Debra Prinzing

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Episode 533: Flowers as Artist’s Muse with TJ McGrath of TJ McGrath Design

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! You are in for a very special treat because I’ve invited TJ McGrath of TJ McGrath Design to join me for a conversation about his flower-filled life. The timing is perfect because we just announced the speaker lineup for the 2022 Slow Flowers Summit and I’m thrilled to tell you that TJ will be one of our guest designers at the 5th annual Slow Flowers Summit, June 26-28, 2020 in Bedford and Pocantico Hills, New York. You can find all the details at slowflowerssummit.com.

I first met TJ McGrath when I interviewed him for a Florists’ Review article about the floral business in New York City. Ironically, that entire New York issue was never printed; it just appeared online because it was the May 2020 issue right smack in the middle of COVID. Click on the link below to read that story.

Two bouquets by TJ
Two expressive and highly individual designs by TJ McGrath
Watch TJ McGrath present at the (virtual) September 2020 Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up

But that experience put TJ on my radar and I regularly admired his floral designs, as he transitioned from working at a retail flower shop to going solo and renaming his IG account @tjmcgrathdesign. We invited TJ to be a guest at last September 2020’s Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up where he shared his unique, fresh, modern approach to foam-free floral designs.​

Dahlias and bananas
A whimsical arrangement, quirky and quite elegant, which TJ designed live during our recorded interview. Yes, there are 3 bananas combined with chocolate dahlias!

TJ’s design philosophy is pretty simple: there are no real rules in nature, so there are no restrictions or rules in his designs. “I strive everyday to push beyond my boundaries and to create one of a kind designs that feel modern, whimsical and fresh. I’m reaching beyond what I’ve done thus far to discover engaging new shapes, color palettes, and foraged organics to design with using advanced floral foam free mechanics,” he says.​

TJ design workshop
TJ’s recent workshop took place at his favorite greenhouse grower, H J Hautau & Sons Florist (c) Jessica Gallo, Fine & Fleurie Photography

Committed to fostering a community that is inclusive as well as environmentally and socially aware. TJ believes a sustainable floristry industry is achievable and it starts at home. He has and continues to seek out and support the local flower farming community where he lives in New Jersey. 

Check the entire program for the Slow Flowers Summit 2022 and meet our amazing speakers, view the schedule, venue, lodging, and registration details — all found at slowflowerssummit.com. Ticket sales open on December 1st with a fabulous discount offered to the first 50 who register. TJ’s presentations include:

  • Sunday, June 26th (Day One), TJ will demonstrate and lead large-scale, freestanding, foam-free floral installations during our “Floral Takeover.” 
  • Monday, June 27th (Day Two), TJ will demonstrate his distinctive take on centerpiece design using all locally-grown botanicals. 

Enjoy Slow Flowers x Small Business Saturday Savings!   

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, so that means coming up this weekend, you have lots of opportunities to save — on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (and Sunday) and Cyber Monday — from November 26-29th. Find all the details and coupon codes here.

Offer #1 — use coupon code SmallBiz20 — valid for 20% off Slow Flowers Mercantile items 11/26-11/29. Right now, you can find books by me, plus American Flowers Week bouquet labels, prints from our favorite artists and lots of Slow Flowers Society merchandise. 

Offer #2 We’ve packaged 9 very special video presentations from the 2021 Slow Flowers Summit, available for purchase for the first time at just $99 (a value of $129). Access 8+ hours of valuable content, including demonstrations and talks by Susan McLeary, Max Gill, Abra Lee, Pilar Zuniga, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Jennifer Jewell, our fantastic Sustainable Farming x Floral Design Panel (Molly Culver, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Emily Saeger) and Teresa Sabankaya!

Offer #3 — Enjoy a $100 discount on my online course, Slow Flowers Creative Workshop: Floral Storytelling, which returns with a January 11, 2022, start date and runs weekly for four weeks. Pre-registration opens this Friday, November 26th. If you register during our Small Business Saturday Weekend (November 26-29) — as a Slow Flowers member or not — you will receive $100 off the course ($297 value), paying only $197. I haven’t offered this course for an entire year and those who sign up will receive a new BONUS MODULE on “Visual and Verbal Storytelling,” which I’m teaching with BLOOM Imprint’s Creative Director Robin Avni. You’ll also receive our 28-page workbook, “The Journey from Blog to Book.” 


Last Call to Take the Member Survey for 2022!

2022 Member Survey Graphic


And here’s your final reminder to take the Slow Flowers Member Survey, which closes on December 3rd. For those who have not yet completed the annual member survey, here’s an enticement. Complete the survey by December 3, 2021 and share your contact information on the survey to be entered into drawings for:

  • Complimentary Slow Flowers Premium Membership for 1 year – Standard member will be upgraded to Premium; if already a Premium member, the next 12 month period from the current renewal date will be complimentary ($249 value)
  • Free Slow Flowers Dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns – June 27, 2022 in Pocantico Hills, New York; does not include Slow Flowers Summit ticket, travel, or accommodations ($350 value)

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.

Our next thank you goes to new sponsor, Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details improves profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at detailsflowers.com.

Our next sponsor 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.

Our final sponsor thanks goes to 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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 788,000 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.

If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at Slow Flowers Society.com and consider making a donation to sustain 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 the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Daymaze; Club Felix; 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

Related posts

Episode 532 Managing growth as a sole-proprietor with farmer-florist Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm and Flowers

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Why is it that we’re supposedly moving into our quieter, perhaps dormant season, but we are doing everything but resting?!

