Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘Slowflowers.com the Directory of American Flowers’ Category

Episode 465: High desert flower farming in Arizona with Aishah Lurry of Patagonia Flower Farm

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
Aishah Lurry grows cut flowers in Arizona’s high desert town of Patagonia, just 25 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. All portrait and farm photography (c) Kayla Lewis-Simpson @kaylalewphotography

Way back in February B.C. — and by that I mean February, Before COVID — a Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine editor named Carly Scholl reached out to request an interview. She sent an email and wrote: I’m working on a story for our upcoming April issue about local flower farms, and my research consequently led me to you and your “slow flowers” movement. Your information and research has certainly informed my article so far, but I would love to do a short interview with you about this slow flowers concept to further educate our readers. 

Aishah Lurry, with her brand-new delivery van. The van represents a growth opportunity that allows Patagonia Flower Farm to serve more markets including Tucson, about 60 miles away.

Carly and I had a wonderful conversation — her interest in locally-grown flowers was so encouraging! And in April, she published a four page feature about three fabulous flower farmers in Arizona, including today’s guest, Aishah Lurry of Patagonia Flower Farm. It’s a great article titled “How the Slow Flowers Movement is Making Arizona Bloom,” with the subhead: “Three local flower farms are cultivating communities around eco-conscious blossoms.”

You’ll be inspired by its focus on the importance of local and sustainable flowers and by the stories of all three farmers profiled, including Anne Jensen of Anne E’s Garden Fresh in Phoenix, also a Slow Flowers member, and Shanti Rade of Whipstone Farm in Paulden, a past guest of this podcast.

Read the full article here: “How the Slow Flowers Movement is Making Arizona Bloom”

Read the companion piece: “A Q&A With Debra Prinzing”

Lisianthus!!!

The article did another important thing as it revealed the state’s geographic diversity when it comes to growing flowers. As Aishah and I discuss, Arizona’s flower farmers have much in common, but the state’s growing zones vary widely. Patagonia is located in USDA Zone 8a with average minimum temperatures of 10 to 15 degree; you’ll hear Aishah discuss what this means for her long growing season, despite low precipitation and high daytime temperatures during some times of the year. 

Aishah and her husband Sebastian

Here’s a bit more about Aishah, adapted from the Patagonia Flower Farm web site:

Aishah says flowers are one of the greatest passions in her life. After years of feeling frustrated about having to drive miles out of town for overpriced bouquets filled with imported flowers that died quickly, she decided to start her own micro-farm, Patagonia Flower Farm in 2017. Now her neighbors enjoy the beauty of fresh flowers that last days while keeping their carbon footprint small.

Gardening has been a personal joy of Aishah’s for more than 20 years. She has taught several classes about sprouts, micro-greens, and propagation and today serves with Borderlands Restoration Network to further its native species and public education programs.

Aishah shares her horticultural knowledge and gardening expertise to help  customers enjoy the natural beauty and elegance that fresh, local flowers offer. She considers her flowers a local, affordable, and well-deserved luxury. Each flower in Aishah’s hand-picked bouquets are lovingly grown to ensure health, vibrancy, and longevity of the ingredients. Patagonia Flower Farm ‘s organic and sustainable practices keep the Earth and bees happy and healthy.

Find and follow Patagonia Flower Farm at these social places:
Patagonia Flower Farm on Facebook
Patatonia Flower Farm on Instagram

More about Aishah’s Hydroponic Tulip Production

Growing trays for hydroponic tulips
Inside Aishah’s cooler during her winter production of tulips under light
Look how clean and tidy these bulbs are!

Aishah sources the bulb trays from Leo Burbee Bulb Co. in Ohio

Lisianthus with companion flowers — all field-grown at Patagonia Flower Farm

Thanks so much for joining my conversation with Aishah Lurry. I’m encouraged by her focus on community and collaboration — a model we’ve seen happen with success across the Slow Flowers Movement — and definitely among the new Arizona Cut Flower Growers group. Watch for details about the future of this collective. And if you’re in the Tucson area, reach out to Aishah to join her CSA customer list. This was a great episode and I learned so much about the personal drive to grow flowers in challenging conditions. Best of luck with those dahlias, Aishah!

Now, more than ever, your Slow Flowers Membership gives you an important story to share with your community and your customers. Our monthly Slow Flowers Meet-Ups continue Friday, August 14th (9 am PT/Noon ET) and you’re invited to join us – virtually – via Zoom.

The COVID-19 pandemic drove us to begin this ritual in late March, and I’ve heard from so many of you who have valued the opportunity to connect with kindred spirits across the continent. After hosting weekly Meet-Ups for about 10 weeks, we shifted to monthly sessions to accommodate the increasingly busier and complicated schedules of our members. Since June, we’ve met on the second Friday morning of each month.

If you missed last month’s Meet-Up, you can find video from our July 10th Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up with featured guests wedding designer and stylist Joy Proctor, founder and creative director of Joy Proctor Design and Slow Flowers members and wedding and event designers Adam Rico and Alicia Rico of Dallas-based Bows and Arrows Flowers. Learn about the first @saytheirnamesmemorial in Portland, Oregon, installed on Juneteenth (June 19th) by Joy Proctor and a group of friends, artists, designers and craftspeople, and created in several other cities including Dallas and Atlanta by Bows and Arrows Flowers.

Join us on Friday, August 14th

Gina Thresher (left) and Tonneli Gruetter (right)

This month’s guests include Gina Thresher of From the Ground Up Floral and Tonneli Gruetter of Salty Acres Farmthey’re among the instructors in a new virtual floral conference taking place in late August called Fleurvana. You’ll hear more from Gina and Tonneli and learn how you can grab a free registration for the three-day conference — I’ll be speaking there too. You can join us at this link. See you next Friday!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 630,000 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

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.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

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.

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

(c) Jean Zaputil

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

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

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

Music Credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 464: Petals & Politics — Natasha Harper-Madison’s story, from wedding and event designer to Austin City Council Member

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Natasha Harper-Madison, from floral entrepreneur to elected council member in Austin, Texas (all photos courtesy Natasha Harper-Madison)

Today’s guest is Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, representing the city of Austin’s District 1. She may not seem like a typical Slow Flowers Podcast guest, but I know you’ll find our conversation inspiring, uplifting and a call to action. Natasha is a former floral entrepreneur and very early Slow Flowers member; I’ve been watching her path to public service on social media over the past few years and I just decided to reach out and ask her to share her amazing story.

