Debra Prinzing

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Episode 523: Vashon Island Flowers, Part Two: Meet Halee Dams of Marmol Farm

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

I’m excited to share Part Two of my visit to Vashon Island and introduce you to Halee Dams of Marmol Farm. Halee describes herself as a small-scale grower who uses organic and earth-friendly practices.

Halee with her flowers
Marmol Farm’s Hallee Dams with her flowers

She has a farm stand and a flower truck and she supplies private customers and Island shoppers through a retail partner on Vashon Island.  The name Marmol Farm comes from Halee’s great-grandparents Agnes and Martin Marmol. They were dairy farmers in Canada (where she’s from) and she likes to think they’re the inspiration for her love of farming.

Halee and Russell
My visit to Marmol Farm, where Halee Dams and her son Russell welcomed me on a recent September morning

Halee is also a mother to two-year-old Russell and a palliative care social worker. She’s balancing quite a lot and I know many of you can relate to the demands of trying to do it all well. I found Halee’s attitude refreshing as we discussed the so-called work-life balance (does that really exist?). Anyone who’s flower farming as a side hustle or while also raising children will definitely related to her story!

The tiny flower stand at Marmol Farm
The tiny flower farmstand at Marmol Farm in the Dockton community on Vashon Island
Rosie the flower truck
Rosie, the flower truck, which will soon appear at flower pop-ups with Halee — both on Vashon Island and in the greater Seattle area

Last week I visited Vashon Island, Washington and featured Part One of my two-part series about island flower farming with Alyssa O’Sullivan of Sweet Alyssum Farm. You can check out that episode here.

Dried flowers
Dried flowers, grown and preserved by Halee for a wedding she recently designed
Wedding
The wedding — Halee’s first! Designed for friends who wed in Stehekin, a remote community in Central Washington reached only by a ferry boat

Here’s more about Halee: By training, she is a social worker whose career has mostly been involved in hospice and inpatient palliative medicine. These days, she combines social work with parenting a 2-year-old-son.

Halee believes in local, sustainable flowers and is proudly floral-foam free. she is a member of Slow Flowers, and tries to grow her flowers in a way that is regenerative to the earth. Marmol Farm is a certified wildlife habitat and Halee is an ambassador of the Growing Kindness Project.

Follow Marmol Farm on Instagram

Sign up for the Marmol Farm newsletter here

Thank you so much for joining us today. I’d love to hear from you about the addition of video interviews to the Slow Flowers Podcast. My visit to meet Halee Dam on her farm is the eighth video “Vodcast” and I’ve learned a lot about how to produce, record and share content with you in a new way! But I’m eager for feedback, so please post a comment in the show notes or shoot me an email at debra@slowflowers.com. I hope to hear from you!


Channel Your Inner Fashionista

I want to remind you that it’s time to apply to create a botanical couture look for American Flowers Week 2022!

Slow Flowers will Commission at least FIVE Floral Couture Looks for our 2022 American Flowers Week Collection. We’re soliciting proposals from farmer-florist creative teams for this campaign. Those submitting must be active Slow Flowers members. Consideration will be made for specific new regions and botanical elements not previously featured. We have special focus on inclusion and representation! The selected Botanical Couture fashions will be published in our 2022 Summer Issue of Slow Flowers Journal.

For the 2022 Application, you will be asked to submit a Mood Board or Pinterest Board to express your concept. You will also be asked to write a description of your construction methods and mechanics to be used. This is all to ensure that you will be able to execute the design for photography and publication. Please reach out to debra@slowflowers.com with any questions. As a bonus, we recorded a webinar earlier this year with tips and techniques shared by past American Flowers Week creative teams. I’ll share the webinar link for you to watch –you can find it in today’s show notes, too! Can’t wait to see the floral fashions that we’ll publish in 2022!


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.

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo bar

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

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.


