Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘American Flowers Week’ Category

Episode 408: Botanical Couture in Charleston, S.C., with Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms and Laura Mewbourn of Feast and Floral, plus our State Focus: Missouri

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

American Flowers Week 2019 is coming to a close after we enjoy the fireworks and sparklers of July 4th Independence Day celebrations. I hope you and your flowers were part of the festivities!

Laura Mewbourn (left) and Toni Reale (right), photographed when I visited her shop last summer.

My two guests today have played an important part of this year’s American Flowers Week campaign as co-creators of one of our nine Botanical Couture looks. Please meet Laura Mewbourn of Feast & Flora Farm, based in Meggett, S.C., and Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms, based in North Charleston, S.C., who teamed up to design an incredible and deeply meaningful floral fashion look that represents coastal South Carolina’s unique heritage and cultural roots.

The women collaborated with their friend Giovanni Richardson, an oral historian representing the region’s Gullah Geechee community of South Carolinians who descended from West African and Central African enslaved people. Giovanni served as cultural and historic advisor to the project, which incorporated locally-grown flowers into the colorful  wardrobe of a Gullah Geechee woman.

Production day at the Seashore Farmers’ Lodge No. 767; Toni Reale (left) attaches a vibrant palette of Lowcountry S.C.-grown blooms, including those from Feast & Flora Farm (right). (c)
@philipcaseyphoto

Click here to see more photos of this project, featuring flowers grown at Laura’s farm and an historic setting where independent black farmers erected a fraternal common house in 1915, as well as the marshland of coastal Charleston.

I could go on and on about how inspiring I found their dress, styling and setting, but you’ll want to meet Laura and Toni right now. Let me give you a little background on their stories:

Attaching blooms, one at a time (left) and the dream team (right); (c)
@philipcaseyphoto

Laura Mewbourn grew up surrounded by gardens and flowers and had her first garden plot when she was still very young. Just a couple generations ago, farming was a way of life for Laura’s family, but when it was time to decide on her college major, she landed on English Literature and Language. Life had other ideas for Laura, though. In 2015, she completed the Growing New Farmers program through Lowcountry Local First. She apprenticed on a vegetable farm and landed a full-time job at a hydroponic farm.

I had a wonderful visit to Charleston, S.C., last summer to speak at the Southern Flowers Symposium, where Laura Mewbourn and I finally met in person.

She continues in her own voice: “I absolutely loved it and knew I really wanted to start my own farm. In the meantime, I pruned tomatoes, welcomed a new baby into my family, and took coursework in floral design.

In 2017, I was fortunate enough to purchase a home on acreage just outside of Charleston, SC, and before I knew it, my dreams of flower farming and growing vegetables were off and running with the launch of Feast & Flora, supplying friends, family, and the Charleston community.”

Find and follow Laura at these social places:

Feast & Flora on Facebook

Feast & Flora on Instagram

Toni Reale was a featured floral designer at Southern Flower Symposium in 2018. You can see her hand-tied bouquet at left.

Toni Reale founded Roadside Blooms with a story to tell and a mission to share, believing that beauty and sustainability don’t just co-exist, they work in concert. With over 8 years of experience in the event-planning and floral-design industries, Toni’s many adventures have led her to this chapter (ask her about the time she converted a 1971 British ice cream truck into a mobile flower shop; or about her Environmental Geology background).

A leader of Charleston’s “green and local” movement, Toni has served on various nonprofit boards, including the Charleston Green Fair, and has been recognized as one of Charlie magazine’s “50 Most Progressive” in Charleston in 2014.

She says this: “At Roadside Blooms, we are committed to using American-grown flowers and foraged elements. It’s an important part of our team’s story, and we take great pride in it. Our arrangements prove that sustainability and style aren’t mutually exclusive, all while elevating the grandest of galas or the simplest of ceremonies. We speak the language of flowers and believe every petal, leaf, and twig has a story. Each stem organically influences the direction of our designs and reflects the beauty of local, seasonal flora while embodying the beauty of our surrounding natural world.”

Find and follow Toni at these social places:

Roadside Blooms on Instagram

For more about this gorgeous floral project, read Laura’s recent article, “Botanical Couture and the importance of American-grown.”

Toni recently wrote about the experience on her blog, as well: “American Flowers Week 2019.”

Lowcountry Flower Farmers in Charleston, S.C., brought a popular design event to a local farmers’ market to promote American Flowers Week in 2018

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today and for hearing Laura and Toni’s stories. You’ll want to also check out their local organization, Low Country Flower Growers, where farmers and farmer-florists from Myrtle Beach to Savannah, along coastal S.C., have come together to educate themselves, their peers, and their customers – florists and consumers alike. It was a delight to spend time in Charleston with these wonderful talents – people committed to a sustainable floral landscape, last August when they invited me to speak at the first Southern Flower Symposium. And yes, you heard correctly, another symposium is in the works. We’ll post details as soon as they’re announced — and you check out updates on their social places — which I’ll share!

Cassie Hartman, with “Stella,” her mobile flower shop (c) Springfield Business Journal

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Cassie Hartman of Ozark Mtn. Flower Truck in Springfield, Missouri.

Cassie grew up there and returned there after college. She wanted to bring a small piece of her European travels to the community and that’s where Stella, a 1970 Volkswagen Truck, comes in!

As Cassie says, Stella enjoys parking in front of our favorite local businesses – sometimes getting so excited to meet new customers she breaks down on the side of the road and we just start selling there! Whether you’re grabbing flowers on your way to a friend’s house or just wanting to brighten your home, Stella and Cassie dream of bringing that “big city” feeling to Springfield making fresh cut flowers more accessible and spontaneous for the Ozarks.

Find and follow Cassie at these social places:

Ozark Mtn. Flower Truck on Facebook

Ozark Mtn. Flower Truck on Instagram

P.S., It was so completely cool but utterly unplanned . . . two of today’s guests have used vintage vehicles as mobile flower shops! That’s a fun coincidence.

OUR BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Before we wrap up, I promised to announce the dates and location of the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit, so here we go . . . drumroll please!

We will bring the Slow Flowers Summit to Santa Cruz, California, on June 29-30, 2020, with a Slow Flowers farm-to-table dinner on Sunday, June 28th.  Our partners include UC Santa Cruz’s famed Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) and Bonny Doon Garden Co., owned by member Teresa Sabankaya.

Yes, after holding the Summit first on the west coast in Seattle in 2017; moving to the east coast in Washington, D.C., in 2018; and landing in the central part of the country in St. Paul, MN, this year, we’ve decided to continue the rotation by returning to the West.

You have a full year to plan, but more details will be announced in the fall. Visit slowflowerssummit.com for updates and I can’t wait to see you in Santa Cruz! Below are photos of the recently renovated and restored Cowell Rancy Hay Barn at USCS-CASFS, our venue for the Slow Flowers Summit 2020! (c) Cesar Rubio; and Teresa Sabankaya (right) of Bonny Doon Garden Co., outside Santa Cruz, Calif.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Today we welcome a new sponsor to the Slow Flowers Podcast, FarmersWeb. FarmersWeb software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. By lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, reduce errors, and work with more buyers overall. Learn more at www.farmersweb.com

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community

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.

Our Slow Flowers Summit hosts, Green Earth Growers, welcomed us to Prior Lake, Minn.

Thank you for taking the time to pop in the ear buds and join the Slow Flowers Podcast. Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 490,000 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:
Heartland Flyer; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessionshttp://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 407: Kicking off American Flowers Week with the Washington (State) Flowers Project

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

If you’re a regular listener to this Podcast, you know that we’re gearing up for a very exciting series of activities this week and next, all centered around American Flowers Week, June 28-July 4.