I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, and I wanted to discuss it with you, and bring today’s guest into the conversation.

Please meet Sarah Wagstaff, of SUOT Farm and Flowers, based in Burlington, which is located in Washington State’s Skagit County about halfway between Seattle and the US-Canadian border.

SUOT Farm and Flowers is home to freshly hand-picked flowers and foliage. It’s a no-till urban farm in the hub of Skagit Valley WA, and includes a hugelkultur demonstration garden, education workspace, and floral studio. 

SUOT stands for “Small Units Of Time,” because, as Sarah says, we know that we aren’t able to accomplish everything we want to in one day, but little by little, we will get there together! 

SUOT studio and shop
SUOT Farm and Flowers studio and shop in Burlington, Washington (c) Sara Welch Photo Co.

Since 2015, SUOT Farm and Flowers has been committed to providing our customers with the freshest flowers, local bouquets, and unique arrangements with 100% locally grown, Washington botanicals.

 As an urban micro flower farmer, and farmer-florist, Sarah goes above and beyond for her customers to ensure they know their purchases supports a sustainable, local, woman-owned business.

SUOT website workshops
Workshops at SUOT Farm and Flowers

Sarah’s website for SUOT Farm and Flowers features harvest and holiday workshops coming up in her Burlington Studio, including: in-person garland and wreath-making sessions later this month and in early December.

You can also order her signature 12-ounce white ceramic mug with the black “midday murder logo.” Of course a little tongue in cheek, Sarah encourages friends and customers to join the midday murder club — “make yourself a cuppa tea, then take the rest of the boiling water outside, pour it in some weeds, & channel your murderous death, kill, die thoughts to the weeds (and not your kids/spouse/coworkers)!”

Find and follow SUOT Farm and Flowers
SUOT on Facebook
SUOT on Instagram


Notes and News

I have a couple of program notes to mention before we close. On last Friday, November 12th, we hosted the monthly Slow Flowers member virtual meet-up — and the topic was All About Flower Co-ops & Wholesale Hubs, featuring several members, including our two featured presenters: Connie Homerick of Ohio Cut Flower Collective and Patti Doell of Garden State Flower Cooperative. If you missed the Meet-Up, watch replay video above. It’s filled with lots of education and inspiration!


2022 Member Survey Graphic

Our show notes also includes the link to our just-released Slow Flowers annual member survey, which we’re running through December 3rd. Please take the time to share your feedback and insights, which will be valuable as we plan for 2022 programs, content and resources for you.


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

Thanks 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 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.


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 785,000 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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor and I value our loyal members and supporters! If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at Slow Flowers Society.com and consider making a donation to sustain 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 the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Bridgewalker; 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

Related posts

Episode 531: Coaxing Color and Pigment from the World of Foraged Mushrooms, with Julie Beeler of Bloom & Dye

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! If there’s anything I’ve learned from my publishing partner Robin Avni, creative director of BLOOM Imprint, it’s that some stories are best told visually. And today’s guest is going to immerse us in the visual delight of the natural world’s amazing palette for pigments, dyes and paints.

Please meet Julie Beeler, a farmer-florist and owner of Bloom & Dye, based in Trout Lake, Washington in the Columbia River basin.

Julie is a designer, artist, educator and native Oregonian who grew up with a deep love and curiosity for the natural world. Along with her husband, Brad Johnson, she founded and led Second Story, an interactive design studio in Portland until 2012.

Indigo-dyed textiles
Textiles reflect the range of beautiful blue pigments from the Indigo plants grown by Bloom & Dye

A Trout Lake resident since 2014, she conceived and launched Bloom & Dye in 2018 to grow her work and passion to benefit what she values most: curiosity, education, creativity, collaboration, community, and the environment.

Growth often starts with conversations that lead to an interest in knowing more. For Julie, educating others on how plants and their colors reflect the beauty of nature is something she is moved to share as a way to inspire care, stewardship and impact. When she is not digging in the soil, Julie is working in her art studio or leading workshops.

The Mushroom Color Atlas
Colors of the mushroom world: Julie Beeler’s new project will inspire you to explore mushrooms and the colors they produce
phaeolus_schweinitzii
One detail page that features an illustrated mushroom and the many colors derived from it.

She joined me to introduce her newest amazing project, The Mushroom Color Atlas. Julie gathered a small team of artists and experts to create this free resource. The Mushroom Color Atlas is a reference for anyone and everyone curious about mushrooms and the beautiful and subtle colors derived from them. But it is also the start of a journey and a point of departure, introducing you to the kaleidoscopic fungi kingdom and our connection to it.

Some of you may remember being introduced to Julie and two other talented Slow Flowers members during our April 2021 monthly meet-up – Diving into Dye Plants, with Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas & Gholson Gardens, Lourdes Casañares-Still of Masagana Flower Farm and Tinta Studio and Julie. It was such a fantastic session, and you can watch the replay link above.

I’m so excited that Julie brought this project to life and shared it with our community and anyone who loves plants, the natural world, art and color! And, as we discussed, if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, please come to Julie’s DIY stage presentation at the NW Flower & Garden Festival, Saturday, February 12th at 5 p.m.Colors from the Dye Garden. I’ll see you there!

Bloom and Dye flowers
Dried flowers from the Bloom & Dye gardens and studio, often used in Julie’s workshops, kits and courses.

