Debra Prinzing

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Episode 498: It’s a family affair with Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm and Hannah Rose Muller of Full Belly Floral

March 24th, 2021

Hannah in the flower fields
Hanna Rose Muller of Full Belly Floral (c) Sarah Ching Photograph

Today’s guest have been on my wish list to interview ever since we met in person at a Slow Flowers gathering in 2018, hosted by Scott Paris of High Hand Nursery, past guest of this podcast.

Please meet Dru Rivers, co-founder of Full Belly Farm, one of the first certified organic farms in California, and her daughter Hannah Rose Muller, who created their sister venture Full Belly Floral. They are based in Guinda, in Northern California’s Capay Valley. Full Belly is committed to fostering sustainability on all levels, from fertility in their soil and care for the environment, to stable employment for farm workers. Striving to be good stewards of their farm, the folks at Full Belly Farm want this and future generations to be nourished by the healthy and vibrant food they produce.

Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm
Dru Rivers, the matriarch of Full Belly Farm (c) Hannah Rose Muller Photograph

Full Belly Farm has been growing a wide variety of certified organic flowers for over 30 years. The farm sells flowers at multiple farmers markets, to wholesale distributers, and through their CSA.

Hannah Muller began Full Belly Floral in the hopes that local and seasonal flowers could help brighten the days of those individuals who are celebrating a special occasion.

Hannah in the flower fields at Full Belly Farm
Growing flowers against the stunning backdrop of Northern California’s Capay Valley (c) Emily Merrill Photograph

Here’s a little bit more about Hannah:

She writes on Full Belly Floral’s website: that her love for flowers started at a very young age, continuing:

When I was little, my mother would spend hours picking buckets filled with flowers to arrange for countless orders and farmers markets. While she worked, her hands a blur of clippers and blooms, I napped in the back of trucks and in boxes, exhausted from my days of exploring. 

The flower harvest
The Flower Harvest at Full Belly Farm

As I got older, I began to share in my mother’s enthusiasm for arranging flowers at various community events and farmers markets. To this day, there is no one I have more fun designing with than her. In the past three years, I have grown my love for flowers into a branch of Full Belly Farm that offers local and sustainably grown and arranged flowers for weddings and events.

My passion for designing, and my intent to continue the important practice of using locally sourced flowers has led me back to the fields of Full Belly Farm, and to the one place I have ever truly felt at home. Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than working with flowers, and helping to bring my client’s vision to life.

Dinosaur Kale and tulips
CSA bouquets featuring Full Belly Farm’s dinosaur kale and seasonal tulips

This is such a lovely conversation with two women spanning the history of Full Belly Farm. I know you’ll enjoy meeting them!

Find and follow Dru and Hannah at these social places:

Full Belly Farm on Facebook and Instagram

Hannah Rose Muller/Full Belly Floral on Instagram @farmerhands

at the design studio
At the Full Belly Floral design studio (c) Emily Merrill Photograph

That was fun, right?! What a great conversation — so inspiring to think about the many ways that flower farming and floral design brings added value to a food-growing operation. Did you hear Dru mention that flowers are Full Belly Farm’s number-two crop?! And the flower CSA subscriptions tripled in 2020! You can’t argue with that news!


Slow Flowers Summit 2021
Our fabulous speaker lineup includes (top row), Susan McLeary, Emily Saeger, Molly Culver; (middle row), Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Max Gill; (bottom row), Abra Lee, Pilar Zuniga, Jennifer Jewell + our host, Slow Flowers Society’s Debra Prinzing

You might have heard me mention to Dru and Hannah how I’m looking forward to seeing them this June at the Slow Flowers Summit, which takes place at Filoli Historic House and Garden in Woodside, California, just south of San Francisco.

Yes, folks, we are 100% committed to hosting a safe, covid-compliant, all-outdoor conference on June 28-30, 2021 – and you are invited to join us!

We are working closely with the administration and horticulture staff at Filoli to ensure a successful Summit for all. It will require some adjustments, but we’re ready for them! Our sessions will move to an outside venue with monitors for the powerpoint presentations and carefully served, individually-portioned meals to ensure everything is safe for all. The grounds at Filoli are stunning and the weather will be perfect, so we can gather, socially-distanced, and learn, connect, share ideas and experience community.

If you’re interested in joining us, please check out the links that I’ll have in today’s show notes. And check out the Slow Flowers Summit “news” page, with two new speaker profiles of Abra Lee and Max Gill, interviewed by contributor Myriah Towner. I am so ready for this year’s Summit! It has been great connecting with everyone over Zoom and online this past year, but nothing can replace the human connection!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 850 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.

Thanks also 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.

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.

Rooted Farmers, our Premier Sponsor for the Slow Flowers Summit and Slow Flowers Society. 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.

(c) Mary Grace Long Photograph

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 706,000 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

Music Credits:

Game Hens; 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
audionautix.com

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