Debra Prinzing

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SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Hear new findings on consumer attitudes about LOCAL and meet an organic flower farmer (Episode 100)

July 23rd, 2013

PodcastLogoWelcome to the Show Notes for SLOW FLOWERS with Debra Prinzing, my new podcast about American flowers, the farmers who grow them and the designers who create beauty with them. Make a conscious choice and join the conversation – and the creative community. When we know where our flowers come from and who grew them, we place a much higher value on those blooms.

PART ONE of this podcast features Kierstin De West, CEO and founder of Ci (Conscientious innovation), a market research, information and consulting firm known for its early embrace of the sustainable marketplace. Read more about the mission of Ci and its origins here. 

Kierstin De West, CEO and Founder, Ci - Conscientious innovation

Kierstin De West, CEO and Founder, Ci – Conscientious innovation

I first met Kierstin in 2010 in an accidental encounter that can only be called serendipitous. Yes, we were seated at adjacent tables in Anthony’s Restaurant at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. We struck up a conversation and the beginnings of a friendship in about one hour . . . before we both had to race to our respective flights. Later, I invited Kierstin to talk about her research into consumer attitudes regarding sustainability as the keynote speaker for the Garden Writers Association annual symposium in 2011. 

As a subscriber to Ci’s newsletters and reports, I was fascinated to read the newest installment of the firm’s ongoing research called The Shift Report. Ci shared highlights of the omnibus study of 5,000 consumers in North America and what jumped out at me was the idea of LOCAL values surpassing other topics that you might consider ranking higher on consumers’ sustainability checklist….such as Organic or Global Warming.

Listen as Kierstin and I discuss this fascinating research and hear how her insights can influence your decisions as a consumer, floral designer, seller of flowers or grower of flowers. Here are some of the highlighted slides from her report:

CIShift1 CIShift2 CIShift3

” Sixty-five percent of

North Americans feel that

buying local and supporting

locally based business

is an important sustainability issue,

surpassing the importance

of both global warming

and buying organic .”


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LEARN MORE. If you’d like to receive a free copy of the CONSUMERS AND LOCAL featured insights from Ci’s 2012 Shift Report, follow this link and fill out the request form. 

Organic flower farmer Joan Thorndike, of Le Mera Gardens.

Organic flower farmer Joan Thorndike, of Le Mera Gardens.

PART TWO of this podcast features a conversation with veteran organic flower farmer Joan Thorndike, owner of Le Mera Gardens in Talent, Oregon, which is near Ashland. We talked about what LOCAL means to Joan’s floral customers while taking a walk from Joan and Dan’s home to the vibrant farmer’s market in downtown Ashland. I stayed with the Thorndike family last month while I was there to produce a story for Country Gardens magazine.

Turns out, the FARM-to-FORK dinner we were photographing for a future story featured a super-long dining table in the midst of a biodynamic winery. . . and guess what showed up on the tables?! Beautiful, seasonal flowers grown by Joan, of course! You can read more about that event here and keep an eye out for the full story with Laurie Black’s photography in a 2014 issue of the magazine.

Many of you were introduced to Joan in the “Grower’s Wisdom” section of The 50 Mile BouquetWe introduced readers to Joan and three other seasoned flower farmers. In that short section, Joan’s articulate, insightful perspective resonated with me. She is a grower-ecologist. Joan operates on a world view that is highly inclusive and optimistic. My favorite quote from our original interview goes this way:

“When I sell my flowers, I believe I am appealing to my customer’s deeply visceral desire to observe the cadence of Nature.” 

I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation as we touched on some important considerations facing American flower farmers. 

10 Responses to “SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Hear new findings on consumer attitudes about LOCAL and meet an organic flower farmer (Episode 100)”

  1. Slow Flowers Podcast – HH CREATES Says:

    […] about Floral Color Theory (I’ll post that soon) and I’ve been helping her produce the Slow Flowers Podcast, available now on […]

  2. K Gough Says:

    Eager to hear your podcast because I enjoy your posts and books. Wanted to share that there’s an international aspect to “local ” as well. Just spent a night in Cannes, France. Looking at the JW magazine in the JW Marriott hotel where we stayed, an interview with Jane Packer, the famous London flower designer, included her comments about the importance of local flowers!

  3. cathy wallace Says:

    Great Podcast ! Love the talk about flowers. Joan from Lemera Gardens Takes great care in delivering fresh flowers and is a wonderful person for us locally!!I enjoy doing business with her.

  4. Debra Prinzing » Post » Flowers for Brooklyn (Farmed in Hudson Valley), with Tiny Hearts Farm and Taproot Flowers (Episode 189) Says:

    […] credit sustainability expert and founder of Ci: conscientious innovation, Kierstin DeWest, the very first guest of this podcast in July 2013, for teaching me this concept. Trends are often momentary; cultural shifts are significant, […]

  5. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 278: Slow Flowers’ 2017 Floral Insights & Industry Forecast Says:

    […] Flowers Movement. Instead, I often use the phrase “cultural shift,” originated by my very first Podcast guest in 2013, consumer behavior and marketing expert Kierstin DeWest of Conscientious […]

  6. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 299: Celebrating our 200th Show with Floral Artist Max Gill of Max Gill Design Says:

    […] 200 consecutive weeks, ever since our first episode on July 23, 2013, we’ve brought you original programming about local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and the […]

  7. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 359: Slow Flowers Podcast Turns 5 — with original guest Joan Thorndike of Le Mera Gardens and Isabella Thorndike Church of Jacklily Seasonal Floral Design Says:

    […] five years, since my first episode Number 100 on June 23, 2013, the Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 340,000 times by listeners […]

  8. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 375: Flower Farming in Eastern Washington with Beth Mort of Snapdragon Flower Farm Says:

    […] While we have a long way to go in achieving my goal of putting local flowers on the top of customer’s wish lists and supporting florists who want local and seasonal choices in the floral marketplace, it’s notable to see how much has changed since the first week of the Slow Flowers Podcast, back in 2014. […]

  9. Debra Prinzing » Post » Episode 399: Celebrating our 300th Episode with Teresa Sabankaya, the Posy Book and Our State Focus: Kansas Says:

    […] our 300th episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Yes, for 300 consecutive weeks, ever since the first episode aired on July 23, 2013, I’ve brought you original programming about local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and the […]

  10. Episode 500: Celebrating Episode 500 and the publication of Where We Bloom, with BLOOM Imprint's Robin Avni and designer Cynthia Zamaria of Toronto's House & Flower - Debra Prinzing Says:

    […] our weekly podcast series about Slow Flowers and the people who grow and design with them. Since we launched this special program in July 2013, I have regularly featured the voices of influencers, stylemakers, pioneers and heroes in the Slow […]

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