All across the US, our members are planning floral education and promotion activities on their farms and communities, in local shops and studios, in grocery store floral departments and wholesale florist branches. Each event stimulates and nurtures the conversation about local, seasonal and domestic flowers, floral agriculture and sustainable design. If you have something planned, please post it on the Events Page at American Flowers Week web site. We all want to know what you’re planning!

There was a fab installation and American Flowers Week party in Seattle today! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

In my own corner of the country, here in Seattle, the Slow Flowers Community threw a fun party and celebration a little early on Wednesday, June 26th, which is the peak market day of the week at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, the farmer-to-florist regional wholesale hub that has so greatly influenced me and my Slow Flowers mission.

Some of the Slow Flowers members and friends who helped create our floral installation
(c) Missy Palacol Photography

We’re throwing a red-white-and-blue floral party to celebrate local flowers – complete with a large-scale floral installation, music, refreshments and a few surprises. A special thank you to the Washington State Farm Bureau for providing underwriting for the event.

The timing couldn’t be better to welcome today’s guest, Laura Ridenour of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. She works for the Small-Farm Direct Marketing and Farm-to-School Program as part of WSDA’s Regional Markets division. Laura and her colleagues, along with their collaborators at the Washington State Farm Bureau, are aligning with American Flowers Week to announce the brand new Washington Flowers Project.

One of many wonderful video clips produced to promote Washington Flowers

This project aims to raise the profile and advance the marketing of Washington-grown cut flowers and is a collaborative effort of WSDA’s Regional Markets team and the Washington State Farm Bureau. The project is funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and runs 2017-through 2019. Slow Flowers has joined the project as a supporter and stakeholder. 

Follow the Washington Flowers Project @washington.flowers.project

There is a beautiful new logo that growers and retailers are invited to use on sleeves and other packaging — depicting Washington state’s outline with graphic flowers and lettering that reads Washington Flowers. 

The campaign also has its own social media presence on Facebook and Instagram and there are a couple fun hashtags you’ll want to use or follow — #washingtonflowers, #WAflowers and #localflowersmakelifebetter.

It was so fun to be part of this Washington Flowers promo video, along with our Slow Flowers friends Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm & Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and Teresa Engbretson and Katie Elliott of My Garden Overfloweth.

There is a lot to learn from this state-specific project, which Laura and I will discuss today. She and I both strongly believe that the format and elements of the Washington Flowers Project can be adapted and replicated by any of you in any of your states — and we encourage you to download the resources I’ll share to set up a meeting with your own department of agriculture or farm bureau to explore and seek funding for a similar campaign.

Charlie’s Produce Washington Flowers Project

One exciting component of the Washington Flowers Project is a Grocery Pilot program aiming to connect flower growers to new markets and sell more locally-grown cut flowers and foliage at Northwest Independent Grocers stores via Charlie’s Produce, a regional distributor of perishable food and flowers.

To launch the pilot, Washington Flowers hosted a live webinar. The positive outcome of this pilot is that approximately 60 NW Independent Grocers’ stores are participating; local flowers will appear in ads and point-of-purchase stories; from June through September, these grocery stores will stock approximately 300 cases per week of Washington-grown blooms and bouquets.

I couldn’t be happier to see this groundswell of interest in local flowers take place in my own state! And I so want to see something just like this campaign come to your state – so take inspiration! And huge congrats to WSDA and Washington Farm Bureau for creating so many useful and vital resources – now available for you to read and download.

More Resources discussed in today’s conversation:

Three resources all growers may wish to take a look into are matching grants, that are allocated via the Farm Bill:

  • The EQUIP grant (Environmental Quality Incentives Program), from Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS):
    •  offers financial assistance in the form of a matching grant for high-tunnels (plastic greenhouses) for season extension.
    • A High Tunnel System, commonly called a “hoop house,” is an increasingly popular conservation practice for farmers, and is available with financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  
    • Contact the local NRCS office for more information:
    • https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/contact/
  • USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant: The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).”
  • https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp

In Washington, you can search the WSDA website, agr.wa.gov.

Contacts:
Laura Ridenour at lridenour@agr.wa.gov
Suzanne Carson at Washington.flowers.project@gmail.com.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Festiva in bud, from Arctic Alaska Peonies

Arctic Alaska Peonies. We’re so pleased that Arctic Alaska Peonies has returned for 2019 as a Slow Flowers Podcast sponsor and this is the week that their Coop’s member farms are harvesting and beginning to fulfill orders for bigger, better, beautiful peonies from Alaska to you. Chris Beks jumped on the line with me to share a preview of the start of Alaska Peony Season. You’ll hear our conversation at the top of this episode.

Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — nwgreenpanels.com to see more. This month, take advantage of NW Green Panels’ online special — save 10% off any model. That’s a great savings — and reach out if you have any questions about my experience with this cool greenhouse maker.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, their flower farmers and staff. What an incredible group of professionals who are 100% committed to changing the floral landscape in the Pacific Northwest – and beyond. I’m so grateful for their sponsorship of American Flowers Week, especially our fabulous celebration today, which required huge amounts of time and a generous donation of their space and floral product to make happen. This farmer-owned cooperative is committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. Its 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.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community at debraprinzing.com

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – is taking a week off, sadly, because I wasn’t able to find a Mississippi voice to share with you. We’ll move on to Missouri next week and who knows? I might be able to circle back to Mississippi later this year.

Celebrate with us: Slow Flowers & American Flowers Week (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Well, it’s been a busy week and I thank you for taking the time to pop in the ear buds and join the Slow Flowers Podcast. Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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.

By the time you hear from me next week, we will have wrapped up the third annual SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT.

It’s not too late to join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. Day-of tickets are still available, so check out slowflowerssummit.com to grab your space and join me!

And next week, I will announce the location and dates of the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit so you can immediately mark it on your calendar and save the date! So excited to reveal those details soon!

Join me! Slow Flowers Podcast (c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 485,000 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:
Color Country; Heartland Flyer; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 406: Take a Floral Field Trip with Kelly Shore and Mary Kate Kinnane, plus Our State Focus: Minnesota

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019
Today’s guests: Mary Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet (the brunette) and Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore (the blonde)

While I’m 100% focused on putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit — which arrives in less than two weeks — today’s guests are similarly obsessed with an unique event they’re planning for this coming September. It’s a floral destination workshop unlike any I’ve come across and Slow Flowers has signed on as a media sponsor and I will be joining this workshop as a presenter. 

Mary Kate and Kelly co-presented at the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit, sharing their experiences sourcing from domestic flower farms.

My guests are Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore, based in Damascus, Maryland, and Mary Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet, located in Little Compton, Rhode Island. They are both long-time Slow Flowers members and past guests of this podcast. You can check out their prior appearances on our podcast here:

Hear Kelly on Episode 308 (August 2017)

Hear Mary Kate on Episode 268 (October 2016)

Kelly and Mary Kate have been dreaming up their new project, called The Floral Field Trip, for more than a year — and they have been laying the groundwork for this workshop-tour series by researching and visiting flower farms across the U.S. 

The Floral Field Trip was born from an idea of connecting America’s flower farmers with professional floral designers. As designers there is a rich opportunity to highlight each region’s most beautiful flowers and foliages year round. Seasonality happens throughout the country, 365 days, 12 months a year.  This means, if you look close enough, there is always something blooming! But without the knowledge of each region’s growing pattern, a designer is left to source what grows seasonally in their own region while admiring different parts of the United States from afar!

With the tagline: A U.S. Floral Buying Experience, the Floral Field Trip is designed to meet the needs of professional florists to introduce them to specific flower farms, crops, varieties, regions and technical information like care and handling. Kelly and Mary Kate believe that the knowledge is power — and to truly walk the talk of being a Slow Flowers-minded creative, you must educate yourself about the premium flowers, foliage and botanical products with which you design.

The Floral Field Trip: Destination Vermont

This year’s inaugural trip takes place at Vermont’s Mountain Flower Farm and the product focus is the Hydrangea. The dates are September 22-24, 2019. 

