Debra Prinzing

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Episode 482: All about the 2020 Young Farmers & Cooks Conference and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

December 2nd, 2020

Jessica Galen (left) and Shannon Algiere (right) – two of the leaders at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

I’m really excited for this week’s episode – and happy to introduce you to my two guests, Shannon Algiere co-founder of the farm at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and currently the Farm Liaison manager, and Jessica Galen, Stone Barn’s Communications Manager.

I’ve invited them to give us a snapshot of the history and work of Stone Barns Center and then we’ll preview the upcoming Young Farmers & Cooks Conference, a three-day, all-virtual event produced and hosted by Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture and Blue Hill at Stone Barns Restaurant on December 8-10. That’s coming right up next week and you’ll want to take advantage of the extremely affordable pricing to register. 

This is an important conference about sustainable farming and food systems, and yes, the subject of Floral and Fiber Agriculture has a role.

Our fabulous Slow Flowers panel, clockwise from top left: Julius Tillery, Taij & VC Cotten, Julio Frietas and Aishah Lurry

On Wednesday, December 9th (8:30 am Pacific/11:30 am Eastern), I’ll be moderating a panel called  The Regional Flower Economy: Flower Farming as a Viable and Profitable Facet of Agriculture, featuring a fantastic lineup of Slow Flowers members. They include Aishah Lurry, Patagonia Flower Farm, Julio Freitas, The Flower Hat, Taij Cotton and VC (Victoria) Edwards-Cotten, Perry-winkle Farm, and Julius Tillery, Black Cotton U.S.

Whether you’re a farmer, cook, butcher, miller, preservationist, processor, or anyone else in the food (and floral) chain, this conference is for you. 

Here’s a bit more about Jessica and Shannon ~

Jessica Galen is the communications director at Stone Barns Center. In this role she manages relationships with the media and partner organizations, and provides editorial support for programming for young farmers and other key audiences.

She launched her career in branding and communications at a nonprofit consulting firm and an education reform organization. While in graduate school at NYU for a M.A. in Food Studies she worked in the cheese caves at Murray’s Cheese as well as for an organic produce farm and a raw farmstead cheesemaker. She served as the general manager at Lucy’s Whey, then the Upper East Side’s largest artisanal cheese shop, and as wholesale director at New York Shuk, a small-batch producer of Israeli and North African pantry items.

Jessica published an article in the Graduate Journal of Food Studies based on her Master’s thesis entitled “Cheesemongers Over Fearmongers: Toward Data-Driven Cheese Recommendations for Pregnant Women” and was a contributor to the James Beard Award-winning “Oxford Companion to Cheese.” She is on the Advisory Board of Equity Advocates, which provides policy education, advocacy training, and coalition building services to improve healthy food access in urban communities. In addition to her Master’s degree, she has a B.A. From Harvard University in Yiddish and Latin American Studies.

Shannon Algiere, a co-founder of the farm at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture brings over 20 years of experience in holistic farm design, crops production, garden and greenhouse management and farm-based education. Alongside her husband Jack Algiere, Shannon has served many roles at Stone Barns Center in its development.

Most recently as Farm Liaison Manager, Shannon partnered with the center’s farm and programs staff to oversee farmer training, internships and volunteer programming.

She attended University of Rhode Island, was an outdoor educator at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Greenhouse Manager at Meadowbrook Biodynamic Herb Farm and White Gate Farm, and a volunteer for the Costa Rican National Park Service.

In 2017 Shannon started a floral design and horticultural services business, Potter & Prune, promoting sustainable models in the floral design industry by celebrating the elegance and ecology of connecting regional grower economies with event design. She has taught workshops on growing and marketing cut flowers at NOFA, SBC’s Young Farmer’s Conference, and Oregon State University Small Farms conference. She has also written articles and been interviewed for her work at the intersection of farming and health and wellness. Along with her husband Jack, Shannon is raising two boys and serves on the board of Hearthfire and  Ayer’s Foundation.

Find and follow Shannon on Instagram here

Find and follow Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture on Instagram here

I hope you’re inspired to register and join the Young Farmers and Cooks Conference, taking place next week, December 8-10th. You can attend the conference for just $25 and you’ll be wowed by the program offerings and speakers.

