Episode 543: Flowers, Food and Fiber with Jennifer Kouvant of Six Dutchess Farm in Hudson Valley, New York
February 2nd, 2022
Before we start today, don’t forget to listen for details about the 2022 Northwest Flower & Garden Show ticket giveaway! You’ll hear all about how to win one of 5 sets of two tickets to attend the show– which starts one week from today on Feb 9th and continues through Feb 13th in Seattle. I’ll share the giveaway rules at the end of this episode — stay tuned.
Photography, courtesy of (c) Hans Li and (c) Ana Gambuto
As some of you heard a few weeks ago, we recently released the 2022 Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Forecast. One of our first of nine insights is called Now or Never, an acknowledgement that many in our community are making changes for the better. We’ve been inspired by floral entrepreneurs who are “flipping the script,” changing their established or “safe” models to fit a re-imagined lifestyle and today’s guest, Jennifer Kouvant, along with her partner Hans Li, of Six Dutchess Farm, are part of that shift.
Based in the Hudson Valley, Six Dutchess Farm is a first-generation small family farm located about 70 miles north of new york city. Their 12-acre farm grows fresh, seasonal cut flowers, specialty berries and herbs, and flocks of beloved animals, including heritage hens, and Swedish Gotland sheep.
As Jennifer says, “We approach farming from a place of deep connection to the land, the animals and our community.” She continues, “Through a pasture-based regenerative model, we are cultivating a future where small, diversified farming is an essential part of environmental sustainability and healthy, thriving communities.” Six Dutchess is committed to maintaining a vibrant, bio-diverse, cruelty- and chemical-free environment — one where animals can graze on pasture as nature intended, and where humans can gain a deeper respect for the land on which they live, for the flowers and food they grow, and the living beings that sustain them through the seasons.”
Thanks so much for joining us today! As Jennifer mentioned, she’s launching a website soon and in the meantime, click here if you want to receive the Six Dutchess Farm newsletter with information about classes in flowers, fiber and food.
Find and follow Six Dutchess Farm on Instagram
Comment to Win Flower Show Tickets
Hey, welcome to the start of February — we’re getting closer to gardening and flower farming season for most of us — and I, for one, am ready for it!
The theme of the 2022 Northwest Flower & Garden Festival is “Greetings from Spring,” and if you’re in the PNW or plan to be the week of Feb 9-13, you might be eligible to win 2 tickets to attend! Post a comment below and share your favorite spring blooms to grow or design with. We will randomly draw five names from those who comment next Sunday, 2/6 at midnight Pacific time and announce the winners on 2/7.
Spring Cleaning Checklist for your Slow Flowers Society Membership
We’ve just filmed the 2022 Spring Cleaning Checklist with Tips for Updating Your slowflowers.com Member Profile.
We recently updated the Slowflowers.com platform — I’m calling it Slow Flowers 3.0 — and while the site may not look much different to you from the outside, we’ve worked with our software folks to make some important back-end changes to improve member services and functionality. With the upgrade, we believe the Slow Flowers Community will experience higher engagement and interaction with floral consumers
Watch our new short training video (above) where you’ll find steps for updating your member profile and for making the most of your investment as a slow flowers member.
February Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up: February 18th
Next up, we’re getting ready for a flower-filled February, and I want to remind everyone who loves attending the monthly Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-up that we’re moving that event to take place AFTER Valentine’s Day this year — so I’ll see you Friday, February 18th online in the zoom room. The time is still 9am Pacific/Noon Eastern.
Our focus is on winter flower crops and designing from the garden in winter. This session is inspired by the fantastic conference I attended and spoke at in Southern Flower Symposium in Charleston, S.C., produced by Jim Martin of Compost in my Shoe and fellow members of Low Country Flower Growers in August 2018. Cuts of Color’s Rita Anders was a keynote presenter, speaking on the topic: “Optimizing Cut Flower Production in our Southern Climate” — and it was an incredible session that enhanced people’s understanding of how they could extend the seasons and grow during the winter months!
We’ve invited Rita to give us a peek into her winter growing practices in Weimar, Texas, and asked Jim to share a floral design demo and talk about winter growing in Charleston. His winter floral designs from South Carolina have been blowing my mind, especially because so much of what he designs with is cut from his own garden. You will love this session! We’ll 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, returning for 2022, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
Thanks to Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details is here to improve profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at detailsflowers.com.
Thank you to CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at cafgs.org.
Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 811,000 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.
If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at Slow Flowers Society.com and consider making a donation to sustain 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 & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase 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.
Perspiration; Color Country; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
In The Field