Debra Prinzing

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Episode 434 Slow Flowers’ 2020 Floral Insights & Industry Forecast, plus our final state focus: Wyoming

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
Desert Collection, designed by Morgan Anderson, Ph.D., of The Flori.Culture (c) Macey Sierka

Happy New Year 2020! Last week’s podcast commemorated the close of 2019 with an extensive Year in Review episode. And while I couldn’t highlight and thank every single person who made last year a special one, I touched on many of the bright spots in our full year of Slow Flowers. Please go back and have a listen if you missed it.

I’m excited to share highlights from the sixth annual Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast — the 2020 edition, but before I do so, we have a special guest to welcome, Teresa Tibbets of Dandelion Floral, based in Lander, Wyoming.

All during 2019, our Fifty States of Slow Flowers series brought you a diverse range of voices and experiences from Slow Flowers members across the U.S. This ambitious series doubled the number of Slow Flowers Podcast guests we brought to you during the course of the year. Thank you to each of our state guests for their willingness to share their personal floral narrative with listeners. Together their stories amplified the thriving message that our Slow Flowers Movement is taking place everywhere and anywhere that people, gardens, soil and sunshine exist.

Click here to find the full list of our Fifty States of Slow Flowers guests, with links to the episode in which each appeared.

Teresa Tibbets with a bouquet of fall flowers (c) Kristy Cardinal Photography

Today, that series comes to a close today. Even though it’s January 1st 2020, due to a few scheduling hiccups, I couldn’t quite fit our final state – Wyoming – into 2019,  so today, please meet Teresa Tibbets of Dandelion Floral.

left: Teresa designing with her Wyoming-grown blooms (c) Kim Branagan Photography; right: this boutonniere is made with lisianthus, amaranth, and aspen (c) Teresa Tibbets

Teresa is a flower farmer and studio-based wedding and event florist who specializes in growing heirloom and ephemeral flowers. She also raises “xeric natives,” such as yarrow, coneflower and rudbeckia; and she forages locally for Aspen, juniper and sage.

left: June Peony Bouquet (c) Blushing Crow Studio; right: a Dandelion Floral bridal bouquet, photographed at Karisa Mountain Lake. The anemone and ranunculus was grown on Teresa’s farm in Lander, Wyoming (c) Apartment10

Teresa says: “My designs are inspired by nature’s form and structure, embracing the whimsical and wild. The aesthetic of the Rocky Mountains is loose and light, balancing the soft with prickly; the fine with bold. We take our cues from the deserts and the mountains. An arrangement full of lush, shiny, deep green foliage looks artificial and contrived here, in my opinion. Instead, we embrace the blue-grays of sage and juniper; the delicate texture of golden grasses and twinkling yellow-green of Aspen.”

A Dandelion Floral bouquet with lilac, tulips, and anemone, which Teresa calls “the harbingers of the beginning of the flower season.”

Find and follow Dandelion Floral at these social places:

Dandelion Floral on Facebook

Dandelion Floral on Instagram

It has been a privilege to feature this important series and I thank you for joining me. As I mentioned last week, we missed a few — namely Hawaii and Delaware — but I’ll do my best to add voices from those states in the coming months.

Next up: I’m excited to share highlights from the annual Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast.

This Forecast began six years ago and I’m more inspired than ever about the focus of this project. Since 2013, I have tracked and documented the shifts and changes in the Slow Flowers Movement, devoting considerable much time and resources during the past several years while also educating about and advocating for locally grown, seasonal and sustainable flowers. As a result, the awareness of our Movement has also increased. More farms are producing more domestic flowers; more designers are selecting domestic flowers as artistic elements of their work; and more consumers are asking for local flowers.

Traction, momentum and change can be measured incrementally, so you will notice that in this year’s 2020 Forecast some of the topics and key insights represent subtle rather than seismic shifts from past year’s themes, or at the very least, an expansion of them. 

I’ve titled the forecast Green Horizons.

To develop this report, I began by surveying Slow Flowers members and social media followers last fall, asking questions about their floral businesses, including emerging themes and topics important to them.

I drew further insights from my 2019 storytelling — first-person interviews for print and digital Slow Flowers Journal stories, interviews with more than one-hundred Slow Flowers Podcast guests, and attitudes gathered from conversations with thought-leaders in floral design, flower farming and related creative professions.

I hope you find these forward-thinking resources important and valuable. I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions about topics missed.

Download a PDF of the 2020 Forecast from Florists’ Review

Download a PDF of the 2020 Forecast from Canadian Florist

A sentence jumped out to me a few months ago as I read a Time magazine profile of Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia. It went like this: “Today’s customers want their dollars to go to companies that will use their money to make the world a better place.”

A fitting statement, given that Patagonia, which recently surpassed $1 billion in annual sales, donates 1% of its sales to environmental groups. To me, that story about Patagonia underscores a theme that resonates with that of our 2020 Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast:

“Belief-driven buyers choose a brand on the basis of its position on social issues.”

Time interview with Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia

If you think this is a fringe topic, you’re wrong. According to market consultancy Edelman, nearly 2 in 3 consumers are belief-driven buyers.

READ MORE…

Episode 433: Our Year in Review – Slow Flowers’ 2019 Year in Review, Plus Our Wisconsin State Guest

Thursday, December 26th, 2019
Let’s review 2 0 1 9 before we welcome the New Year!

Thank you for being part of the Slow Flowers Community and tuning into the Slow Flowers Podcast during 2019. I’m honored and humbled that you take time to join me each week — especially in the midst of an ever-more-crowded and cluttered environment for information.

Listenership of this program has grown more sizeable than ever. Last year at this time, I told you the Slow Flowers Podcast had been dowloaded more than 390,000 times since this show launched in July 2013. Fast-forward to today and that number has climbed to 560k. With an average monthly count of more than 14k episode-downloads, I’m incredibly encouraged that this Podcast remains relevant and essential, as we deliver the voices, stories and information you crave and enjoy.

Every single week this year; in fact, every single week for the past 334 weeks, it has been my privilege to feature heroes from the Slow Flowers community. Unlike any other internet radio show in existence, the Slow Flowers Podcast is tailored to you and your interests, making its “must-listen” programming a weekly habit among flower farmers and floral designers alike.

In producing and hosting the Slow Flowers Podcast, I seek out pioneers and personalities, style-makers and influencers — as well as unsung or little-known heroes — who together are changing the floral landscape, disrupting the status quo, and bringing flower sourcing and growing practices, not to mention eco-conscious design methods, to the center of the conversation.

A highlight of 2019 was our expansive and inclusive series: Fifty States of Slow Flowers! We’ve nearly made it through the entire alphabet — from Alabama’s Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistle to Wyoming’s Teresa Tibbets of Dandelion Floral — who you’ll hear next week on New Year’s Day.

This ambitious series doubled the number of Slow Flowers Podcast guests we brought to you in 2019. Thank you to each of our state guests for their willingness to share their personal floral narrative with listeners. Together their stories amplified the thriving message that our Slow Flowers Movement is taking place everywhere and anywhere that people, gardens, soil and sunshine exist.

Click here to find the full list of our Fifty States of Slow Flowers Guests

Click here to find our show archives dating back to the first episode, which aired on July 23, 2013.

Sally and Courtney, photographed just as they completed the upstairs kitchen at Flower House in 2015.

Today, we’ll start the show by introducing you to Wisconsin’s Sally Vander Wyst of The Milwaukee Flower Co.

Sally is a past guest of this podcast; you met her back in 2015 when I interviewed many of the floral artists who created botanical rooms for Flower House Detroit.

You can find that episode here, in which I spoke with several Flower House creators and teams.

Sally and her collaborator Courtney Stemberg discuss their design for the upstairs kitchen at Flower House, a beautiful botanical installation entitled: “Nature Takes Back.”

It’s so hard to believe here we are four years later — and Milwaukee Flower Co. has a lot of news to share!

Wisconsin’s Slow Flowers Community has always been a strong one and I’m grateful for  growers and designers who are committed to seasonal and local blooms in the upper midwest — including Sally Vander Wyst.

Sally Vander Wyst of Milwaukee Flower Co. — harvesting zinnias in her mini-farm/cutting garden

I’m so happy I could catch up with Sally – you’ll want to stay tuned for her return to this podcast when she has more to report on the upcoming “Floral Spectacle” — a collaboration with fellow Slow Flowers member Liz Egan of Floral Alchemy, also based in Milwaukee. The two are cooking up something big and flowery to occur during the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee next summer. I can’t wait to learn more.

Seasonal floral design by Milwaukee Flower Co.

Find and follow Milwaukee Flower Co.:
Milwaukee Flower Co. on Facebook
Milwaukee Flower Co. on Instagram

Find and follow Zap Bloom, Sally’s online “store” for budget-savvy event florals
Zap Bloom on Facebook
Zap Bloom on Instagram

Thank you for joining our Wisconsin conversation!

Left: A bridal bouquet featuring flowers from Milwaukee Flower Co.’s garden, from other Wisconsin farms and roses sourced from California. all-American grown (c) GE Creative; right: Sally in her cutting garden (c) @autumnsilvaphotography

Next up: As I have done since the beginning of 2014, I would like to devote today to the Slow Flowers Highlights of this past year. Next week, on January 1st, I will present the annual Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast for 2020.