Mountain Flower Farm, with picturesque scenery and beautiful hydrangeas

Here is a little more about each guest:

Kelly Shore says this: My entire life I’ve gravitated towards anything creative.  It gives me joy to be able to take something that never existed and bring it to reality.  In 2000 my floral journey began in a small campus flower shop at the University of Illinois.  What began as a curiosity to know more about floral design quickly became a passion that I didn’t know would become my future.  I went on to receive my Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and from there a Masters in Elementary Education.  In between studying for those degrees I designed small weddings for close friends and family. I loved being asked to do this and could never say no.  After several years, I couldn’t hold back my passion for floral design and Petals by the Shore was born in 2011.

I’m so proud that after 8 years in business I’ve developed many amazing relationships throughout the Washington, DC area and across the country.  Not only with my clients but with venues, caterers, planners, and photographers.  My clients know that I listen to their needs and work tirelessly to create unique one-of-a-kind experiences. I’m a stickler for details and the use of high quality American Grown flowers & foliage.  Petals by the Shore has been featured in national and local magazines and blogs such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Florists’ Review, Washingtonian Bride and Groom, Style Me Pretty, Weddings Unveiled, Cottage Hill, Ruffled, Once Wed and United with Love among many others.

I am proud to be a supporter of America’s flower farmers and seek to support them and their growth & sustainability in the American agriculture industry in all I do.  I always strive to get the majority, if not all, of my products from locally grown and American grown flower farms. Not only am I providing support to farms and their communities, but I’m also providing my clients with the freshest, longest lasting and unique blooms. And since I gravitate towards lush, highly textured designs with diverse mixtures of blossoms and foliage, it’s the only way to go for me.  

Mary Kate says this: At The Local Bouquet we have taken two things we love; weddings and seasonal flowers and combined them to bring you the most beautiful designs for your special day. We are committed to creating gorgeous floral decor that compliments the chosen time of year of your wedding while giving you a more eco-friendly option. That is why we have committed to using 100% American grown flowers only.

From a gorgeous bridal bouquet made of all locally grown flowers, to an elegant arbor overflowing with lush greens and colorful blooms, our designs are personal to you and your style. All of our ingredients are gathered fresh from local flower farms, foraged from our own farm, and sourced from the best growers in the United States. You can feel good that the flowers that will surround you on your wedding day are not only beautiful but they are also good for the earth and support flower farmers locally and in the U.S.

We think flowers should come from local farms and free of chemicals. That is why we are committed to the “field to vase” movement that is happening across the United States. Join us in celebrating American flower farmers! 

Learn about Vermont-grown hydrangeas at The Floral Field Trip

Here’s how you can find and follow Mary Kate & Kelly:

Mary Kate Kinnane/The Local Bouquet on Facebook & Instagram

Kelly Shore/Petals by the Shore on Instagram & Twitter

To learn more about these women and their passion for domestic and seasonal flowers from farms across the U.S., read the Q&A we posted to slowflowersjournal earlier this year. I think you’ll find it super inspiring and informative.

Minnesota’s Randi Greiner of Beezie’s Blooms

And now, let’s visit the State of Minnesota. It’s so appropriate to land here as we continue our alphabetical tour of all #FiftyStatesofSlowFlowers (Alabama to Wyoming), as our guest will be in attendance at the Slow Flowers Summit in St. Paul, Minn., in just a few weeks.

Please meet Randi Greiner of Beezie’s Blooms, based in Milaca, Minn. She is a Slow Flowers member and a farmer-florist who is a participating farm of the Twin Cities Flower Exchange, our co-host for the upcoming Summit.

Farmer-florist Randi Greiner (c) TEM Photography

When visiting the Twin Cities last summer, TCFE founder Christine Hoffman took me to visit a couple of her favorite farms, including Beezie’s Blooms. I was so impressed with what I saw – and inspired to meet Randi and her husband Jeff — young agricultural entrepreneurs who have a big vision for their land, their flowers and their community. Please enjoy our stop in Minnesota!

Flowers grown in Minnesota and designed by Randi Greiner
Another stunning, Minnesota-grown bouquet by Randi Greiner of Beezie’s Blooms

Find and follow Beezie’s Blooms on these social places:

Beezie’s Blooms on Facebook

Beezie’s Blooms on Instagram

Thank you for joining my conversations with Kelly and Mary Kate, as well as with Randi. These women are a lot like you – creatively driven, committed to making the earth a better place, living their values of sustainability and local sourcing, and making sure the beauty they offer the world honors the origin of each bloom by celebrating the flower farmer.

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

I am so grateful to you for joining me and for spending your time listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast. Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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. Spring bulb season is almost here – my tulips are poking out of the ground already! Visit Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com. Another wonderful gift is coming to Slow Flowers Summit attendees from Longfield Gardens and I just have to share because it’s super generous! Longfield Gardens will provide a $25 shopping gift card to each attendee. That’s going to give you an incredible jump-start with your fall bulb orders, folks — so check out the online catalog and start planning ahead with your list of yummy tulips, narcissus, alliums and specialty bulbs to order and plant soon!

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. For the third year, since our first Slow Flowers Summit, Johnny’s has curated a very special American Flowers Week flower seed collection as a gift for attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit. I am especially excited to see what our friends at Johnny’s put together, because I know the selection will be inspired by the American Flowers Week botanical couture look created from the Johnny’s trial gardens by our member Rayne Grace Hoke of Flora’s Muse.

Our final Sponsor thanks today 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. If you haven’t tuned in to Mornings with Mayesh, a Facebook Live interview series hosted by the super-smart and funny Yvonne Ashton, Mayesh’s director of marketing, well now you have a chance to check it out.

Last Tuesday, Yvonne invited me to return to her Mornings With Mayesh as a guest — to discuss our collaboration including American Flowers Week and the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. I just have to add a shout-out THANK YOU to Mayesh for agreeing to provide all the flowers for our Slow Flowers Summit capstone speaker Whit McClure of Whit Hazen’s design demonstration – so pleased that connection is happening!

The Summit. Folks it is almost here – the third annual SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT which has been cultivated and nurtured like a seedling over the past year — and is now ready to bloom.

I hope you can join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minn. The countdown has begun – with just a few weeks to go before I see you in the Twin Cities. We’ve already sold more tickets than last-year’s sold-out conference and there are a few tickets left, so please don’t delay anymore! Head straight to slowflowerssummit.com to grab your space and join me!

If you’re sitting on the fence and need a little message from the universe to say: YES, make the commitment to attend, here’s some incentive from me. I have a limited number of VIP promo codes for $50 off your registration. If you want to grab one, send me an email at debraprinzing@gmail.com and I’ll share it with the first 10 listeners who reach out. We want to see you there as part of the creative community and the important conversation!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 482,000 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:
Lanky; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 405: Sustainable Floristry with Tobey Nelson and Our State Focus: Michigan

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Welcome to the Slow Flowers Podcast!

Tobey Nelson teaches foam free centerpieces at Whidbey Flower Workshop image by Suzanne Rothmeyer Photography

This is an important week in the floral world and we want to draw your attention to two very cool projects happening in London and New York City.

First of all, British Flowers Week is happening right now — It runs June 10-16 — and we’re cheering on this original flowers week celebration from across the Atlantic.

As you may have learned from past episodes, the inspiration for American Flowers Week, launched in 2015, came directly from our friends at New Covent Garden Flower Market in London who launched British Flowers Week in 2013.

Check out galleries of U.K.-grown flowers and installations in real time by following the social media feeds of @marketflowers and the Garden Museum in London @gardenmuseum, which for the second year will open its doors to some spectacular installations that the public can see and enjoy.

The mission of British Flowers Week is concise and clear: Showcase great British flowers, plants and foliage through great British floristry; Raise awareness of which British flowers are in season when; Encourage the public to buy more British flowers. Here’s to British flowers!