UPDATE: We’ve just received a $10 off coupon code from Young Farmers and Cooks Conference! When you register, use: YFCCPROMO

You may have heard Jessica mention that the conference is being built around an anti-racist frame, and we fully support these values. When Shannon and her colleagues first approached me to curate a Slow Flowers panel, they explained that sessions are designed in a way that will honor the contributions of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color throughout history who have shaped the agricultural and culinary topic the program addresses. Programs within the Young Farmers and Cooks Conference are designed to acknowledge the historical and cultural significance of topics; acknowledge and serve the diverse, international audience that will participate; and give space for voices and perspectives that have often been overlooked or underrepresented, especially in the realm of sustainable agriculture. Additionally, no panel will feature only white or male presenters.

And speaking of panels, in addition to our panel on the Regional Flower Economy, here are some of the other presentations I’m excited about:
Beauty in Food: Incorporating Edible Flowers in the Kitchen
Over time, the farm at Stone Barns Center has developed a robust flow of floral materials from greenhouse, fields, pastures and gardens into the creative hands of artisan chefs at the on-site Blue Hill Restaurant. This panel features demonstrations and encouragement on incorporating the beauty of flowers into dishes, beverages and cakes, presented by growers and artisan makers as they share tips, variety suggestions and artistic technique.
Bones, Pigments, Paper and Process
This panel introduces three artists applying ecological consciousness to their work and craft. They will take us through their process of land acknowledgement and working with land based materials as well as the steps that transform those materials into cultural objects. 
Natural Dyes for Farmers and Cooks
How can natural dyes both connect us to our complicated histories and serve as a teaching tool? From the blemish of African enslavement to grow both cotton and indigo in the United States to modern textile practices that demand speed and slave wages, we have never gotten textiles right for people and planet. So what are we going to do about it and what are the most logical, equitable and environmental next steps? Join us for a discussion with four leading voices in the natural dye world.
Seed Companies, COVID-19, and Our Fragile Foodshed   
Seeds are a critical first node in every food supply chain, so the people who run seed companies have a unique vantage point when major disruptions occur. The COVID-19 shutdowns led to the same sort of panic buying of seeds as happened in supermarkets with food. This huge increase in demand forced some seed companies to temporarily shut down or curtail operations as seed stocks diminished and experienced workers became harder to muster (with fears of the virus keeping many workers home). Now seed inventories are depleted, demand is higher than ever, and companies are struggling to maintain the diversity and quality of seed their customers expect. At the same time, most companies sold much more seed in 2020 than anticipated, leading to unexpected financial windfalls that allow for expansion, growth, and special projects. This panel features seed luminaries from a range of different companies, each offering their particular perspective and plans for moving forward into an uncertain future.  

I hope you’re as inspired as I am. What a great opportunity to expand our understanding  of sustainable agriculture at the intersection of art and design! Let’s all strive to be Food AND Flower System Changemakers!

Thank you to our sponsors

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the Slow Flowers Movement, 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.

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to 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.

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.

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.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 664,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

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

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

Music Credits:

Glass Beads; 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 481: A wedding florist grows a flower farm with Candice Howard of New Jersey-based Duchess Farms

November 25th, 2020

Candice Howard of Duchess Farms in South Brunswick, NJ

How are you all doing, friends? It’s already the week of Thanksgiving – can you believe it?! I am still racing to plant my five peony roots from Mountain Flower Farm and plant those last 100 hyacinth bulbs from Longfield Gardens, not to mention a few woody shrubs and perennials I purchased locally on a plant-buying trip last month. It WILL all happen this week – I promise!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, despite this ridiculous year we’ve had, one with painful losses and disappointments, I do feel grateful. I’m grateful that our Slow Flowers community has remained connected through the year, thanks to technology. Our membership has just surpassed 800 — an all-time record high, thanks to our operations & membership manager Karen Thornton’s stewardship. Our listenership in this Podcast continues to grow — more than 2,000 downloads each week. And our engagement is breaking all past records, thanks in large part to our amazing social media maven, Niesha Blancas. Ambitious projects continue to drive us forward, all with the goal of inspiring the floral industry and its consumers to embrace local, seasonal and sustainable flowers.

One of the positive results of not being able to travel since March has been moving in-person Slow Flowers Member Meet-ups that took place wherever I landed for a conference, speaking engagement or magazine assignment to the virtual Zoom platform.

We met weekly from late March through late May; and then switched to monthly beginning in June. We’ve held more than a dozen meet-ups this way, drawing hundreds of Slow Flowers members to check in for an hour, hear from a speaker or two, sometimes participate in breakout rooms, gain inspiration and win giveaway prizes.