Last year at this time, we reflected on the highlights of 2018 with 10 Top Themes. The sentiments I shared with you then are no truer today. In fact, given the world in which we live, they are more meaningful to me than ever. One year ago, I said this:

More than ever, I realize that making authentic human connections with you is what really matters. Each experience is more meaningful because of the relationships we forge with one another.”

Please know how valuable that statement is — relationships are the connective tissue that ties us together — no matter where we live geographically and no matter which role we play in the floral marketplace.

What did we do in 2019? Each of our four content channels and our live programming have added up to an incredible year of engagement, interactivity, relationships and more. The year began with the unveiling of our new Slow Flowers Society branding and web site — a central hub for all of our Slow Flowers projects.

Why the Society? Our focus hasn’t changed.

In fact, our mission continues:

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

This name change was long in coming. Yet it didn’t happen impetuously or overnight. Launched at the start of 2019 when we were already turning a calendar page and thinking about a clean re-boot, the new Slow Flowers Society branding brings clarity to the Slow Flowers platform.

Since I wrote the book Slow Flowers, a lot has happened with these two words: Slow. Flowers.

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

After the book’s publication, and as it became clear to me that there was an opportunity to position Slow Flowers as an industry standard, new ideas inspired me to bring the following channels and programs to life. With five channels and programs, each of which has its own exclusive web site things were getting a little unruly. And truth be told, those individual and focused web addresses still exist and they are continually updated with dedicated content. By building a “front door” — via slowflowerssociety.com — we helped connect the dots for all of our activities. I hope you find it helpful, too.

About Slowflowers.com. With the help of Lisa Waud of pot + box, a longtime member and all-around organizational genius, I tackled a major cleanup of the Slow Flowers membership database in 2019, which allowed me to pivot the focus and energies of Slowflowers.com to support and encourage those of you who have invested your time, creativity and financial resources as members. We wrapped up 2019 with nearly 650 active and engaged members representing flower farmers, farmer-florists, designers, wholesalers, collectives, and more.

We recently established Slow Flowers International, an International Affiliate program for like-minded organizations in other countries. And it is with great pleasure that in 2019, our friends at SLOWFLOWERS ITALY joined as our first International Affiliate!

Founded in 2017, SlowFlowers Italy members are part of a network of professionals, of people who carry the values of respect and attention to the environment, local territories, traditions and community development.  Welcome and Congratulations! We can’t wait to partner with you in raising awareness about seasonality, sustainability and the benefits of supporting local floral agriculture!

Member Benefits

Slow Flowers is both a community and a branding platform and clearly, one of the most visible tools available to our members is Slowflowers.com, the online member directory. But there are so many other members benefit from your Slow Flowers’ association. Sharing those resources with you will be the focus of 2020 as we will use the Slow Flowers Podcast and the Slow Flowers Journal online magazine to feature ways to leverage your membership, and communicate the Slow Flowers member Values and Benefits.

I’ve found that the number one goal of our members is to tell and share their story, and because I’m a storyteller, we have lots of opportunities to shine a light on our members. In a marketplace filled with conventional flowers, our members are able to differentiate themselves and their floral enterprises by associating with the passion and mission of keeping flowers local, seasonal and sustainable — and inspiring the imagination of flower lovers and floral consumers who learn more about that narrative.

To that end, in 2019, we produced two year-long projects. Those series allowed me to feature Slow Flowers members all across the U.S. and Canada with special themes.

Visually, we featured the flowers grown and designed by Slow Flowers members who contributed to our monthly Houzz.com series in 2019. We planned a full year of Slow Flowers Galleries, with each month’s floral theme published as a “Best of” collection of design inspiration based around specific seasonal blooms. Check out this link to the full 2019 gallery. In all, we shared more than 250 floral images with Houzz.com readers — publishing an ongoing, consistent message that local and seasonal botanicals are superior.

Our other series, Fifty States of Slow Flowers, succeeded beyond all of my hopes and dreams. We were able to visit members in nearly every state — I think we skipped just two — and perhaps 2020 will allow me to catch up with the states we missed. But think about it — the chance to hear from flower farmers, floral designers and farmer-florists across North America also reinforces the significance of Slow Flowers. Click here to find the full list of our state guests for you to find and listen again.

MEDIA & PRESS

The big media news for Slow Flowers in 2019 happened when Wikipedia added an entry about Slow Flowers and the Slow Flowers Movement. This achievement was a long time in coming and it’s wonderful to see become a reality. As a digital information source, Wikipedia is of growing importance, primarily because it is a free, universal resource, one of the first examples of a usable encyclopedia that is built collaboratively by the public.

Today, when someone types “slow flowers” into their search engine, two entries appear: One is the directory Slowflowers.com, but typically, the Wikipedia story about Slow Flowers pops up first. It’s not everything, but it’s a pretty cool something, because in today’s digital reality, showing up on Wikipedia is a great endorsement. And a special thank you to writer Myriah Towner for shepherding this project with her research, reporting talents and attention to detail.

In the News

More press exposure made this a fabulous year for Slow Flowers in the News — and I just want to take a moment to mention how many outlets expressed interest in our platform. This is by no means comprehensive, but I’ll mention some highlights here. Added up, it’s pretty impressive:

Architectural Digest

Seattle Magazine

Floribusiness’s “Hortipoint”

Vox

Bustle

Green Industry Leaders Network Podcast

Seattle Times

Sunset Magazine

Canadian Florist

Globe & Mail

Good Food Jobs

Oregon Live

Sacramento News Review

The Flower Podcast

Mornings with Mayesh

Green Dreamer Podcast

Vive La Flora Live Podcast

Refinery 29

Garden Center Magazine

WYSO (NPR) in Ohio

The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Bloomsday Review and Bloomsday Review here

. . . And of course, our ongoing editorial features about Slow Flowers members in each month’s Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Let’s pause and reflect on the Slow Flowers-Florists’ Review partnership – it is an incredible one that has been pivotal in moving the conversation about local, seasonal and sustainable flowers – and sustainable design practices – to the mainstream.

We have a seat at the table, and I am so grateful to publisher Travis Rigby and editor-in-chief David Coake for this ongoing opportunity. I am also part of the editorial teams for SuperFloral, a bimonthly magazine geared to mass market/supermarket floral retail; and Canadian Florist, a bimonthly magazine for professional florists in Canada. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to contribute original articles about Slow Flowers members and their creative business ventures to these titles during 2019.

All of this work as a professional communicator opened up another great opportunity for me and Slow Flowers in 2019. In September, I was inducted into the PFCI, Professional Floral Communicators International, a Society of American Florists’ organization. What an honor, that again, brings Slow Flowers into the mainstream as an authentic channel in the floral marketplace.

Producing the Third Annual SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT occupied so much of our creative energy in 2019. As an event designed for you, our membership, it exceeded all expectations. For those of you who joined us this past year in St. Paul, Minnesota, aka the Twin Cities, I hope you agree. And I thank you for showing your support by attending, engaging, contributing to the conversation and cheering us on. It was a beautiful thing to experience.

As you know, the Summit is the LIVE event in the midst of American Flowers Week, created to serve the Slow Flowers community of progressive, sustainably-minded florists and designers and to engage attendees who want to network with one another.

Planning and producing the 3rd annual Summit was made possible by the contributions of so many people. We must thank our host, Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange, along with all the flower farmers who sell through that regional floral market, for welcoming us so warmly. More than 135 of us, to be precise. The pre-Summit farm tours of Blue Sky Flower Farm and Green Earth Growers gave everyone a first-hand experience of two incredibly beautiful and prolific Midwest flower farms. Thank you so much to Jon and Rachael Ackerman of Blue Sky Flower Farm (above) and thank you to Jolea Gress and Jenny Hotz of Green Earth Growers for the tour of your fields and greenhouses — and for hosting the first-ever Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm – a delicious experience to say the least.

We enjoyed 10 fabulous speakers, experts in their fields and experts as teachers and communicators. Due to the intimate size of the Summit attendance, everyone has a chance to meet our speakers personally. That’s one of the key benefits of being part of our Slow Flowers Community. Making in-real-time connections is a top-cited benefit, according to past Summit attendees. 

Presentations and demonstrations from Tobey NelsonCarly Jenkins and Whit McClure ensured that floral design was at the heart of the Slow Flowers Summit. Our attendees and speakers also collaborated on a large-scale, foam-free floral sculpture using seasonal, domestic and foraged botanicals. It was a highlight!

We enjoyed a business-focused keynote from Terri McEnaney, CEO of Bailey Nurseries, and a social media panel with our own social media manager Niesha Blancas, our Summit photographer Missy Palacol, and Missy’s frequent collaborator Kalisa Jenne-Fraser.

And we learned volumes from three innovators involved in the emerging category of locally-focused wholesale floral hubs across the U.S., including Christine Hoffman of Twin Cities Flower Exchange, Amanda Maurman of Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative and Kelly Morrison of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers.