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 764,000 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 in her cutting garden
In the #slowflowerscuttinggarden (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Game Hens; 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 522: Vashon Island Flowers, Part One: A Visit to Sweet Alyssum Farm and a conversation with Alyssa O’Sullivan

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Last week I took a short ferry ride from the mainland – from Tacoma’s Pt. Defiance – to Vashon Island, Washington, a beautiful, evergreen place with deep agricultural roots and people who love both living among nature and having relatively quick access to the urban settings of Seattle and Tacoma. I actually look at Vashon Island everyday from my upstairs office window — across Puget Sound to the west. I don’t get there often enough, but before summer came to an end, I wanted to schedule an afternoon visiting two Vashon Island-based Slow Flowers members on their flower farms.

Alyssa O'Sullivan
Alyssa O’Sullvan of Sweet Alyssum Farm on Vashon Island, Washington (c) Rylea Foehl @familieswhofarm

And so, today you’ll enjoy Vashon Island Flowers, Part One, my visit to meet Alyssa O’Sullivan of Sweet Alyssum Farm, and next week, I’ll introduce you to island flower grower Halee Dams of Marmol Farms during Part Two.

Alyssa O'Sullivan in her sunflower field
Alyssa in the sunflower field (c) Rylea Foehl, @familieswhofarm

Meeting them and enjoying a glorious change of scenery, not to mention personal field tours, inspiring conversations and 2 ferry rides, was just the thing I needed to re-center my mind and remind me about why I care so much about nurturing and supporting the Slow Flowers Movement and its members through content like you’ll enjoy today.

recent bouquets from Sweet Alyssum Farm
Recent floral bouquets from Sweet Alyssum Farm

Alyssa is the owner and founder of Sweet Alyssum Farm, which grows specialty cut flowers to nurture creativity within the local floral community on Vashon Island and beyond. Her focus on sustainability nurtures the earth, animals and people these flowers touch along the way. 

U-Pick flowers at Sweet Alyssum Farm
U-Pick flowers at Sweet Alyssum Farm

As a small, creatively-run farm, Sweet Alyssum shares flowers through several outlet, including:

  • Market bouquets at local farmers markets
  • flowers for weddings and events
  • bouquets for several local food CSAs
  • and special order arrangements
Prolific blooms
A prolific harvest at Sweet Alyssum Farm

I know you’ll enjoy our conversation as Alyssa describes the many ways she and her partner are creating multiple income channels to sustain their livelihoods on their beautiful property.

Here is a link to Alyssa’s essay “Why Flowers,” which she wrote last year for Slow Flowers Journal online

camping at Sweet Alyssum Farm
Imagine!! Camping at Sweet Alyssum Farm

Thank you so much for joining us today. Did you catch the details about on-farm camping at Sweet Alyssum Farm? Right now, for $35/night, two guests can settle into a spot there on Vashon Island. Alyssa books campers through a website called Hipcamp.com. I checked out her listing, which sounds just like the farm looks: Sweet Alyssum is located on 12 acres of sloping fields set against a tall, forested backdrop, and only a 5 minute walk from restaurants, shopping, bars and groceries. Level campsites are spaced around the property, each with a fire pit and picnic table. There is a communal central deck for campers’ use, with a water spigot, power outlet and sink, plus a propane stove and some cooking utensils. While the working farm fields are not open to campers, the flowers serve as a terrific backdrop. And, there’s always the You-Pick flower patch and farm stand at the entrance of the property, open for shopping, picture-taking and flower-picking seasonally.

Tempted? Click here to book your camping trip soon!


Rebecca Raymond and Gina Thresher
Meet Rebecca Raymond, EMC, of Rebecca Raymond Floral (left) and Gina Thresher, AIFD, EMC, of From the Ground Up Floral (right)

Slow Flowers Meet-Up Logo Art Please join us this Friday, September 10th, when we resume our monthly Virtual Slow Flowers Member Meet-Ups, after a summer vacation. The time is 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern, as we welcome Rebecca Raymond, EMC, of Rebecca Raymond Floral and Gina Thresher, AIFD, EMC, of From the Ground Up Floral who will share tips for planning and executing a successful Styled Shoot!  They will give attendees an inside peek at their new webinar, The Ins and Outs of Styled Shoots, which covers best practices for the entire Creative Process of producing a collaborative Styled Shoot. Bonus: Gina and Rebecca are extending a $100 off discount to Slow Flowers members who sign up via this course link and they will also share a few other surprises!
Follow this link to pre-register for the session. You can always find the link in our Instagram profile at slowflowerssociety, as well. And PS, we know this is a busy holiday week, with lots of weddings and also Rosh Hoshanah! So rest assured, you will be able to find the replay video of our Meet-Up on YouTube later in the month.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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.