Today’s guest, Candice Howard, of Duchess Farms in South Brunswick, New Jersey, has been a frequent participant in those Zoom calls. That’s how I learned more about her, which led to a deeper conversation and my invitation that Candice share her story here on the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Here’s more about Candice and her flowers. I excerpted her bio from a recent newsletter:

Candice and Tom Howard (left); flowers from Duchess Farms (right)

People often ask me what I did before I became a floral designer and then a flower farmer. So I’ll go back a few years to give you a brief history. I grew up in Millburn, New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers College with a Bachelor’s degree in political science. Most of my career was in government and nonprofit administration/fundraising. I worked for the Governor’s Office, the New Jersey Legislature and the County of Middlesex.  I have also worked for a number of nonprofit organizations including Special Olympics New Jersey, Girls Incorporated and Women Helping Women.

In 2013,  I received my design certification from The FlowerSchool New York and spent the following seven years designing florals for weddings, which recently led to the decision that I really loved growing flowers. Any future designing I may do will be with my own fresh flowers.

My husband Tom says that I am the farmer…which I am since I actually sow and harvest all of the flowers and everything in between. But he helps me with all the big stuff…like building that great high tunnel and replacing our old fence, both of which gave us greatly expanded growing capacity this year. Tom also installed an irrigation system throughout the beds. So yes, I am the farmer but Tom is the Director of Public Works here at Duchess Farms. We are currently in the process of applying for farmland preservation so that the seven acres we live on will be preserved as farmland in perpetuity. We expect to have that designation sometime this year.

Find and follow Candice at these social places:

Duchess Farms on Facebook

Duchess Farms on Instagram

Duchess Farms on YouTube

As she discusses, Rutgers University’s Beginning Farming program recently interviewed Candice about flower farming. Click on the link below to enjoy all of the challenges, victories and advice in that series.

We have lots of news, which you’ll be able to read in the upcoming, December issue of the Slow Flowers Newsletter – out  next week. If you aren’t receiving it, you can find the subscribe link in today’s show notes or in the footer at slowflowerssociety.com.

And of course, it’s totally cliche, but we’re jumping on the CyberWeekend bandwagon here at Slow Flowers. From this Friday, November 27th through Monday, November 30th, you can enjoy two promotional offers:

1. Cyber20 — A 20% off promo code applied to any item on the Slow Flowers online shop. Right now, you can find all three of my books, plus American Flowers Week bouquet labels and our new etched Slow Flowers Society bookmark. And Karen promises that more items will be added to the Slow Flowers Mercantile online shop in December and beyond.

2. CyberSlow — Debra Prinzing’s online course, Slow Flowers Creative Workshop: Floral Storytelling, will return on January 6, 2021, with pre-registration opening Friday, November 27th. Anyone who registers during CyberWeekend — Slow Flowers member or not — will receive $100 off the course ($297 value), paying just $197. As a CyberWeekend Bonus, we’ll also send you a free signed copy of Slow Flowers Journal-Volume One, valued at $20.
**If you miss out on this opportunity, the course tuition will bump up to $247 for non-members and $197 for members as of Dec. 1st. 


The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 662,000 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 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

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

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.

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

The 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.

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

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

Music Credits:

Turning on the Lights; Bombadore; 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; Serenity
audionautix.com

Episode 480: Meet the Flower Farmers, with ASCFG leaders, Jamie Rohda of Nebraska’s Harvest Home and Michelle Elston of Pennsylvania’s Roots Cut Flower Farm

November 18th, 2020

Michelle Elston (left) and Jamie Rohda (right)

Today, we return to a series I began earlier this year, featuring the regional directors of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. You’ll hear from Michelle Elston of Roots Cut Flower Farm in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and Jamie Rohda of Harvest Home Flowers in Waverly, Nebraska.

Grocery bouquets designed by Roots Cut Flower Farm

Between them, these two flower farmers represent a significant percentage of ASCFG’s membership! Jamie’s region is North & Central U.S., representing Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming – whew!

Michelle is ASCFG’s newly appointed Mid-Atlantic regional director, representing flower farmers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

I invited both women to share about what’s happening with flower farming in their regions, and to give us a snapshot of their respective flower farming ventures. As it turns out, they each have cultivated a successful, but different niche, so you’ll learn from Michelle about selling to mass market grocery and you’ll learn from Jamie about serving as a wholesale supplier to floral designers.