Natasha now represents Austin’s District 1, the community where she grew up

As you will hear in the conversation that we recently recorded over Zoom, Natasha and I originally met when she joined Slow Flowers through her Austin-based wedding and event business Eco-Chic Flowers and Events, later rebranded as The Floral Engagement. Natasha was a sustainability pioneer and early adopter in the commitment to sourcing locally-grown flowers and to avoiding the use of any floral foam in her designs. You’ll hear us talk about her friendship with Mickey Blake, inventor of Floral Soil, a company here in Washington that had once developed a plant-based foam alternative to single-use plastic options on the marketplace. Mickey was a past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast back in 2014, when we were huge supporters of her effort. Sadly that project is no longer operating, but I just wanted to mention it because it’s another thread that previously connected Natasha and me with a shared mission for sustainability.

The Harper-Madison family, including Natasha, her husband Tom Madison, and their “bigs” and “littles”

Inviting an elected official to be a guest on the Slow Flowers Podcast isn’t typical, but I am so grateful to learn from a “friend of Slow Flowers,” a former florist, who is now on the front lines of governing and addressing social and racial justice issues in a major U.S. city.

Here’s a bit more about Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison. She represents Austin’s District 1, the part of town where she was born and raised. Her upbringing endowed her with an intimate knowledge of her community’s strengths and its unique struggles. The lessons she learned as a successful small business owner on the Eastside led her down a path towards advocacy. She served as president of the East 12th Street Merchants Association and also founded East Austin Advocates, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting under-represented residents with the resources they need to succeed.

Her community-level activism sparked Council Member Harper-Madison’s interest in seeking public office, a goal she achieved with her first campaign for City Council in 2018.

She is the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and sits on the Housing and Planning Committee, Judicial Committee, and Regional Affordability Committee.

As Natasha explains, the decision to run for public office was a family decision

In between championing the interests of her constituents, Council Member Harper-Madison is the proud wife of an Austin firefighter, the mother of four children, and a thriving breast cancer survivor.

Thanks so much for joining my conversation with Natasha Harper-Madison of Austin’s District 1. I was very struck by a few of her statements: “This gig is not for folks who need instant gratification.” and “Sacrifice is not synonymous  with suffering.”

I so admire Natasha for her willingness to, as she says: “sow the seeds of heirloom plants today — plants she may never personally see come to fruit or bloom.” I feel so moved to have had this conversation with a former colleague who’s taken a path of great personal sacrifice to address the inequities in her community — and I believe there is a ripple effect of Natasha’s actions and leadership, not to mention her ambitious vision to improve her community’s lives. That ripple effect may inspire you to take action about something you believe is hurting your community.

This conversation reminds me that we all can do better. Thank you, again, Natasha!

Follow the Council Member on Facebook

Follow the Council Member on Twitter

Thank you to our sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.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. Learn more at shop.syndicatesales.com.

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

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 627,000 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.

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:

Welcome Home Sonny; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

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

Episode 462: Blueberries to Eat and Arrange. How HB Farm’s Heather Schuh transitioned to cut flowers when the blueberry market collapsed

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

I’m so happy to share my conversation with Heather Schuh of HB Farm with you today. We recorded it last Saturday after the July “Best of” Workshop that Slow Flowers produced for the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market where HB Farm is a member-grower.

It was serendipitous that we would be in the same place on the same day — Heather presented about blueberry, blackberry and raspberry cuts for foliage, along with Kristy Hilliker of B&B Family Farm who gave a fabulous lavender talk. Following their educational presentations, Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers designed a lush and abundant summer arrangement using the berry foliage and lavender, along with companion stems. The presentations can be found on the Growers Market’s IGTV feed:

Part One: Lavender with B&B Family Farm and Berry Foliages with HB Farm

View this post on Instagram

Hear from B&B Family Lavender Farm and HB Farms

A post shared by SEA Wholesale Growers Market (@seattlewholesalegrowersmarket) on

Part Two: Floral design demonstration with Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers

I say it was serendipity that brought Heather and me together to record — socially-distanced on opposite sides of the room — because this is an interview that took one year to accomplish! I had reached out to Heather to set up an interview last summer, only to discover that the date I wanted to visit HB Farm was also the date that Heather was hosting her son’s wedding at her farm (oh, and designing the flowers, too).

I’m so glad we make it work this past week and I learned a lot about this serial entrepreneur who has a background in timber, home construction and interior design. For Heather, it started with blueberries and she has come full circle to return to blueberries, but in a modern, design-forward way.

Heather loves growing a wide range of crops – in addition to blueberries. Here she is with an armload of scented geranium foliage

Here’s a bit more about Heather Schuh and HB Farm:

Her family has been farming the land that is currently HB Farm since the 1940’s.  During that time the ground has seen several crop successions. Heather remembers helping plant raspberries there in 1975 and when the raspberry market changed in the early 80’s all of the farmland was converted to Blueberries.  

She says this: The biggest lessons I have learned from farming is that it isn’t easy, and to be ready to innovate and make changes due to market demands and conditions.  

In 2015 the market for Blueberries was inundated with overproduction.  Farms that were planted throughout northern Washington State and even to the South started to produce everything they had planted approximately 5 years earlier. Suddenly, the need for small producers to sell their products to larger wholesaler simply dried up, leaving family farms like HB Farm stuck with Blueberries that no one wanted.  

After much discussion and the desire to continue to farm, Heather and her husband Brandon decided to dig up and sell as many of their blueberry plants as they could, after which they began converting their fields to flowers.

That next chapter continues today. Heather calls farming a “lifestyle” summed up by rising early to harvest and do all of the watering and chores associated with farming and going to bed late when your body is aching from all of the hours of hard work.  

She believes this work ethic was passed down by her parents and grandparents, adding “Family Farms are a beautiful part of this nation’s history and I am so happy that we are able to continue our families legacy…with Flowers!”

Annabelle hydrangeas are another top crop from HB Farm

Here’s how to find and follow Heather Schuh and HB Farm:

HB Farm on Facebook

HB Farm on Instagram

In the coming weeks, as Heather mentioned, the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market will roll out a new and improved website. I’ll make sure to share a link when that goes Live, so you can see all of the botanicals, flowers, and foliage, from HB Farm and the other amazing farmers who are part of the cooperative.

Last Friday July 10th we held the monthly Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up, our second monthly gathering via Zoom, which follows the eight consecutive weekly Meet-Ups that began in late March with the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Pandemic continues to be top-of-mind for us all, and connecting virtually is one way to check in and listen, learn, encourage and grow with the Slow Flowers community.

Click above to watch the replay video from last week’s meet-up. It was profoundly inspiring.

Our attendees learned about the first @saytheirnamesmemorial in Portland, Oregon, created two weeks ago by top wedding designer Joy Proctor and a group of friends, artists, designers and craftspeople. Their goal was to use art to honor hundreds of Black men and women whose lives were taken unjustly. Since then, the memorial has been recreated in several more cities, including Dallas, Seattle, Lexington and Austin, with up to 10 more planned throughout the country. 