On Day Two of the Summit, attendees were invited to tour the Twin Cities Flower Exchange  where florist and event designers and floral designer Ashley Fox shared her personal approach to shopping The Exchange for a floral demonstration using all-local blooms! We also visited the last rose-grower in the Midwest with an afternoon at Len Busch Roses steeped in more Midwest-grown flowers.

If you missed joining us, I have a treat for you. You can watch the free videos of all of the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit presentations — follow this link for the full lineup.

I can’t wrap up mention of the Slow Flowers Summit, without reminding you to register for the Fourth Annual SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT, taking place June 28-30, 2020 at Filoli  Historic House and Garden in Woodside, Calif., outside San Francisco.

Clockwise from top, left: Susan Mcleary, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Molly Culver, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, Jennifer Jewell, Pilar Zuniga and Emily Saeger

It is going to be an incredibly creative experience, and we’re offering you more value and benefits than ever before. The Early-Bird pricing continues through Dec. 31st so there’s not much time left to save $100 and grab a spot to join me and some wonderful speakers in the Bay Area! Follow this link to reserve your seat and join us!

We celebrated the fifth annual AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK during June 28-July 4, 2019 — and you and your flowers were at the heart of this fabulous and important campaign.

Slow Flowers created this original U.S. flower promotion holiday, launched in 2015. Our grassroots, all-inclusive campaign provides editorial, branding and marketing resources to flower farmers, florists, designers, retailers and wholesalers who wish to promote American grown Flowers.

Highlights of 2019 include our fourth year to commission botanical couture fashions, with nine creative looks featured in the June 2019 issue of Florists’ Review as “Red, White & Bloom.”

Thank you to the floral designers and flower farmers who collaborated on this project of flowering our nation during  American Flowers Week. The inventiveness expressed by the Slow Flowers community — flower farmers and floral designers alike — elevates American-grown botanicals to new levels.

Follow this link to see the entire 2019 American Flowers Week collection of botanical fashions, including the stories of each look.

And now’s the time to mark American Flowers Week 2020 on your calendar — June 28 through July 4 — because it will be our sixth annual campaign and celebration! I’ll have more to share in the coming months. For now, check out the 2020 botanical art branding we commissioned from Tamara Hough of Morning Glory Flowers — featured in last week’s Slow Flowers Podcast — and why not download the graphics to share on your web site and via social media? Help me to start building interest and excitement for the 2020 American Flowers Week campaign. And be sure to use the #americanflowersweek hashtag so we can see your posts!

Team Slow Flowers, from left: Jenny Diaz, Andrew Brenlan, Niesha Blancas, Karen Thornton and Lisa Waud

THE PEOPLE of SLOW FLOWERS

Truly, people make the Slow Flowers Movement so successful — you and your tribe coming together with other similar tribes in regions and communities all around, both here in North America – and beyond. We share information, ideas, encouragement, key resources, tips, answers, experiences and more.

We are united in a common belief that local and seasonal flowers, grown sustainably and with minimal harm to the planet, is a practice worthy of our energies.

In 2019, my personal universe was filled with a few key people whose presence and expertise helped me further shape Slow Flowers from what was originally just a concept, a title of a book, into a multimedia, multifaceted content organization and brand platform for others’ use.

I shared a bit of this on this Podcast’s sixth anniversary episode, on July 24th when Lisa Waud joined me to talk about our collaboration to shore up Slow Flowers as a membership organization.

In late March, Lisa and I participated in a spontaneous mind-meld with two other flower friends. Part getaway; part workation, the gathering of four women creatives in small and large ventures, from different generations and walks of life, was an electrifying experience to say the least. What emerged from our time together was a new collaboration for Slow Flowers, with Lisa joining me to manage a project I simply did not have time or bandwidth to tackle. I had been yearning for someone who could help me untangle the crazy knot of our Slow Flowers Member Database. For many, this would be a mind-numbingly boring, clerical, rather than creative task. Yet for Lisa, this was a challenge that called her in — and rise to the occasion, she has.

Other key Who’s include the Slow Flowers Creative Team with whom I work all year long:

Thank you to Jenny Diaz, our uber-talented graphic designer, whose artistry helps us communicate and represent the ideas and ideals of Slow Flowers. She has consistently supported my projects since I asked her to create our Membership and Sponsor Collateral in 2015, followed quickly by the iconic American Flowers Week branding in 2016 (our campaign’s second year). Our collaboration has expanded to include all of Slow Flowers and American Flowers week branding, advertising, collateral material and now — I’m so excited to be working with Jenny as the designer of the Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One book, out in 2020! More on that later in this episode.

Thank you to Niesha Blancas of Fetching Social Media, our social media maven, who I’ve also known and worked with since 2015. Niesha took over our IG and FB social media strategy two years ago and I couldn’t be more pleased. Under her leadership, talent and attention to detail, Niesha has nurtured the @myslowflowers channel on IG and Facebook’s Slow Flowers page, exponentially increasing our engagement with you, our community. Niesha has been with the Slow Flowers Summit team from the very first conference in Seattle in 2017 and she was also a presenter this past year in St. Paul, Minnesota, at our third annual Slow Flowers Summit. I am so grateful for her creativity and positive influence as we take this Slow Flowers journey together.

Thank you to Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events, the steady hand on the tiller of the Slow Flowers Summit since 2018, our second conference. Karen is the secret sauce to my being able to realize a vision for a “multifaceted, interactive and live, in-person experience” that takes place during the heart of American Flowers Week. She is one of my fiercest defenders and the brand advocate I’ve needed to round out the Slow Flowers Team. For 2020, Karen is coming onboard to manage the entire Slow Flowers administrative suite of projects, making sure we stay on time, on budget, on point and more. I couldn’t be happier with the contributions of the four women I just thanked.

And yet, there is one other key person I need to thank!

He’s our dedicated, talented and supportive Podcast Engineer, Andrew Brenlan. Thank you Andrew! Hannah Brenlan was my original producer and after about one year, she handed the weekly production over to her husband Andrew Brenlan. As I said last year: Andrew has taken our audio to new levels, with beautiful musical transitions and his patient and loyal efforts to improve my limited technical skills! Let’s face it: I know how to find great guests and I know how to interview them. But beyond that, this podcast would not exist without Andrew! He’s a new father, too — as Hannah and Andrew welcomed baby Francis to their family. Congratulations, Andrew and thank you so much for making our Podcast so successful in 2019!

As we come to a close, I want to thank our 2019 Sponsors

Slow Flowers sponsors support our work to connect consumers with florists, shops, studios, and farmers who supply and source domestic and American-grown flowers, Made-in-USA floral hardgoods and accessories and related businesses.

I just want to take a minute to thank them for their financial support in 2019 and to tell you a little bit about how each partnership is uniquely tailored to meet mutual goals of promoting American flowers:

You’ve already heard about our partnership with lead sponsor Florists’ Review — but I’ll thank Travis Rigby, editorial director David Coake and art director Kathleen Dillinger here. They and the rest of the Florists’ Review team are a joy to work with and I respect and value our relationship!

Coming up in early 2020 is our first book collab with Florists’ Review: Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One, created with the amazing talented support of Robin Avni as editor and our own Jenny Diaz as designer. I can’t wait to share more but here is a sneak peek of the book cover art (featuring Missy Palacol’s photography) in today’s show notes!

Thank you to these amazing sponsors:

The peony farmers of Arctic Alaska Peonies, who supported this Podcast and Slow Flowers Journal in 2019.

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and its amazing group of Northwest flower farmers and market staff.

Longfield Gardens for connecting florists to gardening and connecting gardeners to floral design.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds for producing high quality flower foliage and herb seeds for cutting gardens and flower farms of all sizes.

Syndicate Sales for supporting florists with an incredibly diverse selection of USA-made vases, design mechanics and accessories.

The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers for its support and leadership in growing flower farming as an important profession.

Mayesh Wholesale  Florist has again supported the Podcast and American Flowers Week and we’re so grateful for their industry support.

Northwest Green Panels, the Oregon-based greenhouse builder which is responsible for my charming 8×8 modern slant greenhouse.

And Farmers’ Web, the software company that came onboard mid-year as a Podcast and Newsletter sponsor. 

Slow Flowers is the term most widely used in the floral marketplace to communicate and convey seasonal, local and sustainable floriculture.

It has been another record-setting year in so many ways. According to keyhole.com, our tracking service, Slow Flowers’ metrics are higher than ever. Our social media maven, Niesha Blancas of Fetching Social Media, has worked tirelessly to represent Slow Flowers and its members through the medium — with great results!

In the past 365 days, on instagram and twitter combined,

Slow Flowers has appeared in more than 75k posts, up from 47k in 2018.

and has stimulated social media engagement of 2.3 million, up from engagement of 1.4 million in 2018.

Field-grown Tulips
Tulips grown by an American farmer I know and trust.

To that I say, What are YOU Waiting For? We’d love you to join Slow Flowers and put your resources, creativity, personal engagement and passion to work for a Movement that gives back to you in volumes. You can start the new year with a commitment to supporting Slow Flowers and you can join us for as little as $50 a year to enjoy the many programs and benefits for members. Follow this link to join us!

