Debra Prinzing

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Episode 540: Slow Flowers Society’s 2021 Year in Review

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

It’s that time again — our chance to review and reflect on all we achieved and experienced in the year that’s just come to a close — this time, 2021. I’m joined by two key members of the Slow Flowers Team — Karen Thornton, our operations and events manager, and Niesha Blancas, our social media manager, who helped review our highlights and wrap things up for 2021. As historians have taught us, you can’t plan for the future without knowing the past, right?! 

Karen and Niesha are such valuable members of our team and I’m so grateful for their talents and commitment to the Slow Flower Mission! This year, rather than taking a chronological, month-by-month walk through 2021, we thought it would be useful to touch on each of our programs, channels and activities by topic. 


Membership:

In 2021, we achieved our highest level of membership since the launch of Slowflowers.com in 2013 — 880 members in all 50 states and most Canadian provinces. What a wonderful growing community of progressive, sustainably-minded, flower people. 

Our monthly Member Meet-ups were a highlight for me — beginning last January when we hosted Rachel Johnson of Simply Grounded, who led our session on Sogetsu Ikebana. The monthly meet-ups averaged 50 attendees all year long — some more, some less. Sometimes we had a number of presenters; other times we included break-out sessions. The meet-ups began in 2020 as a way to connect with each other during the early days of the COVID pandemic. None of us realized how valuable these Zoom calls would become over the ensuing months. In 2021, we averaged 50 attendees each meet-up, and the replay videos have been watched more than 1,200 times.

Continuing with Membership, one of my favorite accomplishments of the year was designing and producing the Member Marketing Toolkit, a digital 42-page booklet that answers all the questions our  members might have regarding ways to participate and get the most out of your membership. And more recently, during October Member Appreciation Month, we produced a special Member Benefits Booklet with discounts and coupons from Slow Flowers Society and our sponsors. 


Member Survey:

The Slow Flowers Member Survey informs our planning and forecasting for the year to come. Here are some highlights:

  • Annual member survey
    • 4.6 satisfaction rating
    • 2021
      • 75.26% (73 people) rate the value of their Slow Flowers membership as high value or very high value
      • 78.35% (76 people) are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their Slow Flowers membership
      • 82.48% (80 people) are very likely or extremely likely to renew their membership in the upcoming year

Congratulations to our Winners! Everyone who completed the Survey and shared their details was included in a special drawing for two prizes. 

Complimentary Slow Flowers Premium Membership for 1 year ($249 value): April Vomfell, Flathead Farmworks 

Free Slow Flowers Dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns – June 27, 2022 in Pocantico Hills, New York ($350 value): Jennifer Kouvant, Six Dutchess Farm


Slowflowers.com

At Slowflowers.com, our original home online, we invested in some important upgrades to the software platform. Just unveiled in December, we’re calling it Slowflowers.com 3.0. It was our goal to improve user experience for the consumer and functionality for our members. We are planning a virtual “spring cleaning” later in January to share some of the ways our members can maximize their profile and brand through Slowflowers.com 3.0, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks. We’ll be sure to record the tutorial for replay viewers.


American Flowers Week

  • American Flowers Week –  June 28-July 1
    • 12 botanical couture looks
    • # of downloads of the Botanical Couture Webinar: 45
    • local and national press generated
    • Plus, we celebrated Canadian Flowers week – 7 day Instagram series  July 15-21, 2021

The American Flowers Week looks were featured in the digital edition of Slow Flowers Journal “Botanical Couture.” This was the debut of a digital flip book, and we’re excited to launch the quarterly magazine in 2022, with our winter edition coming later this season. Our members have contributed articles to the slowflowersjournal.com website over the past few years — a popular feature — and now we expect to get more members involved in the new project, which we’re publishing in conjunction with BLOOM Imprint (more on that later).


Slow Flowers Summit

Two years in the making, the Slow Flowers Summit was our 4th annual gathering. When I asked Karen to share her feedback, she gave it in one word: Wowzer

What a memorable and successful gathering last June at Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside, California.

