Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘Flower Farming’ Category

Episode 516: A conversation about the Slow Flowers Movement with Daniel Hartz of the Sustainability Champions Podcast

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Today’s conversation was originally broadcast in late May by “Sustainability Champions,” an investigative podcast series made for the environmental stewards of the world, produced and hosted by Daniel Hartz. The series defines Sustainability as “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance” and Champion as “one who supports or defends a cause.” We can all get behind that, right?

Host and founder of Sustainability Champions, Daniel Hartz is an American based in London. He started Sustainability Champions to showcase people around the world working hard to heal the planet through business innovations, community organizing and individual messages of optimism.

Sustainability often makes financial sense and the future of the environment is bright.

daniel hartz, sustainability champions

I am so grateful he invited me to share the story of the Slow Flowers Movement on Sustainability Champions.

In celebration of the Slow Flowers Show’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers. You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel here.

Thanks so much for joining us today! A special thank you to friend and floral design educator Hitomi Gilliam for introducing Daniel and me. Hitomi is also a past guest of Sustainability Champions! You can listen to my past interview with Hitomi here.

Subscribe to and follow Sustainability Champions here

Follow Sustainability Champions on Facebook and follow Sustainability Champions on Instagram.


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

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

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.


Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 750,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Dance of Felt; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 515: Wildflower and Fern’s Sarah Reyes on building an Oakland-based local flower hub supplying retail and wholesale buyers

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Slow Flowers Podcast visits Wildflower and Fern
Sarah Reyes welcomed me to Wildflower and Fern in Oakland, California

I’m so happy to introduce you to today’s guest, Sarah Reyes of Oakland-based Wildflower and Fern. Sarah’s passion for local flowers moves through both retail and wholesale channels. She calls herself a botanical liaison, a term that sums up the role she plays for both customers of her 240-square-foot retail flower shop, which opened in the fall of 2019 at Oakland’s Rockridge Market Hall, and for fellow florists who turn to Sarah for her connections to unique, local and seasonal flowers sourced from farms and fields outside of San Francisco.

On the road with Wildflower and Fern

As I alluded, Wildflower & Fern’s cooler and storage space serves a dual purpose. It allows Sarah and her team to process flowers and produce larger designs, and it allows wholesale customers to “shop” from the back-of-the-house — giving even more people access to local, California-grown botanicals.

I featured more of Sarah’s story in a November 2019 issue of Slow Flowers Journal for Florists Review:

Download the PDF here:

Sarah at the Slow Flowers Summit
We recognized Sarah for her four-year-streak attending the Slow Flowers Summit at our recent 2021 gathering (c) Missy Palacol Photography

One more thing I want to mention about Sarah. She is a loyal and passionate supporter of Slow Flowers Society, and she holds the distinction of being the only person (other than staff and speakers) who has attended all four Slow Flowers Summit conferences! This year, Sarah brought her entire team of designers, which was an amazingly generous way to share her mission and passion with them.

You can see photos of Sarah and the Wildflower & Fern shop in Oakland in today’s show notes. I visited there on my drive to Filoli, where the Slow Flowers Summit took place — and it was a delightful way to immerse myself in California-grown flowers and sustainable floral design.

Thanks so much for joining us today as I introduced you to one of our Slow Flowers leaders who has created an important and influential hub for local flowers in San Francisco’s East Bay Area. And thanks to Sarah and the entire team at Wildflower & Fern for welcoming me when I visited. And for bringing your energy, enthusiasm and local flowers to the Slow Flowers Summit! Wildflower & Fern was one of our meal sponsors – sharing even more support for the Slow Flowers mission.

Today is a big day for the Slow Flowers Podcast! It is our eighth anniversary since starting this small but mighty program on July 23, 2013. Since launching, we have produced more than 400 consecutive weekly Slow Flowers Podcast episodes, and those episodes have been downloaded nearly 750,000 times by listeners like you. It’s so fitting that Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern joined me on today’s program, because she embodies the mission and values of the Slow Flowers Movement. Sarah is our final audio-only guest.

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Today, we are launching our new Podcast platform, adding video programming to enhance the audio interviews and conversations you’ve listened to for eight years. You can find the link to watch and subscribe to Slow Flowers Podcast on YouTube and Facebook Live, beginning today and every Wednesday going forward.  It is my goal to introduce you to the faces and voices, the farms, shops and studios — and most of all, the flowers of our community. The audio of each episode will continue to land in your inbox in whatever way you’ve listened before, including iTunes, Spotify and at debraprinzing.com, and more. Thanks in advance for following me down the Vodcast path! I’m excited to see you there.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Podcast Sponsors.

Rooted Farmers: Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

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

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.


Debra Prinzing with microphone
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 750,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andree’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

For We Shall Know Speed; Glass Beads; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 514: All about growing and breeding dahlias with Kristine Albrecht of Santa Cruz Dahlias

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
Kristine Albrecht of Santa Cruz Dahlias with ‘KA’s Khaleesi’

Of course you’ve heard me talk about my road trip to California in late June for the 4th Slow Flowers Summit. A few days before the Summit took place, I was treated to a morning visit at Santa Cruz Dahlias, the micro- flower farm owned by award-winning dahlia breeder Kristine Albrecht, a Slow Flowers member. I’d been wanting to learn more about Kristine’s work as a flower farmer whose curiosity about breeding has led to incredibly unique – new – named cultivars, a devoted following among cut flower farmers, and now, a new book, published in 2020: Dahlia Breeding for the Farmer-Florist and the Home Gardener, with Brion Sprinsock, Kristine’s spouse, as co-author.