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo 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.

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.

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


(c) Mary Grace Long photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 762,000 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 Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

LaBranche; Cottonwoods; 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 521 Lessons from a Young Flower Farmer and a Visit to Pops Flowers with owner Vanessa Vancuren

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

I’m so excited to introduce today’s guest, Vanessa Vancuren of Pop’s Flowers, based in Edgewood, Washington. Click below to watch the farm tour and interview, recorded on August 23, 2022.


Vanessa Vancuren of Pops Flowers
Dahlias of the season (left) and flower farmer Vanessa Vancuren of Pop’s Flowers
The log cabin at Pop's Flowers
Sunflowers frame the view of the log house at Pop’s Flowers

I visited Vanessa last week to record a video tour of her flower farm, which is based on a two-acre parcel complete with a solid log cabin. Here’s the delightful surprise — she is literally 12 miles from my suburban home (we’re both situated between Seattle and Tacoma) and visiting Pop’s Flowers truly feels like a trip to the country. What an incredible find — and you’ll love seeing what Vanessa and her husband Garrett Burns have created in just two seasons.

Flower Stand and Vanessa Vancuren
The Saturday Flower Stand at Pop’s Flowers (left) and Vanessa Vancuren (right)

I sat down with Vanessa to talk about her business, which she describes as in its young-teenager phase! It’s a great conversation. Before we get to that, here’s some background on Pop’s Flowers.

Vanessa and Garrett
Garrett and Vanessa (c) Angie Arms Photography

Vanessa is an old soul, a millennial, a floral entrepreneur and an artist with a background in photography. Her partner Garrett is naturally curious, has a humanitarian heart and a car enthusiast, who is also now an accidental flower farmer. The Pop of Pop’s Flowers is CP aka Clarence Paul Reardon, Vanessa’s 94-year-old grandfather, and inspiration for this business. Pops is a widowed WWII Veteran, an avid gardener and homesteader and a retired cabinetmaker/woodworker.

flowers and Vanessa with Pops
Vanessa with Pop, the flower farm’s namesake and inspiration (right)

In 2017, Pops gave his garden to Vanessa and she began to grow flowers and sell them in a hyper-local channel – their local Facebook community in the Edgewood, Milton, and Fife, Washington, located between Seattle and Tacoma.

From 2017 to 2019, all the flower proceeds went to Pop, helping him with household costs and home repairs.

In 2020, Vanessa and Garrett found their own modern homestead, not too far from Pop’s house. And you’ll hear the rest of the story as we meet Vanessa.

pops flowers website

Thank you so much for joining us today! You’re hearing this episode on September 1st and this is the day that Pop’s Flowers opens their new online store, designed to make shopping for local flowers in the South Puget Sound region just as convenient as ordering from a traditional florist. As Vanessa explained, working with Anna Krumpos, a new member of the team who will serve as designer, Pop’s flowers will be transformed into arrangements for everyday orders for delivery on Thursdays or Saturdays, featuring 100% local and American-grown flowers, including those grown at Pop’s Flowers. I’ll share all the links for you to check it out and follow along on Vanessa and Garrett’s beautiful journey.