Places where you can connect with Julie Beeler:
Follow Bloom & Dye on Instagram and Facebook

Follow The Mushroom Color Atlas on Instagram

Workshops at Wildcraft Studio School


It’s a busy week here at the Slow Flowers Society, folks, and I want to draw your attention to two items of note!

Connie and Patti
Connie Homerick of Ohio Cut Flower Collective (left) and Patti Doell of Garden State Flower Cooperative

First, this Friday, November 12th is our Virtual Member Meet-up for November and the theme is a hot topic for sure: All About Flower Co-ops & Wholesale Hubs. Now that the growing season is winding down for many of our members who are flower farmers or farmer-florists, it’s time to reassess and also plan for the future. We’ve heard from so many members and supporters about the desire to form a collective selling hub for your flowers — but the concept may seem daunting. Of course, there are some established models, most notably, the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, now in its 10th year. What about some of the newer groups? We wanted to bring their stories and voices to you in the Meet-Up format.

Click on the Link below to sign up for the Meet-Up. You will receive the log-in details. And the session will go for 90 minutes this time around, beginning at 9 am Pacific/Noon eastern on Friday, November 12th.

Our guests include: Connie Homerick of Ohio Cut Flower Collective (left) and Patti Doell of Garden State Flower Cooperative and their presentations will be followed by a Q&A session after which you’ll be invited to join one of three topic-specific breakout sessions, led by:

Jamie Rogers and Carly Jenkins, Killing Frost Farm & Ali Harrison, Florage Farms (Farmers wholesaling their own and others’ product); Amanda Maurmann, co-founder of the Michigan Flower Growers Co-op and florist Haley Tobias on the multi-owner LLC model representing Old Dominion Flower Cooperative

It will be an info-packed session and we’re so grateful to each of the experts who are joining us to share their knowledge with you!


2022 Member Survey Graphic

Oh, and another item of note that dropped this week — our annual Member Survey. Following up after a fantastic October Member Appreciation Month, we’d love to hear from you. The reason for this survey is to learn how you feel about all of the ways Slow Flowers Society benefits and supports its members, and to hear your new ideas for features, programs and resources that we might consider for the coming year.

One year ago, in the fall of 2020, I’m pleased to say we had 30% member participation, with more than 200 of you taking time to complete the survey. Our membership has grown since then and the Slow Flowers community is now nearly 900 members. We’re hoping to continue to increase the participation in this year’s member survey. To make it worth your time, here’s an enticement. Every Slow Flowers member who completes the survey by December 3, 2021 will be entered into a drawing for two giveaways: 1. Complimentary Premium membership for 1 year, valued at $249; and 2. a dinner ticket to the four-course, farm-to-table dinner on Monday, June 27, 2022 at the famed Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns Center – during the Slow Flowers Summit, valued at $350.

Thanks in advance for sharing your insights and ideas!


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

Thanks to 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.

Thanks to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. Its 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.

Thanks 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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Show is a member-supported endeavor and I value our loyal members and supporters! If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at Slow Flowers Society.com and consider making a donation to sustain 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 the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Heliotrope; 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

Related posts

Episode 530: Encouraging florists to consider a more sustainable business model, a conversation with Libby Francis-Baxter of Baltimore’s The Modest Florist

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021
Watch my wonderful conversation with Libby Francis-Baxter of The Modest Florist

For our final week of October’s Member Appreciation Month, I recorded a terrific interview with longtime Premium member Libby Francis-Baxter, owner of The Modest Florist in Baltimore, Maryland. Libby is one of those constant IG presences in our lives, tagging Slow Flowers Society in her everyday floral posts that show the beautiful arrangements heading out the door of her neighborhood retail flower shop. She’s living her values through and through — and I really wanted to share Libby’s story with you.

Libby Francis-Baxter of The Modest Florist
Libby Francis-Baxter of The Modest Florist, posing with one of her popular holiday arrangements in a recycled vintage green glass vase.

Here’s a bit more about Libby and her cute shop:

Libby Francis-Baxter is known for supplying her community with locally-grown flowers, greens and live plants presented in vintage, reusable and biodegradable containers. Founded in 2013, The Modest Florist was created with sustainability at its core and is committed to environmentally-friendly solutions for the modern floral business. As the hometown florist in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood, it’s a source for a full range of floral services with a modern twist! The Modest Florist is the first florist to be recognized by and listed on the Maryland Department of Energy “Green Registry” and the owner is a LEED Green Associate.

Blue Suede Shoe-planters
Libby is proud of being quirky, a trait synonymous with the neighborhood where The Modest Florist is based.

You’ll also want to check out a few bonus resources, including a recent Q&A with Libby published in Voyage Baltimore

and a feature I wrote about The Modest Florist that appeared in the December 2018 issue of Florists’ Review, for our Slow Flowers Jounal “How I Do It” column — an ongoing feature sharing retail florists’ advice on sourcing locally.
Download the article here

Last week, Libby and I recorded a video interview and you can watch the full episode, including a short, fun video that Libby’s husband took on her farmers’ market shopping excursion. Find that in today’s show notes, too!

English Country Garden by The Modest Florist
Entirely Local! English Country Garden by The Modest Florist

After we recorded our conversation, Libby and I kept corresponding and I wanted to share portions of an email she sent me:

“The pandemic and the current, on-going supply chain issues have highlighted the importance of local sourcing. When the nation went into lockdown in March of 2020, the floral wholesalers shut down.  Conventional florists found themselves without the ability to get flowers from South America and other far off places. Supplies like glassware from China have nearly dried up. Many of our area florists shut down; some for good.