Here’s a bit more about each of these guests:

Roots Cut Flower Farm is featured as a local family farm supported by local Pennsylvania grocery stores.

Michelle Elston is founder and owner of Roots Cut Flower Farm. She has loved plants and flowers for as long as she can remember. After studying plant science in college, she and her husband, Mike, moved to Massachusetts. There, they bought a garden center and stayed for 9 years. But after the birth of their first child, they realized that the best place to raise their kids was close to family roots.

So, they sold the garden center and moved back to Michelle’s hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Time and space soon opened up for her to pursue her dream of farming. What started as a small garden has evolved into a 10-acre farm that produces enough flowers for more than 20,000 supermarket bouquets and 100 weddings/events annually. Now, 13 years later, she realizes she never imagined her seed of an idea would turn into such a thriving small business.

Buckets and buckets of local, Pennsylvania-grown cut flowers gathered into thousands of bouquets at Roots Cut Flower Farm!

Even with such growth, Michelle’s flower philosophy has remained a simple one: to celebrate the natural beauty of every season in South Central Pennsylvania. Flowers are grown sustainably and selected based on their ability to thrive in the region. All of Roots’ bouquets and arrangements are created using only what is grown on the farm. Rather than trendy, the results are timeless designs that are fresh, lush and unique.

Here’s more about Jamie:

Beautiful Nebraska blooms at Harvest Home Flowers, grown by Jamie Rohda

Harvest Home Flowers is a small, family owned flower farm located between Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska. Jamie and her husband Norman have farmed since 1994 and today their family-owned flower farm produces a wide variety of naturally grown, specialty cut flowers for local florists, designers and DIY brides. 

Harvest Home Flowers serves Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska’s florists with fresh, seasonal and sustainable cut flowers

Find and follow Jamie and Michelle at these social places:

Harvest Home Flowers on Facebook

Harvest Home Flowers on Instagram

Roots Cut Flower Farm on Facebook

Roots Cut Flower Farm on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining today’s episode with Jamie Rohda of Harvest Home Flowers and Michelle Elston of Roots Cut Flowers. The conversation filled me with gratitude for our beautiful and diverse Slow Flowers community of flower farmers and floral designers who come together to bring joy and inspiration to the marketplace of flower lovers.

Lisianthus and dahlia details from Harvest Home Flowers

I’m so glad that Jamie and Michelle helped us catch up with two ASCFG regions across the country. By the way, you can hear my earlier interviews at the links below:
Val Schirmer of Three Toads Farm, ASCFG’s Southeast regional director based in Kentucky
Erin McMullen of Rain Drop Farm, ASCFG’s Northwest and West regional director based in Oregon
and Janis Harris of Harris Flower Farm, ASCFG’s Canadian director based in St. Thomas, Ontario

We have to chase down a few more directors, and given the insanity of this COVID-distracted year, you’ll probably hear those interviews in early 2021!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 659,000 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 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

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

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.

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.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

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

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

Music Credits:

Silk and Silver; 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 479: Branding the Sustainable Floral Business with Pilar Zuniga of Berkeley’s Gorgeous and Green

November 11th, 2020

Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green – all photography (c) Lauren Edith Anderson

In 2013, during the first year of the Slow Flowers Podcast, I interviewed a young floral designer from the San Francisco East Bay who at the time was one of the only voices talking about sustainable design practices. I called her “Berkeley’s Eco-Floral Maven” and said this: “Pilar Zuniga is blazing a new trail and is the TRUE definition of a LOCAL FLORIST. She has a hometown, Main Street flower shop that goes the full distance to source from local flower farms in her own backyard.”

Remember, this was in the early days of Instagram. When it came to visually exciting storytelling, at least online, individual bloggers still reigned. As early as 2008 when she launched Gorgeous and Green as an event floral business, and later as a local Berkeley retail floral and gift store (2010-2016), Zuniga used her blog to write about sustainability concerns, including chemical-free design techniques and mechanics. “I don’t use sprays, glues or floral foam at all,” she explains.

Seasonal and sustainable floral design by Gorgeous and Green

Today, Instagram is home to Pilar’s online presence, where followers are drawn to her vibrant aesthetic, often portrayed against a distinctive turquoise-teal wall, a color rarely found in flowers.

The flowers and foliage she selects are locally grown, and when available, are organic or non-sprayed as well.  Gorgeous and Green supports local growers and farms who are doing their best to continue to keep local crops available in the Bay Area.