Dallas creatives Alicia and Adam Rico, Slow Flowers members and owners of Bows and Arrows Flowers, were part of the team of that installed #saytheirnamesmemorial tributes in Dallas. They have since brought the installation to Atlanta and Naples, Florida. These passionate and gifted wedding professionals discussed the idea of #floralactivism and how they are using beauty and art to raise awareness, change attitudes and protest injustice in their communities and beyond. 

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

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

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.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. Its mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 624,000 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.

(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:

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

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

In The Field; Acoustic Shuffle
audionautix.com

Episode 461: Oregon’s Pollinate Flowers on growing, design and creating community, with owners John Peterson, Jeremi Carroll and Zach Goff

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020
Pollinate’s flowers for Oregon’s wine country (left); the men of Pollinate, from left: Zach Goff, John Peterson and Jeremi Carroll

John Peterson, Jeremi Carroll and Zach Goff welcomed me to Pollinate’s gardens in Dundee, which is in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, about 40 miles southwest of Portland.

I wore my mask and enjoyed following them along the paths and through the beds and borders of their overly abundant, integrated garden where flowers and food thrive in community. When it came time to record our conversation, we sat safely apart from each other under a tree in the garden, with chairs arranged around a table where I placed the digital recorder. Nothing beats recording a podcast episode in the garden!

Pollinate began when John (left) and Jeremi (right) chased their dreams of growing a “food forest” from a suburban rental house outside Portland to a beautiful, 2.5-acre gardens in Dundee, Oregon

The path to flowers began for John and Jeremi in 2009 when they lived in the Portland suburbs and  planted a beautiful garden in the backyard of a rental house.

As the story is told on Pollinate’s web site, it quickly became clear by the juxtaposition between their vibrant garden and the Astroturf on the property’s front lawn, that their intentions had overgrown the available gardening space. The fence surrounding that tiny suburban yard was a physical  limitation; yet, Jeremi and John discovered they had cultivated an obsessive love of nature’s abundance and diverse beauty. They set their sights on a new property and developed a plan to take a broken piece of land that they could “re-wild” into a bio-diverse habitat for flora and fauna alike. 

Over recent years, the focus on growing food, fruit and herbs has expanded to flowers for pollinators and humans alike

In the summer of 2012, armed with textbook theories and a single dull shovel, the men moved to 2.5 acres in Dundee, and they began to turn that dream into reality.

Over the past several years, they focused on building permanent, no-till beds surrounded with lush perennial plantings, which together develop habitat where life thrives. Their efforts have created a regenerative ecosystem; a healthy environment for plants, animals, insects and microbes as Pollinate grows beautiful varieties of luscious, nutrient-dense produce and vibrant cut flowers that customers feel good about shoving their faces in to take a sniff.

More Pollinate flowers (left) and the dynamic team behind them (right), Zach Goff, John Peterson and Jeremi Carroll

As John and Jeremi began to focus more on flowers than edible plants alone, their business got a boost when a third partner joined them in 2017. This is the third growing season that Zach Goff has been part of Pollinate. Like Jeremi and John, he has a background in culinary and hospitality, and he brings marketing, branding and photography skills to the team.

Zach, John and Jeremi (left) with their retail partner Pam Baker of the Little Lavender Farm (right) at their new shop in Newberg, Oregon

There is a lot of change happening for Pollinate right now, including the June opening of a new retail shop in Newburg, Oregon, an adjacent town that’s known as the gateway to Oregon’s wine country. Pollinate shares its flower shop with a fellow grower, Little Lavender Farm, owned by their neighbor Pam Baker. I stopped by to check out the charming shop after we recorded this episode.

Things are moving so quickly that now the men are working on a new ecommerce web site to support the retail shop. They expect to launch that platform later this summer, so you’ll want to find and follow Pollinate’s social places to catch the announcement when the new site goes live.

Here’s how you can find and follow Pollinate:

Pollinate & Little Lavender Farm’s Retail Shop is located at: 108 S. College St., Suite C, Newberg, Oregon 97132. Open Wed – Sat, 2-6 (Wed until 8)

Follow Pollinate on Instagram

Follow Pollinate on Facebook

Photo (c) Emily Berger
Slow Flowers and American Flowers Week sponsored “THIS IS DETROIT”
• installation six of #bigflowerfriend, a project raising money for michigan flower farmers • on view at @citybirddetroit • Designed by Lisa Waud Botanical Artist, the colorful floral flag invited Detroit residents to take selfie photos in tribute to change and equity•

I’m on a big high, after a full week of activities celebrating American Flowers Week, June 28th-July 4th, our sixth year coming together as a community to elevate domestic flowers in the minds of consumers and professional florists alike.

Thank you to everyone who posted floral images and your own beautiful tributes across social media — we’ve been watching the impact over time as the #americanflowersweek hashtag has garnered more than 15 million social media impressions since we launched in 2015.

You can find our 2020 recap articles at americanflowersweek.com. In a few weeks, we will announce our call for submissions for the 2021 botanical couture collection — now is the time to jump on this opportunity while your fields and studios are bursting with floral ingredients!

Did you miss our most recent Slow Flowers Members’ Virtual Meet-Up?
Click on the Play Button above to join Debra Prinzing as she welcomes ALISON HIGGINS and MONÍCA PUGH, two of the designers who created Botanical Couture garments for the American Flowers Week 2020 Collection.

Later this week, 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern on Friday, July 10th, you are invited to join the 2nd monthly Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up on Zoom. Click here to find the details to join us!

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

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

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

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 622,000 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.

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

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

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

Music Credits:

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

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

In The Field; Acoustic Shuffle
audionautix.com

Episode 459: Modern Montana with Remy Brault of Labellum, a retail flower shop in Bozeman, Montana

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020
Remy Bault, floral artist and entrepreneur
A beautiful centerpiece by Remy Brault, of Labellum

Please meet Remy Brault of Labellum, a contemporary floral boutique based in Bozeman, Montana.

Remy and I first met in September 2017 at a conference called Rocky Mountain Gardening Live, produced by Rocky Mountain Gardening magazine. She shared a beautiful tabletop floral demonstration featuring all Montana-grown flowers, and later led a fun hands-on workshop to teach participants how to make miniature floral pieces as place settings. I was there to talk about the Slow Flowers Movement from a gardener’s point of view.

Wild, bold, natural — the Labellum style reflects Remy’s contemporary aesthetic and geographic inspiration

Soon after that, Remy joined Slow Flowers as a member and I’ve been wanting to have her as a guest on the Podcast for quite a while. It seems like perfect timing to do that right now, with something fun to celebrate — including her centerpiece and bridal bouquet featured in The Slow Flowers Journal Book.