“My experience was exactly the opposite! I shut my door to the public and pivoted to contact-free delivery. I never missed a beat on having flower inventory as I was able to rely on my local greenhouse growers and field flower farmers to do COVID safe pickups. My community knows that I love reused vases. So many folks were stuck at home and cleaning out their kitchen cabinets that I have gotten more vases left outside the shop than ever before!

“I wanted to share my experience as a way to encourage florists to consider a more sustainable business model. As far as I know, I’m the only full-service retail flower shop on the east coast to source only local flowers and plants all year ’round. It’s a challenge and more work but I believe our world needs folks to put planet before profit.

Libby Francis-Baxter, The Modest Florist

 Bonus Interview: Ellen Frost, Local Color Flowers

On this topic, I want to share a bonus interview I also recently recorded with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers. Ellen is a past guest of this podcast, so she will be familiar with you. In keeping with the theme of my interview with Libby, I asked Ellen to talk about her upcoming online course offered through The Gardener’s Workshop. If you think this workshop has your name on it, vheck out the details for Ellen’s course, Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing. The fee is $495, with registration taking place between November 5-9th. That’s coming right up! and the course begins January 3, 2022.


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

We have just wrapped up October, our very successful Member Appreciation Month. The month focused on thanking you, our core community of motivated and mission-driven flower growers, designers, enthusiasts and pioneers in the Slow Flowers Movement.

There’s so much you can look forward to during the month of November, so if you haven’t opened up your Slow Flowers November newsletter, check it out here!

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

More thanks goes to:

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, offering a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists, including Ellen’s upcoming course. 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. 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 780,000 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.

We are a member-supported endeavor and I value our loyal members and supporters! If you’re new to this podcast, check out all of our resources at Slow Flowers Society.com and consider making a donation to sustain 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 the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

For We Shall Know Speed; Hickory Interlude; 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

Related posts

Episode 529: Making Bouquets and talking shop with farmer-florist David Brunton of Maryland-based Right Field Farm

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! As you may know, October is our month to celebrate our Slow Flowers members and one of our goals is to showcase and thank as many of our Premium Level members as possible, our top supporters.

Two beautiful bouquets
Just-picked pastels (left) and vivid hues (right) (c) Jamie Horton Photograph

Today, we’re visiting David Brunton of Right Field Farm in Millersville, Maryland, outside of Annapolis. David is a past guest of this podcast – you can go back to listen to my original interview with him in July 2018 at debraprinzing.com for Episode 529.

david brunton at right field farm
David Brunton facilitated my 2018 tour of Right Field Farm, including a row-by-row walking tour of the botanical highlights.

One key takeaway from my past conversations with David and his wife and partner Lina Brunton, is that they know what and how their farm should work for their family’s lifestyle. On their family farm they grow, design and deliver a mix of perennial and annual flowers in Anne Arundel County, Maryland with an eye toward all the natural beauty the region has to offer. From April to October, Right Field Farm delivers over two hundred varieties of flowers in abundant, garden-inspired hand-tied arrangements. Newsletter customers receive weekly updates during the season with all the latest information, including any specials or pop-up flower sales.

the Brunton family
Growing up! Flowers and kids, with Lina and David Brunton (c) Jamie Horton Photography

They are committed to nurturing the health of their farmland, and tending the thriving ecology that it supports there. In addition to flowers, Right Field Farm is home to laying hens, honeybees, sheep (for wool), dogs (for companionship), and their four children. They don’t use any pesticides – not on their flowers or in their soil – which means Right Field Farm is also home to wild bees and birds and frogs and soil fungi and all manner of woodland critters.

right field farm hand-tied bouquet
A Right Field Farm seasonal bouquet, hand-tied and displayed in a glass jar (c) Jamie Horton Photograph

When I asked David if he would join me on our new video-vodcast channel, he said the timing was perfect. Just a few days ago on Saturday, October 16th, David planned to design for the season’s final week of bouquet deliveries. He joined me on screen, from his beautiful covered porch where he always designs, and produced some epic hand-tied bouquets during our conversation.

Right Field Farm bouquet options
Right Field Farms bouquet options for local Sunday Delivery subscribers or Flower Share customers.

You will love watching him and enjoy all the topics we touched — from deciding what to grow and how to make sure you have plenty to harvest each week of a 26-week-long season for subscribers and a la carte delivery customers — to the story of one family’s flower-based life and business.

RFF flowers
Right Field Farm’s summer bouquet palette (c) Jamie Horton Photograph
Pearl of Opar
RFF’s Pearl of Opar (Talinum paniculatum)- a favorite bouquet ingredient recommended by David Brunton (c) Jamie Horton Photograph

That was one of the most enjoyable and relaxing experiences I’ve ever had on a Zoom interview! I had to actually turn off the recording because David and I were having trouble “ending” the conversation – it was too much fun.

Subscribe to Right Field Farm’s newsletter here.

Follow Right Field Farm on Instagram


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

We have devoted the entire month of October to Member Appreciation Month, with something special scheduled every day to highlight our members, leaders and visionaries of the Slow Flowers Movement. In addition to joining me here on the podcast, I’ve hosted Instagram Live conversations and shared stories and other resources like our new Slow Flowers Video, as well as across our other many channels, including at Slow Flowers Journal and in our weekly email blasts.