Second, in New York City, the new L.E.A.F. Flower Show debuts. L.E.A.F brings a riot of color across the city with #NYFlowerWeek – a series of pop-up floral installations in which Manhattan will – quite literally – blossom on Tuesday, June 11th and Wednesday, June 12th. We will have more information on this project in the future, but for now, I congratulate New York for bringing more flowers to the forefront of the city landscape!
We’re especially cheering for Slow Flowers member Sylvia Lukach of Harlem, NY-based Cape Lily, for her installation at the Plaza de Las Americas as part of New York Flower Week (above right) — follow her feed @capelily to see more.

For the fourth year, we’ve produced the American Flowers Week bouquet label. Get in on this program and order labels for your bouquets and other promotions. Labels are available at an affordable price to active Slow Flowers members. We’ll be fulfilling your orders until June 21st to don’t put it off! Details are available in today’s show notes, as well.

Tobey Nelson (c) Suzanne Rothmeyer

Now, on to our guest of the day: Tobey Nelson. Tobey Nelson is a return guest, and you may recall our past interviews, first when I visited her and others in the Whidbey Island local flowers scene in December 2015 (episode 223) and later in February 2018 (Episode 338) when we discussed details about the second Whidbey Flower Workshop.

It has been a privilege to collaborate with Tobey Nelson on a number of projects, including joining the Whidbey Flower Workshop as both an instructor and speaker; and to interview Tobey for articles in both Florists’ Review and Country Gardens. Tobey has helped to nurture my relationship with one of her mentors, Hitomi Gilliam, and we’ve teamed up on a number of Slow Flowers projects over the years.

When we had a last-minute opening for a Slow Flowers Summit speaker, Tobey came to mind immediately. I asked and she agreed, which is wonderful news! Tobey will co-present with Carly Jenkins of Killing Frost Farm during our morning session that follows Terri McEnaney’s keynote talk.

Whidbey Flower Workshop 2018 installations in a session led by Joseph Massie

Tobey and Carly’s expertise will blend beautifully as the two women take the stage to discuss sustainable sourcing and installation design. You’ll learn from Carly about how she forages ethically and with an artistic approach that communicates a personal design vocabulary to truly reflect season and place. And Tobey will discuss her commitment to no-foam installation and event design, including methods you can immediately implement in your own practice. Their presentation will continue into the noon hour and our lunch break when Slow Flowers Summit co-host Christine Hoffman joins Tobey and Carly to demonstrate a large-scale “botanical tapestry” in the Paikka Courtyard. During lunch and afternoon breaks, all participants are invited to join in the creation of this sculptural structure, designed in real time and produced using foam-free mechanics.

A recent botanical headpiece by floral artist Tobey Nelson (c) Suzanne Rothmeyer

I’m very excited to share this conversation with you. Here’s a little more about Tobey Nelson: A flower-loving plant-a-holic, she owns Tobey Nelson Events and Design, a wedding & event floral design and planning business based on Whidbey Island, Washington outside of Seattle.  

Florals at the 2017 Whidbey Flower Workshop, including (left) a bouquet by student Laura Wiltse-Tibbets of West Wind Florals and the large-scale, foam-free installation (right) led by instructor Susan McLeary (c) image by Sullivan & Sullivan Photography

Tobey is firmly committed to sustainable floristry best-practices and to advocating for change in her industry.  Tobey’s mission includes sourcing locally grown botanicals, using eco-friendly, sustainable floral design mechanics (never any foam), teaching these approaches to fellow florists and educating consumers so they can make better choices. Tobey is the founder and creator of Whidbey Flower Workshops, a forum for sustainable design education.

Recently, Tobey has taken her sustainable floristry advocacy to a new level by launching a Change.org petition called “Make an eco-friendly, 100% compostable alternative to floral foam.” Nearly 1,000 floral professionals and consumers have signed the petition that asks makers of floral foam to take the request seriously and work to find green alternatives to the conventional foam. Click on the above link to Tobey’s petition, read thoroughly, and consider whether to add your support as a participant.

Follow Tobey Nelson on Instagram

Two Peas Farm & Flowers: Angie Krausfelt and her 10-year-old son. Our Michigan guest for the #fiftystatesofslowflowers series.

And now, let’s visit the state of Michigan to meet Angie Krausfelt of Two Peas Farm & Flowers, based in Union Pier – she’s part of our Fifty States of Slow Flowers series. Two Peas Farm & Flowers produces sustainably grown seasonal flowers, all-natural skincare, and free range eggs from happy ducks and hens. Angie and her 10-year-old son are the “two peas” of two peas farm & flowers. As she’ll tell us, the enterprise began as little flower stand in chicago; it grew into something more, and that growth prompted the desire for more land and eventually, the rebranding.

Lush tulips and other spring flowers, grown by Two Peas Farm & Flowers in Union Pier, Michigan

At the end of 2017, mom and son moved out of the windy city to a 10-acre property in Union Pier, Michigan, with the dream of expanding the flower business. Through a lot of hard work, and a commitment to Angie’s vision, the little business has taken on a new life. You might even find lemonade and homemade ice cream at their farm stand friday-sunday, late june through october if, as Angie says, the little pea is working.

Follow Two Peas Farm & Flowers on Facebook

See Two Peas Farm & Flowers on Instagram

A peek at the flower patch at Two Peas Farm & Flowers, our Michigan visit.

I am so grateful to you for joining me and for spending your time listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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 here at debraprinzing.com.

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. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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. We are so excited that Syndicate has joined the Slow Flowers Summit as a sponsor — and if you attend, you’ll be heading home with some fun Syndicate USA-made swag!

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.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. You’ll want to check out the upcoming regional conference, scheduled for Sunday, July 14 & Monday, July 15, in Maine, called “In the Thick of It” — it will feature flower farm tours, networking with other growers, and bonus tours of Johnny’s Selected Seeds and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. It will be a beautiful chance to see both Snell Family Farm and Broadturn Farm at the peak of the season.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I am so excited about the upcoming SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT and I hope you can join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. The countdown has begun – with just a few weeks to go before I see you in the Twin Cities. We’ve already sold more tickets than last-year’s sold-out conference and there are a few tickets left, so please don’t delay anymore! Visit today’s show notes for links to more details or head straight to slowflowerssummit.com to grab your space and join me!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 477,000 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:
Cases to Rest; Heartland Flyer; Red City Theme; Vittoro; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 404: Seed to Bloom to Vase with Stacey Denton of Oregon’s Flora Farm & Design Studio and Our State Focus: Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Well, it’s the first episode of June and that means we’re kicking it off with this week’s unveiling of the American Flowers Week Botanical Couture Collection, which you can see in the pages of Florists’ Review’s June issue! I’m so excited to share this beautiful body of work — nine floral fashion looks — which have been created by talented members around the U.S.

Our participation is at the highest ever, with designer-flower farmer teams from Alaska, California, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington. Click here to find links to free, downloadable social media badges of all the botanical couture looks for your promotion as you celebrate American Flowers Week, coming up on June 28-through-July 4.

And . . . this might be of interest, for the fourth year, we’ve produced the American Flowers Week bouquet label. Get in on this program and order labels for your bouquets and other promotions. Labels are available at an affordable price to active Slow Flowers members. We’ll be fulfilling your orders until June 21st to don’t put it off! Find more details here.

Stacey Denton of Floral Farm & Design Studio. This photo is part of the Southern Oregon Flower Farmer series (c) Ann Nguyen of idyllwildstudio.com

Speaking of American Flowers Week, today’s guest has something brilliant planned for her corner of the country — and you’ll learn all about in our conversation. I’m excited to welcome Stacey Denton of Flora Farm and Design Studio in Williams, Oregon.