I ordered my copy and asked Kristine if she would sit down with me when I was in the area late last month. She kindly invited me for a tour and I enjoyed a deeply informative lesson on her work and her passion.

In the foreword to Dahlia Breeding, Kristine writes:

“I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to talk and write to people about dahlias almost every day. While familiar with growing dahlias from tubers, many growers simply have no idea that unique varieties of dahlias can be generated from seed. The more I thought about that, the more I was inspired to write this short book and share my hybridizing knowledge.”

Jan Palia (left) and Kristine Albrecht (right) – met me in June and treated me to a beautiful morning

She continues: “I’m not a typical dahlia hybridizer who breeds mainly show dahlias. I have as much interest in breeding varieties loved by florists and designers as I do in breeding dahlias for show. I don’t have a scientific background: the advice in this book comes from practical experience at my farm. I currently grow on a quarter-acre suburban farm in the California Central Coast. I generate hundreds of dahlia blooms every week, and when they are not being cut for shows, I sell them to designers and florists. These floral designers give me wonderful feedback on what colors and forms are the most commercially viable. Their input helps me set my hybridizing goals.”

‘KA’s Cloud’

In 2014, after years of learning and experimentation, Kristine hand-crossed pollen parent Kenora Jubilee with seed parent Elma Elizabeth for a new variety called ‘KA’s Cloud’. She excitedly sent it off to the American Dahlia Society trial gardens across the U.S. and the blooms won the Derrill W. Hart and the Lynn B. Dudley medals, the two top awards in the country.

A bucket of just-harvested Santa Cruz Dahlia blooms, including dahlia companion plants (c) Debra Prinzing

Blue ribbons aside, she was hooked. And that experienced ignited what has become one woman’s amazing journey with dahlias, one she generously shares with you today. I know you’ll enjoy the rest of the story, as I introduce Kristine Albrecht in today’s episode.

‘KA’s Bella Luna’ – a delicious Kristine Albrecht introduction
‘KA’s Mocha Katie’
A detail shot of the storage tub that Santa Cruz Dahlias uses for deliveries and transportation

Follow Santa Cruz Dahlias on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining us today as you learned more about dahlias specifically bred for floral design. Enjoy photos of my visit to Santa Cruz Dahlias and some of the gorgeous dahlia introductions that Kristine has bred!


More about the Slow Flowers Podcast

Interviewing Meg McGuire at Red Daisy Farm

This podcast is a vehicle for storytelling and for sharing the stories of our Slow Flowers Members. Several years ago, I made the conscious decision to put a priority on featuring Slow Flowers members as Podcast guests.

There may be an occasional episodes with a floral celebrity or book author, but the majority of our weekly guest slots are devoted to our members’ stories. We strive for inclusion, representation and diversity among our guests. We also mix things up when it comes to geographical location and different facets in the floral industry.

To be considered as a guest, please be sure you have gone back through our archives to familiarize yourself with our various themes and interesting angles. You can find the archives in the right column at debraprinzing.com, home of the Slow Flowers Podcast show notes.

Then, put together a proposal email. Please share your name, business name and bio; a selection of 5-7 photos that illustrate you, your farm/shop/studio/enterprise; and your flowers. We use these images in our “Show Notes.”

Tell me the topics and themes you propose for the episode. What’s new, exciting, timely and relevant to our audience? What is the “takeaway” that will resonate with listeners?

Our ideal guest has a personal story to tell and is generous with information and inspiration to share with other floral professionals. We plan several months in advance, so start thinking about sharing your story! I look forward to hearing from you! 

Join our NEW Video Podcast on July 21st

Today, as we wrap up the seventh consecutive year producing and hosting the Slow Flowers Podcast, I have to take a moment and reflect on the amazing community of experts, visionaries, artists, educators and pioneers in the Slow Flowers Movement who have shared their insights on this program — during 414 consecutive weekly episodes. What a privilege and honor to hear and share your voices. And beginning next week, with Episode 515, as we celebrate this show’s 8th anniversary, you will not only hear the voices of our guests, you’ll see their faces, their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers.

Beginning on July 21st, the Slow Flowers Podcast is launching a new live-stream video format, which you will be able to view on YouTube and Facebook Live. Each Wednesday you’ll watch a new video episode and then, on the following week, we’ll release the show’s audio through our established podcast channels, including iTunes, Spotify and at debraprinzing.com, and more.

Let’s see how it goes! Change is exhilarating, but technology isn’t always my friend, so I’m asking for your patience as we work out the new platform. My goal is to enhance your relationship with the Slow Flowers Podcast, or, as I’ve been told to call it now, a Vodcast, the video-podcast hybrid term.


Sponsor Thank You’s

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

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.

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 744,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com.

Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Lanky; Feathersoft; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 513: On “Growing Wonder,” garden roses for floral design with Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
Today’s guest is Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower (c) Jill Carmel Photography

June was a super-busy and invigorating month and I have lots to share with you! I’m recording the intro to today’s episode on July 5th. Yesterday, my husband and I arrived back in Seattle after driving home from the SF Bay Area, my car filled with Slow Flowers Summit supplies; my heart filled with love for our amazing community of members, supporters, sponsors, partners — and especially the small but mighty Slow Flowers team of creatives who work with me. Oh, and my mind spinning with ideas and inspiration from last week’s Slow Flowers Summit, our fourth and best one to date.

Our fabulous Slow Flowers Summit 2021 speaker lineup included (from left): Susan McLeary, Max Gill, founder Debra Prinzing, Pilar Zuniga (with her adorable daughter, Paloma), Jennifer Jewell, Abra Lee, Molly Oliver, Kelee Matsushita-Tseng, Emily Saeger and Lorene Edwards Forkner (c) Missy Palacol photography

You’ll hear much more in the coming weeks as I share recaps and resources from the Slow Flowers Summit 2021. Suffice it to say, the timing worked out wonderfully for an all-outdoor conference as we safely gathered at Filoli Historic House & Residence in Woodside, California.

Felicia Alvarez

To arrive there, I departed Seattle on Wednesday, June 23rd, giving myself two days to make the drive south.

It was a good time to be alone with my thoughts, and to schedule a few stops along the way. One stop was in Live Oak, California, located halfway between Chico and Sacramento.

I was lured to Menagerie Flower + Farm, where Felicia Alvarez lives with her family in the beautiful Sacramento Valley.

The farm raises field grown garden roses, specialty flowers, French prunes, assorted stone fruits, nuts and rice.

Menagerie Farm + Flower’s beautiful roses, including (left) Scarlett & Grace’s arrangement (c) Kelly Marie Photography and (right) Felicia’s montage of just-harvested garden roses

If you followed our 50 States of Slow Flowers podcast series in 2019, you heard a short interview with Felicia when I featured California, but honestly, I knew that 15 minutes could never cover all that she could tell us about her diversified family farm and especially about her roses.

Now, I had a very important reason to see Menagerie Farm + Flower in person! BLOOM Imprint, our book venture, is publishing Felicia’s first book this fall. We are so excited about Growing Wonder, which the book is called. You’ll hear all about this new project in our conversation — and learn how you can pre-order your own copy.

Here’s a bit more about Felicia Alvarez before we get started: On her website, she writes:  

“I’ve been farming for over two decades and every day I fall in love with the simplicity & nostalgia of life on the farm. My mission is simple – to grow exceptional flowers & foods with distinctive quality. As a third generation farmer, my favorite memories as a child were tending to my grandmother’s farm garden filled with fragrant garden roses. Her love of flowers made me an avid gardener and now accidental flower farmer. Today I farm French prunes, garden roses and specialty cut flowers with the help of my husband and two little sons in tow.

basket of roses
Felicia Alvarez on “Growing Wonder” (c) Jill Carmichael Photography

After more than a year of recording most of our episodes over Zoom, it was such a joy to sit at a picnic table next to Felicia’s barn and record live and in person. The ambient farm sounds only help to underscore that feeling of immediacy. I hope you enjoy this conversation, so let’s jump right in and get started!

Thanks so much for joining us today! What a lovely preview of Growing Wonder! You can pre-order your copy of Felicia’s book via a link to BLOOM Imprint – we’ll mail it to you in September after publication. In the meantime, there are a lot of resources available to you at Felicia’s website — check out links below and follow her on social media. 

Subscribe to Menagerie Farm + Flower’s Newsletter here.

Sign up for Menagerie Academy, Felicia’s membership for rose lovers, gardeners and growers. There are three levels of membership, depending on your own needs and goals.

Learn more about Felicia’s one-on-one coaching sessions for your rose aspirations. Single sessions, packages and on-farm sessions available.

Workshop details are here. Upcoming is an October 19th workshop at Menagerie Farm called “Elements of Rose Growing.”

Free Printable Resources and Educational Resources from Felicia, created for her students and coaching clients.


American Flowers Week 2021

We just wrapped up American Flowers Week, our 7th annual celebration, June 28th through July 4th. For all of you who participated, THANK YOU for sharing photos of your beautiful flowers, designs, farms and special activities.

Our botanical couture collection was the most extensive ever and we’ve collected one-dozen floral fashions in our special edition digital flip book — it’s free to read (click here for link).

AND, I’m going to say it right now: If you have any inspiration to grow and design a botanical couture garment for our 2022 collection, please get in touch right away. I find that summer races along so quickly that it’s easy to miss the tiny window of time between now and first frost during which you can harvest, create and photograph a wearable floral garment for next year! I won’t let you forget the opportunity to promote your flowers and floral art through this high-visibility member opportunity. Learn more at americanflowersweek.com.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Podcast Sponsors.

Today, we welcome Roadie.com as a new Podcast and Newsletter sponsor for 2021. Roadie is a same-day delivery platform that connects you and your flower deliveries with drivers already heading in the right direction. Roadie can handle the delivery of your fragile flowers and plants, so you can get back to creating masterpieces or helping them grow. Check out the link in today’s show notes for more details or visit https://www.roadie.com/small-business/florists-nursery

Flowerfarm.com, a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at flowerfarm.com. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 742,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Fern and Andy; Hedgehog Wallace; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 510: An American Flowers Week botanical couture tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Tammy Myers of LORA Bloom

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Here we are, less than two weeks until the fourth Slow Flowers Summit begins on Monday June 28th and continues through Wednesday June 30th.