I have to thank Niesha Blancas for going to Filoli in June 2020, during what would have been our Summit there, and taking beautiful video and photography, as well as filming a design session with Emily Saeger and my IG live interview/tour with Jim Salyards — all while masked, of course! You pulled of a social media feat in 2020 and again in 2021 when the rescheduled Summit took place!

We are especially grateful to our friends at Filoli, who were incredibly supportive in welcoming Slow Flowers and the Summit to their amazing grounds.


Social Media and Communications

Ninety-one percent of our members follow Slow Flowers Society on Instagram, while more than 45 percent follow us on Facebook.

We renamed our Instagram home: @slowflowerssociety

  • Followers: 39.1K
  • Reach: 2.4 Million
  • Impressions: 2.6 Million

We launched a new Instagram account: @slowflowerssummit

  • Reach: 18.5K
  • Impressions: 17K

New Video

There are so many ways that we share inspiring news and resources with you. In 2021, we invested in a short 3-minute Slow Flowers video to introduce the organization to potential members, strategic partners and supporters.
The video was filmed and edited by Alayna Erhart of Alayna Erhart Studio. It features me clipping flowers in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden, the fabulous gathering of members at Filoli Historic House & Garden at the recent 2021 Slow Flowers Summit and a visit to the UW Farm with member Riz Reyez of RHR Horticulture. Special thanks to the members who share their voices of endorsement and support, including Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & FernTobey Nelson of Tobey Nelson Events and Design and Laura Gonzales of Swallows Secret Garden! Look closely – do you see yourself here in our community!? We’re ready to welcome you as a member!


Storytelling, Newsletter, Original Content

We love producing our monthly newsletter to send to you at the beginning of each month. The Slow Flowers newsletter is a popular resource for our members — in fact, in the recent survey, more than 3/4 of you tell us you usually or always read it! Our content is rich, informative and inspiring — and newsletters keep you up to date on events and PR opportunities available to members. I like to treat the newsletter as a chronicle of all we’ve achieved from month to month, and the archives are easy to find in the footer of slowflowers.com. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Stories about our Members: Whenever I’m asked to write for another floral or farming publication, I make it a priority to feature our members and their expertise as my sources. In 2021, that meant including you in several articles for Johnny’s Seeds’ newsletter called JSS Advantage; a guest piece for Details Flowers Software; guest articles for Florists’ Review, Growing for Market and Longfield Gardens, among other outlets.


You could file these stories under Slow Flowers advocacy and outreach, and I’m especially excited about our partnership with the National Gardening Association and GardenResearch.com to include cut flower questions in the 2021 National Gardening Survey.

The findings were published in April, revealing encouraging national attitudes about local and domestic cut flowers. And in 2022, we’re joining with NGA to dig deeper into attitudes and consumer behavior — this time about where people buy their local and domestic flowers — can’t wait to share with you!


Our ongoing commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Ongoing support of women business owners
    • Updated Slow Flowers Manifesto
    • BIPOC and LGBTQ+ presenters and speakers at meet ups and Summit
    • Female BIPOC AFW artist
    • BIPOC botanical couture models

To proactively pursue equity, inclusion and representation in the floral marketplace, intentionally valuing Black floral professionals (farmers, floral designers and vendors) in our business practice with as much support as we give to environmental sustainability.

new Slow flowers manifesto statement (2021)

Education

In addition to our Monthly Member Meet-Up, other educational offerings include offering you free access to webinars with our partners, including Johnny’s Seeds, Bloom Imprint, AIFD and Fleurvana Floral Summit. We also taught the Slow Flowers Creative Workshop in January and helped so many aspiring writers flex their writing muscles and learn new skills.


BLOOM Imprint

In 2021, we launched our publishing branch of Slow Flowers — BLOOM Imprint. As a boutique publisher, we are committed to producing floral lifestyle books by and about our Slow Flowers members.