Stacey harvested locally-grown manzanita foliage for this beautiful arrangement
(c) Ann Nguyen of idyllwildstudio.com

Stacey is, and always has been, a generalist.  That’s why her job title “Farmer-Florist” is hyphenated.  She would be bored if she wasn’t always trying new things (combining unique colors, implementing new floral design techniques, incorporating unusual design elements, using uncommon foliage in arrangements) and doing multiple tasks (growing the ‘Double Click’ cosmos for both blooms and seed, harvesting amaranth flowers from the compost pile, and undersowing the September flower beds with cover crop seed) at the same time.  

Stacey’s unique floral design elements range from orchard fruit to feathers,
live oak foliage and acorns (c) lilysandhorns.com

Stacey has spent her adult life committed to organic agriculture, first as a home gardener, then as a farm apprentice, farm worker, small CSA farm manager, and currently as a seed grower, flower farmer, and floral designer.  This breadth of experience has led her recently to advise on current and future flower seed offerings at Siskiyou Seeds.

A lovely fern-festooned wedding by Stacey Denton of Flora Farm & Design Studio
(c) gypsyjanephotography.com

Stacey likes to be busy, and likes to feel like her life is purposeful.  She is inspired by beauty, committed to good follow through and clear communication.  She is motivated by meaningful work and an opportunity to dance.  Stacey loves supporting Southern Oregon weddings. When she’s not in the field, making arrangements or on the dance floor, Stacey is spinning wool and experimenting with natural dyes.

An image of Stacey Denton on her farm, part of the Southern Oregon Flower Farmer Series (c) Ann Nguyen of idyllwildstudio.com

At Flora, Stacey’s purpose and passion is growing exceptional quality cut flowers and flower seeds. She selects highly desirable cultivars that are prized by brides and wedding designers; she harvests cut flowers at their peak beauty and is always on the look-out for unusual and new varieties. Stacey especially enjoys the shared creative process of growing a particular flower crop with our clients in mind. Flora Farm is certified organic and managed with biodynamic practices.

Find and follow Flora Farm at these social places:

Flora Farm on Facebook

Flora Farm on Instagram

Read Stacey’s advice on Floral Crop Planning and Succession Planting in our article for Johnny’s Seeds

Check out details for Stacey’s upcoming American Flowers Week event: The Seed to Vase to Table Dinner with Our Family Farms on June 30th.

Farms participating in the Seed to Vase (Farm to Table) dinner:
Flora Farm www.weddingflora.com @floraorganicflowers
Seven Seeds Farm  www.sevenseedsfarm.com
Le Mera Gardens  www.lemeragardens.com
Runnymede Farm @runnymedefarmoregon
Sweet Water Farm www.sweetwaterfarmhugo.com
Sugar Blossom Farm @sugarblossomflowerfarm
Singing Larks Farm @singinglarksfarm
Isabella Thorndike Church will be teaching the flower arranging demo:  www.jacklilyfloral.com

Flower Farmers’ Gallery: A project of photographer Ann Nguyen of Idyllwild Studio, the Southern Oregon Flower Farmer is a photography exhibit that is displayed at different locations throughout Southern Oregon with the purpose of educating the public about the importance of locally grown flowers. The exhibit was shown at Rogue Roasters in Grants Pass. It is currently at the Medford Food Co-op.

Here are some of the images from that series:

Joan Thorndike, Le Mera Gardens (c) Ann Nguyen

Petal and Seed Farm (left) and Wizard’s Way Farm (right)
(c) Ann Nguyen

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Melissa Oothout of Massachusetts’ Rose of Sharon at Blossom Hill. Listen for my conversation with Melissa in the second portion of this episode.

A charming, historic flower shop, Rose of Sharon at Blossom Hill (c) Jessica Erin

The Rose of Sharon at Blossom Hill is a full-service flower and gift shop, as well as a specialty cut flower farm. The shop specializes in unique custom-designed living gifts and cut flower arrangements. Melissa’s property is a magical destination flower farm. She uses organic and sustainable growing practices to yield seasonal beauties including lisianthus, sunflowers, hydrangea, dahlias, tuberose, yarrow, delphinium, larkspur, chocolate cosmos- just to name a FEW!

Follow Rose of Sharon at Blossom Hill on Facebook

Follow Rose of Sharon at Blossom Hill on Instagram

I am so grateful to you for joining me and for spending your time listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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:

And thank you to our lead sponsor, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist returns as a Slow Flowers Podcast sponsor. 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.  

NW Green Panels: Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse in today’s show notes or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

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. And if you’re in the neighborhood, the Market is hosting a very fun event on Wednesday, June 19th — all about edible flowers!

I am so excited about the upcoming SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT and I hope you can join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. The countdown has begun – with just shy of one month to go. I hope to see you there.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 475,000 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:
Heartland Flyer; Lanky; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 402: The World of British Garden Murder Mysteries with Author Marty Wingate and State Focus: Maine

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
Marty Wingate, on location, at a favorite garden spot in the U.K.

If you’re listening on this episode’s release day — May 22nd — I’m coming to you from London, where I have traveled to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and report for Florists’ Review and its sister publication. This incredible trip would never have happened without a surprise birthday gift from my husband Bruce Brooks, who completely floored me with a dream experience.

So of course, I wanted to season today’s episode with all things British. Our guest is my dear friend Marty Wingate and I’m so excited to introduce you to her as she shares her journey — from successful garden writer to even more successful mystery writer. All of Marty’s titles are traditional mysteries that take place against her favorite British gardens, landscapes, estates and historic manor houses as backdrops. Her mystery-solving female protagonists are curious, clever and courageous, even when they get themselves into tricky situations that require their amateur sleuthing skills.

Marty Wingate, mystery writer, gardening expert, and lover of all things British.

Here’s more about Marty — excerpted from a 2017 profile I wrote about her for the Garden Writers Association’s membership publication.

Armed with a Master’s in Urban Horticulture from the University of Washington, not to mention being a bonafide King County (Washington) Master Gardener and a Seattle gardening personality who for years wrote a weekly newspaper column and appeared on the local NPR radio station, Marty Wingate knows how to diagnose dead plants.

Three book series! So fun — you must read them!

And now, after penning more than 10 murder mysteries and being named a USA Today Bestselling Author, you could say Marty also solves mysteries about dead characters.

The threads connecting these different chapters of her life tie together Marty’s skill for storytelling, her Anglophile tendencies and a love for all things botanical. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland and she is a member of the U.K.-based Royal Horticultural Society. In addition to being a longtime member of Garden Writers (now called GardenComm), she is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and the Crime Writers Association, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Royal Horticultural Society.

In 2014, Alibi, a Random House imprint, published The Garden Plot, Marty’s first book in “The Potting Shed” series. The books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England. Murder has a way of finding Pru, wherever she gardens. The seventh title in this series, Midsummer Mayem, was just released November 2018.

It all began with “The Garden Plot,” and here’s a photo of Marty at her book launch party in Seattle.

After her stories about Pru were well underway, Marty’s editor suggested she dream up a new protagonist to engage the birding crowd. Julia Lanchester, a bird lover who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village, was born, part of the “Birds of a Feather” series, with the fourth in the series Farewell, My Cuckoo, also published in 2018. Marty’s books are available on tablets and smart readers, with fans having downloaded more than 120,000 books in just four years.

Marty’s newest series—The First Edition Library (Berkley)—presents Hayley Burke, the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. The Bodies in the Library, book one, will be released October 1, 2019

How did this popular garden writer, who has authored five garden titles and whose byline continues to appear in Country Gardens, American Gardener and other publications, become a successful mystery writer? So many self-employed garden communicators are interested in diversifying their careers into “crossover” platforms such as culinary, travel, health and wellness or floral (that would be me). And yet, why not fiction?