Two pieces, designed by Remy Brault — illustrating the range of her floral art

Here’s more about Remy Brault and Labellum:

Labellum is a retail flower shop in downtown Bozeman, which also specializes in event florals. With a style that is hip, modern and organic, Remy writes this on Labellum’s web site: “We love mixing natural elements and incorporating rich textures into our work. With artistry and imagination, each arrangement tells a story and is as unique as our clients. We are inspired by the ever changing seasons with all of their natural textures.

Inside Labellum, where plants and vases play a large role in the inventory, too.

Impact is everything and our footprint matters to us. We work with gardeners and farmers in our area during the warmer months in Montana to combine as many vibrant local flowers as possible into our designs. We also grow many flowers on our own and whenever possible we love foraging respectfully and ethically in the forest or along the river beds for awesome drift wood, rocks, and anything that has fun textures and shapes. We have recently become beekeepers and added two bee hives to our little ever changing urban ‘farm.’ Our hope is to help with pollinating our neighborhood,  increasing bee populations and of course produce a delicious organic wildflower honey.” 

Feminine flowers, designed with a sculptural approach for both a bouquet and a centerpiece arrangement, by Labellum

By the way, the word “Labellum” is the center petal of an orchid. A beautiful name and brand for an organically-focused floral shop.

One of Remy’s tabletop arrangements, featured in the new Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One, from Ch. 5: Farm to Tabletop (c) Fran Ze Photography
A bridal bouquet featuring icelandic poppy, foxglove, corn cockle, candytuft, scabiosa, nigella, dusty Miller and phlox, from Ch. 6: Slow Weddings (c) Norman and Blake Photography

Above, please enjoy two stunning creations by Remy Brault in Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One book.

Find and follow Remy Brault at these social places:

Labellum on Facebook

Labellum on Instagram

Today, on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, we’re kicking off my new book, the Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One, and I couldn’t be more excited to share the news with you! I’m celebrating the launch in a few ways — in-person with my Seattle community at a socially-distanced book-signing event at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, and online, with our Slow Flowers Community everywhere via a virtual book launch on Zoom. Click here to order copy of Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One — our bookstore is open for orders.

The virtual Launch Party and Happy Hour will take place at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm on June 24th and we will welcome many special guests who appear in the book’s pages. Here’s the invitation — and you’re invited to join us!

Eighty Slow Flowers members are featured in the pages of the new Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One Book

In coming weeks, I’ll be showcasing the talents and stories of many of the members featured in our new book — and if you’re interested in submitting your floral designs and the story of your floral enterprise for possible inclusion in Slow Flowers Journal – Volume Two, please reach out! We are beginning to plan our next book in the series and would love to consider you for its pages. More details to follow later this summer, but you can submit you ideas to: debra@slowflowers.com.

On Sunday, June 28th, we kick off the sixth annual American Flowers Week, with a full calendar of online, virtual events. Keep an eye out for details on our Slow Flowers Facebook and Instagram pages, as we will announce new content, interviews, design demonstrations, floral installations and tours each day, June 28th through July 4th!

Share your story, your farm, your floral designs during #americanflowersweek

Here’s how you can help out the campaign:

Take photos of your flowers — on the farm, in the studio, and in your customers’ hands.
Post those photos to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (or all three!) and please tag #americanflowersweek and #slowflowers, in addition to the tags you usually use. On Instagram & Twitter we are @myslowflowers. On Facebook, we are SLOW FLOWERS.

Download free American Flowers Week graphics, badges and other resources at americanflowersweek.com

See you on Social Media during June 28-July 4 and Enjoy those Red, White & Blue Blooms!

Thank You for Listening!

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

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  farmersweb.com.

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

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 617,000 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.

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

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

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

Music Credits:

Heartland Flyer; Glass Beads; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 458: A Conversation with Val Schirmer of Three Toads Farm in Winchester, Kentucky – continuing our ASCFG Leadership Series

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
Val Schirmer, Charlie Hendricks and Elizabeth Hendricks of Three Toads Farm (c) Melanie Mauer

The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers has supported Slow Flowers as a sponsor for the past three years, which I believe is a reflection of our mutual values and goals of expanding  domestic flower farming as a profession. Over the years, I’ve interviewed many ASCFG members who are also Slow Flowers Members, bringing their inspiring and informative stories to you.

For 2020, I have made it a goal to host ASCFG’s leadership on the Slow Flowers Podcast, highlighting the organization’s many regional directors across North America. In March, you heard from Erin McMullen, co-owner of Rain Drop Farm and ASCFG’s West & Northwest Regional Director. In April, Janis Harris of Harris Flower Farm, ASCFG’s Canadian Regional Director, joined us on the Podcast.

And this week, I’m happy to introduce you to Val Schirmer of Three Toads Farm, based in Winchester, Kentucky – she’s the Southeastern Regional Director for ASCFG, representing members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Val Schirmer (c) Chris Benzakein (left); a premium amaryllis bulb (right)
Val is founder of Three Toads Farm and SE region director
of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers

Here’s a bit more about Three Toads Farm:
The three toads of this established specialty cut flower farm and fine floral design studio include longtime friends and business partners, Val Schirmer and Charlie Hendricks, and Elizabeth Hendricks, Charlie’s daughter. Three Toads Farm is most known for its year-round greenhouse production of show-stopping Oriental lilies.

The farm also produces huge pollen-less sunflowers, varieties of celosia, lisianthus, unique forced spring bulbs, Amaryllis, French tulips, Parrot tulips, ranunculus, English Sweet Peas, and a farmer’s market favorite, bouquets of colorful zinnias nestled in lemon basil.

Growing big gorgeous Oriental and hybrid lilies — using the largest bulbs commercially available — has been foundational to the small farm’s success and applies to
holiday and spring bulbs too. Val says not many growers will pay the cost or go to the trouble of sourcing these bulbs, but “the bigger the bulb, the bigger the show!” That’s how you get the largest, most spectacular flowers, strongest stems and greatest number of blooms.

Each spring and fall, Three Toads Farm hosts a lily bulb sale, encouraging customers in the community to grow their own lilies. You can find Three Toads Farm at the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Lexington and select days at the Market’s Tuesday and Thursday location.

Three Toads Farm offers seasonal bud vase deliveries to restaurants; local businesses and private customers can also subscribe to bi-weekly deliveries or shop at the greenhouse by appointment.

This is one of two sold-out Spring Bulb Garden workshops this past February at Three Toads Farm’s new workshop space. Val applies the same principles to forcing spring bulbs as she does for holiday Amaryllis and Paperwhites. Worship guests get “first dibs” from the 6,000 spring bulbs she forces in deep 6-packs specifically for creating tabletop bulb gardens to enjoy indoors, and then plant outside to rebloom for years to come.

