Debra Prinzing

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By the Bunch: A NEW and beautiful local source for flowers

May 9th, 2013

Lots of news to share, including this very timely interview that Seattle’s NPR station KPLU-FM aired today. Environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp contacted me to discuss “sustainable flowers for Mother’s Day,” and thanks to her incredible interviewing and editing talents, a 25-minute conversation turned into a 4-1/2 minute segment. You can listen to it here.

By the Bunch

Remember this cool logo: By the Bunch. It means these gorgeous bouquets are possible because their ingredients were grown by a bunch of awesome NW flower farmers

The interview gave me a chance to talk about the excitement at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market – a just-launched supermarket bouquet program called “By the Bunch.” The beauty of this program is that it produces a sizeable income stream for every farmer-member at the SWGM Cooperative. Together they are so much more than the sum of their parts (or their flower fields, for that matter).

Today, the Thursday before Mother’s Day, was perhaps the most insane work day ever experienced by the Bouquet team, including managers Kristen Parris and Nicole Cordier, along with their new design team members, Carly and Michelle.

But in order to produce a staggering number of bouquets today – something like 700 bunches – flower farmers Diane Szukovathy and Vivian Larson had to show up and volunteer their time as bouquet-makers. I stopped by at around 9:30 a.m. to catch the activity.

Nicole with flowers

SWGMC Front-Desk Manager, talented designer and inspiring leader for the local flower movement, Nicole Cordier.

Oh, bouquet-making sounds so romantic, doesn’t it? But by 7 p.m., when I had to bring by supplies for a special event tomorrow morning, Kristen and Nicole were still there, finishing up the final 100 bunches. Ever-positive, but clearly exhausted, these women believe so much in getting sustainable and locally-grown blooms into the hands of Seattle area consumers that they are willing to go without food and breaks just to achieve the goal. As I told them: If you can get through Mother’s Day, you can do anything. (They probably didn’t need to hear it from me!)

Read more about the By the Bunch program here. The brand development, graphic design and packaging is supported by a USDA Multi-State Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

My photos from today’s visit will wow you. If you haven’t figured out what to give Mom for her special day on Sunday, May 12th, stop by these outlets for LOCAL, SEASONAL Bouquets – straight from Northwest fields: PCC Natural Markets, Town & Country Markets and Madison Market.

My camera snatched some of today’s delicious springtime beauty to share:

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas – so yummy in color, fragrance and form~

Snowball Viburnum

For the most perfect “fresh” green color of springtime, snowball viburnum. Aaah!

Ranunculus & Cherry blossoms

Just-picked floral elements await inclusion in mixed bouquets. Ranunculus and cherry blossoms

Michelle with bouquets

At 9:30 a.m. today, Michelle was ready to wheel an entire cart of bunches into the cooler. So exciting to have her on the SWGMC team!

Field-grown Tulips

The combination of green and pink petals make this the most sublime tulip I’ve ever seen.

Diane & Carly

A moment to smile, and who wouldn’t? Creating bouquets for Mother’s Day is a special job – and Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm (and SWGMC president) was on hand to help designer Carly and the rest of the team this morning.

Cherry blossoms and sweet peas

Buckets of flowers, ready to gather into sweet Mother’s Day bouquets

Diane & Vivian

Two of the founding farmers of SWGMC, Diane Szukovathy and Vivian Larson, spent the morning making bouquets with the team.

By the Bunch at PCC

Later this morning I stopped by my local PCC Natural Market to see the By the Bunch floral display. Gotta love this messaging~

For every mother out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY ~ and may you enjoy your garden, your flowers and your families.

One Response to “By the Bunch: A NEW and beautiful local source for flowers”

  1. Kasey Cronquist Says:

    This is great! Congrats to all.

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