Episode 546: Oregon-grown flowers with Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co. and Beth Syphers of Crowley House Farm
February 23rd, 2022
February has been a month packed with flowers, from Valentine’s Day to our annual spring ritual here in Seattle — the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival.
Earlier this month, I hosting a number of out-of-town Slow Flowers Society members were here to speak and teach at the flower show, and it was so nice to see one another in person AND to celebrate locally-grown flowers and sustainable practices in growing and design.
My two guests today joined the Blooms & Bubbles workshop series at the flower show, produced by Slow Flowers Society. Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co., based in Eugene, Oregon, and Beth Syphers of Crowley House Farm in Rickreall (outside Salem, Oregon), taught on the first two days.
We had so much fun — Bethany led a romantic wreath-design class and Beth taught a flower crown workshop. The students loved it all!I’m so glad that Beth and Bethany had time to sit down and visit with me for a conversation we recorded to share with you today. We recorded at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in Seattle, a farmer-owned cooperative that is also a Slow Flowers Society sponsor and longtime partner. You’ll see the beautiful Northwest potted orchids in the background as the three of us discussed news from their flower farms.
Here’s a little background of Bethany Little:
With her husband Charles Little, Bethany is co-owner since 1998 of Charles Little & Co. She has a background in floral design and is the farm’s sales & shipping manager, as well as a wreath maker extraordinaire. Charles founded the farm in 1986, establishing it on 35 acres of nutrient rich soil along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. Located at the foot of Mt.Pisgah in Eugene Oregon, their crops consist of foliage of all kinds; ornamental herbs, grasses and grains, unique sticks, pods and berries. A sizable part of the farm includes popular annual and perennial flowers such as larkspur, snapdragons, sunflowers, peonies, calla lilies, lavender. And considerable acreage is devoted to woody shrubs and trees such as Viburnum, Ilex, Spirea, Weigela, Hydrangea, Cotinus, Lilac, Snowberry, Cornus, Eucalyptus, Specialty Conifers, Ornamental Cherries and Almonds.
Charles Little & Co. relies on the principles of regenerative agriculture. Over the years plants have become naturalized and now require very little weeding or pest control. All crops produced on the farm are in-season and field-grown without the use of hoop houses or green houses. Charles Little & Co.’s range of unique, high-quality floral materials distinguish us from many other growers.
Here’s a little background of Beth Syphers:
Beth and her husband Jason have two children and they live at Crowley House Flower Farm outside McMinnville, Oregon. What started out as just a flower design hobby ten years ago, has grown over time into the family farm of today. The need to produce high quality blooms for Beth’s floral designs, plus the appeal of the slower, simpler lifestyle for their family – the need to feel the soil on their hands and feet, to see the sun rise and set over their fields, has led them down the path of flower farming and the amazing adventure that has become Crowley House.
Beth is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Furrow & Flour, with her sister Sarah Kuenzi, which Bloom Imprint will publish this coming fall.
Listen to Bethany Little – Episode 349 (March 16, 2018)
Listen to Charles Little – Episode 207 (August 18, 2015)
Follow Charles Little & Co. on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube
Listen to Beth and Jason Syphers – Episode 259 (August 24, 2016)
Follow Crowley House Farm on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube
Listen: A Blooming Good Time Podcast with Beth Syphers, Rilley Syphers and Emma Dixon
Thank you so much for joining us today. There is plenty of bonus material in today’s show notes, including the video of our interview, as well as clips from both women’s design workshops at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival.
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.
More thanks goes to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com.
Thanks to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.
Thanks to 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.
Last week we sent the February issue of the Slow Flowers Summit newsletter — it’s packed with details:
- Lodging options
- Sponsors thanks
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Private FB group for attendees
If you’re a member of Slow Flowers Society, take advantage of $50 off your registration as a Member Benefit!
We have three incredible flower-filled days planned and we can’t wait for you to join us June 26-28, 2022 in New York! Find more details at the link below. I hope to see you there!
Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 819,000 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.
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.
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