We launched the Slow Flowers Summit in 2017 in Seattle, intentionally scheduling it to take place during American Flowers Week as the core event during our annual domestic flower holiday week.

And as the Slow Flowers Summit has expanded and improved, so has American Flowers Week, its original impetus. We’ve been celebrating already, as the buildup to American Flowers Week begins in June, leading up to that specific holiday week of June 28-July 4th.

This year’s special botanical couture promotion is a perfect one-dozen floral garments, created by flower growers, farmer-florists, designers, and members of the Slow Flowers community — all with the motivation of elevating flowers and sharing their talents with the public.

Tammy Myers, LORA Bloom (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Today, I’m excited to introduce Tammy Myers of LORA Bloom. Seattle-based, LORA Bloom is an online E-commerce and marketing platform that provides an additional sales channel for florists, giving them a marketplace where customers can find custom, one-of-a-kind designer arrangements for local delivery. LORA Bloom’s florist partners are aligned with Tammy’s own values of supporting local flower farms and offering foam-free designs. 
Read our October 2020 article about LORA Bloom in Slow Flowers Journal. Listen to Tammy’s first appearance on the Slow Flowers Podcast in Episode 201 (July 8, 2015), where you’ll learn more about her evolution from a studio florist to her present role as creator of the LORA Bloom platform.

Tammy’s original concept board for her American Flowers Week 2021 submission

And when I asked Tammy if she was up for designing a second American Flowers Week botanical couture look (she was a participating designer in 2019, as well), Tammy came up with a stunning project that included six of her LORA Bloom florists as collaborators.

RBG-inspired Botanical Couture, at the University of Washington (c) Missy Palacol Photography
Business in the front; Party in the back, with botanical surface design by Tammy Myers; dress by Riva Juarez
A reimagined judicial robe, seen in sketches by garment designer and this project’s model, Riva Juarez

The result is what we are calling a Floral Tribute to RBG — the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who Tammy considers a fashion icon and a female role model. Because Ginsburg died in 2020, the timing was significant to honor her now.

RBG collars from Time Magazine
Tammy’s inspiration: RBG’s collars, featured in Time Magazine (c) Elinor Carucci
Creative botanical collars:
Top row, from left: Lori Poliski, Flori and Anne Bradfield, Analog Floral
Middle row, from left: Maura Whalen, Casablanca Floral and Kristal Hancock, Sublime Stems
Bottom row, from left: Sophie Strongman, The Old Soul Flower Co. and Sharlet Driggs, Sharlet Floral

Floral Palette: Domestic U.S.-grown botanicals from Washington, Oregon and California
Creative Concept/Creative Direction: Tammy Myers, LORA Bloom, lorabloom.com,
@lorabloom.flowers
Model: Riva Juarez, rivaladiva.com, @rivaladiva
Hair/Makeup: Riva Juarez
Photography: Missy Palacol, Missy Palacol Photography, missypalacol.com, @missy.palacol
Collaborating Slow Flowers Society florists: Tammy Myers; Anne Bradfield, Analog Floral, @analog_floral; Maura Whalen, Casablanca Floral, @casablancafloral; Sharlet Driggs, Sharlet Floral, @sharletfloral; and Lori Poliski, Flori, @flori.flowers
Other florists: Sophie Strongman, The Old Soul Flower Co., @theoldsoulflowerco and Kristal Hancock, Sublime Stems, @sublimestems
Location: University of Washington Campus, Seattle, Washington

Thanks so much for joining us today! I love something that Tammy shared with me when I interviewed her for the story that appears in Slow Flowers Journal Botanical Couture special edition:

“In my research, I learned Ruth Bader Ginsburg had favorite pieces that communicated subtle messages of the Court’s decisions. We know that flowers speak in similar ways.”

Tammy myers, lora bloom

By the way, if you haven’t yet seen the free, 72-page special edition of Slow Flowers Journal, released on June 1st, you can find the link here. You’ll read all about the RBG Floral Tribute along with stories about the eleven other botanical couture looks created for American Flowers Week. Prepared to be wowed at all the beauty and talent in our collective community! Maybe it will trigger some ideas for you to get involved in 2022!


Next week:

Susan McLeary designing a fabulous floral ‘fro (c) Amanda Dumouchelle photography

Next week, you’ll hear my interview with Susan McLeary, our keynote presenter at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. It is guaranteed to inspire you, as Sue is such an important influence, an incredible floral artist, and a boundary-pushing leader in our community. I can’t wait to share our conversation with you – and for attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit to see Sue’s design demonstrations and hear her keynote, The Creative Journey: Finding Your Artistic Voice, Truth and Expression.

To me, the Slow Flowers Summit gives our community the opportunity to gather annually and celebrate domestic flower growing and sustainable floral design, to go deeper than it is possible in an online, virtual, social media kind of way; to have human contact; a mind-meld, as one of our past speakers described it; to push ourselves to consider new ideas and unique perspectives; and to hear from a diversity of voices in the floriculture and horticulture marketplace. There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

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.