  • Where We Bloom published (May)
    • Virtual book launch
    • Garden Design magazine webinar
    • Mornings with Mayesh webinar
  • A Life in Flowers published (Oct)
  • Growing Wonder & Black Flora coming up and more books to follow with Slow Flowers members like Adam and Jennifer O’Neal of PepperHarrow Farm and Cynthia Zamaria of House + Flower

Slow Flowers Podcast

Finally, we must note all of our Podcast achievements. If you watched this conversation that Niesha, Karen and I are having on Facebook Live or YouTube, you’ll realize this is one of our new initiatives for 2021 — since our 8th anniversary in late July, we have added video interviews aka Vodcasts to the mix.

  • Podcast… and vodcast!
    • GardenComm Silver Award
    • # of Vodcast views: 2,375 (5 months, July-Dec)
    • Lifetime downloads: 801,000
    • 2021 downloads: 96,383

Thank you to our Sponsors

This is the weekly podcast about Slow Flowers and the people who grow and design with them. It’s all about making a conscious choice and I invite you to join the conversation and the creative community as we discuss the vital topics of saving our domestic flower farms and supporting a floral industry that relies on a safe, seasonal and local supply of flowers and foliage.

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 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.

Lead Sponsor: Farmgirl Flowers
Major Sponsors: Longfield Gardens, Johnny’s Seeds, The Gardener’s Workshop, FlowerFarm.com, Red Twig Farm, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, and Rooted Farmers
Channel Sponsors: Mayesh Wholesale, CalFlowers, Roadie.com, Details Flowers Software, CoolBot and Scenic Place Peonies.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 804,000 times by listeners like you. I value our loyal members and supporters! 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.


Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music Credits:

For We Shall Know Speed; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 528: Meet farmer-florist Eileen Tongson of Orlando-based FarmGal Flowers and enjoy her harvest-cornucopia design demonstration

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! October is our celebration of our Slow Flowers members and one of my goals this month is to showcase and thank as many of our Premium Level members as possible, our top supporters.

Today, we’re visiting Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers, coming to us from Orlando, Florida.

As a farmer-florist, Eileen has experimented with a number of channels to market the flowers she grows, but she’s honed in on two key portions of her business: teaching workshops and designing for events.

Eileen Tongson
Eileen Tongson withone of her signature Florida-grown bouquets

When I asked her to join me during Membership Appreciation Month, Eileen suggested sharing a design demonstration during our interview. You’ll enjoy meeting Eileen and learning about her robust workshop schedule — offered all year long, season by season — to satisfy customers eager for ways to connect with locally-grown flowers and to learn more about gardening.

Eileen and I recorded this conversation and demo last week and I know hearing it and watching the video will get you thinking about harvest and holiday workshops that you can offer.

Eileen in her studio for Where We Bloom
Eileen in her home-based studio, featured in Where We Bloom

Here’s a bit more about Eileen before we get started, excerpted from her website:

For as long as she can remember, Eileen has truly loved gardening. Her parents were avid gardeners and the family spent countless hours outdoors cultivating vegetables, fruit, and of course flowers. They taught Eileen to appreciate nature and all that it provides, and she is so thankful to them for the early introduction to what has become a lifelong passion.

After all these years, she’s still just as inspired by the natural beauty and cultivation of flowers. Eileen considers herself a city dweller, turned home-grown FarmGal.

Life has taken her to the west coast and back, but her heart and my home have always been in the Sunshine State and the beautiful city of Orlando, Fl. It is where she has raised her family, and now with great enthusiasm that she gets to share her love for flower farming and floral design with her community.

Eileen has studied floral design at numerous locations including Floret Flower Farm, the City College of San Francisco, and Flower School New York. She also completed the University of Florida IFAS Master Gardener Program in 2009. I continue to expand and refine my skills regularly through floral design and flower farming workshops across the country and as a member of Slow Flowers Society and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Eileen’s flowers and gardening expertise have been featured in Florists Review, Edible Orlando, Houzz.com, TravelChannel.com, The Monarch Initiative, Ocala Magazine, Orange Appeal magazine, Team Flower, Glam.com and most recently, in my two books, Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One and Where We Bloom. She was also included in Floret Farm’s book, “Small Plot, Big Impact.”