For more than six years, flower lovers have enjoyed on-the-farm workshops  which invite them to tour Three Toad’s fields and greenhouses and make an arrangement with just-picked blooms. And, as you’ll hear us discuss, for the holidays Three Toads Farm grows potted Amaryllis from jumbo-sized bulbs, which are available by special order.

Elizabeth Hendricks (left) is the creative force behind every one of Three Toads
Farm’s weddings and events. Val Schirmer (right) often says Elizabeth’s a big reason that
Martha Stewart Weddings named them one of the country’s Top 10
Farmer-Florists (c) Melanie Mauer
Wedding flowers for a bride and groom who worked with Elizabeth more than a year in advance, so Three Toads Farm could grow dahlias, lilies and other florals just for them. (c) Melanie Mauer

In 2015, Three Toads Farm was named one of the top farmer-florist wedding designers in the U.S. by Martha Stewart Weddings.

Forcing huge bulbs is a trademark of Three Toads Farm’s holiday knockout bulb gardens. Val uses both Southern Hemisphere and Dutch bulbs, potting them up into tabletop bulb gardens. Here, her focus is not only on sourcing big bulbs, but also on ‘specialty’ varieties. Last year she says she doubled the number of bulbs she bought (and had more than a few sleepless nights as a result), but Val believes forcing holiday bulbs is a niche that’s ripe for
flower farmers to try, bringing in high-end sales beyond selling holiday wreaths.

Find and follow Val Schirmer and Three Toads Farms at these social places:

Three Toads Farm on Instagram

Three Toads Farm on Facebook

Thanks so much for joining today’s conversation. Last week, I announced the establishment of a Professional Development Fund to grow our membership of Black flower farmers and florists. This is an intentional step to ensure that Slow Flowers is more representational and inclusive. I want to think our first two contributors, Lisa Waud of Lisa Waud Botanical Artist and author Jennifer Jewell, host of the popular public radio program Cultivating Place.

I also want to thank those of you who have nominated black candidates who we can invite to join Slow Flowers. This is exciting and I know it will inspire others to take action to change the floral profession we love so much.

Small and large efforts are tangible and offer more than lip service to the injustices we’ve witnessed for too long, injustices that have taken place for generations.

I’m so encouraged by you and your efforts. SO many Slow Flowers members have announced donations and campaigns of their own to bring change to their communities — and I’m proud to see how you are speaking out and taking steps alongside my own. Let’s keep it rolling forward!

Playback Video from our June 12th Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up for JUNE

We just held our June Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up on June 12th. It was a fabulous session devoted to American Flowers Week. Attendees met ALISON HIGGINS of Grace Flowers Hawaii and MONÍCA PUGH of Floras and Bouquets, two of the designers who created Botanical Couture garments for the American Flowers Week 2020 Collection! We learned about their inspiration, the mechanics and techniques they employed and how the experience has been a positive one in their communities and for their brands.

Save the Date for Friday, July 10th (9 a.m. Pacific/Noon Eastern) to join our JULY Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up! You can find the link to join in the linktr.ee menu that appears in our Instagram profile @myslowflowers.

As I mentioned last week, mark June 24th on your calendar to join me for a Virtual Book Launch party to celebrate the publication of our new book, Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One! Eighty Slow Flowers members are featured in its pages and we will share a big reveal of this beautiful, 128-page book, published by our partners at Wildflower Media/Florists’ Review. The all-virtual Launch Party and Happy Hour will take place at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm on June 24th and we will welcome many special guests who appear in the pages of Slow Flowers Journal.

Click here to RSVP and Join the Party.
Order your copy of Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One (and see a preview of the inside pages)

Please plan on participating in the sixth annual American Flowers Week, June 28th-July 4th. Use your flowers to communicate a message of beauty, sustainability, wellness and inclusion – and help us promote domestic floral agriculture across the U.S. You can find all sorts of free resources at Americanflowersweek.com.

(c) Grace Hensley

For members only, you can order our red-white-and-blue bouquet labels to use during the weeks leading up to American Flowers Week. Order your labels here.

Hope to see you online with photos and videos and in live displays of your American flowers. Please use the hash-tag: #americanflowersweek to help us find and highlight your talents!

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

More thanks goes to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

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

The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 614,000 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.

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

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

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

Music Credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 457: American Flowers Week, Botanical Couture and Dahlia Dresses with Sarah Pabody of Triple Wren Farms

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020
An apricot-hued dahlia frock designed by Sarah Pabody of Triple Wren Farms (c) Katherine Buttrey

A Message from Debra Prinzing:

Thanks so much for joining today’s conversation. Like me, I know you’ve experienced the healing role that flowers can play in our lives. And if you come from a position of white privilege, like me, I hope you’ve been watching, listening and educating yourselves over the past two weeks as we take stock of the reality that we’ve ignored systemic racism for too long and we must speak out against injustice. I also believe as a white woman, I need to step back and let others speak to power. I have been so moved by the voices and actions of our black Slow Flowers members and by those aren’t black but who are, like me, personally influenced because they have partners and children who are black. It’s raw and on the surface, and certainly centuries of racism will not be reversed over night.

But I encourage you to join me in this self-education and openness to hear. Last week and in the coming weeks, we are featuring our black Slow Flowers members on the Slow Flowers’ IG and FB feeds. Several are past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast, past speakers at Slow Flowers Summit conferences and flower people who I’ve featured in articles for Slow Flowers Journal and other outlets.

We want to grow our black membership beyond its disproportionately small percentage. Please help me with suggestions of flower farmers, floral designers and farmer-florists who we need to include in this community. We have established a Professional Development Fund to underwrite their membership costs. If you’d like to contribute financially to that fund to sponsor a new member and expand our inclusion and representation — please reach out, too! You can contact me at debra@slowflowers.com. I’d love your suggestions and support.

The opening pages of Slow Flowers Journal coverage of American Flowers Week botanical couture features one of Sarah Pabody’s dahlia dresses, photographed in the fields at Triple Wren Farms (c) Katherine Buttrey

We all love dahlias, but have you ever thought about wearing a dress adorned with them? Today’s guest, Sarah Pabody of Triple Wren Farms, lives and breathes dahlias at the farm she operates with her husband Steve Pabody in the Northwest corner of Washington State. I asked Sarah to join me on the Podcast today as part of our leadup to American Flowers Week, which takes place June 28th – July 4th for the sixth consecutive year.

At its heart, American Flowers Week focuses on the origin of each beautiful stem, where it comes from and who is the grower behind that bloom. The campaign also shines a light on floral design, promoting domestic flowers and foliage, inspiring professionals and consumers alike with a new aesthetic connected to locality, seasonality and sustainability.