We’re thrilled that our Podcast sponsor, Mayesh Wholesale Florist, is also a Supporting Sponsor of the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. 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.

The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 736,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photograph

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Skyway; Great Great Lengths; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 509: From Cutting Gardens to Flowers for the Home, a Conversation with the Horticulture Team at Filoli Historic House & Garden, Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021
The Wedding Garden at Filoli Historic House & Garden (c) Gretchine Nievarez

Over the past year, you’ve heard from many of the panelists and personalities scheduled to present at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, scheduled for June 28-30, which is right around the corner. And today, I’m bringing you straight to our Summit destination, Filoli Historic House & Garden based in Woodside, California, where we will gather for the first two days of the conference.

Filoli’s remarkable Georgian Revival architecture (c) Gretchine Nievarez

I am so excited for the opportunity Summit attendees, speakers, sponsors and guests will enjoy as we immerse ourselves in the beauty and legacy of this Bay Area cultural institution. We will spend two full days experiencing the historic property, including Filoli’s legendary landscape and cutting gardens, which you’ll learn more about today. We also will have unprecedented access to design a ‘floral takeover’ in ‘The House,’ California’s most triumphant example of the Georgian Revival tradition and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century.

From left, today’s guests: Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor of Filoli’s Horticulture Staff

For now, I’d love to introduce you to the horticulture team at Filoli, because they are the ones whose involvement in the Slow Flowers Summit will ensure a thoroughly immersive plant and floral experience.

Today, join me in a conversation with Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor.

Jim Salyards is the director of horticulture, a 26-year veteran of Filoli!

Kate Nowell is the horticulture production manager, with about one decade at Filoli, and Haley O’Connor is Filoli’s new formal garden manager who joined about six months ago.

Let’s jump right in and take an audio (virtual) botanical tour with three talented plants people.


Attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit will have full access to the beautiful grounds at Filoli Historic House & Garden during our workshops and immersive floral experiences

Thank you so much for joining our conversation today! There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com. We are so excited to welcome our attendees to a safe, in-person, COVID-compliant and mostly outdoor setting at Filoli Historic House and Garden. The countdown begins!

The Garden House at Filoli

And by the way, if you’re not attending the Summit, watch Slow Flowers Society on Facebook, Slow Flowers Society and Slow Flowers Summit on Instagram for live feeds coming to you from the Slow Flowers Summit, including a behind-the-scenes tour that I will lead on setup day, Sunday, June 28th.


Something really fun happened this past week as I traded places at the microphone and answered questions posed to me rather than being the person asking those questions. Our good friend Jennifer Jewell, producer and host of Cultivating Place, an award-winning public radio program and podcast, invited me to join her to discuss all things Slow Flowers. I’ll share the link to that episode in today’s show notes. You’ve heard Jennifer here as a past guest and you may already subscribe to Cultivating Place. If not, please check out her amazing, inclusive and expansive weekly radio program about plants, people, place and other conversations about natural history and the human urge to garden. Jennifer is coming to the Slow Flowers Summit as our capstone speaker on day two — and I’m so honored that she shared our story – your story – the story of Slow Flowers – on her terrific show.


Our 2021 Botanical Couture Collection for American Flowers Week 2021

As you know, in the buildup to American Flowers Week, June 28-July 4, there is much to celebrate. This Friday, you’re invited to join our Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up, June 11th at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. The topic: Botanical Couture for American Flowers Week 2021 Collection. The guests? Several of the creatives responsible for this year’s expansive and flourishing fashion collection! Get a peek at the behind the scenes and hear from the creatives — Slow Flowers member farmers, designers and floral artists who rose to the open call for floral wearables. We have one-dozen looks in all this year — a feat of talent, ingenuity and inventiveness! Can’t wait for you to join us — all the details and the link to log in are available in today’s show notes. See you there!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Flowerfarm.com, is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected growers to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at flowerfarm.com. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.

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

Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 734,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Flattered; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 507: Slow Flowers Summit Preview with Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Emily Saeger on Sustainable Farming x Floral Design

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

The Slow Flowers Summit is one month away — it’s really impossible to believe as I speak that sentence, especially after having to postpone the 2020 Summit, which would have been our fourth consecutive year holding a live, in-person gathering to celebrate Slow Flowers Society and American Flowers Week.

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

Alas, as each of you knows, little took place last year. However, as we entered 2021, with the availability of vaccinations and some incredibly creative event planning by Karen Thornton, our Summit event manager along with the leadership at Filoli Historic House & Garden, we now can joyously proclaim that the Slow Flowers Summit 2021 will take place on June 28-30th.

You have met many of our speakers on past episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast, but in the coming weeks you will hear from several others. Consider this an introduction and a preview of their presentations coming up.