Join Pop’s Flowers on Facebook

Follow Pop’s Flowers on Instagram

Watch Pop’s Flowers on YouTube


Slow Flowers News

As I mentioned, it’s September — how did that happen so quickly! I want to share a few opportunities for you to connect with me and the Slow Flowers Society. First, I’m heading off right after Labor Day to Missoula, Montana, where I will speak at the Montana Cut Flower Conference on Wednesday, September 8. I’ll be sharing insights on the cultural, consumer and marketplace shifts in the U.S. floral industry, and I’m excited to reconnect with some of my favorite flower friends, including our members who will also be speaking — including Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat and Lindsay Irwin of Bitterroot Flowers. You’ll hear more, I’m sure, because the recorder and video camera are traveling with me.

Slow Flowers Meet-Up Logo Art

On Friday, September 10th, we’ll be resuming our Virtual Slow Flowers Member Meet-Ups, after a summer vacation.

Designed as a member forum for connecting with one another in the early days of the Pandemic (remember then? back in April and May 2020?) the Meet-Up has evolved into a way for Slow Flowers members to share their knowledge and learn from one another.

Our September guests will be focused on the why, what, how and art of Styled Shoots. Click here to pre-register. See you there!


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.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

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

More sponsor thanks:

Flowerfarm.com. FlowerFarm is 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. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.

The 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.

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches. Today, we welcome Lindsay and Joshua McCullough of Red Twig Farms as Slow Flowers Society’s newest Major Sponsor. We’re excited for some fun collaborations in the year to come. You can learn more at www.redtwigfarms.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 760,000 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 in her garden
(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Color Country; 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 520: Visit Kris Bennett, gardener-florist at Bennett Botanical Garden and KRISanthemums in Hermiston, Oregon

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

Today, we visit the gardens and workshop of longtime Slow Flowers member Kris Bennett of KRISanthemums, a full-service floral design studio that is situated at Bennett Botanical Gardens, Kris’s five-acre garden and wedding venue in Eastern Oregon. I’ve finally placed Hermiston on the map — it’s close to Walla Walla, Washington and Pendleton Oregon — a beautiful place in the Pacific Northwest. We’re going to enjoy a video tour of Bennett Botanical Gardens that Kris recorded for us yesterday, and then meet Kris in her design studio to see her create an arrangement while we talk.

Kris Bennett of KRISanthemums

Having been raised among tulips, daffodils and dahlias in Washington, Kris learned at a young age the beauty of flowers. In high school, she interned in a local flower shop; then she moved east to study at WSU, married and eventually settled a bit south to Eastern Oregon.

Her floral journey includes studying with top designers including Paula Pryke, Ariella Chezar, Max Gill, David Beahm, Amy Osaba, Alicia Swede, Francoise Weeks, Holly Chapple and others.

Bennett Botanical Garden, a private garden and wedding venue

KRISanthemum’s 750 sq. ft. studio is located within walking distance of Kris’s home and beautiful landscape. She likes to say, “When I need encouragement or inspiration I can walk outside the studio doors and harvest branches, blooms or enter the greenhouse to see what’s in bloom.”

two bouquets by Kris Bennett
Two bouquets designed by Kris Bennett of KRISanthemums
The Sunflower and Apple Bouquet, which Kris designed for us during the interview

A bonus for our podcast listeners. In celebration of our Slow Flowers Podcasts 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format — calling it the Slow Flowers Show — 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. Last Wednesday, August 18th, I hosted Kris on our video platform. You can find the replay of that conversation in today’s show notes. You’ll want to check it out because we included a 9-minute video tour that Kris recorded — to introduce us to Bennett Botanical Gardens. For anyone who’s interested in creating a wedding and event component to their farm or property, you’ll be impressed by what Kris and her husband have developed!

2 weddings by Kris Bennett
Two wedding bouquets, designed by Kris Bennett; left @westernweddingmagazine; right @donnailinphoto

Thank you so much for joining me! Kris designed a beautiful arrangement during our video interview, and you can see her process during the video. Check out photos of the finished design, along with a gallery of other KRISanthemums designs.