Created by members of the Slow Flowers Society, the 2020 botanical couture collection for American Flowers Week presents cut flowers re-imagined as a wearable art. These designs combine fantasy with reality, imagination with technique, inventiveness with grit. Flowers are fleeting, yet sensory and evocative, inviting us to view the natural world as a true art form. American Flowers Week captures imaginations and sparks curiosity. It is a true celebration of the artists who grow flowers and the artists who design with them.

Sarah Pabody (second from left) with three models wearing dahlia gowns made from her fields. (c) Ashley Hayes and Sarah Joy Fields

In addition to farming and growing flowers, Sarah also runs Triple Wren Weddings, a wedding and event design studio. After seeing how popular the farm’s dahlia fields were with local photographers and their portrait clients, Sarah fantasized about what it would look like if the people having their photos taken wore dahlias rather than only standing among the flowers. Her idea took hold and now Sarah teaches Dahlia Dress Masterclasses for designers and floral enthusiasts who want to create, wear and be photographed in dahlia couture. Beyond fantasy, the garments are thoroughly alluring, but also accessible, prompting others to imagine themselves wearing a dahlia dress of her own.

Click here to read the full story from the June issue of Florists’ Review:

Sarah and Steve Pabody of Triple Wren Farms, captured with their children among the dahlia fields.

Here’s a bit more about Triple Wren Farms: Founded in 2012, Triple Wren is a 22-acre farm in Ferndale, Washington. It is the second growing site for the Pabodys, who in 2016 acquired a distressed berry farm with great soil and water rights after previously leasing land elsewhere. Triple Wren Farms currently grows on about nine acres.

The Pabody family during a past August sunflower harvest.

The farm supplies cut flowers to wholesale customers and has developed an agritourism focus that includes you-pick blueberry fields, a fall pumpkin patch, flower workshops and open farm events, including a Dahlia Festival and a Blueberry Party. The farm also sells dahlia tubers, growing close to 200 varieties selected for superior cut flower performance. Triple Wren Farms’ tuber store has the tagline: ‘Dahlias for cuts in a modern palette.’

You can listen to Steve and Sarah Pabody’s story when they were guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast back in 2014.

Upcoming Classes, Workshops & Events at Triple Wren Farms:

Dahlia Camp (September 10-12, 2020)

Flower Therapy Workshops and Sunset Yoga (ongoing)

Dahlia Dress Masterclass

Triple Wren Farm & Weddings on Social Media

Triple Wren Farms on Facebook

Triple Wren Farms on Instagram

Triple Wren Weddings

Triple Wren Weddings on Instagram

Sarah and her daughter Chloe Wren, who is wearing one of her mother’s dahlia dresses at Triple Wren Farms (c) Abigail Larsen

I know you’ll enjoy learning from Sarah as we discuss her farm, her flowers, and her floral art.

A lot of happenings are coming up in the month of June and I’m so excited to include any listeners in these opportunities!

On June 12th, we will hold our monthly Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up — an online gathering of florists, growers, farmer-florists and supporters, launched in late March. The Virtual Meet-Ups have moved from weekly to monthly and will now continue as a regular event on the 2nd Friday of each month.

Join me and the Slow Flowers Community at our next gathering on Friday, June 12th, same time as before – 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. Follow this link to join us. Click here to watch the replay of our May 29th Meet-Up and read more about our June Meet-Up guests.

On June 24th, please join me for a Virtual Book Launch party to celebrate the publication of our new book, Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One!

Eighty Slow Flowers members are featured in its pages and we will share a big reveal of this beautiful, 128-page book, published by our partners at Wildflower Media/Florists’ Review.

The all-virtual Launch Party and Happy Hour will take place at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm on June 24th and we will welcome many special guests who appear in the pages of Slow Flowers Journal. And if you want to grab your own copy, our bookstore is open for orders, so you can find that link in today’s show notes, as well.

Please plan on participating in the sixth annual American Flowers Week, June 28th-July 4th. I hope Sarah Pabody’s dahlia dress project inspires you to create beauty with your flowers and your creative community. Use your flowers to communicate a message of beauty, sustainability, wellness and inclusion – and help us promote domestic floral agriculture across the U.S. You can find all sorts of free resources at Americanflowersweek.com. For members only, you can order our red-white-and-blue bouquet labels to use during the weeks leading up to American Flowers Week. I’ll share that link in today’s show notes. Hope to see you online with photos and videos and in live displays of your American flowers. Please use the hash-tag: #americanflowersweek to help us find and highlight your talents!

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

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

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

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 612,000 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.

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:

Vienna Beat; Turning On The Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 456: Lessons from The London Plane Flower Shop with founder Katherine Anderson and manager Jeni Nelson

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
Jeni Nelson (left) and Katherine Anderson (right), the floral forces at The London Plane in Seattle

The simple goal of keeping flowers in customers’ hands is one I have been hearing continually over the past three months. Distilled to its simplest form, this seems to be what we all want to make happen, as the floral season progresses from late winter, to early spring; from late spring to early summer. We are drawn into the beautiful web of nature where we allow flowers and plants speak for us when our hearts are heavy and there is a loss for adequate words.

Jeni Nelson (left) and Katherine Anderson (right)

At The London Plane, when the sudden reality of the Coronavirus faced co-owner Katherine Anderson and her partners, as well as flower shop manager Jeni Nelson, it meant finding ways to juggle myriad moving parts – from a restaurant and bakery to a grocery operation to a design studio. I’m a big fan of both of these women and their truly seasonal aesthetic.

The London Plane Flower Shop with designer Honnah Weber as she creates an arrangement.

Their shop is in the heart of an inviting, European-style cafe in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood and it is one to which any flower person visiting the Emerald City wants to make a pilgrimage. Meals here are simple and delicious, prepared with the same care that the floral design team creates an arrangement. Homage and respect is paid to each ingredient – from a salad composed of just-picked greens and herbs to the hand-gathered flowers one takes home.

You may recall that Katherine Anderson first appeared as a guest on this podcast way back in March 2014 in one of our early episodes, titled: Marigold & Mint’s Katherine Anderson – a leading eco-floral entrepreneur.

I also featured The London Plane flower shop in a Q&A with Jeni Nelson that appeared in the February 2019 issue of Florists’ Review – including the beautiful cover photography. Read that article here:

This is how The London Plane’s IG feed recently introduced Katherine Anderson:

A co-owner and a founder of the London Plane, Katherine has always loved flowers and nature. She is a trained landscape architect, owns an organic farm in the Snoqualmie River Valley, and is an incredibly talented person, florist, and business owner. We want to show our gratitude to this powerful force and wearer of so many hats – she greatly contributes to the Seattle community, is active in philanthropy and supporting the arts, and is constantly creating connections between people. She helped us create the relationship with the UW Medical Centers so we could donate 13K+ meals. On top of that, Katherine is a mother and a wife, she’s really cool, and she is an integral part of the London Plane.