Thank you for being a part of this movement and I hope you’ll make the next step by investing in the continued relevance and success of this brand

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

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

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

Well that’s it, folks. As our year comes to a close, I wish you a warm and restorative holiday season and share my hope for a peaceful and productive 2020.

Music Credits:

Basketliner; Betty DearDelamine; Gaena; Glass Beads; Highride; Perspiration
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
Music from audionautix.com

Episode 432: Slow Flowers’ Holiday Music Special with Carolyn Kulb of Folk Art Flowers; plus, our state focus: West Virginia

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

It’s that time again, the annual Slow Flowers Holiday Music Special!

Floral design [(c) Suzanne Rothmeyer] by Carolyn Kulb, seen at right.

Today’s guest is Carolyn Kulb of Folk Art Flowers, based in Seattle. Carolyn and I met in the fall of 2018 and I’ve enjoyed watching how she fully participates in the benefits available to Slow Flowers members — from submitting designs to our monthly Slow Flowers Design Idea galleries on Houzz.com to showing up and volunteering for projects like an installation at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market to celebrate American Flowers Week.

Neon Brass Party, a Seattle “Honk” band — see today’s guest, Carolyn Kulb, wearing a hot pink hat and playing her violin towards the left

Last April, while chatting with Carolyn at the Whidbey Flower Workshop, I learned that she is not only an aspiring farmer-florist but also a musician. She plays and teaches violin and is a member of a HONK band called “Neon Brass Party,” here in Seattle.

I often try and feature a musical guest during the holiday season, so when I learned about Carolyn’s other artistic outlet, I asked if she would join me and share some of her talents for this episode.

You’ll hear portions of a violin piece that Carolyn played for me in person. Here is a link to listen to her digital music compositions.

Roses and peonies, designed by Carolyn Kulb of Folk Art Flowers

But mostly, today we talk flowers — including the trials and challenges facing a startup farmer-florist.

I hope you’ll enjoy the conversation. Carolyn says she started Folk Art after a long journey doing work that did not match her strengths. She continues:

Spring Hellebores by Folk Art Flowers

“Early on I worked with the Peace Corps, which was incredible mostly because I got to work with farmers all day. I kept climbing the ladder, including jobs that let me travel, but I was miserable behind a desk. What I did love about my career was working with other farmers in the field and connecting with people and nature, so I decided to start doing more of that.

“After moving to Seattle, I joined the Sustainable Farming Education Program at Tilth Alliance, which is an incubation program for beginner farmers. I joined a farm to experience a full season in action, and started growing flowers in my backyard. I also did a lot of arranging and experimentation to improve my craft, and designed full-service flowers for several weddings. (I also joined two bands, which is another story!) After this wonderful incubation period of creativity and learning, I finally decided to start Folk Art Flowers. I am so excited and grateful to be able to share some of my joy with you by bringing you beautiful, local, and sustainably produced flowers.”

A lavish dahlia bouquet, designed by Carolyn Kulb of Folk Art Flowers

As a design studio, Folk Art Flowers offers a flower subscription service, individual arrangements, wedding and event flowers, and more. Carolyn sources flowers locally through family farms in the Pacific Northwest, farms that employ sustainable growing practices. In the winter months, she occasionally sources botanical ingredients from California, saying: “I believe in American-grown flowers and will never use flowers that are flown in from another country.”

As you’ll hear from Carolyn, in 2019 with new leased land, she began to realize her dream to grow all of her own florals. Her commitment to sustainability includes everything from growing flowers using organic practices to recycling vases. It also includes a philosophy of building soil health naturally, avoiding the use of pesticides through integrated pest management, using only organic fertilizers, providing habitat for wildlife and bees, and rotating crops.  

Another fun Neon Brass Party band photo with Carolyn at far left

Find and follow Folk Art Flowers at these social places.

Folk Art Flowers on Facebook

Folk Art Flowers on Instagram

Folk Art Flowers on Pinterest

Thank you so much for joining my conversation with Carolyn! I love hearing her story and I know that 2020 will be a big, bountiful year as she develops her new farmland. This is the message that appears on Folk Art Flowers’ web site: “We are a member of the Slow Flowers community, and our flowers are local, meaning that you are supporting local farmers in your community in addition to supporting a small, woman-owned business. Since we use farm flowers, you’ll get to see the seasons change based on what we select for you.  And we might be biased, but we think we create the most beautiful arrangements out there.” — I couldn’t love this sentiment more!

Tamara Hough of Morning Glory Flowers (left), our West Virginia guest; Tamara’s botanical artwork – in process (right)

Fifty States of Slow Flowers continues today with a stop in West Virginia. You’ll hear from Tamara Hough of Morning Glory Flowers, our West Virginia guest in the 2019 Fifty States of Slow Flowers series. A few months ago, we commissioned Tamara, a flower farmer, botanical artist and new Slow Flowers member to design our American Flowers Week branding for 2020! I’m so excited for you to learn more about Tamara and the special role she is playing as our guest artist.

Tamara Hough of Morning Glory Flowers

You can see Tamara’s playful and charming floral ladies, faces and fashions that she posts on her Instagram feed . This artwork captured my imagination as a perfect way to represent the spirit of American Flowers Week! I asked Tamara to create an original illustration with three botanically-styled women to represent the best of Slow Flowers and American Flowers Week. She designed a trio of gals in beautiful floral headpieces, with bits and pieces from the garden used to create all the facial features — and their fashionable looks!

A trio of floral ladies celebrate floral female friendship, by Tamara Hough of Morning Glory Flowers

Check out our American Flowers Week 2020 branding artwork — and download your own badges and graphics here (thanks to Jenny Diaz for the beautiful typography!). Click here to find Tamara’s Etsy shop where you can order prints and cards.

The Early Bird promotion for the Slow Flowers Summit continues through the end of this month and I’m so encouraged by the incredible response we’ve had — passionate and progressive floral folks from nine states from East to West and one Canadian Province have already registered! We encourage you to take advantage $100 off the Member or General registration for the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit and purchase your ticket to the Slow Flowers Summit by December 31st.

If you’ve not yet checked out details, you can find links to all the exciting news about our partnership with Filoli Historic House and Garden, our venue for days 1 and 2 of the Summit (that’s June 28 &29) and our fabulous speaker lineup. By the way, Day 3 is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour led by our friend Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flowers. This is rare access, folks, available only to Summit attendees. As I said, check out those details in today’s show notes.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 558,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnerships with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month.

Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season.

Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development!

Click here for the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

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

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Thank you to the many farmers and growers who have been part of this operation to supply peonies throughout the United States and Canada.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. 

And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

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

Music Credits:
Glass Beads; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

In The Field; Acoustic Shuffle
Music from: audionautix.com                                                                                                                                                       

Episode 431: Meet Rebecca Slattery of Persephone Farm in Washington State

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
Rebecca Slattery, owner of Persephone Farm in Indianola, Wash., photographed during a summer 2019 Outstanding in the Field “farm-to-table” event (c) Ilana Freddye photograph

Fifty States of Slow Flowers continues today with a full episode devoted to Washington, my home state. As I mentioned last week, this year-long project is coming to a close and it has been so rewarding to bring you diverse voices and stories of passionate Slow Flowers Members.

Washington’s Slow Flowers Community is one of the most active, for many reasons. One of which is that I have been writing about and working closely with Pacific Northwest flower farmers and floral designers for the past decade, beginning when I was writing The 50 Mile Bouquet between 2009 and 2012. During that time, in 2011, in fact, I met today’s guest, Rebecca Slattery of Persephone Farm.

Rebecca and the mythological Persephone story as depicted on a mural painted by a former farm intern.

The idea of Slow Flowers as a book, or any other format, had yet to be hatched. But I was thrilled to be invited to Persephone Farm in Indianola, Wash., a ferry ride across the Puget Sound from Seattle or Edmonds. I actually kind of volunteered my services to help with making centerpieces and bouquets for a friend’s daughter’s wedding, which took place at a nearby wedding venue on the Kitsap Peninsula. That bride had persuaded Rebecca to let her out-of-town family and friends set up floral design production on tables next to the barn, and of course, to purchase flowers from her fields.

When I arrived, I met Rebecca, but also her husband Bill Richards. In one of those very small-world surprises, Bill and I were acquainted with one another through Seattle’s newspaper world. I knew Bill for his byline in two local dailies, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer where I was a home and garden columnist during the first decade of the 2000s. Having earlier worked on the editorial teams for the Wall St. Journal and the Washington Post, Bill was legendary in local journalism circles. I remember having a nice chat with Bill while my friends set up their flowers.

As you will hear Rebecca and I discuss, Bill died in 2014, and his spirit is still very much evident at Persephone. I was so touched to have met him and equally grateful that I could return to Persephone to share a meal with Rebecca, takea walk through the late autumn landscape and growing grounds, and have a beautiful conversation with her, which you will now hear.

Persephone Farm’s blooms are arranged in colorful metal olive oil tins

Here’s a bit more about Persephone Farm. The 6.5 acre farm in Kitsap County includes a little less than 2 cultivated acres, a yurt meadow, barn, packing shed, wooded area, open fields and habitat for birds and other wildlife. Biodiversity is key to the farm’s success. As Rebecca says, Persephone provides customers with a wide array of vegetables and flowers while maintaining a balanced ecosystem in the gardens.

