Episode 494: How does Rooted Farmers’ marketplace work? An update from founder Amelia Ihlo and insights from farmer-florist Haley Billipp of Eddy Farm and Connecticut Flower Collective
February 24th, 2021
Today, we have two great guests involved in Rooted Farmers. You first met Amelia Ihlo, founder of this innovative platform for selling flowers, a little more than a year ago when Rooted Farmers launched. What a year to launch, right? As the resilience of flower farmers large and small was tested in 2020, it was surprisingly a good year for launching the new Rooted Farmers platform.
Recently, when I had a chance to see a full demo of all the new features that have been built into the inventory and sales tools that Rooted Farmers offers, I asked Amelia if she would share an update with Podcast listeners. At the same time, I suggested we invite a customer, aka a user of the platform, to share the farmer point of view. Amelia immediately recommended our second guest – Haley Billipp of Eddy Farm in Newington Connecticut. It was serendipity because ever since meeting Haley a few years ago at a gathering of Connecticut flower farmers and florists, I’ve wanted to learn more about Eddy Farm and her involvement in the new Connecticut Cut Flower Collective.
Here’s a bit more about both women:
Amelia Ihlo is the owner of Reverie Flowers, a Slow Flowers member farm based in Etna, New Hampshire. Reverie grows specialty cut flowers, forages for abundant native species, and is wholly committed to sustainable practices in every decision that we make.
In 2019, Amelia began shaping the idea for Rooted Farmers and you can hear the story in Episode 438 from January 2020. Slow Flowers endorses the Rooted Farmers platform and we are happy to announce that for 2021, Amelia is extending the free membership credit to Slow Flowers members. Use the promo code SLOWFLOWERS2021 when you sign up. We will have these details and some screen shots of how the platform works in today’s show notes, as well.
Owned by Andy and Haley Billipp, Eddy Farm is a 60 acre, fourth generation family owned and operated farm in central Connecticut, just minutes from Hartford.
Haley and Andy grow a mix of vegetables and cut flowers, and sell produce and cut flowers through their roadside farm stand. Eddy Farm offers event floral design and on farm floral design workshops, as well as selling crops to restaurants and floral designers.
Andy and Haley have known each other since they were tiny, as their mothers and fathers were good friends. They met up in Boulder when they both moved there after college. They soon moved together to a little house on the Colorado plain and began hunting and growing all the food they ate. They learned to preserve and butcher and grow, and when Lucy offered them a place at the farm in Connecticut, they knew it was the next logical step for the kind of land based life they wanted to live, and here they are! They now farm and raise two young children at this very special place. There is a rich history behind this modern-day agricultural enterprise —Read more of their story here.
Thanks so much for joining me today as Amelia, Haley and I discussed new ways for growers to sell more flowers — both at the wholesale and retail levels. It’s an exciting time and I wanted to remind you that I published a story about Rooted Farmers as part of a six-part Slow Flowers Journal series that ran last fall called: “New Floral Marketing Models and Platforms.” I’ll share a link to that article for you to check it out and learn even more.
More announcements before we wrap up:
First if you listened to last week’s interview with Shawn Michael Foley and Gina Thresher of Fleurvana, you may recall that we have a book giveaway for the first 10 listeners who register for a Free ticket to attend this online conference taking place March 5-7. You’ll hear from more than 20 fabulous presenters and presentations, including the course Robin Avni and I are co-presenting: The Journey From Blog to Book.
The first 10 listeners who register for a Free Ticket to attend Fleurvana will receive a signed copy of Shawn Michael Foley’s new book, I Just Want To Design: The Designer’s Survival Guide to Falling in Love with Your Business. We will run the promotion through this Sunday, February 28th, and announce the winners on March 3rd, right before the next Fleurvana Virtual Summit begins.
Also in our show notes, you can find the replay video link for the February 18th Webinar presented by Johnny’s Seeds and Slow Flowers. More than 1500 people attended the free webinar led by Johnny’s floral expert Hillary Alger and me. It was a fabulous conversation as we covered four of the 10 Slow Flowers Insights and Forecast themes. If you missed joining the webinar presentation, you can still go back and watch the replay video.
And coming right up, you’re invited to join me for a very special webinar hosted by American Institute of Floral Designers and Slow Flowers on Tuesday, March 8th 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern. It’s an honor to moderate this presentation in collaboration with three of the AIFD regional presidents, including two who are Slow Flowers members. The topic is “From Farm to Florist,” and will discuss the benefits and best practices to incorporate locally-grown flowers into every day designs and event work. I’m thrilled to say that four Slow Flowers members will join the discussion to share their stories and advice for florists. This event is free and open to the public. You can find the registration link in today’s show notes. Hope to see you there!
Thank you to our Sponsors
This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 830 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.
And 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.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.
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.
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 so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 694,000 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 Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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.
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