A floral palette as colorful as its designer

I’m so pleased to welcome Pilar Zuniga as a return guest to the Slow Flowers Podcast. I really can’t believe that seven years have transpired since early listeners of this show met her. You’re in for a treat, but as a bonus, here is the link to her first appearance in Episode 116, from November 2013) and a link to the feature about Gorgeous and Green that I wrote for the November 2019 issue of Florists’ Review.

An early “green” service: Flowers delivered by bicycle a la Pedal Express

Before we get started, here’s a bit more about Pilar Zuniga, excerpted from her web site:

A California Native, Pilar came to the Bay area to attend UC Berkeley.  Her interests then and now include biology, art and culture. She is fond of painting, drawing, ceramics, sewing and embroidery, remaking old things, finding vintage goods, gardening and ballet. She is a feminist, a Latina and a colorful individual who loves dogs and smiles often.  Her floral design is born out of a desire to be creative and to support a local movement of flower growers.

Find and follow Gorgeous and Green at these social places:

Gorgeous and Green on Facebook

Gorgeous and Green on Instagram

Gorgeous and Green on Pinterest

Thank you so much for joining this lovely and uplifting conversation with a kindred spirit – one who is a role model for how to honor your mission and values through the way you build your business.

You are in for a real treat next June, because Pilar is one of the featured presenters at the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit, taking place June 28-30, 2021 at Filoli, in Woodside, California. We will soon resume promotion and registration for the postponed 4th annual Slow Flowers Summit and I’m thrilled that our host venu, Filoli, has done everything right to accommodate a safe, socially-distanced experience.

Pilar will present: BRANDING THE SUSTAINABLE FLORAL BUSINESS

She will discuss building an enduring brand around sustainable design and using her studio and  platform to advocate for beautiful sustainability, including chemical-free design techniques and mechanics. You’ll learn more about how Pilar’s personal values have shaped Gorgeous and Green’s brand and mission in the marketplace. And, you’ll be wowed as she demonstrates her signature floral style using all-local botanical elements.

In our show notes, you’ll find a link to more details about the Summit, and to sign up for notices as we roll out an expanded speaker lineup, COVID-safe policies and more.

And a Podcast post-script. I’m recording the intro for today’s episode on Sunday, November 8th. In the U.S., we have endured a long, drawn out and agonizing political season, and I’m so pleased with the result of the presidential ticket that prevailed. Joe Biden is our president-elect and Kamala Harris, our vice president-elect, the first woman, the first Black woman and the first person of Asian descent to be elected to this office. I am exhaling, and I’ve heard from so many of you who are doing the same. If you didn’t support the Biden-Harris ticket, my wish for you is to have an open-mind, and to join me in a pledge to listen, speak my own truth, and show compassion for all humans.

Slow Flowers is committed to sustainability in all its forms, including sustaining dignity, equity and inclusion for people like us and not like us.

Stacy Brenner of Broadturn Farm, Maine’s new State Senator & Flower Farmer!

And, as long as we’re talking about elections, we want to congratulate Slow Flowers member and recent guest of this podcast, Stacy Brenner of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, Maine. On November 3, Stacy posted this message on social media: I’m so grateful to announce that the voters in Buxton, Gorham, and Scarborough have voted for me to be the next State Senator for our district. I congratulate my opponent on a well-run campaign, and I promise to do my very best for our community in Augusta. Congratulations to Maine’s newest state senator and flower farmer, Stacy Brenner!

It’s time to announce two giveaways:

The winner of complimentary registration to Ellen Frost’s new online workshop — Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing is: Zoe Dellinger of Dell Acres Farm and Greenhouse in Edinburg, Virginia! Congratulations, Zoe. You’ll hear from Ellen Frost with all the details very soon!

And congratulations to Amy Stoker of Lucky Bee Cut Flowers of Longmont, Colorado! As one of more than 200 respondents of our annual Slow Flowers member survey, your name was randomly selected for the BIG PRIZE — full registration to the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit, valued at $599. You’ll get to meet us at Filoli in late June, and meet Pilar Zuniga, today’s podcast guest in person! We’ll be sharing the insights from the member survey in the coming months — it was a huge success with more than 25% member participation.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 657,000 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 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

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

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.

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.

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.

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:

Lanky; Molly Molly; 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 478 Portland Wedding Designer Joy Proctor on creating the Say Their Names Memorial + a Bonus Conversation with Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events

November 4th, 2020

Joy Proctor, Joy Proctor Design

I’m so honored today to welcome Portland wedding designer Joy Proctor, owner of Joy Proctor Design. Joy is internationally-recognized and named a top wedding designer by Harper’s Bazaar and Bride’s Magazine.