The Persephone Farm logo (left) + a watercolor of Rebecca’s farmers’ market stall, painted by a local plein air artist

Rebecca uses careful crop rotations, homemade compost, cover crops, beneficial insectaries and patient observation to avoid synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Though not certified organic, her practices are stricter than the national organic standards. Deep ecology, closed loop systems and sustainability are the aim. And I love her term: “moreganic.”

Rebecca hosted a sold-out farm-to-table event for Outstanding in the Field last summer, including leading a pre-dinner farm tour (c) Ilana Freddye

Persephone Farm has been a pioneer in the Community Supported Agriculture movement— starting with 11 subscribers in 1991, making it one of the longest-running programs in the country. From the first week of June through the end of October, subscribers receive an armload of fresh-picked seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers from Persephone Farm.

Dinner next to the floral fields at Persephone Farm (c) Samantha Parquette

No traditional florist can match the just-picked quality of seasonal blossoms straight from the garden. Rebecca and her crew grow many dozens of varieties of annuals, perennials, herbs, bulbs, shrubs, ornamental grasses and unusual specialty botanicals — for local weddings and events. In addition to designing for wedding clients, Persephone farm offers fabulous fresh flowers by the bucket to the DIY customer. A highlight for many couples is a visit to the farm to stroll through the fields, selecting favorite flower combinations a week or two prior to the wedding. Brides, grooms, mothers and others have all told us that, in retrospect, their visit to Persephone Farm was the most enjoyable check mark they put on their wedding To Do list.

Thanks so much for joining me today for a visit to Persephone Farm. What a special, extended episode and experience for me – a luxury to return and to have a leisurely conversation to share with you.

Find and follow Persephone Farm at these social places:

Persephone Farm on Facebook

Persephone Farm on Instagram

I can’t close out today’s episode without a reminder to you that we’re in the midst of an Early Bird promotion for the Slow Flowers Summit.

You’ll want to take advantage $100 off the Member or General registration for the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit and purchase your ticket to the Slow Flowers Summit by December 31st.

Check out more details and all the exciting news about our partnership with Filoli Historic House and Garden, our venue for days 1 and 2 of the Summit (that’s June 28 &29) and our fabulous speaker lineup.

By the way, Day 3 is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour led by our friend Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flowers.

This is rare access, folks, available only to Summit attendees. As I said, check out those details in today’s show notes.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 556,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS


Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season. Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development! You can find the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Our first 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Glass Beads; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com                                                                                                                                                       

Episode 430: Two Virginia floral voices: Shanda Zelaya of Flor de Casa Designs and Kate Meyer of Chatham Flower Farm

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Fifty States of Slow Flowers continues today with a stop in Virginia.

This year-long project is coming to a close and it has been so rewarding to bring you a large cross-section of voices and stories of passionate Slow Flowers Members.

I love it that we can approach conversations about floral ventures from two perspectives: from a designer’s point of view and from a grower’s viewpoint.

That’s what today’s interview accomplishes as we check in with two members in Virginia.

Today, I’m thrilled to feature Shanda Zelaya of Flor de Casa Designs, based in Arlington, Virginia (serving the DC Metro area in the Northern part of the state) and Kate Meyer of Chatham Flower Farm in Painter, Virginia (on the Chesapeak Bay/Eastern Shore). Together, they give us a portrait of to the city and the country and how flowers factor into both areas.

Studio wedding and event florist, Shanda Zelaya of Flor de Casa Designs

First, let me introduce Shanda Zelaya. We met in 2018 when she attended the Slow Flowers Summit in Washington, D.C., and we recently reconnected at Holly Chapple’s Flowerstock. I’m delighted that you can hear Shanda’s story and her path to floristry.

Born in Costa Rica, flowers have surrounded Shanda since infancy.  It wasn’t until she married her best friend in 2015 that she realized just how much she loved flowers.  A year later, Flor de Casa Designs was born.  Inspired by comments from a complete stranger, Shanda’s Northern Virginia based floral studio caters to brides that have a taste for natural beauty. ​

She specializes in fine art floral design and offers a design style for couples  wanting loose, organic, textured and free-flowing flower arrangements that take inspiration from the beautiful blooms we find in nature.  No roundy-moundy’s found here, folks, Shanda insists.

Shanda Zelaya of Flor de Casa Designs, one of our Virginia guests!

Flor de Casa Designs has been featured in several publications, including: Washingtonian Weddings, United with Love, Wedding Chicks and Baltimore Magazine (June 2019 Issue) among others. ​

Find and follow Flor de Casa Designs at these social places:

Flor de Casa Designs on Facebook

Flor de Casa Designs on Instagram

Flor de Casa Designs on Pinterest

That was fun! Hearing about anyone’s path to flowers is inspiring. Of course, each person’s story is unique. But there is often a common and universal thread that threads Shanda’s story to my story; my story to your story and on it goes. That is a  yearning to connect with nature, to express ourselves creatively and artistically, and to find a profession in balance with a lifestyle of beauty. Don’t you agree?

Kate Meyer and John Fitzpatrick of Chatham Flower Farm (left) and a field of their dahlias on Virginia’s Eastern Shore (right)

So that thread continues with our second guest, Kate Meyer of Chatham Flower Farm. Kate has an equally fascinating journey to share and you’ll find yourself wanting to put Virginia on your travel list for 2020 just to see where she farms and lives.

Kate Meyer and her husband John Fitzpatrick I knew they wanted to settle on the Eastern Shore a few years back when John came to harvest straw with his brother’s company Aden Brook. They had spent many summers there in Virginia during straw season, extending the length of time each year. After both spending many years traveling for work, Kate says they needed to feel grounded in a place of their own. It was just a matter of finding not only the perfect location, but a home as well.

The historic Chatham Flower Farm.

They found themselves unsuccessful after months spent trying to purchase another farm on the shore – and started a new search. In one day they looked at 13 properties and Chatham Farm was the last one they visited.

The barn serves many purposes, from farm-to-table dinners to art shows.

As Kate writes on Chatham Flower Farm’s web site: “We knew as soon as we walked in the door that we had found our home. This farm was perfect in virtually every single way and has given us an amazing base to build from. By adding our growing in the same ground, we are able to add to the farm’s long history. The land is the framework for our dream of growing beautiful Flowers, Lavender and Herbs, all while combining the Barn Studio , flower and artist workshops to support the history of this land and area of Virginia.”

Chatham Flower Farm’s late-summer harvest adorns tables during a Meet me at the Table community farm dinner.

Find and follow Chatham Flower Farm at these social places:

Chatham Flower Farm on Facebook

Chatham Flower Farm on Instagram

Chatham Flower Farm on Pinterest

Meet More Slow Flowers Members from Virginia

In all, there are 20 members – floral designers and flower farmers – in Virginia and we’ve been able to feature several of them here in the past — including Lisa Mason Ziegler of Gardener’s Workshop, Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios, Bob Wollam of Wollam Gardens, Holly Heider Chapple of Hope Flower Farm and Jessica Hall and Chris Auville of Harmony Harvest Farm. Click on the links above to listen to those past Virginia episodes!

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

I wrote and recorded the introduction and transition segments for today’s episode last Friday, Black Friday, I guess, when everyone is supposed to be shopping or putting up holiday decorations. My husband walked into my office and found me at the computer at around 7:30 am and he said: “You’re already working?” I thought about it for a split second and answered: “It’s not work if I love what I’m doing.”

That’s truly how I feel. I bounce out of bed every morning eager to continue this passionate endeavor of nurturing my Slow Flowers relationships in our community and promoting the Slow Flowers Movement as far and wide as possible. It is an honor and a continual source of joy and satisfaction. And PS, I didn’t sit at the keyboard all day. I set aside plenty of time to plant the last 100 or so tulip and narcissus bulbs!

It has been a whirlwind season, not only because of the holidays, but because on Monday, December 2nd, we kicked off the Early Bird Ticket Sales for the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit. That’s right — take advantage of grabbing your registration for the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit and save $100 off your ticket price if you purchase by December 31st.

High Place at Filoli
FILOLI: the recently-renovated “High Place” at Filoli in Woodside, Calif., destination for the Slow Flowers Summit 2020

If you’ve not yet checked out details, you can find links to all the exciting news about our partnership with Filoli Historic House and Garden, our venue for days 1 and 2 of the Summit (that’s June 28 &29) and our fabulous speaker lineup. By the way, Day 3 is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour led by our friend Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flowers. This is rare access, folks, available only to Summit attendees.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers. This Podcast has been downloaded more than 553,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season. Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development! You can find the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

Our final sponsor 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. You can also find a link to our latest article for the November Johnny’s Advantage newsletter. Johnny’s asked me to write about Sustainable Floral Design after hearing Tobey Nelson’s presentation at the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit. My Q&A with Tobey is inspiring and chock-full of “better choice mechanics and techniques for foam-free floristry” and more resources.