Last weekend, I took a moment to write “Future Flowers,” an essay that reflects on what our members Have achieved and accomplished since we launched Slow Flowers in 2013 (and PS, that’s year this Podcast began, too!). Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote:

Even though this question: “What does Slow Flowers mean, anyway?” is still asked, it’s being asked less often. With 98 million social media impressions for the hashtag #slowflowers in the past year alone, there is no denying the term is used around the globe. It is synonymous with the goals and practices outlined in our manifesto.

As we approach 2022, my message to each of you is to dig deep into your own values and belief systems and ask yourself: What do I want to achieve through my floral enterprise? The idea of doing “better than” and doing good with
our flowers is more important than ever. We’re seeing more of our members use their flowers as a vehicle for causes they support; using flowers to symbolize hope and humanity, while also building a business that offers a sustainable
livelihood to them, their families and their employees while at the same time improving farmland and communities alike. I invite you to share your message of hope for the future in the comment section of our show notes or at @slowflowerssociety on Instagram. I am so grateful for the many of you who have taken the time and lent your voice to the conversation — and I congratulate you on taking a leadership role with your sustainable actions and beliefs.

Read the full essay at Slow Flowers Journal

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

Thank you to Rooted Farmers, which 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.

Thank you 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.

Thank you 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 for 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 778,000 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.

Slow Flowers Society is a member-supported organization focused on advocacy, outreach and education around the importance of local, seasonal and sustainable flower growing and floristry. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Lissa; 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

Related posts

Episode 528: Meet farmer-florist Eileen Tongson of Orlando-based FarmGal Flowers and enjoy her harvest-cornucopia design demonstration

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! October is our celebration of our Slow Flowers members and one of my goals this month is to showcase and thank as many of our Premium Level members as possible, our top supporters.

Today, we’re visiting Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers, coming to us from Orlando, Florida.

As a farmer-florist, Eileen has experimented with a number of channels to market the flowers she grows, but she’s honed in on two key portions of her business: teaching workshops and designing for events.

Eileen Tongson
Eileen Tongson withone of her signature Florida-grown bouquets

When I asked her to join me during Membership Appreciation Month, Eileen suggested sharing a design demonstration during our interview. You’ll enjoy meeting Eileen and learning about her robust workshop schedule — offered all year long, season by season — to satisfy customers eager for ways to connect with locally-grown flowers and to learn more about gardening.

Eileen and I recorded this conversation and demo last week and I know hearing it and watching the video will get you thinking about harvest and holiday workshops that you can offer.

Eileen in her studio for Where We Bloom
Eileen in her home-based studio, featured in Where We Bloom

Here’s a bit more about Eileen before we get started, excerpted from her website:

For as long as she can remember, Eileen has truly loved gardening. Her parents were avid gardeners and the family spent countless hours outdoors cultivating vegetables, fruit, and of course flowers. They taught Eileen to appreciate nature and all that it provides, and she is so thankful to them for the early introduction to what has become a lifelong passion.

After all these years, she’s still just as inspired by the natural beauty and cultivation of flowers. Eileen considers herself a city dweller, turned home-grown FarmGal.

Life has taken her to the west coast and back, but her heart and my home have always been in the Sunshine State and the beautiful city of Orlando, Fl. It is where she has raised her family, and now with great enthusiasm that she gets to share her love for flower farming and floral design with her community.

Eileen has studied floral design at numerous locations including Floret Flower Farm, the City College of San Francisco, and Flower School New York. She also completed the University of Florida IFAS Master Gardener Program in 2009. I continue to expand and refine my skills regularly through floral design and flower farming workshops across the country and as a member of Slow Flowers Society and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Eileen’s flowers and gardening expertise have been featured in Florists Review, Edible Orlando, Houzz.com, TravelChannel.com, The Monarch Initiative, Ocala Magazine, Orange Appeal magazine, Team Flower, Glam.com and most recently, in my two books, Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One and Where We Bloom. She was also included in Floret Farm’s book, “Small Plot, Big Impact.”

Inside the studio
Inside Eileen’s efficient and compact studio, which opens onto her Orlando area garden

FarmGal Flowers was also named Best Florist in Best of Winter Park 2019. Clients have included The Ford Motor Company, Williams-Sonoma Winter Park, the Orlando Magic, the Orlando Museum of Art, The Grove Winter Park, and Salata Winter Park.

Eileen believes in locally and sustainably grown, seasonal flowers that support and beautify her community. And, if I am successful in creating a delightful bouquet or arrangement of freshly cut beauties for clients and local friends, then that makes me her HAPPY home-grown FarmGal!

Fern gown by Eileen Tongson
Slow Flowers Florida Botanical Couture Fashion Photo Shoot

Thanks so much for joining me today!

FarmGal Flowers, coming to us from Orlando, Florida.

As a farmer-florist, Eileen has experimented with a number of channels to market the flowers she grows, but she’s honed in on two key portions of her business: teaching workshops and designing for events.

When I asked her to join me during Membership Appreciation Month, Eileen suggested sharing a design demonstration during our interview. You’ll enjoy meeting Eileen and learning about her robust workshop schedule — offered all year long, season by season — to satisfy customers eager for ways to connect with locally-grown flowers and to learn more about gardening.

Eileen and I recorded this conversation and demo last week and I know hearing it and watching the video will get you thinking about harvest and holiday workshops that you can offer.

” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Click here to order your copies of Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One (Featuring Eileen’s Grown-in-Florida Fern and Frond Gown) and Where We Bloom (Featuring Eileen’s home-based studio). Participating in our promotional and PR campaigns like American Flowers Week is one of many opportunities available to Slow Flowers Society members like Eileen.

Follow FarmGal Flowers on Social Media:
FarmGal Flowers on Facebook
FarmGal Flowers on Instagram


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

As I reminded you last week, we are in the midst of October’s Member Appreciation Month and I’m so pleased at all the great content we’ve been able to share with our community of members. If you aren’t a member yet — and why haven’t you joined us? It’s the perfect time to step up and commit. This month, all new members will receive our special Member Benefits Booklet with coupons, discounts and other perks from eight of our partners and sponsors — the savings will more than cover your annual membership investment. All new members also receive our Slow Flowers Society collector’s pin, made in the USA, which features our teal and lime green logo. Plus, if you upgrade to or join at the Premium Level, you’ll also receive the video bundle of all our Slow Flowers Summit 2022 speaker presentations, valued at $129.

Please head to slowflowerssociety.com and hit the “Become a Member” Button.


Before we wrap up, I have a special treat to share — also timed to coincide with Member Appreciation Month!

Yesterday, we unveiled the NEW Slow Flowers Video. I’m so thrilled to share it with you — this Video was created over the past several months with our favorite video talent Alayna Erhart of Alayna Erhart Studio. In just a few minutes, you’ll meet me in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden, catch a glimpse of the fabulous gathering of members at Filoli Historic House & Garden at the recent 2021 Slow Flowers Summit and join my visit to the UW Farm with member Riz Reyez of RHR Horticulture. Special thanks to the members who share their voices of endorsement and support, including Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern, Tobey Nelson of Tobey Nelson Events and Design and Laura Gonzales of Swallows Secret Garden! Look closely – do you see yourself here in our community!? We’re ready to welcome you as a member!


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

Thank you to 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.

Thank you 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.

Thank you to 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 776,000 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 the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Long Await; For We Shall Know Speed; 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

Related posts

Episode 527: Grow. Design. Teach. How Sweet Earth Co.’s Xenia D’Ambrosi fine-tuned her brand message with three essential words

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

I’ve just returned from a short trip to New York City and Brooklyn, one of the highlights of which included my spending two days in the lower Hudson Valley doing some pre-planning for the 2022 Slow Flowers Summit!

Xenia D'Ambrosi and Debra Prinzing
Xenia D’Ambrosi and Debra Prinzing at Sweet Earth Co.

Of course I spent time at our venue for 2022, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, in Pocantico Hills, New York . . . and I’ll share much more about that in the coming weeks. But I also had a fantastic visit to Sweet Earth Co., located in Pound Ridge, just 20 miles away. Listeners of the Slow Flowers Podcast may recall that I hosted farmer-florist Xenia D’Ambrosi as a guest in January 2018, when she shared her story of recovering from cancer by moving away from corporate finance to a new life growing, designing and teaching around plants, flowers and wellness.

Sweet Earth Co.'s herbal tea collection
Sweet Earth Co.’s herbal tea collection ~ a diversified product from the farm.

Each of us has experienced our own version of a “pivot” due to the pandemic, and Xenia has done so herself. She’s tightened her focus on the essential aspects of Sweet Earth Co. and taken some very intentional steps in marketing and content development to communicate to her customers. Sweet Earth Co. is described as a floral and garden design studio located on a sustainable flower farm.

Sweet Earth Co bouquet
A glorious seasonal bouquet from Sweet Earth Co.

Here’s more about Xenia D’Ambrosi, excerpted from her website:

Xenia is lead designer and farmer-florist at Sweet Earth Co. Most wouldn’t have imagined that a city girl like me would find her calling amidst flower fields and gardens, but I can’t deny a history of generations of land stewardship & farming engrained in my DNA.

Having my hands in the soil brought me healing and ignited my passion for sustainable gardening and horticulture. In 2012 I started Sweet Earth Co. which specializes in growing specialty cut flowers and herbs, and in garden and floral design and installations.

After touring the growing grounds, I sat down with Xenia to continue our conversation, which we recorded in her studio. You can watch the video of that tour and interview above.

Find and follow Sweet Earth Co. and subscribe to Xenia’s newsletter here:

Sweet Earth Co. on YouTube

Sweet Earth Co. on Facebook

Sweet Earth Co. on Instagram

Sweet Earth Co. on Pinterest


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

We are in the midst of October’s Member Appreciation Month and I’m so pleased at all the great content we’ve been able to share with our community of members. If you aren’t a member yet — and why haven’t you joined us? It’s the perfect time to step up and commit. This month, all new members will receive our special Member Benefits Booklet with coupons, discounts and other perks from eight of our partners and sponsors — the savings will more than cover your annual membership investment.

All new members also receive our Slow Flowers Society collector’s pin, made in the USA and featuring our teal and lime green logo. Plus, if you upgrade to or join at the Premium Level, you’ll also receive the video bundle of all our Slow Flowers Summit 2022 speaker videos, valued at $129.

Interested in learning more? Head to slowflowerssociety.com and click our “Become a Member” Button


Johnnys Seeds Newsletter

Before we wrap up, I want to draw your attention to another incredible free and timely resource — an extensive report that we just produced for the October Johnny’s Seeds’ Advantage Newsletter. The article is called Collective Selling Models for Flower Farmers. As you have heard many times on this Podcast, it’s no wonder that over the past 10 years interest in collectives, cooperatives and co-marketing models is definitely on the rise. This change runs parallel to the general explosion of new flower farmers and increased demand among florists for local and seasonal product. But there is no one-size-fits-all template, which has been frustrating for some startup groups.