The first Say Their Names Memorial was installed in Portland, Oregon, where Joy is based
(c) Jessica G. Mangia Photography
Joy Proctor’s activism has sparked a grassroots effort to honor the lives lost to racial injustice (c) Jessica G. Mangia Photography

In June, Joy and a group of friends, artists, designers and craftspeople came together in a grassroots effort to create the first Say Their Names Memorial in Portland, Oregon.

The photographic and floral tribute used art to honor hundreds of Black men, women and young people whose lives were taken unjustly by systemic racism and racial injustice. It was first installed on June 19th, also known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

Joy Proctor at the Kirkland, Wash., Say Their Names Memorial
(c) Morgan Petroski Photography

The “Say Their Name Memorial” has grown into a nationwide initiative and it has been put up in over 25 locations nationwide since then. Joy’s aim is to use the memorial to facilitate conversation around systemic racism while honoring those whose lives have been taken by it.   

Say Their Names Memorial at Germany Park in Dallas, spearheaded by Bows & Arrows Flowers (c) N. Barrett Photography

I also want to acknowledge the amazing work and passion of Dallas creatives Alicia and Adam Rico, fellow wedding designer friends and colleagues of Joy’s, and Slow Flowers members who own Bows & Arrows Flowers. I first learned the Say Their Names Memorial project through their efforts in Dallas, Austin and other communities. 

Corporate Event Planner and Slow Flowers Operations, Membership and Events Manager Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events (c) Missy Palacol Photography

You’ll also meet a second guest, Karen Thornton of the Slow Flowers team, who was inspired to bring the Say Their Names Memorial to the Seattle Area. On October 20th, Karen and I finally met Joy, her sister Elise Proctor and their colleague Stacy Feder when they drove from Portland to Kirkland, outside Seattle, to spend a day lending their support to the local production.  

For this Podcast, I’ve invited Joy and Karen to speak about this project and share how they, as passionate and gifted wedding and corporate event professionals, respectively, are using beauty and art to raise awareness, change attitudes and protest injustice in their communities and beyond.  

A photo shoot for Flutter Magazine, designed by Joy Proctor (c) Jose Villa, with florals by Amy Osaba Events

Before we get started, here’s more about Joy Proctor:

Since starting in the wedding business in 2007, Joy’s reputation and projects have led to her current reputation as one of the most highly sought after creative directors in the world, known for producing original, inventive concepts. She has designed for many brands and publications in search of new, beautiful and innovative ideas. From concept to creation, Joy and her team produce visual campaigns, branded content and editorial features for elegant and discerning clientele. As a well regarded prop and photo stylist, Joy is known for the styling of details for photo and prestigious publications. 

Joy served as creative director and designer for “The Beauty of Rice,” an editorial photo shoot in Thailand (c) D’arcy Benincosa

With the aim of styling everything like it were a magazine feature, she takes photo design very seriously, creating a timeline, shot list and production plan to ensure the best shots. 

She provides props and backgrounds to perfectly capture the client’s design in its best light.  

Joy’s styling work appears on the cover of the first Style Me Pretty book, Style Me Pretty Weddings

She has designed and styled weddings and events in Madagascar, Italy, Provence, France, the resort town of telluride, the Cotswolds, Thailand and beyond.

Joy planned and designed the 2019 wedding of Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas (c) Corbin Gurkin

Find and follow Joy Proctor at these social places:

Joy Proctor Design on Instagram

Joy Proctor Design on Facebook

Joy Proctor Design on Pinterest

Thousands have witnessed the memorial tributes to lives lost to systemic racism across our country. What Joy’s story reveals is the power of a single idea, and the potential of community grassroots action.

Say Their Names Memorial web site

Say Their Names Memorial on Instagram

Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events at the Kirkland, Wash., Say Their Names Memorial
(c) Morgan Petroski Photography

Next up, I want to share a short interview with my dear friend and colleague Karen Thornton, owner of Seattle-based Avenue 22 Events. Karen has served as Slow Flowers’ event manager since 2018 and in 2020, she assumed our operations and membership.