Find and follow Kris Bennett of KRISanthemums:
KRISanthemums on Facebook
KRISanthemums on Instagram
KRISanthemums on Pinterest


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.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

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

Roadie, an on-demand delivery company offering affordable same-day and scheduled delivery. With a network of friendly, local drivers who handle each delivery with care, and one-on-one support from a designated account manager, Roadie guarantees a smooth and reliable delivery experience–from pickup to delivery. And with no contract commitment, you only pay for what you need, when you need it. Sign up for your first delivery at Roadie.com/slowflowers and use promo code slowflowers–that’s one word–to get five dollars off.


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 758,000 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 in her garden
(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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:

Fern and Andy; 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 519: A Bloom-Filled visit to floral icon Françoise Weeks’ studio and to Sid Anna Sherwood’s flower farm

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce Françoise Weeks and Sid Anna Sherwood. In celebration of our Slow Flowers Podcasts 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format — calling it the Slow Flowers Show — 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. In addition to finding the show notes for this episode at debraprinzing.com, you can watch the replay of our video interview, including some special floral design ideas and a show-and-tell of just-harvested blooms from our guests’ studio and farm.

Listen or Watch the conversation

Françoise Weeks is a past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast on a few occasions. She is known for teaching botanical couture around the world.  Today, we’ll discuss one of her dreams — to teach a workshop combined with students picking their own design ingredients at a flower farm and collecting woodland materials in a forest.

Sid Anna Sherwood of Annie's Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington
Sid Anna Sherwood of Annie’s Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington

And thanks to the imagination of farmer-florist Sid Anna Sherwood, owner of Annie’s Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, that dream will be a reality later this month.

Long-time Slow Flowers member Sid Anna is a nature-inspired flower farmer and florist who creates beautiful and lush arrangements with the flowers she grows.

Through Sweet Annie’s Floral Design, she offers wedding florals, sells DIY wedding flowers and supplies hand-tied market bouquets to CSA customers and to local neighborhood grocery outlets.

Sid Anna grows more than 300 varieties of cut flowers using organic and sustainable methods.

Inspiring florist and floral educator Francoise Weeks (c) Jamie Bosworth photograph

Françoise Weeks, a floral design icon, was born in Belgium and started her business in 1996. She has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following.

Francoise in Earth in Her Hands
Françoise Weeks, featured in Jennifer Jewell’s beautiful book: The Earth in Her Hands

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon. Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to many cities in the US in studios, at wholesalers, at garden clubs, Art in Bloom events and conferences, including at AIFD Symposium. She also taught in Mexico, Canada, England, Sweden, Iceland, France, China and Australia.

In 2019 she was invited to participate at two international flower events in Belgium: Flower Time at city hall in Brussels and Fleuramour at the medieval castle in Alden Biesen.

Her dynamic work has been published in national and international publications such as Nacre, Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.

Françoise teaches and offers online courses, including Zoom workshops. And she is the author of “The Herbal Recipe Keeper” published by Timber Press in 2018.

Francoise Weeks workshop details

The two women have teamed up to offer a Françoise Weeks Botanical Couture and Woodland Workshop, a four-day floral retreat taking place August 22-26 in the historic town of Port Townsend, Washington. Students will stay at the 416-acre Fort Worden in an restored residence, with meals and lodging, as well as all materials and instruction included in the workshop price. The beach of the Salish Sea is steps away and hiking trails are nearby.

Françoise will cover botanical headpieces, purses and jewelry, as well as woodland design centerpieces. A model and a photographer will capture each student’s work for use in their portfolio. 

Last week, we scheduled and recorded a 3-way call to visit and talk with both Francoise and Sid Anna. Both have some lovely show-and-tell to share, as they discuss their creative practices and inspire us with botanical couture and woodland designs, as well as just-picked seasonal flowers.

Thank you so much for joining our conversation. As Sid Anna mentioned there are a few more spaces for students needing lodging and day students who might want to attend from close by. And I’m excited to see what happens when a flower farmer and floral designer collaborate. This approach is truly the heart of the Slow Flowers Movement and Sid Anna and Françoise are modeling a creative partnership that each of us should emulate.