Our article for Johnny’s reviews three popular options for creating a regional wholesale flower hub, including Legal Cooperative; Multi-Owner LLC; and For-Profit Wholesale Business.I spoke withseveral Slow Flowers members who have formed regional marketing hubs to learn about the appeal of each model. Thank you to Slow Flowers members Diane Szukovathy of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market; Martha Lojewski of Alaska Peony Cooperative; Melissa Webster and Megan Wakefield of Old Dominion Flower Cooperative; Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange and nationally-recognized expert in shared ownership strategies Margaret Lund.


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

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. Sign up for your first delivery at Roadie.com/slowflowers and use promo code slowflowers–that’s one word–to get five dollars off.

Flowerfarm.com, our new sponsor. 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 and 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.


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 774,000 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 & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase 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:

Long Await; 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

Related posts

Episode 526: How a Full-Service Retail Florist Sources Montana-Grown Blooms with Lindsay Irwin of Bitterroot Flower Shop

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

I have a great interview to share with you today — and it includes a virtual visit to Bitterroot Flower Shop in Missoula, Montana, where I caught up with owner Lindsay Irwin.

Local flowers “Designer’s Choice”

I first met Lindsay through fellow Slow Flowers members Carly Jenkins and Jamie Rogers of Killing Frost Farm. and their wholesale venture Farm to Florist Montana. They consider Bitterroot Flower Shop one of the top customers for their fresh, seasonal and local Montana-grown flowers.

Lindsay and Mom
It’s a family business! Lindsay Irwin (left) with Nancy Larson, her business partner and Mom

Over the years, on a few different visits to Montana, I’ve come to know Lindsay. She is active in the Montana Florists Association, having served as president in the recent past.  A few years ago, I was invited to speak at the MFA annual conference and we were hosted at Lindsay’s shop, Bitterroot, a sizeable retail and production space located at a strategic intersection in downtown Missoula. I was so impressed by the many conversations I had with florists across the state . . . including Lindsay, who are pursuing new sourcing models with local flower farmers.

Bitterroot circa 1952
Bitterroot Market circa 1952

Last summer, Killing Frost Farm reached out and asked if they could buy a gift membership in Slow Flowers Society for Lindsay — as a thank you for her support of their farm and their flowers. I was so touched by that creative way a flower farm connected on a deeper level with a key customer — and it’s a great client gift idea for other flower farmers to consider!

Bitterroot Flowers for a beautiful Montana wedding (c) Elizabeth & Samuel
Bitterroot Flowers for a beautiful Montana wedding (c) Elizabeth & Samuel

That gesture brought Lindsey and me together, too. When I was in Missoula earlier this month, she and I recorded an audio conversation, which you’ll hear today. We also recently recorded a virtual design demonstration, which appears at the top of this post. The flowers she used are all Montana-grown, along with beautiful fruiting raspberry branches from Killing Frost Farm and some California eucalyptus.

Let’s jump right in and meet Lindsey Irwin of Bitterroot Flower Shop in Missoula, Montana.

Follow Bitterroot Flower Shop on Facebook

Find Bitterroot Flower Shop on Instagram

Bonus: Listen to my 2020 interview (Episode 473) with Jamie Rogers about how Killing Frost Farm is getting more Montana-grown flowers into the hands of Montana florists!


Thanks so much for joining me today! As October gets underway, this is the first podcast episode of the month featuring visits that highlight our members and the ways they share the Slow Flowers Message with their customers and marketplace. Join me, each Wednesday, for a new live-stream video interview on YouTube and our Facebook page, and here on the Slow Flowers Podcast for the audio conversation.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Connect with Slow Flowers Society for our Facebook Live Content


Sarah Reyes and Toni Reale
Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern (left) and Toni Reale (right) of Roadside Blooms

Slow Flowers Meet-Up Logo Art As I mentioned last week, October is Slow Flowers Member Appreciation Month! We have lots planned each day of this month to connect with you and others in our community. This Friday, be sure to join our Member Virtual Meet-Up — and hear from two members, retail florists who will share their marketing and branding tips to leverage the Slow Flowers message to their customers.

We’ve invited Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern based in Oakland, Calif., and Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms, based in North Charleston, S.C., to discuss some of the ways they have successfully developed Slow Flowers’ messaging, marketing & PR, and consumer education programs that underscore their values about sourcing and sustainability.
Bring your questions!! 

Here is the LINK to pre-register — and we’d love to see you this Friday, October 8th in the zoom room at 9 am pacific.noon eastern.


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.

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo bar

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 in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 772,000 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.

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

Molly Molly; Turning on the Lights; Gaenaby
Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field; Redwood Trail
audionautix.com

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Episode 525: Flipping the Script after 18 years as a wedding and event florist with Anne Bradfield of Analog Floral

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

You may have met today’s guest as the owner and design director of Floressence, an event floral design studio focused mainly on weddings . . . over the years, thousands of weddings!