Hundreds of beautiful black-and-white portraits honored with individual floral tributes (c) Morgan Petroski Photography in Kirkland, Washington

You’ll hear more about the Kirkland, Washington, Say Their Names Memorial, which continues on display through November. You are invited to view the Memorial where portraits and flowers are on display at six places of worship across the community of Kirkland:

Memorial Locations
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 10021 NE 124th St, Kirkland, WA 98034
Kirkland Congregational United Church of Christ, 106 5th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
Lake Washington Christian Church, 343 15th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
Lake Washington United Methodist Church, 7525 132nd Ave. NE, Kirkland, WA 98033
Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, 308 4th Ave. S, Kirkland, WA 98033
Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 105 State St., Kirkland, WA 98033

In her consulting business, Karen brings a distinctive and comprehensive skill set to event planning and management. Her background in experience design and business consulting and her ability to execute on detailed logistics help ensure satisfying, meaningful events. Karen deeply understands how to develop engaging programs and invests the effort to ensure that all the event details are in place. From visioning and honing objectives to budget management and marketing to selecting the venue and securing vendors, Karen confidently, competently does it all.

Find and follow Avenue 22 Events:

Avenue 22 Events on Instagram

Here is a list of resources and supporters for the Kirkland Say Their Names Memorial. Thank you!

Photography

Morgan Petroski Photography @morgpetphoto 

Graphic Design and Sign Printing

Blue Ink @blueinkcreates   

Printing (Portraits)

Woodinville Print             

Flowers Provided and Procured by:

Slow Flowers @myslowflowers

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market @seattlewholesalegrowersmarket

Floressence @floressencellc

Lora Bloom @lorabloom.flowers

Flori @flori.flowers

Bad Weather Farm @badweatherurbanfarm

Hazel Designscapes @hazeldesignscapes

Rentals (tables, tents)

Grand Event Rentals @grandeventrentals  

Catering + Sweets (for volunteers day-of)

Anonymous

Lady Yum @ladyyum   


Thanks so so much for being present with me for these two important conversations. It means so much that Slow Flowers as a community provides these diverse channels for advocacy, education, outreach and activism.

And the conversation will continue, of course, as we move into 2021.

It’s your final chance to enter the generous course giveaway offered by last week’s guest Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers. Ellen is giving a complimentary registration to her new online workshop — Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing to one listener of the Slow Flowers Podcast. The six-week course begins January 4, 2021 and the course value is $495. What a generous giveaway! To enter, make a comment in the show notes at debraprinzing.com for episode 477 (and be sure to listen to my conversation with Ellen while there)  — and tell us one of your favorite ways to source locally-grown flowers. All comments posted by midnight Pacific on Sunday, November 8th will be entered into a random drawing for Ellen’s course. And for everyone, click on this link to sign up for notifications when registration opens Nov. 16-20. I’m excited for the winner already!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 655,000 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 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

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

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.


(c) Mary Grace Long photography

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

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

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

Music Credits:

Basketliner; Bridgewalker; Donnalee; 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 477: Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers and Lisa Ziegler of The Gardener’s Workshop

October 28th, 2020

You can see Sarah’s 50-foot-long floral V-O-T-E display at 329 North Cherry Strees (along Hwy 20) in Burlington, Washington (c) Sara Welch Photo Co.

Before we jump into today’s main segment, I want to recognize that Election Day in the U.S. is coming up in just six days on November 3rd. I’ve been wowed by the creative gestures of floral activism from our Slow Flowers members around the country. I’ve invited one of those members to share what she’s doing in her community as a bonus interview. Let’s jump right in and meet Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm & Flowers In Burlington, Washington.

This indeed has been a year in which I’m acutely aware that my business, career and personal acts need more meaning to reflect my values. I hope you find Sarah’s floral VOTE message as encouraging as I do.


Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers in Baltimore, Maryland

Okay, let’s jump right into today’s wonderful conversation with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers and Lisa Ziegler of The Gardener’s Workshop.

Both women are past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast, so I’ve added links to their earlier appearances in today’s show notes. And full disclosure, The Gardener’s Workshop is a financial supporter of Slow Flowers and we consider its founder Lisa Ziegler an important partner in furthering our mission in the Slow Flowers Movement.

When Lisa told me that she recruited Ellen to create an online business course to help florists learn her unique flower sourcing approach, I knew this was an important topic for the Slow Flowers Community. I’ve asked them to talk about their project today. The course is called “Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing.”

