Episode 521 Lessons from a Young Flower Farmer and a Visit to Pops Flowers with owner Vanessa Vancuren
September 1st, 2021
I’m so excited to introduce today’s guest, Vanessa Vancuren of Pop’s Flowers, based in Edgewood, Washington. Click below to watch the farm tour and interview, recorded on August 23, 2022.
I visited Vanessa last week to record a video tour of her flower farm, which is based on a two-acre parcel complete with a solid log cabin. Here’s the delightful surprise — she is literally 12 miles from my suburban home (we’re both situated between Seattle and Tacoma) and visiting Pop’s Flowers truly feels like a trip to the country. What an incredible find — and you’ll love seeing what Vanessa and her husband Garrett Burns have created in just two seasons.
I sat down with Vanessa to talk about her business, which she describes as in its young-teenager phase! It’s a great conversation. Before we get to that, here’s some background on Pop’s Flowers.
Vanessa is an old soul, a millennial, a floral entrepreneur and an artist with a background in photography. Her partner Garrett is naturally curious, has a humanitarian heart and a car enthusiast, who is also now an accidental flower farmer. The Pop of Pop’s Flowers is CP aka Clarence Paul Reardon, Vanessa’s 94-year-old grandfather, and inspiration for this business. Pops is a widowed WWII Veteran, an avid gardener and homesteader and a retired cabinetmaker/woodworker.
In 2017, Pops gave his garden to Vanessa and she began to grow flowers and sell them in a hyper-local channel – their local Facebook community in the Edgewood, Milton, and Fife, Washington, located between Seattle and Tacoma.
From 2017 to 2019, all the flower proceeds went to Pop, helping him with household costs and home repairs.
In 2020, Vanessa and Garrett found their own modern homestead, not too far from Pop’s house. And you’ll hear the rest of the story as we meet Vanessa.
Thank you so much for joining us today! You’re hearing this episode on September 1st and this is the day that Pop’s Flowers opens their new online store, designed to make shopping for local flowers in the South Puget Sound region just as convenient as ordering from a traditional florist. As Vanessa explained, working with Anna Krumpos, a new member of the team who will serve as designer, Pop’s flowers will be transformed into arrangements for everyday orders for delivery on Thursdays or Saturdays, featuring 100% local and American-grown flowers, including those grown at Pop’s Flowers. I’ll share all the links for you to check it out and follow along on Vanessa and Garrett’s beautiful journey.
Join Pop’s Flowers on Facebook
Follow Pop’s Flowers on Instagram
Watch Pop’s Flowers on YouTube
Slow Flowers News
As I mentioned, it’s September — how did that happen so quickly! I want to share a few opportunities for you to connect with me and the Slow Flowers Society. First, I’m heading off right after Labor Day to Missoula, Montana, where I will speak at the Montana Cut Flower Conference on Wednesday, September 8. I’ll be sharing insights on the cultural, consumer and marketplace shifts in the U.S. floral industry, and I’m excited to reconnect with some of my favorite flower friends, including our members who will also be speaking — including Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat and Lindsay Irwin of Bitterroot Flowers. You’ll hear more, I’m sure, because the recorder and video camera are traveling with me.
On Friday, September 10th, we’ll be resuming our Virtual Slow Flowers Member Meet-Ups, after a summer vacation.
Designed as a member forum for connecting with one another in the early days of the Pandemic (remember then? back in April and May 2020?) the Meet-Up has evolved into a way for Slow Flowers members to share their knowledge and learn from one another.
Our September guests will be focused on the why, what, how and art of Styled Shoots. Click here to pre-register. See you there!
Thank you to our Sponsors
This show 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.
More sponsor thanks:
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. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at flowerfarm.com. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. Learn more at flowerfarm.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.
Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches. Today, we welcome Lindsay and Joshua McCullough of Red Twig Farms as Slow Flowers Society’s newest Major Sponsor. We’re excited for some fun collaborations in the year to come. You can learn more at www.redtwigfarms.com.
Thanks so much for joining us today! ! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 760,000 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
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com.
Color Country; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
In The Field