Marty lives with her husband and two cats near Seattle, her local library standing in for a more colorful writing venue—say, Vita Sackville-West’s tower at Sissinghurst.

The Bluebonnet Betrayal, number 5 in The Potting Shed Series of mysteries ~ takes place at the Chelsea Flower Show in London!

Marty takes research seriously—she is a former how-to garden writer of numerous books and a countless number (at least, she stopped counting ages ago) of magazine and newspaper articles on everything from apple maggot to the prettiest daffodils and the best-smelling roses. Research took on an entirely new light when she began writing mysteries, and now she and her husband travel regularly to England and Scotland, where she plunges deeply into study concerning the next adventure for her protagonists — Hayley, Julia, and Pru—sparing not a few minutes a day to head to the pub.

You can find more about Marty and her books, as well as her other projects including her upcoming garden tour to the Cotswolds in 2020, in today’s show notes for episode 402 at debraprinzing.com. I’ll also share links to her social places.

Learn more about (and follow) Marty Wingate:

Marty Wingate on Facebook

Marty Wingate on Twitter

Marty Wingate on BookBub

Marty Wingate on Good Reads

Tour the gardens of Cotswolds in 2020 with Marty Wingate

Marty agrees that her horticulture background is an essential part of her narratives. “I love writing about gardens and about plants. I always have correct gardening information. Other than that, I can make up everything else.” I hope you explore her many titles and become as hooked on Marty’s storytelling as I am!

And now, a huge surprise! I have an advanced reader’s copy of Marty’s brand new book — it won’t be out until October — and as soon as I finish reading it, I’ll share it with one lucky listener in a random drawing.

To enter, post your best idea for a garden or floral murder mystery in our comment section by May 31st. We’ll draw a winner on June 1st and announce him or her on June 5th.

And by the way, the winner of this month’s earlier giveaway – of Teresa Sabankaya’s The Posy Book is Heather Coughlin of Pure Bloom Flowers in Long Grove, Illinois. Congratulations, Heather!

Rayne Grace Hoke, of Flora’s Muse in Biddeford, Maine

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with floral designer Rayne Grace Hoke of Flora’s Muse, based in Biddeford, Maine.

She writes: “I’m enamored with the beauty of nature and I love the thrilling mix of magic and science. The graceful weight of a tulip in the hand and the intoxicating aroma of mimosa brings pure joy and a bit of awe. It’s these nuances of the natural world which fascinate me. And soaking in these experiences is for me a point of divine expression and inspiration.

“And I’m so grateful my floral path has allowed so many opportunities to explore other artistic curiosities beyond flowers. In the 1990’s, I interned at the Textile Conservation Lab at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Additionally, I’m an Ambassador and graduate of the Beyond Startup and New Ventures business program. Via this inspiring organization, I advocate for small women-owned businesses on state and federal levels. But I’ve also tapped into weaving, perfumery, fashion design and even metalsmithing and currently I’m offering Slow Flower-inspired workshops in Maine!”

Rayne (left) with model Mary (right) at the autumn 2018 photo shoot for American Flowers Week. Their botanical couture floral fashion, produced with Johnny’s Seeds, will be unveiled in the June issue of Florists’ Review.

Download a PDF of my Florists’ Review March 2019 article about Rayne Grace Hoke of Flora’s Muse, and a Maine floral design workshop she produced last year with Laura Tibbetts of WestWind Florals.

Find and follow Flora’s Muse on Instagram

Check out the upcoming Slow Flowers Maine Meet-Up, scheduled for June 3rd & 4th — there is time to attend!

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

I am so grateful to you for joining me and for spending your time listening to the Slow Flowers Podcast today. Thank you to our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement.

Earlier this month, our core member benefit — the slow flowers online directory — turned five years old! This is a major milestone and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see our cause gain more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry.

As I often say, and as you heard in my conversation with Rayne Grace Hoke of Maine, 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, sponsors!

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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. We are so excited that Syndicate has joined the Slow Flowers Summit as a sponsor — and if you attend, you’ll be heading home with some fun Syndicate USA-made swag!

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

NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse or visit nwgreenpanels.com.

I am so excited about the upcoming SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT and I hope you can join ME and our vibrant and engaging lineup of presenters on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the top reasons our attendees love the Slow Flowers Summit is the opportunity to mix-and-mingle with other kindred spirits.

For a limited time — through the end of May — when you register for the Slow Flowers Summit, you can add a guest for $275! This applies to anyone who has already registered, as well as new ticket-buyers. You can find the Plus One promo option by following the Register link at slowflowerssummit.com.

Join me! Slow Flowers Podcast (c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 467,000 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:
Our Son the Potter; Rabbit Hole; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 400: Slow Flowers in Calgary with Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers, plus our State Focus: Kentucky

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers

Thanks to a small but fabulous network of Slow Flowers members in Canada, I’m so happy to say that the Slow Flowers Community is taking hold across the country in numerous provinces. I’m very jazzed to welcome today’s guest, Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers, based in Calgary, Alberta. She’s helping me kick off the 10 Provinces of Slow Flowers, a sister series to 50 States of Slow Flowers in the U.S. Over this coming year, I will bring you voices from members in as many provinces as we have in the community.

Canadian-grown flowers by Becky Feasby

As we discuss in this episode, Becky and originally I met at the Whidbey Flower Workshop in 2018, where organizer Tobey Nelson invited me to return and teach a creative writing module. Over the three days together, I enjoyed getting to know Becky and was swept up by her infectious personality and her embrace of Slow Flowers Values. Since she has joined Slow Flowers, it has been rewarding and fascinating to watch her develop her platform as an activist for sustainable design practices and local flower sourcing in Calgary and beyond.

Fresh and dried flowers designed by Becky Feasby

When Florists’ Review acquired Canadian Florist magazine at the end of last year, I was eager to connect Becky with the editors. As a result, Becky has begun to contribute stories to that publication.

Her first piece appeared in the March-April issue entitled “Slow Flowers Are Blooming In Canada.”

Here’s more about Becky, excerpted from Prairie Girl Flowers’ web site:

Becky is a passionate gardener-florist who creates natural arrangements centred on the vibrant colours and textures that make up life on the Canadian Prairies. 

She takes great care in selecting materials for floral commissions and designs and uses as many locally sourced products as possible, in an effort to reduce waste and cut back on the use of plants and flowers that need to travel long distances to reach Calgary.  Dedicated to seasonal flowers, Becky loves collaborating with farmers, growers and creatives in her community

Seasonal flowers designed by Becky Feasby of Prarie Girl Flowers

Becky believes that ethical and sustainable floristry involves looking at not only how and where flowers are sourced, but also considering the waste generated by designs and packaging.  Like other agricultural crops, she wants the floral industry to examine not only the carbon footprint of flowers, but also the use of pesticides, water pollution, exploitation in the supply chain, and waste. 

Becky completed her gardening and landscape design training in New York, Calgary and Chicago and completed the Floral Design program at Mount Royal University.  She has also completed workshop training with many incredible, innovative florists and growers who support the foam free and Slow Flowers movements.  

Becky previously worked as the Horticultural Therapist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where she oversaw the design and management of five acres of gardens.  In creating prairie girl flowers, she wanted to utilize all of her training to bring sustainable beauty to Calgarians – and to cultivate a change in the floral industry.  A change that makes florals better for the planet and create opportunities for clients to make a conscious choice that supports local growers and our environment.

Jessica Broyles of Starry Fields Farm in Bowling Green, Kentucky (c) Emily Rose Photography

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with farmer-florist Jessica Broyles of Starry Fields Farm based in Bowling Green.

Kentucky-grown blooms at Starry Fields Farm

Jessica and her husband Ryan share this on their web site:

Here at Starry Fields Farm we are captivated by the beauty of flowers.  We believe that flowers have a transforming power that changes and connects people in a way that nothing else can.  Flowers often communicate what words cannot – feelings of comfort, love, and appreciation.