And guess what?! We have another course giveaway today! Ellen is giving away a complimentary registration to her new online workshop. “Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing,” is a six-week course that begins January 4, 2021. Valued at $495, this is a generous giveaway! For listeners of this Podcast, be sure to make a comment in the show notes below — and tell us one of your favorite ways to source locally-grown flowers. All comments posted by midnight Pacific on Sunday, November 8th will be entered into a random drawing for Ellen’s course. Click on the link below to sign up for notifications when registration opens Nov. 16-20. I’m excited for the winner already!

Here’s a bit more about Ellen Frost:

Ellen Frost loves flowers. Even more, she loves owning and operating a flower studio which exclusively sources local flowers. Ellen founded her company, Local Color Flowers, in 2008 as a part-time wedding floral business to provide Baltimore area couples a more sustainable flower option for their celebrations. Over the past 12 years, Ellen has grown Local Color Flowers into a thriving business adding floral design classes, corporate events, subscriptions, and retail as well as creative social and educational community events – all using 100% locally grown flowers. Ellen’s business is a vital contributor to Baltimore’s local economy and a vibrant community resource. 

Here is the outline for “Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing”
Class 1 — Landscape of the Cut Flower Industry
Class 2 — Why Local Flowers: Motivations, Definitions and Goals
Class 3 — Building Relationships With Local Growers
Class 4 — Logistics of Local Flowers
Class 5 — Differentiating, Marketing and Selling Local Flowers
Class 6 — Making Your Business An Indispensable Community Asset

Local Color Flowers on Slow Flowers Podcast
Episode 163 (October 15, 2014)

Find and follow Local Color Flowers at these social places:
Local Color Flowers on Facebook
Local Color Flowers on Instagram

Lisa Ziegler at The Gardener’s Workshop Farm in Newport News, Virginia

Here’s a bit more about Lisa Ziegler:

What began as a small cut-flower farm producing for local markets has grown into so much more. Lisa has become a leader in the cut-flower growing industry, author, accomplished speaker, teacher, and the owner of The Gardener’s Workshop.

Lisa is the author of Cool Flowers in 2014 (St. Lynn’s Press) and Vegetables Love Flowers (Cool Springs Press 2018.)

In 2018 Lisa began creating online courses to share her programs and knowledge. This style of teaching with its convenience, cost effectiveness, and lifetime unlimited access has proven to be another wonderful educational tool. In 2019, embracing technology even further and building an amazing in-house administration and support team has allowed Lisa to produce online courses for others.

Lisa’s farm, known as The Gardener’s Workshop is still a small market flower farm (100% outdoor field grown), and an online garden shop. The online store sells the same seeds, tools, supplies, and seed starting equipment that Lisa uses as well as signed copies of her books.  Lisa’s simple, instructive, and delightful gardening messages are reaching far beyond any expectation she ever had.

The Gardener’s Workshop on Slow Flowers Podcast
Episode 159 (September 14, 2014)
Episode 391 (March 6, 2019)

Find and follow The Gardener’s Workshop at these social places:
The Gardener’s Workshop on Facebook
The Gardener’s Workshop on Instagram


Announcements

This is the final week you can sign up for my first online course, Slow Flowers Creative Workshop: Floral Storytelling. The course begins November 1st and you can take advantage of the $200-off introductory promo code, meaning you can enjoy this course for just $97. Sign up here and use SF97 for the discount. I’m excited to see you in the course!

And Head’s Up: This is the final week to participate in the 2021 Slow Flowers Member Survey. We will close the survey link and end the giveaway promotions on October 31st, midnight Pacific Time. To thank you for sharing your time to take the survey, we’d like to send you an etched Slow Flowers Society botanical bookmark – and enter your name into the drawing for one free registration to the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit, valued at $599! But you must give us your name and contact information to receive the bookmark and enter the drawing — if you choose to respond anonymously, we can’t bestow our gifts! Click here to complete the survey.

Quick announcement before we get started. Last week, we promoted a giveaway for one VIP Pass to the Fleurvana Virtual Summit – Holiday Edition, taking place online this week through today. The winner is a Podcast listener and aspiring flower farmer: Jenni Hulburt, a wellness coach and host of The WILD Wellness Podcast. Congratulations, Jenni! And thanks to Shawn Michael Foley of Fleurvana! Click on this link to purchase your own VIP All-Access Pass to the conference. You’ll enjoy more than 25 floral design and business presentations, including my new session called Taking Stock: Writing your 2020 Year in Review & 2021 Forecast with Creative Intention.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.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. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.

Rooted Farmers, which 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

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 653,000 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 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’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:

Shift of Currents; Heliotrope; 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