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Glass Beads; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Bonus Episode: All About Filoli Historic House & Garden – our Venue for the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit

Monday, December 2nd, 2019
High Place at Filoli

FILOLI: the recently-renovated “High Place” at Filoli in Woodside, Calif., destination for the Slow Flowers Summit 2020

Today I’m bringing you a special edition of the Slow Flowers Podcast! We’re airing this segment on Monday, December 2, 2019, the day we open up Early Bird ticket sales for the 4th annual Slow Flowers Summit.

We have an incredible and inspiring lineup of speakers to introduce you to in the coming months, but first, to entice you further, I want to start with our Venue: Filoli.

Clockwise from top, left: Susan Mcleary, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Molly Culver, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, Jennifer Jewell, Pilar Zuniga and Emily Saeger

For 2020, the SUMMIT returns to the West Coast with a strategic partnership with Filoli Historic House and Garden in Woodside, Calif., outside San Francisco.

The Garden House at Filoli

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

Our two FILOLI guests today: Kara Newport (left) and Emily Saeger (right)

I’m thrilled today to introduce two Filoli voices to share more about what you can expect at this amazing venue. First, please meet Kara Newport, CEO and Executive Director. Next, I will speak with Emily Saeger, lead horticulturist and the go-to cut flower expert at Filoli.

Kara Newport became the Executive Director of Filoli Center in August 2016. Previously, she served as Executive Director for Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, a developing public garden, from 2006 to August 2016. Before serving in this capacity, Kara’s career was focused on fundraising at organizations including Winterthur, Philadelphia Zoo, and Outward Bound. Kara has a BS in Botany and a graduate degree from the Longwood Program.

Emily Saegar’s eight years of horticultural experience blend production agriculture, landscape maintenance, garden and floral design.  She has worked for several notable Bay Area farms including, Fifth Crow Farm, Bluma Farm and Hidden Villa; and as Lead Horticulturist at Filoli she looks after the rose garden, cutting garden and orchard.  Her design aesthetic is a blending of her work experience – foraged and cultivated, wild and formal – always designed with seasonality and senescence in mind.  A strong believer in the healing powers of nature, through her gardens and floral design she hopes to facilitate this connection for all.  

(c) Gretchine Nievarez

As you will hear in our conversation, Emily was the instigator behind Filoli’s invitation to me to bring the Slow Flowers Summit to the Bay Area. We wanted to return to the West Coast and little did we know that she was working her influence and stirring up enthusiasm with Filoli’s leadership behind the scenes.

Thanks so much for joining my conversations with Kara and Emily — you’ll have a chance to meet them both when you join me at the Slow Flowers Summit. As I mentioned, Emily will be one of our presenters at the Summit, joining Kellee Matsushita-Tseng as moderator and fellow panelist Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers, on the Sustainable Farming x Floral Design panel.

Filoli’s amazing Historic House, the site of our Summit Floral Takeover! (c) Julie Bly DeVere

Follow these links for more details:

Full Program for June 28-30, 2020

Meet our Speakers

Registration: Your all-inclusive 2-1/2-day Summit experience is affordably priced at $599, including refreshments, meals and evening receptions. Slow Flowers members receive discounted pricing of $549.

Early-Bird Pricing: Starting today, take advantage of our Early Bird Ticket Promotion – now through December 31st. The EARLY BIRD Tickets are available to you at $100 off each level, so Slow Flowers members will pay $449 and general registration is $499.

If you’re not a Slow Flowers member, this means you can join Slow Flowers for as little as $50 annually and take advantage of member pricing — you’ll still save $50!

At Filoli, we will be surrounded by the natural beauty of the SF Peninsula, enriched by the cultivated formal landscape and prolific cutting gardens, and inspired by the artistry of our presenters.

I can’t wait to see you there!

Bonus: Here’s a story about the floral design workshop I taught at Filoli in 2016.

(c) Amy Bennett for Green Mountain Florist Supply.

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Glass Beads; Great Great Lengths; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 429: A visit to Vermont with Liz Krieg of Maple Flower Farm

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
This photo was captioned “Liz is Happy,” and I think you can see why! Meet Liz Krieg of Maple Flower Farm in Bethel, Vermont!

Fifty States of Slow Flowers continues today with a visit to Vermont — we are quickly working our way through the A-to-Z alphabetical list of U.S. states and it has been such a fabulous experience to bring you along with me.

Left: A huge fall arrangement from Maple Flower Farm; Right: A popular workshop session

I’ve been wanting to spend time with Liz Krieg of Maple Flower Farm, based in Bethel, Vermont. Much earlier this year I asked Liz if she would be my Vermont guest on this series — and of course she agreed. I expected to record the interview long-distance, as I sometimes need to do, but to my surprise, I ran into Liz at Holly Chapple’s Flowerstock in mid-October. So we set aside time during a break to record this interview. What I expected was to be a quick 15-minute conversation soon expanded into nearly an hour-long interview.

Liz began growing fresh cut flowers in 1989 in Vermont.

She was a total early adopter to cut flower growing – enthusiastically accepting an invitation to be the founding president of the Vermont Cut Flower Council

Liz says she “was the point girl for every farmer in the state who wanted to get rich quick.” She continues: “The flurry lasted about 2-4 years and local fresh cuts were a hard sell back then. None of the florists were ready to trust “local grown”. Out of the numerous wannabe flower farmers, only two of the original members are still in business today. The Vermont Cut Flower Council folded, most growers eventually gave up growing flowers and I was one of them.”

At the time, Liz was a young mother, a degreed horticulturist, and out of need she put her knowledge into building a successful landscape enterprise (complete with greenhouses), which she owned and operated for 20 years. Liz sold that business and she has turned her focus to her burgeoning home gardens. Flowers have always been key to my happiness.

She continues: “It was C. S. Lewis who said, ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’  In my case it is ‘dream an old dream.’ I was casting about for the next reinvention of ‘me.’ I realized that my fondest memories were, and are, the pink, dew-laden mornings picking armloads of flowers. Yeah, it sounds romantic, but it is proven that I am not faint of heart when it comes to hard work and I’ve earned the right to put a little fairy dust on it if I wish.”

Today, Liz grows fresh cut flowers in abundance! She is working this good earth, with harmless inputs and sustainable methods. The flowers shine brilliantly. The birds and bees are happy. What more is there? 

Gorgeous specialty tulips from Maple Flower Farm
Love the license plate: FLOWERZ

Thanks so much for joining me today for this very special conversation. Liz’s joy and passion are truly contagious and I can’t wait to visit her (PS, there is an Air BNB unit at Maple Flower Farm, so that is tempting!)

I think the most compelling message from Liz is that we can always reinvent ourselves. As she says: Dream and old Dream. Take heart from this lovely sentiment.

Maple Flower Farm’s new “Sugarhouse” where Liz and her husband will make REAL MAPLE SYRUP!

You can find and follow Liz Krieg of Maple Flower Farm at these social places:

Maple Flower Farm on Facebook

Maple Flower Farm on Instagram

Maple Flower Farm on Pinterest

Meeting Liz in person to record this interview was such a treat. The face-to-face opportunities to connect with and learn from one another is at the heart of Slow Flowers Community. In fact, it is one of the top-ranked reasons for attending the Slow Flowers Summit.

Clockwise from top, left: Susan Mcleary, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Molly Culver, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, Jennifer Jewell, Pilar Zuniga and Emily Saeger

I mention this because we announced the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit venue and speaker lineup earlier this week. You’ll want to tune in next week for our bonus episode on December 2nd where you’ll meet some of the key people involved in the fourth annual Slow Flowers Summit, which takes place June 28-30, 2020 at Filoli Historic House and Gardens just outside San Francisco.

This is a location change from our original plans — and due to some scheduling and logistic issues, the move was necessitated. I couldn’t be happier to partner with Filoli — you are invited to join the fun!

Thank you to our Sponsors

And thank you to our lead sponsor, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnerships with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season. Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development! You can find the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

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

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 550,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

(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 American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

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

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

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

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 428: Utah’s Blossoming Floral Renaissance with Heather Griffiths of Wasatch Blooms and Ali Harrison and Lindy Bankhead of Florage Utah

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
The Utah sunset at Lindy Bankhead’s Paisley Flower Farm in Cache Valley, Utah

The timing is perfect for today’s all-Utah episode. As we’re working our way through the A-to-Z alphabetical list of U.S. states, this week we land on Utah, sandwiched between last week’s Texas focus and next week’s Vermont focus!

You will recall that I visited Utah this past September to meet with a dynamic group of flower farmers and farmer-florists at Poppin’ Blossoms, where Laura Pittard hosted a wonderful gathering and joined me as a podcast guest. Well, I was so inspired by that visit and wanted to learn more. Today’s episode will be educational as I speak with the leaders of two groups of Utah flower farmers whose models are replicable in other markets.

Slow Flowers member Fawn Rueckert of Sego Lily Flower Farm (left) – presenting at a Utah Cut Flower Farm Association meeting

First you’ll hear from Heather Griffiths of Salt Lake City. She is the president of the Utah Cut Flower Farmer Association, a new nonprofit formed to promote local and sustainable floriculture by supporting local flower farms through education, outreach, and research programs.  Formed in May 2019, the association currently has 33 members, including certified farms and associated members. The group also focuses on educating flower lovers of the economic and environmental impact of local flowers, as well as the diversity of flowers available through Utah Flower Farms.