Today, I invited two of the three panelists who are part of Sustainable Farming x Floral Design – what I envisioned as a conversation about how sustainable farming practices influence design choices, aesthetics and style. Hear each presenter’s personal journey through farming to floral design, and enjoy visual inspiration as each demonstrates a signature arrangement using all locally-grown seasonal flowers.​

Sustainable Farming x Floral Design Panel
The Slow Flowers Summit’s Sustainable Farming x Floral Design Panel (from left): Emily Saeger, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Molly Culver

Kellee Matsushita-Tseng will be moderating the panel, joined by Emily Saeger and Molly Culver. Today’s episode features a conversation with Kellee and Emily. Molly was unable to join us but I have a bonus for you — links to Molly’s past appearances on the Slow Flowers Podcast:
Episode 172: Brooklyn Grows Flowers! Meet Molly Oliver Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers
Episode 412: The Flowering of Brooklyn with Molly Oliver Flowers
Episode 451: From Grower to Designer to Consumer: How two floral models are changing and adapting, with Yvonne Ashton of Mayesh Wholesale Florist and Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers

First, I’ll tell you a bit more about Kellee and Emily – and then we will jump right into the conversation:

Kellee Matsushita-Tseng is a queer, fourth generation Japanese-Chinese farmer. They are an educator and instructor at CASFS (The Center For Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems) at UC Santa Cruz, training folks to grow a variety of fabulous fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They train growers in flower production, design, and sales for fresh markets and special events. They believe that cut flowers should be accessible to everyone, both for their cultural and spiritual significance, as well as for their beauty and sensory delight. Kellee is delighted to be part of creating a flower movement that is rooted in social and environmental justice. They are currently enamored by our native Matilija poppies, and excited to continue exploring design possibilities with other great natives.
Follow KELLEE on Instagram @bravenewseed

Emily Saeger is a Filoli Horticulture Alumni and currently pursuing a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington. She has eight years of horticultural experience blend production agriculture, landscape maintenance, garden and floral design.  She has worked for several notable Bay Area farms including, Fifth Crow Farm, Bluma Farm and Hidden Villa.
Prior to entering the Landscape Architecture program in the fall of 2020, Emily served as the Lead Horticulturist at Filoli, where she looked after the rose garden, cutting garden and orchard.  Her design aesthetic is a blending of her work experience – foraged and cultivated, wild and formal – always designed with seasonality and senescence in mind.  A strong believer in the healing powers of nature, through her gardens and floral design she hopes to facilitate this connection for all.  
Follow EMILY on Instagram @emilyadelias 

Thank you so much for joining our conversation today! There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com. We are so excited to welcome our attendees to a safe, in-person, COVID-compliant and mostly outdoor setting at Filoli Historic House and Garden. The countdown begins!


A few announcements:

Two gorgeous peony arrangements featuring the floral art of Brandon Scott McLean

If you missed last week’s Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up with Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies and Brandon Scott McLean of East Hill Floral — two peony experts from Homer Alaska — we have the playback video to share with you!

Save the date for our next Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up on June 11th. More details to come but the theme is American Flowers Week!


Our American Flowers Week 2021 artwork from Los Angeles illustrator Jeanetta Gonzales

Speaking of American Flowers Week, which takes place June 28-July 4 each year, we’re heading into our 7th annual campaign! I want to share an invitation specifically for flower farmers who may be planning a special promotion, pop-up sale, workshop or other way to celebrate American Flowers Week. I’ll be writing a story about what flower farmers are doing during the campaign for an upcoming issue of Growing For Market — and I’m looking for ways to feature you and your plans. Please get in touch if you have something in the works! You can shoot me a note at debra@slowflowers.com.


And finally, we have just drawn the winners for the May 12th book giveaway featuring Niki Irving’s new book, Growing Flowers. Niki is a longtime Slow Flowers member, a farmer-florist and owner of Flourish Flower Farm in Asheville, North Carolina. We discussed Growing Flowers, her first-ever book, and issued a giveaway challenge to our listeners. Thanks to the generous donation from Mango Publishing, we have two copies to give away to listeners. We asked you to post a photo of one or more of the flowers you are growing, and use the #growingflowrs hashtag, as well as tagging @flourishflowerfarm@slowflowerssociety and @mangopublishing. We rounded up all of your posts and did a random drawing for the two books. Congratulations to Jenni Hulburt and Flower Folly Farm. We’ll be in touch to get your addresses for receiving a free copy of Growing Flowers. I know you’ll enjoy Niki’s new book!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors:

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.

The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 730,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Heartland Flyer; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 506 Great News about a new Regional Wholesale Hub with Old Dominion Flower Cooperative

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
flowers at Old Dominion Flower Cooperative
Spring selection of blooms at Old Dominion Flower Cooperative

I’ve documented the emergence and rise of regional wholesale flower hubs for more than a decade — you’ve heard it all on the Slow Flowers Podcast!

We have witnessed, encouraged and featured on the Slow Flowers Podcast numerous other regional efforts to bring flowers from the field to the florist and consumer in innovative ways — from legal cooperatives to privately-held wholesaler operations; from casual meet-ups to marketing collectives.

My deepest ties are with the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative whose origins date to 2010 when a group of growers came together at a regional ASCFG meeting held at Charles Little & Co. in Eugene, Oregon. Fortunately, I was there and witnessed those first, ambitious, optimistic conversations that yielded what we here in Seattle enjoy today. At the time, there were only two other models to which the founders of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market could look: Oregon Flower Growers Association, which has a long history in the Portland market, having been founded in the 1940s; and Fair Field Flowers, a small but mighty collective of Wisconsin and Illinois growers serving Madison and Milwaukie florists. Fair Field Flowers ceased operating as a collective on January 1, 2019, but many of the flower farmers who participated still grow and sell flowers; just independently.

