Episode 237: Deadhead ~ The Bindweed Way with Idaho’s Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston
March 16th, 2016
Where do remote resort communities like Sun Valley, Idaho, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, get their flowers?
These high-desert mountain areas aren’t exactly huge agricultural regions, but today’s guests have built their successful flower farming business on serving these two luxury markets.
Please meet flower farmers Ralph Thurston and Jeriann Sabin. The talented wife-husband duo are the owners of Bindweed Farm in the southeast corner of Idaho.
I invite you to celebrate the recent publication of Deadhead~ the Bindweed Way to Grow Flowers, a new book about the joys and challenges of growing cut flowers for commercial sales.
Located about two hours from both of these upscale destination resort markets, Ralph and Jeriann have created a beautiful lifestyle that is supported by flowers.
Ralph is known as “il maestro”, the brain and the brawn who plans every detail, ordering all plant material, orchestrating the farm’s intricate planting schedule and irrigation scheme.
He is a genius, a green thumb wizard. And not only that, he cuts nearly every stem, that’s thousands and thousands each season.
Jeriann is the beauty–as in aesthetics. As an artist, color and texture are her DNA. Ralph may be responsible for the diverse varieties but Jeriann selects the colors.
Never without her trusty smart phone/camera, she photographs every flower on the farm and loves keeping the Bindweed blog.
She processes every stem–conditioning and packaging each bunch of flowers as they come in from the field. In charge of sales and delivery, she enjoys meeting and consulting with designers each week.
Passionate about small farms and farmers, Bindweed has been a member of ASCFG, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers for over fifteen years. Each of them have served on the board of directors and have contributed articles for the Cut Flower Quarterly.
Bindweed occupies five acres in the heart of potato country, the eastern edge of Idaho’s high desert plain. Surrounded by several mountain ranges and cinder cones—extinct volcanoes—the farm enjoys spectacular 360-degree views, rich soil and a short growing season.
On clear days the tip of the Grand Teton sits up like a shark’s tooth behind the foothills in the east and the resort, Jackson, Wyoming ,is only two hours away. Equidistance to the west lays Sun Valley. Famed for skiing and hiking, both resorts are outdoor playgrounds for many of the rich and famous. Extremely popular for conferences, think tanks and destination events, they are the perfect market for our flowers.
Here’s how to find Jeriann and Ralph on social media:
Bindweed Farm on Facebook
Bindweed Farm on Instagram
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Until 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 Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.