Lindy (left) and Ali (right) at a Florage Pop Up sale, selling Utah-grown flowers from their farms and from the farms they represent.

Next, you’ll meet Ali Harrison and Lindy Bankhead, two women who formed Florage, an informal flower cooperative based in Cache Valley, Utah, in the northeastern part of the state near Logan. Florage markets and distributes their own flowers as well as the production of several other farms. Florage is a Slow Flowers member organization committed to using sustainable and organic methods to lessen their footprint on the earth. No chemicals or preservative spays are used in bringing their gorgeous blooms straight from their gardens to the table.

The beautiful bounty of Utah botanicals — photographed at a recent Utah Cut Flower Farms Association

This is a juicy episode, packed with ideas and inspiration from three women who didn’t sit around and ask permission to forge ahead to create a market for locally-grown flowers in a state not often associated with ornamental horticulture or cut flowers.

Here’s more about all three of these guests:

Heather Griffiths of Wasatch Blooms, based in Salt Lake City, Utah

Slow Flowers member Heather Griffiths owns Wasatch Blooms, a Salt Lake City-based “urban flower farm.” She writes this on her “about” page: “When you hold my flowers, when you breathe them in deep, I want you to feel the immense love and connection that I do. I want the flowers I grow to convey the message of profound love for each other, the earth, and ourselves. Because Love is what drives me to grow flowers. I grow sustainably to feed the soil and benefit my community and environment. I blend permaculture ethics with market gardening to grow flowers that do more than decorate the table, but that also protect our pollinators and create a diverse ecosystem for the unseen members of our community. Farming is my passion and my calling. Farming is my artistic expression. Flowers are my heart wrapped in petals.”

Ali Harrison of Paradise Valley Orchard and Florage

Ali Harrison owns Paradise Valley Orchard with her husband Lorin. Their flower passion is fueled by the desire to bring natural beauty and art into the lives of clients. Paradise Valley Orchard is a mid-century apple orchard and small farm that serves as a backdrop for the weddings and events. As an artist and self-proclaimed hippie, Ali uses her creativity on the farm daily. Finding solace in getting her hands dirty, Ali sees the farm as her canvas and the flower garden her palette.

Lindy Bankhead of Paisley Flower Farm and Florage

Lindy Bankhead owns Paisley Flower Farm in Cache Valley, Utah. She is passionate about growing flowers and vegetables as organically as possible. Lindy feels blessed to not only be able to raise her four young children alongside the flowers, but to also deliver freshly-cut stems to local florists and customers—people who value the high quality and sustainability of the vibrant blooms. She came to flower farming in 2012, equipped with a degree in Landscape Architecture from USU, a Master Gardener Certification, and years of experience working at local greenhouses and nurseries. With the help of her patient husband and family, she’s transformed their 100-year old farm into a gorgeous, thriving cut flower operation.

Lindy Bankhead, photographed among her flower fields at Paisley Flower Farm

Here’s where you can find and follow today’s guests:

Wasatch Blooms on Facebook

Wasatch Blooms on Instagram

Utah Cut Flower Farms Association on Instagram

Paradise Valley Orchard on Facebook

Paradise Valley Orchard on Instagram

Paisley Flower Farm on Facebook

Paisley Flower Farm on Instagram

Florage on Instagram

The beauty of Utah as an agricultural state at Paradise Valley Orchard

Thanks so much for listening in on today’s inspiring conversations. I have a big grin on my face as I reflect on the energy and enthusiasm shared by these floral entrepreneurs in Utah. There’s lots more to come from this conversation and I’m already eager to plan future episodes triggered by some of the topics discussed today —  from learning more about Dr. Melanie Stock’s cut flower research at the Utah State University to hearing how an established cut flower farm like Bindweed has changed hands from its founders to new owners Ali and Lorin Harrison. Not enough time today, but I hope to revisit Utah and the Slow Flowers members there in 2020. Stay tuned!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 547,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season. Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development! Click here to find the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

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.  Mayesh recently launched a brand new ecommerce web site. I’m particularly excited about The Product Planner, the newest eCommerce addition, which allows florists to create recipes for events that then calculate the number of stems needed, generating a quote for that order. There’s also ramped up navigation designed to find quality flowers and more educational resources.

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.

(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 American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And if you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

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

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

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

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 427: Two Inspiring Voices from Flower Farmers of Ireland; plus, our state focus: Texas

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

If you’ve followed along with me for any length of time, you won’t be surprised to know that my trusty digital recorder is always tucked into my backpack when I travel. That’s because I’m on the alert for great Slow Flowers Podcast guests to share with you.

When I joined Holly Chapple at Flowerstock last month, I fully intended on connecting with a few Slow Flowers members to interview for this podcast. You’ve already heard my conversation with Kendra Schirmer of Laurel Creek Florals in South Carolina a few weeks ago — she was part of the Fifty States of Slow Flowers series. And coming up, you’ll meet Liz Krieg of Vermont’s Maple Flower Farm, who I also interviewed while at Flowerstock.

Maura Sheehy of Maura’s Cottage Flowers in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
Fiona Liston, Meadowsweet Flowers, Dunnaman, Croom, County Limerick, Ireland

But I could never have predicted meeting Fiona Liston of Meadowseet Flower Farm (left) and Maura Sheehy of Maura’s Cottage Flowers (above), the two women I want to introduce you to right now.

As you’ll hear us discuss, one chilly night at Holly and Evan Chapple’s Hope Flower Farm, I found myself sitting on a log-bench around the campfire — next to Maura and Fiona. We had a lovely conversation about why they decided to attend Flowerstock and their personal floral journeys.

Maura and Fiona told me they were members of the core group who recently founded Flower Farmers of Ireland — and of course, my interest was piqued!

They agreed to join me the following afternoon during a break so I could record this episode. I’m so excited to share the back-story of Ireland’s local flower renaissance and the increasing popularity of farmer-florists like Maura and Fiona.

Before we get started, here’s a little more background about Flower Farmers of Ireland.

We are an all-Ireland support and advice group for the country’s commercial cut-flower and foliage growers. Our aims are to promote the cultivation, marketing, sale and use of Irish-grown cut-flowers and foliage and to support and act as an advocate for the growers. We promote the growing of seasonal Irish cut-flowers and foliage in a sustainable manner with respect for the environment and the people working in the industry. We intend to be a national voice for the development of this industry in Ireland.

Maura Sheehy, Maura’s Cottage Flowers

Maura Sheehey is the award-winning artisan flower farmer and florist who runs Maura’s Cottage Flowers which caters for weddings, corporate floral requirements, local deliveries and flower arranging classes.

Maura grows flowers and designs for local business clients and destination weddings, among other customers.

Located on an idyllic,  sheltered hillside site just outside Tralee in County Kerry, Maura takes great pride in farming the same parcel of land that has been tended by several generations before. She manages the flower-farm sustainably  and offers a bespoke service creating arrangements that are unique yet distinctive with an eye for color. Her flowers are scented, natural and always reflect the seasons.

After rearing seven children, Maura followed her dream to study horticulture through distance learning with The Organic College in Dromcollogher, County Limerick.

More botanicals from Maura’s Cottage Flowers

Today, Maura’s passion for  flowers is evident in every element of her designs. Customers have called her creations “original, breathtaking and stunning”. She loves to feel that her floral creations convey a message of thoughtfulness to the recipients for any occasion.

The above two photos feature event design by Maura’s Cottage Flowers (c) Ciara o Donnell

In 2017 she launched “Bloom with Maura,” offering classes to individuals and groups on flower-arranging in her studio and beyond. In addition to flower-farming and floristry, Maura is a columnist with Country Living magazine and she often contributes to other publications. She has received a number of prestigious awards, though her my most treasured the The Kerryman Business award for Heritage and Environment.

Fiona Liston, photographed while designing at the Firenza Flower workshop, 2018, at Springfield Castle, Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick.  (c) Belle and Beau Photography

Fiona Liston owns Meadowsweet Flowers, a unique floristry design service that uses homegrown  flowers to create vintage and rustic-style bouquets and floral arrangements.

Fiona lives with her husband John on an organically-certified  beef and dairy farm in Dunnaman, Croom, part of rural County Limerick. They are passionate about protecting the natural environment and working with nature to encourage  wildlife such as birds, bees, butterflies, and hedgehogs.

Dahlias at Meadowsweet Flowers

Nature has always been a source of inspiration for Fiona. With a degree in Fine Art from the Limerick School of Art & Design, and a certificate in Interior Design, she has developed a keen eye for color, texture and form,  and her customers  often  comment on the natural flair and creativity evident in my floral displays.

Fiona supplies flowers to restaurants, businesses and homeowners in the Croom, Adare, Ballingarry, Bruff, Bruree, Charleville and Limerick city areas.

Her greatest  passion lies in designing wedding flowers and through Meadowsweet Flowers’ bespoke design services.

Sweet Peas at Meadowsweet Flowers

I’m so delighted to introduce you to my new friends from across the Atlantic, part of the ever-expanding movement that’s radically redefining the global cut-flower industry by producing locally-grown, seasonal, scented blooms for people who love their flowers to look and smell as if they were freshly picked from the garden that morning. It’s a Slow Flowers Celebration, Irish style.

