Episode 619: Meet Erin Greene, King Estate Winery’s culinary garden manager, on growing organic and biodynamic food and flowers
July 19th, 2023
I’m so happy to share today’s episode with you because it came together through total serendipity, thanks to arrangements made by my friend Jenny Ulum, Senior Director of Communications at King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon.
We were in Eugene last weekend to attend the USA Track & Field National Championships, and when in Eugene, Jenny and her husband Tim Gleason always host us at their home. Jenny and I go way back — we were editors together in the 1980s at the long-ago shuttered Seattle Woman magazine, and have remained close friends ever since.
I had reached out to two Eugene area Slow Flowers members, trying to line up an interview for this week while also having some time away with friends. Sadly, due to travel and other conflicts, both of the farmer-florists I approached weren’t available.
Jenny over heard me discussing my dilemma and she said, “You should come out to the winery and meet our culinary garden manager, Erin Greene. She has been growing lots of flowers and designing bouquets for the restaurant and tasting room.” (photo credit: Erin Greene, King Estates Winery (c) Andy Nelson).
So we arranged a last-minute outing on Sunday morning, and I am so grateful for the experience. It was employee blueberry-picking day, so while my husband Bruce joined Jenny and Tim to pick something like 8 pounds of blueberries, I joined Erin to tour King Estate’s cutting garden, apple orchard, and greenhouse production areas. I learned so much and you’ll enjoy the conversation, too.
Here’s a little bit more about Erin Green:
Erin Greene, Culinary Gardens Manager, joined King Estate in 2018. Working closely with the culinary team, Erin is responsible for all annual vegetable, herb and edible flower production for use in the Restaurant. After earning a degree in Biodynamic Agriculture from Emerson College in the U.K., Erin operated her own farm, Nourish Gardens, in eastern Washington for four years and spent two years working for a 500-acre organic farm in California that served the finest farm-to-table restaurants in the Bay Area.
A native of Washington State, Erin is thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest. “I love everything food-related, from seed to plate,” she says. When she’s not at work she can be found cooking in her kitchen, working in her home garden or out in the wilderness: camping, fishing, hiking and exploring Oregon with her husband and pup (farm dog Bertie).
Thank you so much for joining me today! We fact-checked the scale of King Estates on-site compost program — 800 tons of organic compost is produced at the winery each year.
Here are more details about the August 19th Bee Friendly Wine Tour taking place as part of The Oregon Bee Project. August 19th is actually National Honey Bee Day and the $35 ticketed event buys you two taste pours of wine, a taste of ale song beer, a box lunch and desert bite. Not to mention bee-themed events and a garden tour! (noon to 3 pm) and you’ll learn about the native bees of Oregon and how they support biodiversity on farms, vineyards, orchards, and residential backyards.
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 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.
Thank you 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.
Thank you 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.
I love all this floral goodness and I am so happy you joined 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. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!
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