When flowers are grown locally and in harmony with the seasons, they carry a certain vibrancy and energy that is absent from imported flowers.  You will immediately notice that our flowers are healthy and long-lasting, and our wide variety of blooms will delight your senses.  We invite you to join us in experiencing the magic of fresh cut flowers.

Spring in bloom at the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Thank you so much for joining me today, and I’m so pleased to share the stories and voices of Becky and Jessica — I am continually inspired by the incredible people who are making our world a better place through flowers and farming. As I seek new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you, it’s my wish that today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

Hey, the clock is ticking and I’m eager for you to take advantage of the special ticket-promotion for attendees of the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit — which takes place in less than two months, on July 1st and 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Take advantage of our Plus-One Ticket Promotion for the Slow Flowers Summit!

One of the top reasons our attendees love the Slow Flowers Summit is the opportunity to mix-and-mingle with other kindred spirits. So we want to make it easy for you to experience the Summit and bring along your BFF, partner, colleague or team member with our Plus-One Ticket Promotion!

For a limited time — through May 15th only — when you register for the Slow Flowers Summit, you can add a guest for $275! This applies to anyone who has already registered, as well as new ticket-buyers.

You can find the Plus One promo option by following the Register link at slowflowerssummit.com.

Spring in bloom at the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Truly, we have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

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

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 458,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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; Simple Melody; Betty Dear; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 385: A Conversation with Soul Fire Farm’s Leah Penniman, author of Farming While Black, Plus State Spotlight: Alaska

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm and author of “Farming While Black.”

Please meet this week’s podcast guest: Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm. I am so incredibly excited to share our conversation with you as we discuss Leah’s brand new book, “Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land,” published last October by Chelsea Green Publishing.

Soul Fire Farm – a life-giving hub for education, advocacy and activism

Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY.

She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim an ancestral connection to land. As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs – including farmer trainings for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for people living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system.

Soul Fire Farm’s Leah Penniman and her family

Leah holds an MA in Science Education and BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University. She has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002.

The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Omega Sustainability Leadership Award, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, and Andrew Goodman Foundation, among others. All proceeds from the sale of Farming While Black will be used to support Black Farmers.

Pollinator flowers at Soul Fire Farm

Soul Fire Farm is a Black, indigenous, and people of colorcentered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system.

Soul Fire Farm raises and distributes life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of ancestors, the farm works to reclaim its collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system.

Soul Fire brings diverse communities together on its healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice. Leah and her colleagues are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.

I believe that Farming While Black is required reading for all farmers, and for anyone who wants to have a deeper insight into the often-ignored agricultural history of our country.

I highly recommend it — Leah’s passion and spirit jumps off the page as she inspires, informs, instigates and shares her important life’s work as well as her incredibly smart farming advice.

Here’s how you can find and follow Leah Penniman, of Soul Fire Farm:

Soul Fire Farm on Facebook

Soul Fire Farm on Instagram

Here’s more about Farming While Black. And Leah’s Book Tour Schedule — I hope you can hear Leah speak and meet her in a city near you!

Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies

 

Kim Herning (left) at Northern Lights Peony Farm

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today, with Alaska!!

And now, let’s meet Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies — who shares an Alaska floral spotlight.

You’ll want to hear from Kim about her journey toward peonies in her life. She is also on the board of Arctic Alaska Peonies, a past sponsor of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Left: Our Alaska Forget-me-Not coloring sheet from American Flowers Week; Right: Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

We have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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.

The Slow Flowers Summit is six months away so please save three dates on your calendar as you plan your travel to St. Paul Minnesota: First, our bonus flower farm tours and Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, taking place on Sunday, June 30th; then, Monday, July 1st, where we will all gather at Paikka Event Space for day one of the Summit, followed by Tuesday, July 2nd where we will tour the Twin Cities Flower Exchange as it’s swimming in locally grown flowers.

I can’t wait to see you there! Ticket sales continue with a special Slow Flowers member discount at $375, so please make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Sign up to receive updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 399,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

And thank you to our lead sponsor, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Our first Sponsor Spotlight focuses on 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. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com and if you missed our recent interview with Johnny’s flower category expert, Hillary Alger, I’ll add a link in today’s show notes so you can find it easily.

Our Second Sponsor Spotlight today goes to 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. Spring bulb season is almost here – my tulips are poking out of the ground already! Visit Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.

Our final Sponsor thanks today 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.

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:

A Palace of Cedar; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely
by Tryad
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com







Episode 384: Blending Cut Flower Production with a Nursery Business at Minnesota’s Green Earth Growers, Plus our new State Spotlight: Alabama

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Jolea Gress and Jenny Hotz of Green Earth Growers

Please meet this week’s podcast guests, Jolea Gress and Jenny Hotz of Green Earth Growers. In today’s conversation, you’ll learn about their thriving business, their flowers, their wholesale and retail operations — plus, you’ll learn how you can join all three of us at the special Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, taking place June 30th prior to the third annual Slow Flowers Summit in St. Paul Minnesota.

The beautiful farm that is home to Green Earth Growers in Prior Lake, Minnesota

Our delicious and beautiful Flower Farm-to-Table meal will take place at Green Earth Growers, in Prior Lake, Minnesota. This established, women-owned plant nursery, vegetable and cut flower farm will wow you and I’m so pleased that Jolea and Jenny are sharing their story here today. Green Earth Growers is one of the Minnesota flower farms selling to the floral marketplace through the Twin Cities Flower Exchange wholesale hub. TCFE is our co-host of the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit.

The flower harvest at Green Earth Growers.

Here’s a bit about their story:

Green Earth Growers was established in 2004, located just south of the Twin Cities. Jenny and Jolea began by growing quality plants, produce & cut flowers for local farmers, fundraisers, garden centers, landscapers, farmers markets and restaurants. Slowly, throughout the years, they have expanded their greenhouse growing space and farmland.

A vivid and freshly picked CSA bouquet from Green Earth Growers.

The women continue to be committed to growing and producing quality products with an emphasis on sustainability. All their production (plants, produce and cut flowers) are grown in accordance with the National Organic Standards. Green Earth Growers is a Certified Naturally Grown business.

Beautiful field-grown sunflowers from Green Earth Growers.

In 2008, Jenny and Jolea introduced Green Earth Growers CSA, growing the program from supplying an initial 20 families with fresh weekly produce, to more than 70 CSA members today. They added a flower shares option in 2014, and say they love the personal connection with those CSA customers.​

CSA Bouquets (left) and bedding plants and hanging baskets inside the Green Earth Growers’ greenhouse.

The retail center, Green Earth Gardens, opened in 2013, operating seasonally, late April to July. The center offers sustainable grown plants that are Minnesota hardy and an alternative to the plants you find at big box stores. Always experimenting with new plant varieties and growing methods, you can tell that Jenny and Jolea are passionate about flowers plants. Their passion is contagious and I can’t wait to visit them in June!

Find and follow Green Earth Growers at these social places:

Green Earth Growers on Facebook

Green Earth Growers on Instagram

Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle with one of her bridal bouquets

I love our Alabama state flower coloring page with a Camellia, designed by Jenny Diaz for American Flowers Week!

I want to share about our special theme of 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – which begins today, and continues through the end of 2019, for fifty consecutive weeks, I will devote a bonus mini-interview at the end of each episode to speak with a member about what’s happening in his or her state.

Averaging 10 minutes or so, we’ll give you a snapshot of floristry, flower sourcing and the unique character of the Slow Flowers scene — from Alabama to Wyoming and everywhere between. We’ll also make some important stops along the way to speak with members in the Canadian Provinces — yay!

Today’s state spotlight begins with Alabama’s Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle.

Thorne and Thistle is a destination wedding and floral design studio with a passion for travel and creating meaningful, memorable moments for our couples across the southeastern states and beyond.