This is how The London Plane’s IG feed recently introduced Jeni Nelson:

Jeni has worked at the London Plane for 6 years, leading our floral team for the past 3 years. She never ceases to amaze us with her artistry in a vase, crown, or installation, from roses to peonies to geum to bolting radicchio. We’re lucky to have her as part of our team, even more so in this difficult time for the world and our community.
She loves all flowers (and things vintage and French) but she–and most of the florists we know in Seattle, tbh–has a real soft spot for spring and the dozens of rich, colorful, tender blooms that show up in the PNW April and May.
Maybe it’s due to the love of these blooms that she was going to be married this spring to her sweet Canadian fiancé, Tim.
Jeni and Tim have had to put their wedding on hold due to closed borders between the US and Canada for months. She’ll share a bit of that story with us today, as well.

A workshop taught by Jeni Nelson at The London Plane

I asked Katherine and Jeni if I could actually meet them in person at The London Plane to discuss how they are managing during Coronavirus. This was my first opportunity to record a podcast interview in person since March 15th. The three of us sat in different corners of the baker’s room at The London Plane, socially distanced of course. The digital recorder perched on a stool in the center of our little triangle as we captured a wonderful conversation to share with you.

The London Plane family served nearly 13,000 meals to University of Washington medical workers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Seattle.

The London Plane is a shop, cafe, bakery, wine shop & bar, and events space.  

A collaboration between the teams of Marigold & Mint, The Corson Building, Bar Sajor, and Old Chaser Farm, The London Plane occupies two corners of Pioneer Square’s Occidental Mall. The larger space is home to a cafe, bakery, flower counter, grocery and larder shop. This is where locals and visitors stop by for something to eat or drink, or shop the grocery and larder for ingredients to prepare a meal at home. The smaller space, called The Little London Plane, is a wine shop, wine bar and event space. That’s where you can grab a glass of wine, savor a simple selection of bar foods, or shop for wines to takeaway. It’s also where many events take place. Right now, The London Plane’s on-line store offers special arrangements of flowers for pick-up or Seattle area delivery. There is also a lovely selection of popular retail and gift goods that customers anywhere can order.

Indoors and Outdoors at The London Plane (c) Kyle Johnson

The flower shop currently offers flower delivery on a one-day-a-week basis (every Friday) in compliance with safety measures concerning COVID-19. Customers can also order flower arrangements for curbside pick up, as well single variety bunches, with both options available for pick up Wednesdays through Saturdays. The occasional “virtual floral class” is also offered and customers are encouraged to support The London Plane flower shop by purchasing a floral class gift certificate.

In addition, The London Plane flower shop continues to design wedding and event florals, from an elopement bridal bouquet to a grand installation to a small memorial. Just recently, The London Plane re-opened for in store shopping for essentials Wednesday through Saturday 10am – 6pm. Advanced online orders for pick up. and Friday delivery Larder Shares and Flowers continue.

Here’s how to find and follow Katherine Anderson and Jeni Nelson of The London Plane:

The London Plane on Instagram

The London Plane Flower Shop in Instagram

Jeni Nelson’s Magniflora Page on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining today’s conversation. It has been a tough week for my family and me personally, as we lost my father Fred William Prinzing Jr., to complications from pneumonia. In addition, we are watching our cities in crisis as brothers and sisters struggle for justice during what feels like endless and senseless acts of violence (and worse, murder) against people of color.

Along with many friends and colleagues in the Slow Flowers community and the larger horticulture and floriculture community, I feel like I need to do more than speak out. I need to act. I’ve decided to donate all of the Slow Flowers revenue for the month of May to one or more social justice organization literally working on the front lines. I challenge you to do the same. Let’s do some justice work with our flowers.

We care about “Stories of Resilience” here, on the podcast and in the larger Slow Flowers community. I thank you for listening and encourage you to make a human gesture of support for the marginalized and disenfranchised in your community.

Replay video from May 29th Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up

Last Friday, we held our final weekly Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up — our 10th  consecutive online gathering of florists, growers, farmer-florists and supporters, launched in late March. The Virtual Meet-Ups will now continue as a regular monthly event on the 2nd Friday of each month — so our next gathering is scheduled for Friday, June 12th, same time 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern – and same location and link to join me on Zoom. I’ll keep you posted through other regular channels but you can always find the details in the linktr.ee menu that appears in our Instagram profile @myslowflowers.

Thank you to last Friday’s special guests, Lisa Waud of Lisa Waud Botanical Artist, a core member of the Slow Flowers team, Amanda Maurmann of Gnome Grown Flower Farm and a the Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative, for sharing about Lisa’s new project to bring botanical art to Detroit while supporting local flower growers in her state. It’s called Big Flower Friend and Slow Flowers is a sponsor of one of the upcoming floral installations so you’ll hear more about that soon.

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.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.

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  farmersweb.com.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 610,000 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.

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

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

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

Music Credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Solidarity and Social Justice

Monday, June 1st, 2020

We are watching our cities in crisis as people struggle for justice during what feels like endless and senseless acts of violence (and worse, murder) against people of color.

There is no other way to say this: The killing of black people by police has to stop.

Until those in white privilege (myself included) address generations of neglect, ignorance, unwillingness to understand, and acceptance of systemic racism in our country. This is the world we brought our children into and this is the world we absolutely have to confront and change.

Along with many friends and colleagues in the Slow Flowers community and the larger horticulture and floriculture community, I feel like I need to do more than speak out. I need to act.

To start, I’ve decided to donate $5,000, all of the Slow Flowers revenue for the month of May, to the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson’s amazing nonprofit legal organization that works in criminal justice reform, racial justice and public education. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, they are literally working on the front lines to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenge racial and economic injustice, and to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

We care about “Stories of Resilience” here, on the podcast and in the larger Slow Flowers community. I thank you for reading this post and encourage you to make a human gesture of support for the marginalized and disenfranchised in your community.

I ask you to join me and find ways to do more than nod or shake your head. I urge you to act in doing this essential work. Let’s do some justice with our flowers. Here is a list of organizations you may wish to consider for your donations, volunteer efforts, and – most importantly – personal education.

This list was compiled by the Slow Flowers Team and will be updated:

Equal Justice Initiative
@eji_org
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

Campaign Zero
An online platform and organization that utilizes research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.

Black Visions Collective
A black, trans, and queer-led organization that is committed to dismantling systems of oppression & violence, & shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change.

We also recommend you use this valuable tool when considering a charity to support. Charity Navigator.

