Episode 600: Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers on Florists, Invasive Species, and Protecting the Natural World
March 8th, 2023
Today I have invited Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers and Instagram’s #SustainabilitySunday to return the Slow Flowers Podcast to talk about a project she is spearheading to evaluate the floral industry’s relationship with invasive plant species — both growing and designing with problem plants harmful to the environment, to local economies, and to the larger community.
This past December, Becky convened an Invasive Species Roundtable to discuss and determine Best Practices in the Floral Industry. The expert panel included Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware; Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed, a botanist and native plant expert with the ACLA Native Plants Society in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Nicola Dixon, State Priority Weeds Coordinator for Australia’s Department of Primary Industries.
Those invited as educators and floral industry participants included florists and growers who are both part of the Sustainable Floristry Network and Slow Flowers Society members. I was so happy to join the session ~ and I learned so much from the discussion. I learned that even the best of intentions from those of us who think our practices are good for the planet can yield damaging results.
As an outcome from that session, Becky has worked with Rita Feldmann, founder of the Sustainable Floristry Network, to produce a report to introduce the topic of invasive plants to florists, farmers and wholesale sellers. She has shared a preview of that report with me, as well as several lists of “Dirty Dozen” plants found in the floral marketplace in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, and Australia, drawing input from some of the round table experts.
It’s such a timely topic, and if you follow Becky’s @prairiegirlflowers feed on Instagram, you’ve already read some of her posts about invasive species in the floral trade. I asked Becky to join me today to share about her research and help us understand what each of us can be doing to eradicate invasives from our own design work, farms, and gardens.
As she mentioned, the fact sheet and Dirty Dozen lists will be available soon via prairiegirlflowers and we’ll share those links when that happens.
LISTEN to past episodes with Becky Feasby:
Episode 561: Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers and IG’s Sustainability Sunday
Episode 400: Slow Flowers in Calgary with Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers
Thank you to our Sponsors
This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 850 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, 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.
Thank you 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.
Thank you to Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists. Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner. Don’t have time to build your own? They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at storeitcold.com.
This Week’s News
Last month’s Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up featured a idea-filled hour discussing floral photography best practices, which was an exclusive member-only session with Krista Rossow of O’Flora Farm and Tiffany Brown Anderson of Earth & Seeds.
We are continuing with even more creative inspiration this Friday, March 10th, with our monthly Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up (9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern ). The topic is Slow Pottery and we have invited a fabulous panel of Slow Flowers members who incorporate Slow Pottery into their enterprises – growers and florists alike.
You may recall that I originally wrote about the concept of Slow Pottery in our 2018 Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Forecast. We wanted to track the creative work of floral artists and their collaborators who combine one-of-a-kind vessels with locally-grown flowers for a truly “slow” composition that resonates with customers.
We’ll meet several creatives who will share about the pottery they make and use while also discussing sustainability, supply chain issues, and a desire among Slow Flowers members to celebrate artisan pieces rather than throw-away vases.
Meet and Learn From:
Kelsey Ruhland, Foxbound Flowers
Katie Tolson, Seed-on-Hudson
Holly Lukasiewicz, District 2 Floral Studio + ceramic artist Anna Stoysich
Andee Zeigler, Three Sepals
Sarah Nayani, Grow Girl Seattle
Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million 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 SlowFlowersSociety.com
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan.
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. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. I’ll see you then!
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