You can read more about Lisa in a feature I wrote for the November 2017 issue of Florists’ Review, called “A Southern Sense of Style.” Click here to read.

Find and follow Lisa Thorne at these social places:

Thorne & Thistle on Facebook

Thorne & Thistle on Instagram

Thorne & Thistle on Pinterest

Thorne & Thistle on Twitter

A beautiful Alabama tablescape, designed by Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.


We have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause 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.

The Slow Flowers Summit is six months away so please save three dates on your calendar as you plan your travel to St. Paul Minnesota: First, our bonus flower farm tours and Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, taking place on Sunday, June 30th; then, Monday, July 1st, where we will all gather at Paikka Event Space for day one of the Summit, followed by Tuesday, July 2nd where we will tour the Twin Cities Flower Exchange as it’s swimming in locally grown flowers.

I can’t wait to see you there! Ticket sales continue with a special Slow Flowers member discount at $375, so please make your way to slowflowerssummit.com to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Sign up to receive updates at slowflowerssummit.com.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 397,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

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

SPONSOR THANKS:

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Today’s first thank you goes out 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.

Team Flower Conference – a professional floral event where flower lovers from all over the world gather for networking, learning, and celebration. It’s a special time for the floral industry to come together and whether you’re a farmer, designer, wholesaler, or just love flowers, you’re invited to attend as Team Flowers dreams big for the industry’s future. Head to teamflower.org/slowflowers to learn more about the 2019 conference in Waco, Texas!

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. And check out the web site for details about the upcoming Focus on the Business of Cut Flowers conference, set for Feb 18-19 in Denver. Seven of the experts presenting at the conference are past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast, so you’ll recognize some familiar names and topics in the lineup!

Music Credits:
On Our Own Again; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspiration
by Blue Dot Sessions







About the Slow Flowers Society

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019


On January 1, 2019, we unveiled our new home on the Web: the Slow Flowers Society. I hope you find it fresh, modern and user-friendly — with easy access to all of our Slow Flowers programs, events and channels in one place.

Check out the NEW Slowflowerssociety.com site!

Why the Society? Our focus hasn’t changed.

In fact, our mission continues. “To change the flower sourcing practices of consumers and professionals through outreach and education that highlights the benefits of local, seasonal and domestic floriculture — and to build a movement that promotes cultivation and sales of those flowers while nurturing authentic connections between consumers, farmers, and florists.”

This change was long in coming. Yet it didn’t happen impetuously or overnight. Coming now, at the start of 2019, allows us to turn the calendar page for a clean re-boot and to bring clarity to the Slow Flowers platform.

I spent much of 2018 pondering this “rebrand.” The word REBRAND was written in all caps with a purple pen on the white board in my office. Looming over me for the entire YEAR!

What’s behind it? With five channels and programs, each of which has its own exclusive web site — sheesh — things were getting a little unruly. Since I wrote the book Slow Flowers, a lot has happened with these two words: Slow. Flowers.

These two words now symbolize an entire movement. A movement that hundreds of thousands of florists, flower farmers, retailers and designers use as short-hand to reflect their belief in local, seasonal and sustainably-grown botanicals.

After the book’s publication, and as it became clear to me that there was an opportunity to position Slow Flowers as an industry standard, new ideas inspired me to bring the following channels and programs to life.

Here’s the Slow Flowers evolution:

February 2013 Publication of Slow Flowers (St. Lynn’s Press)

July 2013 Launch of the Slow Flowers Podcast (debraprinzing.com)
> Benefit: Deepen your knowledge, Hear from Slow Flowers pioneers, Gain critical business insights        

May 2014 Launch of Slow Flowers Directory (slowflowers.com)
> Benefit: Affiliate with a consumer-facing brand that’s synonymous with sustainable growing and design practices

April 2015 Received US Patent and Trademark for Slow Flowers™

June 2015 Launch of American Flowers Week (americanflowersweek.com)
> Benefit: Engage with like-minded flower farmers, florists and floral enthusiasts across the country to elevate your flowers

January 2017 Debut of Slow Flowers Journal (slowflowersjournal.com)
Benefit: Consume engaging, educational and useful articles and interviews from fellow creatives in the Slow Flowers community

June-July 2017 First-ever Slow Flowers Summit (slowflowerssummit.com)
> Benefit: Network and connect in person at this intimate “mind meld” for the Slow Flowers Community, while hearing from inspiring speakers who challenge you to pursue innovation and creativity

August 2017 Print edition of Slow Flowers Journal debuts in Florists’ Review (floristsreview.com)


January 2019
New Web Home for all programs debuts Slow Flowers Society (slowflowerssociety.com)

As you can see, each time the Slow Flowers platform matured and expanded, a corresponding web site emerged. So . . . unifying the brand by pulling everything under one master home on the web makes sense now.

Moving all our fabulous Slow Flowers content to one URL and renaming that portal the Slow Flowers Society is both practical and ambitious.

I dearly want you, and the entire floral marketplace, to value Slow Flowers as a Community, not just a Directory. Does that make sense?

When you join Slow Flowers, you are not “buying a listing on a directory.” No, you are investing in a dynamic branding platform with multiple channels and programs, resources and tools, editorial and promotional opportunities and a community of kindred spirits. Your investment is not merely financial. Like any healthy relationship, it can’t thrive as a one-sided one. You will never be satisfied if you think this is a passive, lead-generating directory like Wedding Wire or the Knot. Slow Flowers is entirely different because your payback comes when you engage, participate and leverage the content and opportunities available to you.

The term “Society” reflects our inclusive community of creatives dedicated to preserving domestic floral farms and supporting safe, seasonal and local supplies of sustainably-farmed flowers and foliage. Our members are engaged in all facets of the U.S. floral industry. 

A housekeeping note: All the program web sites will continue to operate with their distinct URLs, and we will support each of them with new content and resources. Over time, the new Society web site will become the gateway that newcomers use to discover and engage with all our programs and the community. Through the Society site, users will read about each channel, including the Directory, and link to each program’s web site.

Here are a few FAQs:

What
The Slow Flowers™ Society is an inclusive community dedicated to the promotion of domestically-grown flowers and benefits of local, seasonal and sustainable sourcing. Our members are engaged in all facets of the U.S. and Canadian flower industry.

Why
The Slow Flowers Movement is a response to the disconnect between humans and flowers in the modern era. It aspires to reclaim the act of flower growing, recognizing it as a relevant and respected branch of domestic agriculture. Further, Slow Flowers connects flower consumers with the source of their flowers. When there is transparent origin labeling of all botanicals sold to consumers and professional florists, it heightens the value of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown flowers.
>Read the Slow Flowers Manifesto

How
In a marketplace filled with imported flowers, the Slow Flowers Society provides the platform and resources to differentiate your floral business. Through networking and brand affiliation, we support and equip growers, designers, wholesalers, retailers, educators, members of the media and floral enthusiasts with editorial content, publicity campaigns and professional events. We give members valuable and credible tools to communicate a sustainably-minded floral ethos.
>Learn more about the Values and Benefits of Membership

Cost: There are four levels of membership
Enthusiasts: $35 annual
Members who value and support the Slow Flowers Movement and who enjoy our ongoing Resources, Inspiring How-To’s and Featured Content.

Professionals: $50 annual (Standard) or $200 annual (Premium)
Join 700+ members and enjoy access to our Branding Tools, Vendor Network, Directory, Resources, Marketplace and Featured Content. Premium-level professional members receive a number of enhanced benefits.

International Affiliates: $500
In recognition of the parallels between the U.S. and Canadian floral marketplace and other countries, Slow Flowers International invites your affiliation.

>Join Us here

JOIN THE SOCIETY and BRAND YOUR FLORAL BUSINESS
WITH A CREDIBLE NARRATIVE AND CONSCIOUS VALUES