Episode 517: The Growing Kindness Project and its founder, flower farmer Deanna Kitchen of Twig & Vine
August 3rd, 2021
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In celebration of the Slow Flowers Show’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format on July 21st with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers. The video edition of today’s episode aired as the Slow Flowers Show on Wednesday, July 28th, simultaneously broadcast to both YouTube and Facebook Live. See the replay below:
Today’s guest is Deanna Kitchen, flower farmer based in Mt. Vernon, in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle, Washington, where so much great agriculture, especially floral agriculture, is rooted. Deanna and her family grow flowers, livestock and three sons at Twig & Vine Farm, a 10-acre micro-farm with just under 1/4-acres cultivated. As Deanna writes on the farm’s website, “dahlias are the reigning queen here, but we also love to grow unique foliages, vines and whimsical bits like grasses and pods.”
I visited Twig & Vine a few weeks ago to film a video farm tour with Deanna. For Podcast listeners, you’ll hear our conversation today, as Deanna harvests stems and discusses some of her favorite field crops.
As she shared her story, and the conversation naturally turned to her floral passion and mission: the Growing Kindness Project.
Now an established nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the motivation behind her endeavor is a campaign of kindness that becomes a ripple of goodwill reaching across the world.
Deanna likes to quote the late Anne Frank: No one has ever become poor by giving.
The Growing Kindness Project is working to support anyone who wants to share kindness by growing and giving flowers. It provides support, education, and resources to help participants grow and give flowers, whether they are experienced gardeners or have never planted a single seed; whether they tend to a pot of flowers on a city balcony or produce acres of blooms on a farm, Deanna and her team of Growing Kindness Ambassadors are motivated to help anyone grow kindness in their communities.
Thanks for joining our conversation, originally recorded on July 22nd. It was a windy day and I apologize that we had a lot of related audio challenges. Deanna was a great host and I am so grateful she was able to set aside time for me to visit and capture a slice of her world, along with her story.
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Find and Follow The Growing Kindness Project on Instagram
Thanks so much for joining us today! I know I mentioned early in the interview that Deanna and I were planning to sit down and talk more about Growing Kindness, but honestly, we were having such a great flow of conversation, that I didn’t want to interrupt it!
Thanks so much for joining us today! Keep an eye out soon for details about a special Growing Kindness Project event taking place in August, hosted by Holly Chapple at Hope Flower Farm in Leesburg, Virginia, along with Growing Kindness Project’s ambassadors Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Maryland-based Grateful Gardeners. As soon as we have those details, I’ll share them in a future episode. You can also subscribe to updates at the Growing Kindness Project’s website, growingkindnessproject.org.
Hey, I have fabulous news to share with you today. We just learned that the Slow Flowers Podcast received the 2021 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Podcast Series in the Broadcast Media category, presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.
This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2021 competition had more than 135 entries in 62 categories. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners in each competition category who will now compete for best of group in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing, and trade.
Thanks to all of you for listening and supporting the Slow Flowers Podcast, and now, the Slow Flowers Show, our video edition, which you can watch every Wednesday live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook Live. I’ll share those links for you in today’s podcast, as well.
The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 750,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.
I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com
Thank you to our Sponsors
This episode is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.
Roadie.com, the same-day delivery platform that connects you and your flower deliveries with drivers already heading in the right direction. Learn more at Roadie.com.
Flowerfarm.com. FlowerFarm is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com.
Turning on the Lights; Pat Dog; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
In The Field