Bonus Content for You

If you’re looking for some inspiring summer reading material, I have a few things to share — free to you — and you can find the links below.

floral details at slow flowers summit
Floral details at the Slow Flowers Summit (c) Jenny M. Diaz

First up, you’ll want to read “Flowering Filoli,” just published in the Slow Flowers Journal online — a room-by-room tour of the Slow Flowers Summit floral takeover at Filoli’s historic house.

With detailed photography by Missy Palacol and Jenny M. Diaz, you’ll read about the immersive floral takeover that occurred on day one of the Summit. See the flowers contributed by generous member flower farms and farmer-florists in attendance; and appreciate the floral artistry of our member designers who created installations worthy of the mansion’s grand scale.


Watch my conversation with Garden Design Magazine about our new book Where We Bloom

And if you’re more in the mood to watch something fun, I’ll share the replay video of my Garden Design Magazine Q&A with publisher Jim Peterson, as he hosted me for a conversation about our new book, “Where We Bloom” and tips to design your perfect outdoor getaway space. We featured five of the book’s inventive floral-filled environments as I shared the stories of the designers and their floral pursuits. I’ll share that link in today’s show notes, too — so everything will be easy to find.


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.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

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

Our next sponsor thank you 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.

Our next 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.

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


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 755,000 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 Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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:

Mind Body Mind; Shift of Currents; 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 518 Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Events and HBO’s Full Bloom Season 2

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021
K. Hancock Events
Today’s guest: Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Events

In celebration of our Slow Flowers Podcast’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format — calling it the Slow Flowers Show — 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

Today, you’re in for a real treat as we will meet Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Events, who joined me last week to record this conversation. Kiara is based in Tacoma’s University Place and she is a floral educator and wedding and event florist.

Kiara Hancock on HBO’s Full Bloom Season 2

If, like me, you have just binged on the floral series of the summer, HBO’s Full Bloom, you already know Kiara, who was one of 10 budding floral artists who are put to the test each episode in both individual and team challenges. Floral experts Simon Lycett, Elizabeth Cronin and Maurice Harris serve as hosts and judges determining who gets cut and who remains in the running for the $100,000 grand prize. HBO Max released the series on June 10th.

Kiara Hancock winning design
Kiara’s Episode One winning floral arrangement
Kiara Hancock (second from right) in Full Bloom – Season 2

I reached out to Kiara and asked her to share her story, her experience as a reality TV competitor, and to design for us on camera. She writes this on her website: “I’m a wife, mother to two awesome girls, a wedding designer, floral designer, and day-of coordinator. I believe that modern and romantic designs can coexist in harmony and I aim to bring weddings to life in a way that resonates JOY.”

Kiara’ forte is incorporating passionate and confident designs that seamlessly integrate each couple’s personalities, both as individuals and jointly. Kiara is a pro at the logistics portion of planning, thanks to her background as an administrative professional at some of the Northwest’s most successful companies. Her passion for events stems from not only wanting to make sure that each of her clients’ wedding day runs smoothly and that she deliver something beautiful to the eye, while ensuring the couple feels heard, understood, and seen.

Kiara is a huge advocate of authenticity and she encourages, supports and guides her clients to be true to who they are, fight for the things they want, dream big, and to trust their gut. She adds: “I will never get tired of seeing my designs become part of the tapestry of your wedding day…it does my heart serious good.”

If you haven’t fallen in love with Kiara’s favorite color palette — yellow in all shades, I’d be surprised! We also welcome Kiara Hancock as a new member of the slow flowers society. She’s one to follow, and we admire all that she’s doing to nurture inclusion and representation through her Decency is not Difficult campaign to support ourcommoncause.com.


More news . . .

I know it’s August and that our celebration of 2021 American Flowers Week has passed for this year (the dates were June 28-July 4th), but you’ll want to check out the our new article that appears in Growing For Market’s August issue. Thanks to editor and publisher Andrew Mefferd, who asked me to recap some of the amazing activities that our members produced for American Flowers Week.