And now, we have a new example to highlight. Let’s welcome two of the founders of Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, a Washington, D.C.-area local flower cooperative.

Flowers for springtime at Old Dominion Flower Cooperative
Seasonal bouquets and growers’ bunches

My guests are Melissa Webster, founder, and Megan Wakefield, director of operations — two growers who are part of this group that launched publicly at the end of January.  Soon thereafter, Old Dominion joined Slow Flowers Society and reached out to introduce themselves. Here are some statistics from a few months ago — I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers have grown in all categories:

  • 22 farms within 90 miles of Great Falls, VA
  • 85+ years of combined cut flower production experience
  • 40+ acres under production 
  • 100% female 

Old Dominion Flower Cooperative is a community marketplace that brings together local growers, designers, and flower lovers by providing top-quality, seasonal, sustainable, diverse, and locally-grown cut flowers and foliages. They aim to make these floral products accessible to designers and the public, while also respecting the efforts of their local farming community. 

Flowers and people
Old Dominion Flower Cooperative is a community-based hub for growers and florists in Northern Virginia, West Verginia, Maryland and the Distirict of Columbia

Old Dominion Flower Cooperative started in the winter of 2020 with a series of conversations led by local flower growers and floral designers in the greater D.C.-area about how to fill a gap they saw in the local floral industry. They identified that a lot of fantastic flower growers in the area were having trouble breaking into the wholesale market and even more designers and flower shops that want to use local flowers but were having a hard time finding consistent sources of blooms.

With an emphasis on education and high-quality floral product Old Dominion started a six-week training program for member farmers in March. Taught by their mentor Barbara Lamborne from Greenstone Fields and Laura Beth Resnick from Butterbee Farm, topics covered include harvesting, quality control, growing for designers, and conditioning.

I’m excited to share this conversation with you today. Before we get started, let me tell you a little more about Megan Wakefield (left) and Melissa Webster (right)

Melissa Webster is the owner of Old Soul Flower Company. She has been growing for her community for over eight years and is passionate about good stewardship of the land. Melissa received her M.A. from Georgian Court University where she studied food access; soon after she was the farm manager at Common Good City Farm in downtown Washington DC. Melissa spent time as the education director at National Farmers Union where she worked with farmers around the country. Melissa is a strong advocate for beginning and female producers. Melissa owned Ladybell Farms in West River MD, before moving to Great Falls, VA in 2019 with her husband (Ben) and three dogs (Riley, Brixton, and Bean).

Megan Wakefield is the owner of Walking Wild Gardens, based in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. She started gardening with her grandmother when young and later owned a small herbal shop on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She says her love of gardening, plants, tea, and herbs are all due to her grandmother’s influence. In law school, Megan started getting interested in where her food came from. As a first-year lawyer, she started volunteering on a local farm on weekends. Soon, she was hooked and left her 9-5 legal job to work on farms.
Today, Megan owns Walking Wild Gardens. She teaches gardening workshops, offers consultations, blends tea and builds beautiful gardens. In the end, everything I do is about building relationships with plants.

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today! We are committed to nurturing this new business model for wholesale flower hubs and the stories continue.

Find and follow Old Dominion Flower Cooperative on Instagram and Facebook


Join this week’s Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up

Beth Van Sandt (left) and Brandon Scott McLean (right)
Slow Flowers Meet-Up Logo Art

We have a very special Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up coming up very soon and I want to give you all the details.

It’s all about PEONIES and we’re meeting virtually – on Zoom – as we’ve done for more than a year, folks! Join me, Friday, May 21st – 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern and meet two Slow Flowers members from Alaska’s peony country! Grower Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies  and designer Brandon Scott McLean of East Hill Floral will share their knowledge and talents — and introduce us to the upcoming Alaska peony season. Beth and Brandon will come to us LIVE from the greenhouse at East Hill Floral. Learn about the selection, cultivation and post-harvest “best practices” for peonies from Beth. Watch an inspired floral design demonstration from Brandon!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors:

Our first sponsor thanks goes to Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

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


Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 727,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

A Palace of Cedar; On Our Own Again; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 505: Growing Flowers with Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
Niki and William (left); Niki Irving (right), photographed at Flourish Flower Farm

Let’s welcome Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm of Asheville, N.C., a longtime Slow Flowers member, a flower farmer, florist, educator and now, author.

Just-picked North Carolina flowers, so beautiful! Photographed at Flourish Flower Farm.

Niki and her husband William own a nine-acre specialty cut flower farm nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Niki farms more than 300 varieties of cut flowers and foliage and creates seasonally-inspired designs for weddings and special events. She sells her flowers wholesale both locally and nationally, motivated by  a belief that flowers make the world a more beautiful, joyful place.

Just released: “Growing Flowers,” by Niki Irving

Let’s jump into the conversation and talk all about Niki’s new book, “Growing Flowers.”

Niki (right) and a floral display at Flourish Flower Farm (left)

Enjoy these photos of Niki, a talented farmer-florist, and read through the Table of Contents to help you see the range of comprehensive information Niki shares in her new book.

Click here to order a signed copy from Niki

Find and follow Flourish Flower Farm at these social places.

Flourish Flower Farm on Facebook

Flourish Flower Farm on Instagram

A charming “Goody Box,” available from Niki’s website. Order details here.

