Debra Prinzing

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Episode 442: New York’s Jenny Rae Siplo of Flowerwell, a Flower Farm & Design Studio

February 26th, 2020

Jenny Rae Siplo of FLOWERWELL in Rochester, NY (c) Lindsay Stephany Photo

I am so happy to visit today with Jenny Rae Siplo of Flowerwell, a flower farm and design studio in Rochester, N.Y. We were corresponding recently and Jenny Rae shared some big news about her floral enterprise — one that is radically changing the way she will operate Flowerwell in the future. I knew you’d want to hear all about it, so I asked Jenny Rae to record this conversation with me!

Jenny Rae Siplo in her dahlias fields (c) Lindsay Stephany Photo

Here’s what she says about Flowerwell:

I dreamt about what it would be like to become a full-time farmer-florist many moons ago. That dream became all I could think about, even when I had no land, no experience, and was living out of an apartment.

In college, I explored languages and art, but deep down knew I was being called to nature. It was almost like there was an unseen force that knew the outside was where I needed to be. I don’t come from a family of farmers, but I grew up gardening with my Mother.
While gardening and farming are very different, my time in the garden laid the foundation for me to become the farmer and floral designer that I am today.

To say that I love flowers isn’t enough. They give me life. They feed my soul. They make the challenging task of farming worth it. They provide the creative inspiration and energy for the beauty that is our floral designs. My aim for Flowerwell is to always share this overwhelming joy and passion. My hope is that you grow to appreciation and love our locally grown flowers as much as I do.

On location with Jenny Rae Siplo as she creates a floral arch (c) Alexandra Elise Photo; dahlias forever (right)

Flowerwell was built on a dream of merging locally-grown flowers with artfully-curated floral design. Established in 2015 in the countryside of Rochester, Jenny Rae set out to provide a creative approach to both the wedding industry and growing cut flowers commercially. As a result, Flowerwell focuses on colors, textures, and heirloom varieties of specialty flowers and foliage.

“Our design work is distinguished by our specialty blooms being incorporated in a modern, garden-inspired, floral design style. We are known for the one-of-a kind floral experience that we provide and our passion for everything involving flowers.”

I’m excited for you to join today’s conversation – all about Flowerwell.

Find and follow Flowerwell at these social places:

Flowerwell on Facebook

Flowerwell on Instagram

Florals grown & designed by Flowerwell — Alexandra Meseke Photo (left); Alexandra Elise Photo (right)

In late 2018, Jenny Rae asked me to with some of the research and background she needed to apply for the New Farmers’ grant. I’m so glad it paid off!

Jenny Rae shared the State of New York’s announcement about the Farm Grant. Flowerwell was one of only two flower farms to receive a New York New Farmers’ grant in 2019. Since its launch in 2014, this statewide program has awarded $4.2 million to 114 farms across the state. It took five years for flower farming to gain support through this program. In addition to Flowerwell, our friends at Tiny Hearts Farm, in Copake, NY, received a grant to purchase field equipment and supplies. Congratulations to Jenny Elliott and Luke Franco for receiving this important support as they increase flower production acreage. Of course, they are Slow Flowers members and past guests of this podcast — what great news for Slow Flowers in New York. We wish both of these farms a great 2020 season!

Jumping ahead to future events . . . if you’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide if you can make the trip to SFO to join the 4th Annual Slow Flowers Summit – now is the time! The Summit takes place June 26-28, 2020 at Filoli – an amazing historic home and garden where we will gather to tour, learn, design, create and collaborate!

We only have 50 seats left so I urge you to follow the links in today’s show notes and reserve your space with the Slow Flowers tribe! Your Ticket Includes: All-Day Sunday, June 28 + Monday, June 29 with 5 Presentations + 7 Fabulous Speakers, all meals, refreshments and evening cocktail receptions;

Floral Design Demonstrations; an Interactive Floral Installation; Author Book-Signings; Cool Take-Home Gifts . . . and then, on Tuesday Morning, June 30th, a behind the scenes tour at Farmgirl Flowers HQ where you’ll enjoy a Light Breakfast + Coffee, and meet our good friend Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers.

I can’t wait to see you there!

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 581,000 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

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

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.

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:

These Times; Gaena; Glass Beads
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
Music from:
audionautix.com

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