Last month, we also jumped in and celebrated the 2021 Canadian Flowers Week (July 15-22), thanks to the support of creator Natasa Kajganic of the Toronto Flower Market who invited Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers and me to do an IG takeover. During the entire week, we virtually traveled across Canada, meeting florists and flower farmers in seven provinces for IG Live conversations about their floral enterprises. Click here to watch those interviews

And thank you to each of our guests:


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.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

Special thanks 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

More thanks goes to 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.

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.

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.


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 753,000 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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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:

Open Flames; 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 517: The Growing Kindness Project and its founder, flower farmer Deanna Kitchen of Twig & Vine

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

In celebration of the Slow Flowers Show’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format on July 21st 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. The video edition of today’s episode aired as the Slow Flowers Show on Wednesday, July 28th, simultaneously broadcast to both YouTube and Facebook Live. See the replay below:

Deanna Kitchen on the Slow Flowers Show

Today’s guest is Deanna Kitchen, flower farmer based in Mt. Vernon, in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle, Washington, where so much great agriculture, especially floral agriculture, is rooted. Deanna and her family grow flowers, livestock and three sons at Twig & Vine Farm, a 10-acre micro-farm with just under 1/4-acres cultivated. As Deanna writes on the farm’s website, “dahlias are the reigning queen here, but we also love to grow unique foliages, vines and whimsical bits like grasses and pods.”

Deanna Kitchen

I visited Twig & Vine a few weeks ago to film a video farm tour with Deanna. For Podcast listeners, you’ll hear our conversation today, as Deanna harvests stems and discusses some of her favorite field crops.

As she shared her story, and the conversation naturally turned to her floral passion and mission: the Growing Kindness Project.

Now an established nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the motivation behind her endeavor is a campaign of kindness that becomes a ripple of goodwill reaching across the world.

Deanna likes to quote the late Anne Frank: No one has ever become poor by giving.

The Growing Kindness Project is working to support anyone who wants to share kindness by growing and giving flowers. It provides support, education, and resources to help participants grow and give flowers, whether they are experienced gardeners or have never planted a single seed; whether they tend to a pot of flowers on a city balcony or produce acres of blooms on a farm, Deanna and her team of Growing Kindness Ambassadors are motivated to help anyone grow kindness in their communities.

(c) Ryleah Foehl Photograph

Thanks for joining our conversation, originally recorded on July 22nd. It was a windy day and I apologize that we had a lot of related audio challenges. Deanna was a great host and I am so grateful she was able to set aside time for me to visit and capture a slice of her world, along with her story.

Find and Follow Twig & Vine on Instagram

Find and Follow The Growing Kindness Project on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining us today! I know I mentioned early in the interview that Deanna and I were planning to sit down and talk more about Growing Kindness, but honestly, we were having such a great flow of conversation, that I didn’t want to interrupt it!

Thanks so much for joining us today! Keep an eye out soon for details about a special Growing Kindness Project event taking place in August, hosted by Holly Chapple at Hope Flower Farm in Leesburg, Virginia, along with Growing Kindness Project’s ambassadors Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Maryland-based Grateful Gardeners. As soon as we have those details, I’ll share them in a future episode. You can also subscribe to updates at the Growing Kindness Project’s website, growingkindnessproject.org.


Hey, I have fabulous news to share with you today. We just learned that the Slow Flowers Podcast received the 2021 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Podcast Series in the Broadcast Media category, presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2021 competition had more than 135 entries in 62 categories. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners in each competition category who will now compete for best of group in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing, and trade.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks to all of you for listening and supporting the Slow Flowers Podcast, and now, the Slow Flowers Show, our video edition, which you can watch every Wednesday live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook Live. I’ll share those links for you in today’s podcast, as well.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 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


Thank you to our Sponsors

This episode 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.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

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.

Roadie.com, the same-day delivery platform that connects you and your flower deliveries with drivers already heading in the right direction. Learn more at Roadie.com.

Flowerfarm.com. FlowerFarm is 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. 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.


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. 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:

Turning on the Lights; Pat Dog; 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 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
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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