In 2020, Anne Bradfield followed her dream to become a full-service floral studio, providing deliveries for daily floral needs, subscriptions, as well as wedding and event florals. In the spring of 2021, Anne officially made the leap and rebranded as Analog Floral.  

analog floral logo

Anne Bradfield
Anne Bradfield from Analog Floral, teaching wedding design with locally-grown flowers at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Analog Floral is home to artfully irregular floral design committed to sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, and connecting people through the joy of flowers. Anne is one of the very first florists I met on the sales floor of the brand new Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in 2011 and she has been a huge supporter — and member of the Slow Flowers Movement, committed to sourcing flowers from local flower farms whenever possible.

I visited Anne recently in her Seattle studio, located in a warehouse district next to the train tracks (you might hear train noise in the background!) and I filmed her designing an arrangement using a bucket of blooms I brought from my garden.

I forgot to mention that you can also find a link to my first Podcast interview with Anne Bradfield from Episode 236 — I can’t believe it’s from 2016 — wow! You’ll love learning more about Anne’s path to flowers.

I captured a little video showing Anne’s photography setup in her studio. Notice the retractable shade that serves as an always-clean backdrop!
briday bouquet by Anne Bradfield
Bridal Bouquet by Anne Bradfield (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Find Analog Floral on Facebook

Discover Analog Floral on Instagram


Bonus: Flower Farming School Online with Lisa Ziegler

Here’s a bonus conversation with Lisa Ziegler of The Gardener’s Workshop, a Slow Flowers Sponsor. I spoke with Lisa recently about her upcoming course: Flower Farming School Online — registration opens on Oct 1st — so you’ll want to stay with me to hear an update from Lisa.


We’re almost to October and I want to give you a head’s up that We’re almost to October —  that’s when we kick off our 2021 Slow Flowers Member Appreciation Month!
Every day during October, we’ll be thanking YOU, our members, and highlighting their stories. Yep, 31 days of Slow Flowers and we promise lots of surprises, perks and fun conversations with our community. Keep an eye out for our Slow Flowers Society Newsletter on October 1st and watch our social media channels on Friday, October 1st — where we’ll share the Full Schedule of Daily Events during October — stay tuned!


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

Thanks also to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig 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.

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

Thanks 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.


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 770,000 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 & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase 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:

Castor Wheel Pivot; 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; Redwood Trail
audionautix.com

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Episode 524: The Business of Selling Your Flowers to Florists – Expert advice from farmer-florist Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat

Sunday, September 19th, 2021

I have a very special treat for you. Earlier this month, I traveled to Missoula, Montana, where I gave the opening presentation to the Montana Cut Flower Workshop. The conference planners asked me to share a national overview of the insights and forecast for the Slow Flowers Movement, including flower farming and floral design trends.

Julio Freitas
Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat

Immediately following my presentation was Julio Freitas, a longtime Slow Flowers member and owner of The Flower Hat, based in Bozeman. Julio originally entered the floral world as the designer of phenomenal weddings and events, but that pat led him to flower farming. He shared the how and why that happened in his lecture, which he graciously permitted me to record to feature today.

Julio Freitas_The Flower Hat
Meet Julio Freitas, The Flower Hat — a Bozeman, Montana-based florist-farmer putting his distinct style on the map.

The Flower Hat is a floral design studio and flower farm located in Bozeman, MT. In Julio’s very short season, he grows thousands and thousands of beautiful flowers for use in dozens of weddings throughout Spring, Summer and Fall.

The farming side of his business originated on a 1,800 sq ft parcel when Julio couldn’t get his hands on the quality of botanicals he needed for design work. Over the years, that growing space expanded to 1/4 acre, including leased land, to accommodate The Flower Hat’s demand for more flowers.  Today, The Flower Hat occupies five acres in Bozeman, Montanta.

I’m excited for you to hear from Julio about his approach to selling flowers to fellow florists. I know it will be beneficial. If you’re a florist, you’ll learn a thing or two about how to source from local flower farmers; and if you’re a grower, the tips Julio shares are priceless.

A seasonal bouquet by Julio Freitas

Below you will links to Julio’s social places. Visit his website to sign up for his newsletter, which means you’ll be the first to learn about the fall bulb sale that starts in just a few weeks on October 15th, and get advance details on Julio’s 2022 workshop series.

Check out “Montana Mentor,” my feature about The Flower Hat workshops that appeared in the January 2020 issue of Slow Flowers Journal for Florists’ Review (link below).

Follow The Flower Hat on Instagram

Find The Flower Hat on Facebook


BLOOM Imprint New Releases: Pre-Orders Open

Just a little news to share with you about BLOOM Imprint, our book publishing division of Slow Flowers. We have just posted pre-ordering for two new books, out later this year. Pre-orders are open for A Life in Flowers, by Holly Heider Chapple, which will be released at the end of October. Be inspired by Holly’s story and learn all about her floral design aesthetic, her innovations, her mentorship and community building, and Hope Flower Farm in Virginia, where she has established a center for floral education.
You also can pre-order Felicia Alvarez’s new book on growing garden roses for the floral design, called Growing Wonder, based on her experience as a rose farmer and educator. This is the only rose book developed with our Slow Flowers Community in mind — because it is focused on rose selection, cultivation, harvest, post-harvest care and crop management for cutting gardens and flower farms. This book will be released in January. And if you’re over at bloomimprint.com, you can also order my signed copies of our first book, Where We Bloom, perfect for the gardener and flower lover in your life.


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

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. Sign up for your first delivery at Roadie.com/slowflowers and use promo code slowflowers–that’s one word–to get five dollars off.

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. 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.

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.


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 767,000 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 & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase 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:

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; Redwood Trail
audionautix.com

Related posts