Maura Sheehy (left) and Fiona Liston (right), photographed during their trip from Ireland to Holly Chapple’s Flowerstock

Here’s how to find and follow Maura and Fiona:

Maura’s Cottage Flowers on Facebook

Maura’s Cottage Flowers on Instagram

Meadowsweet Flowers on Instagram

Flower Flowers of Ireland on Facebook

Flower Farmers of Ireland of Instagram

Flower Farmers of Ireland on Twitter

Thanks so much for listening in on this lovely conversation with Maura Sheehy and Fiona Liston — what a true delight it was for me to spend time laughing and sharing with these two new friends.

Dahlia from Meadowsweet Flowers, an organic flower farm in Ireland

I think you’ll love this description that I want to share from the Flower Farmers of Ireland “about” page on its web site. I know it will resonate with you:

Seasonal, scented, freshly-harvested Irish cut flowers and foliage, grown with love and arranged with flair…this is what’s at the heart of the  Flower Farmers of Ireland association, whose members can be found all around Ireland, from the wilds of west Cork to the damp meadowlands of Leitrim. Whether it’s a bouquet of sweetly perfumed narcissi in spring, a delicate tangle of roses and scented sweet pea in summer, a fiery-hued arrangement of dahlias, in autumn or a wintry Christmas wreath embellished with decorative seedheads,  we pride ourselves on growing and arranging the freshest and most beautiful seasonal blooms and foliage for market as well as for both public and private events. 

Georgia Monroe of Basecamp Farm Flowers — our TEXAS Voice

And today we are continuing our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – with Georgia Monroe of Basecamp Farm Flowers in Millican, Texas.

Located just 10 miles from South College Station, Basecamp Farms  grows specialty cut flowers for the Brazos Valley and surrounding region.  Georgia and her husband Jordan grow and sell seasonal, high quality blooms to florists in the Brazos Valley and North Houston, as well as selling flowers to the public and hosting farm events.

Find and follow Basecamp Farm Flowers at these social places:

Basecamp Farm Flowers on Facebook

Basecamp Farm Flowers on Instagram

Basecamp Farms’ new online store

Texas Living article about Basecamp Farms Flowers

The SLOW FLOWERS PODCAST is the weekly podcast about American Flowers and the people who grow and design with them. It’s all about making a conscious choice and I invite you to join the conversation and the creative community as we discuss the vital topics of saving our domestic flower farms and supporting a floral industry that relies on a safe, seasonal and local supply of flowers and foliage.

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers. The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 544,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month.

Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season. Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development! Click here to find the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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. You can also find a link to our latest article for the November Johnny’s Advantage newsletter. Johnny’s asked me to write about Sustainable Floral Design after hearing Tobey Nelson’s presentation at the 2019 Slow Flowers Summit. My Q&A with Tobey is inspiring and chock-full of “better choice mechanics and techniques for foam-free floristry” and more resources.

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.

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.

(c) photography by Liz Brown @estorie

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

In The Field; Thingamajig
audionautix.com

Episode 426: Ponderosa & Thyme’s Katie Davis; plus, our state focus: Tennessee

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019
Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme (right) with one of her hand-tied, seasonal bouquets. Portrait of Katie (left): Ivy and Gold Photography

I’m delighted to introduce you to Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme.

Katie and I first met in the spring of 2014 while attending a Little Flower School workshop at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, Oregon. I was there to produce an article about the class for Country Gardens magazine and Katie, a hometown gal, was one of the many talented designers who attended.

Katie and I joined up about 3 years ago this month — at Mayesh Wholesale Florist in Portland.

A few years later, when Mayesh Wholesale Florist planned its Portland, Oregon-branch’s grand re-opening, Katie and I were invited to present design demonstrations at the party (above). It was such a thrill to share that experience with her — and it certainly gave me a new appreciation for Katie’s artistry and affinity for designing with color, texture and nature as her muse.

Ponderosa & Thyme joined Slow Flowers as a member in 2018 and I’ve been wanting to interview Katie and share her amazing story with you ever since. As I say in our conversation, it’s silly that Katie and I live in adjacent states and yet have waited this long to record this episode.

Let’s blame this lapse in part to our mutual busy travel schedules. Katie has been a nomadic floral design educator for the past several years and well, you know I’m always on the road myself.

Flowers and Fruit, designed by Katie Davis (c) Kim Branagan Photography

To be fair, though, she is not a nomad, but an artist whose desire is to develop and lead experiences and opportunities centered around creativity, authenticity, and personal growth. Floristry is the artistic medium Katie uses to facilitate these experiences.

Katie is known for nurturing supportive and inspiring learning environments that are immersive, intimate, beautiful, and warm. She values environments where people can be truly present and connect honestly with themselves and others, in their pursuit of artistic expression and a sustainable life. 

Left: Seasonal and foraged elements (c) Orange Photographie from a Ponderosa & Thyme Workshop; Right: Katie (c) Kim Branagan Photography

Katie Davis is an internationally acclaimed florist based in Salem, Oregon, the heart of the Willamette Valley. Since founding Ponderosa & Thyme in 2011, Katie has become known for her textural designs inspired by nature. Her floral designs use the most luxurious and beautiful flowers available while incorporating locally foraged, unique, and sensory plants into each arrangement. The result is a visually breathtaking experience.

An installation made in Portland, Oregon by Ponderosa & Thyme (c) Maria Lamb Photography; Model: Muse Management

Katie’s design aesthetic could be best described as playful, romantic, herb-y, and fragrant. In addition to creating florals for intimate weddings, Katie and her team host incredible workshops worldwide for florists and other creatives to explore the art of floral design. Ponderosa & Thyme continues to offer wedding and event services, specializing in intimate and heartfelt experiences.

With a heart for education, Katie has been teaching floral design since 2014, serving clients across the globe. Flowers are a language of their own, and while teaching in English, Katie is able to cross cultures with her thoughtful and emotional approach. Just as comfortable teaching the basics as she is pushing experienced professionals to expand their creative boundaries, Katie loves to help people grow, discover, and connect.‍

Left: Cool-toned and ephemeral florals by Katie Davis for a Ponderosa & Thyme photo shoot (c) Sierra Ashleigh Photography; Right: Katie Davis in her new Salem, Ore., workshop space (c) Ivy and Gold Photography

The PONDEROSA WORKSHOP RETREATS have taken Katie to Italy, Scotland, France, Australia and New York. She has also been invited to teach in Korea, Mexico and across the U.S.

With the advent of 2020, the Ponderosa Classroom in Salem, Oregon, is gearing up for a full series of workshops, including one-day and two-day intensive sessions that focus on specific skills, techniques and designs to facilitate artistic expression in floral design.

In our conversation, you’ll hear Katie discuss her decision in 2018 to lease a brick and mortar location in her beautiful hometown.‍ I’m thrilled to share our chat with you.

Find and follow Ponderosa & Thyme at these social places:

Ponderosa & Thyme on Facebook

Ponderosa & Thyme on Instagram

Ponderosa & Thyme on Pinterest

An installation made in Portland, Oregon by Ponderosa & Thyme (c) Maria Lamb Photography; Portrait, Sarah Pearson (left), Ponderosa & Thyme business manager; Katie Davis (right)

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today with Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme. My heart is filled with admiration and affection for Katie and I’m delighted you joined us.

Be sure to check out the Ponderosa Classroom Online, a new project that Katie created as a response to requests for affordably-priced, in-depth online education, monthly Floral Meditations to inspire your creativity, recipes for arrangements, Information and online discussions on relevant business and creative topics, Access to music playlists, Access to full length IG Live Video Replays from @ponderosa_and_thyme, high-quality content accessible 24/7, connection and community with like-hearted flower friends– and more. Monthly memberships are just $9.99 USD per month, and annual memberships are only $99 USD per year — you can find more details here.

Flowers grown and designed by Laura Bigbee-Fott of White’s Creek Flower Farm (left) and Laura (right)

And today we are continuing our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – with Laura Bigbee-Fott of White’s Creek Flower Farm in White’s Creek, Tennessee.

Peonies at White’s Creek Flower Farm

Established on Earth Day in 2012, Whites Creek Flower Farm is an artisanal permaculture flower farm just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Whites Creek is a historic rural area;

What a generous and beautiful selection of Tennessee-grown blooms!

Laura’s flowers are lovingly grown and organically managed.

She grows many unusual varieties, specializing in an English country garden aesthetic.

Her bouquets are elegant and imbued with a sense of whimsy. And they are raised with a profound respect for the ecosystem of which they are a part.

Find and follow Laura at White’s Creek Flower Farm at these social places:

White’s Creek Flower Farm on Facebook

White’s Creek Flower Farm on Instagram

White’s Creek Flower Farm on Twitter




Thank you so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 537,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

In fact, for the month of October 2019, which we just wrapped up, more than 13,700 episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast were downloaded – an all-time record!

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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

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

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

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

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

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

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

Music Credits:
Home Home at Last; Betty Dear; Gaenaby 
Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

In The Field Music from:
audionautix.com