Episode 455: A long-distance peony collaboration between grower Eugenia Harris of Nicewicz Peonies and florist Stacey Lee of Paeonia Designs

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
Welcome to Nicewicz Peonies in Bolton, Massachusetts

What happens when a flower farm’s principal grower lives in Austin, Texas, far away from where her thousands of peony plants grow in Bolton, Massachusetts . . . and something like the COVID-19 pandemic prevents her from traveling back to her flowers for the annual peony harvest?

peonies and Eugenia Harris
Stacey’s photo of a single peony stem with multiple blooms (left); Eugenia Harris (c) Annette Harris Cox

You’re about to learn exactly what happened for Eugenia Harris of Nicewicz Peonies, who found herself quarantined right when she would otherwise be traveling to the Boston area to spend several weeks for her peony season.

Stacey’s “selfie” in the peony fields!

I love this story because Eugenia, like many small agricultural operations, had to get creative. She turned to our second guest, Stacey Lee of Framingham, Massachusetts-based Paeonia Designs. Both are Slow Flowers members and given the name of her wedding and event studio, Paeonia Designs, it’s no surprise to learn that Stacey is a customer of Nicewicz Peonies.

One of the peony fields at Nicewicz Peonies (c) Megan Murphy
Glorious, fresh and local to Boston! (c) Stacey Lee

Fellow peony lovers, the two are coming together this year in an ingenious way. Stacey’s 2020 wedding and event bookings are most, if not all, postponed for this season, so she’s in a rare situation with time on her hands just when Eugenia needs a surrogate peony expert.

Photo by Catherine Threlkeld Photography

Here’s more about Eugenia Harris and Nicewicz Peonies:
Eugenia Harris and David Nicewicz are the peony growers at Nicewicz Family Farm in Bolton, Massachusetts. Eugenia’s a software engineer turned flower farmer – who as I mentioned, now lives back in her home state, residing in Austin, Texas – and her co-farmer David’s, as Eugenia describes him, is a real farmer who doesn’t even have an email account.

Photos by Catherine Threlkeld Photography

They planted the first peonies at the farm in 2001 and have been expanding ever since. There are now more than 1,700 plants representing more than 100 different varieties. Their peonies usually bloom starting in late May or early June, and continue as late as the third week of June, for a total of about 3-4 weeks – especially in years when the weather is “just right” (not too hot, not too wet).

Dreamy fields of peonies in every hue (c) Eugenia Harris

Eugenia and David sell the peonies as specialty cut flowers in season, to florists and event planners, and typically via advance order from the website. The Nicewicz Family Farm has been in David’s family since 1929, when it was purchased by his father’s parents, shortly after they immigrated to the U.S. from Poland. David and his three brothers Tommy, Kenny and Alan run the farm now, with help from various family and friends, including sister Jo-Ann, resident artist Chath pierSath from Cambodia, and long-time family friend Dave Joki of Stow, Massachusetts.

The farm’s primary crops are fruit (apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, blueberries, cherries), produce (corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, basil, onions, pumpkins, gourds, etc.), and flowers (peonies of course, and usually celosia, dahlias, strawflowers, sunflowers and zinnias) – all of which are sold locally at the farm and at a few Boston-area and Worcester farmers’ markets and at the farm’s self-service stand.

Eugenia Harris snapped this cute photo of Stacey’s son Jack on a farm visit

Here’s more about Stacey Lee of Paeonia Designs:
After working more than a few years as a civil engineer, a timely layoff provided the opportunity to take a lifelong hobby to the next level. Paeonia Designs was born with a friend’s wedding request and has blossomed into a full service event floral design studio.

Stacey works out of a studio at home overlooking her own flower gardens. There is a large floral cooler in her workshop that is run on the sun, thanks to solar panels on the roof! Between Stacey’s and her mother’s gardens, they grow several varieties of perennials such as tulips, peonies, hydrangea, sedum, and scabiosa as well as various annuals used in arrangements. Stacey says she is by no means a farmer florist but is hopefully headed there one day.

These photos of Stacey Lee are courtesy of Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore, taken during her 2019 Alaska Peony Retreat. Clearly, Stacey is in her element!

The organic garden at Paeonia Designs is primarily watered with rain barrels (when mother nature accommodates) and fertilized with homemade compost. Throughout the year, Stacey sources as many flowers locally as possible from several farms and greenhouses close to home. Late summer and fall arrangements contain sunflowers grown just a quarter mile down the road. And some of her mother’s pink peony plants still provide blooms. The plants are about 40 years old and were the inspiration for the Paeonia logo!

Stacey truly loves what she does. Flowers are more than her occupation; they’re both passion and craft. As she says: “I want to see each bride, groom, mama-to-be, celebrant, and guest of honor thrilled with their flowers, regardless of the size of the event. Each client deserves quality service and the most gorgeous, fresh and thoughtful flowers arranged with exceptional detail.”

Well, this is a unique story and collaboration based on friendship and mutual commitment from two women who are combining their talents to bring peonies to the Boston/New England area and beyond.

Find and follow Nicewicz Peonies and Paeonia Designs at these social places:

Nicewicz Family Farm on Facebook and Nicewicz Peonies on Instagram

Paeonia Designs on Facebook and Instagram

Thanks so much for joining today’s conversation. Since early April, I’ve been featuring Slow Flowers member voices in the ongoing “Stories of Resilience” series here on the podcast. I don’t know what I was thinking when I started, telling myself  “oh, we’ll do this for a few months until things get back to ‘normal,'” and then it will wrap up. Well . . . I clearly did not have the right crystal ball to gaze into the future, friends.

As far as I can tell, long into the foreseeable future, we are going to be talking about the inventive, creative and fierce ways that flower farmers and floral designers are sustaining their enterprises during the COVID era. As I’ve said before, I don’t really know how things will shake out, but I do take huge inspiration from the people I’ve hosted on this Podcast.

More for our Community

The Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Ups continue to provide value and support as a member benefit. Last week was our ninth consecutive meet-up and because it took place on the Friday leading into a three day holiday weekend, it was a lighthearted morning focused on community, encouragement and mutual support of one another! If you missed last week’s Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-up, you can click on the link to watch the replay video above.

Please join me at the next Slow Flowers Virtual Meet-Up, this Friday, May 29th —  9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. Can’t wait to see you there! Our special guest is Lisa Waud of Lisa Waud Botanical Artist, and a core member of the Slow Flowers team. Lisa is launching a new art installation series in her community called Big Flower Friend, a less competitive nod to that other floral phenomenon you might be watching on Netflix right now. Lisa will be joined by Amanda Maurmann of Gnome Grown Flower Farm and a board member of the Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative. They’ll be sharing about Lisa’s new project to bring botanical art to Detroit and support local flower growers in her state.

Follow this link to join us on Friday, May 29th.

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

And thank you to Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Read our stories at slowflowersjournal.com.

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

And 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.

And 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.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 608,000 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.

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