who’s flower farming as a side hustle or while also raising children will definitely related to her story!

The tiny flower stand at Marmol Farm
The tiny flower farmstand at Marmol Farm in the Dockton community on Vashon Island
Rosie the flower truck
Rosie, the flower truck, which will soon appear at flower pop-ups with Halee — both on Vashon Island and in the greater Seattle area

Last week I visited Vashon Island, Washington and featured Part One of my two-part series about island flower farming with Alyssa O’Sullivan of Sweet Alyssum Farm. You can check out that episode here.

Dried flowers
Dried flowers, grown and preserved by Halee for a wedding she recently designed
Wedding
The wedding — Halee’s first! Designed for friends who wed in Stehekin, a remote community in Central Washington reached only by a ferry boat

Here’s more about Halee: By training, she is a social worker whose career has mostly been involved in hospice and inpatient palliative medicine. These days, she combines social work with parenting a 2-year-old-son.

Halee believes in local, sustainable flowers and is proudly floral-foam free. she is a member of Slow Flowers, and tries to grow her flowers in a way that is regenerative to the earth. Marmol Farm is a certified wildlife habitat and Halee is an ambassador of the Growing Kindness Project.

Follow Marmol Farm on Instagram

Sign up for the Marmol Farm newsletter here

Thank you so much for joining us today. I’d love to hear from you about the addition of video interviews to the Slow Flowers Podcast. My visit to meet Halee Dam on her farm is the eighth video “Vodcast” and I’ve learned a lot about how to produce, record and share content with you in a new way! But I’m eager for feedback, so please post a comment in the show notes or shoot me an email at debra@slowflowers.com. I hope to hear from you!


Channel Your Inner Fashionista

I want to remind you that it’s time to apply to create a botanical couture look for American Flowers Week 2022!

Slow Flowers will Commission at least FIVE Floral Couture Looks for our 2022 American Flowers Week Collection. We’re soliciting proposals from farmer-florist creative teams for this campaign. Those submitting must be active Slow Flowers members. Consideration will be made for specific new regions and botanical elements not previously featured. We have special focus on inclusion and representation! The selected Botanical Couture fashions will be published in our 2022 Summer Issue of Slow Flowers Journal.

For the 2022 Application, you will be asked to submit a Mood Board or Pinterest Board to express your concept. You will also be asked to write a description of your construction methods and mechanics to be used. This is all to ensure that you will be able to execute the design for photography and publication. Please reach out to debra@slowflowers.com with any questions. As a bonus, we recorded a webinar earlier this year with tips and techniques shared by past American Flowers Week creative teams. I’ll share the webinar link for you to watch –you can find it in today’s show notes, too! Can’t wait to see the floral fashions that we’ll publish in 2022!


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

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More thanks goes to:
Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com.

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 Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! ! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 764,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra in her cutting garden
In the #slowflowerscuttinggarden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Game Hens; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com