Thanks to the generous donation from Niki’s publisher, we have two copies to give away to listeners. Here are the instructions:

  • Post a photo of one or more flowers you are growing and be sure to use the hashtag #growingflowers
  • Follow & tag @flourishflowerfarm, @slowflowerssociety and @mangopublishing.
  • We’ll gather up all of the posts on May 21st and announce the book recipients in our May 26th episode of Slow Flowers Podcast. Can’t wait to see your photos!

Camellia Faire’s concept for the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit 2021
More of Maura’s beautiful inspiration . . .

Before we meet our featured guest, I want to share a short bonus conversation with Maura Feeney of Camellia Faire Floral Studio, based in Philadelphia. You may know this talented floral artist by her former studio name Maura Rose Events, now rebranded as Camellia Faire.

Maura is a returning designer at this year’s PHS Philadelphia Flower Show and Slow Flowers is supporting her installation. Currently, she is seeking Slow Flower member growers to provide blooming plants to use at their exhibit called Rooted + Gathered. Maura isn’t asking for a donation — she has a budget to purchase the plants, and you’ll have promotional credit and receive photography from the exhibit. Check out details above and reach out to Maura at info@camelliafaire.com.


We’ve been talking all about floral books this week and so here’s another chance to participate in an online contest and win a copy of my new book Where We Bloom.

Details Flowers Software, one of our Resource section sponsors for the book is running a Where We Bloom Instagram Giveaway for the month of May.

Details challenges you to share your creative studio space by posting a photo on IG with the hashtag #wherewebloomdetails. Three top winners will receive a copy of Where We Bloom along with a FREE subscription to Details software.

Follow these rules to enter:


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Thank you to Red Twig Farms, based in Johnstown, Ohio, a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

Our next sponsor thanks 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. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.


Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 724,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Donnalee; Entwined Oddity; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 504 A Conversation with Jennifer Jewell, host of public radio’s Cultivating Place and capstone presenter at the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Jennifer Jewell, author, radio host and garden advocate

I’m delighted to welcome back return guest Jennifer Jewell to the Slow Flowers Podcast for our lovely, wide-ranging conversation about what defines a garden, where those gardens are, who are the gardeners who tend to them and how we are both emerging from 2020 with a much clearer understanding of the roles women play in making the earth a better, safer, more inclusive and accessible place for all.

Jennifer Jewell, creator and host of “Cultivating Place: Conversations on the Natural World and the Human Impulse to Garden”

Here’s a bit more about Jennifer:
She is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. She is the host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden.

Jennifer is particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture. Her work has appeared in Gardens Illustrated and House & Garden, among others. She formerly served as the native plant garden curator for the Gateway Science Museum at California State University at Chico.

Her book, The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants was published in 2020.


A selection of my favorites from Jennifer’s newest book, Under Western Skies:

From Under Western Skies, “Silicon Valley and Nature Renurtured,” featuring the gardens of Ronald Koo and Miwa Hayash’s Los Altos garden, designed by Leslie Bennett of Pine House Edible Gardens (c) Caitlin Atkinson
“Boise Valley,” the garden of Mary Ann and Delos Newcomer (c) Caitlin Atkinson
“Palouse Garden,” designed by Suzanne St. Pierre and Scotty Thompson (c) Caitlin Atkinson

Jennifer’s newest book (produced with photographer Caitlin Atkinson) is Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast, available from Timber Press next week.

Subscribe to Cultivating Place here

Find and follow Jennifer Jewell at these social places:

Cultivating Place on Facebook and Instagram

Listen to our past episodes featuring Jennifer Jewell:

Episode 397: On Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden with Jennifer Jewell of Public Radio’s Cultivating Place

Episode 443: Women at Work: Making a Living While Following Your Plant Passion, with author Jennifer Jewell and three of the 75 women profiled in her new book, “The Earth in Her Hands”


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

And there is still time to register for the Slow Flowers Summit to join me, Jennifer Jewell, and a fabulous lineup of designers, floral artists, sustainable growers, writers, thinkers and doers, and kindred spirits in the progressive floral community. The Summit takes place June 28-30 in the SF Bay Area and we will have an all-open-air conference with covid-compliant precautions in place. Hope to see you there!


The May Slow Flowers Newsletter just dropped this week and if you haven’t found it in your in-box, here is the link. Two highlights include a link to our full report on the Cut Flower questions that Slow Flowers underwrote as part of the 2021 National Gardening Survey — as you may recall, we featured this study recently in Episode 502.

Grower Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies  and designer Brandon Scott McLean of East Hill Floral 

And you can find a preview and more details about our MAY Slow Flowers Member “Virtual” Meet-Up — Meet two Slow Flowers members from Alaska’s peony country! Grower Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies  and designer Brandon Scott McLean of East Hill Floral will share their knowledge and talents — and introduce us to the upcoming Alaska peony season. Beth and Brandon will come to us LIVE from the greenhouse at East Hill Floral. Learn about the selection, cultivation and post-harvest “best practices” for peonies from Beth. Watch an inspired floral design demonstration from Brandon!

*New date (this month only) Friday, May 21st – 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

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.

The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.


Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 722,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Dance of Felt; Skyway; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com