Inside the studio
Inside Eileen’s efficient and compact studio, which opens onto her Orlando area garden

FarmGal Flowers was also named Best Florist in Best of Winter Park 2019. Clients have included The Ford Motor Company, Williams-Sonoma Winter Park, the Orlando Magic, the Orlando Museum of Art, The Grove Winter Park, and Salata Winter Park.

Eileen believes in locally and sustainably grown, seasonal flowers that support and beautify her community. And, if I am successful in creating a delightful bouquet or arrangement of freshly cut beauties for clients and local friends, then that makes me her HAPPY home-grown FarmGal!

Fern gown by Eileen Tongson
Slow Flowers Florida Botanical Couture Fashion Photo Shoot

Thanks so much for joining me today!

FarmGal Flowers, coming to us from Orlando, Florida.

As a farmer-florist, Eileen has experimented with a number of channels to market the flowers she grows, but she’s honed in on two key portions of her business: teaching workshops and designing for events.

When I asked her to join me during Membership Appreciation Month, Eileen suggested sharing a design demonstration during our interview. You’ll enjoy meeting Eileen and learning about her robust workshop schedule — offered all year long, season by season — to satisfy customers eager for ways to connect with locally-grown flowers and to learn more about gardening.

Eileen and I recorded this conversation and demo last week and I know hearing it and watching the video will get you thinking about harvest and holiday workshops that you can offer.

” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Click here to order your copies of Slow Flowers Journal – Volume One (Featuring Eileen’s Grown-in-Florida Fern and Frond Gown) and Where We Bloom (Featuring Eileen’s home-based studio). Participating in our promotional and PR campaigns like American Flowers Week is one of many opportunities available to Slow Flowers Society members like Eileen.

Follow FarmGal Flowers on Social Media:
FarmGal Flowers on Facebook
FarmGal Flowers on Instagram


Slow Flowers Society Member Appreciation Month

As I reminded you last week, we are in the midst of October’s Member Appreciation Month and I’m so pleased at all the great content we’ve been able to share with our community of members. If you aren’t a member yet — and why haven’t you joined us? It’s the perfect time to step up and commit. This month, all new members will receive our special Member Benefits Booklet with coupons, discounts and other perks from eight of our partners and sponsors — the savings will more than cover your annual membership investment. All new members also receive our Slow Flowers Society collector’s pin, made in the USA, which features our teal and lime green logo. Plus, if you upgrade to or join at the Premium Level, you’ll also receive the video bundle of all our Slow Flowers Summit 2022 speaker presentations, valued at $129.

Please head to slowflowerssociety.com and hit the “Become a Member” Button.


Before we wrap up, I have a special treat to share — also timed to coincide with Member Appreciation Month!

Yesterday, we unveiled the NEW Slow Flowers Video. I’m so thrilled to share it with you — this Video was created over the past several months with our favorite video talent Alayna Erhart of Alayna Erhart Studio. In just a few minutes, you’ll meet me in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden, catch a glimpse of the fabulous gathering of members at Filoli Historic House & Garden at the recent 2021 Slow Flowers Summit and join my visit to the UW Farm with member Riz Reyez of RHR Horticulture. Special thanks to the members who share their voices of endorsement and support, including Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern, Tobey Nelson of Tobey Nelson Events and Design and Laura Gonzales of Swallows Secret Garden! Look closely – do you see yourself here in our community!? We’re ready to welcome you as a member!


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.

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo bar

Thank you to 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.

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Thank you to Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 776,000 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


Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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

Music Credits:

Long Await; For We Shall Know Speed; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 513: On “Growing Wonder,” garden roses for floral design with Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
Today’s guest is Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower (c) Jill Carmel Photography

June was a super-busy and invigorating month and I have lots to share with you! I’m recording the intro to today’s episode on July 5th. Yesterday, my husband and I arrived back in Seattle after driving home from the SF Bay Area, my car filled with Slow Flowers Summit supplies; my heart filled with love for our amazing community of members, supporters, sponsors, partners — and especially the small but mighty Slow Flowers team of creatives who work with me. Oh, and my mind spinning with ideas and inspiration from last week’s Slow Flowers Summit, our fourth and best one to date.

Our fabulous Slow Flowers Summit 2021 speaker lineup included (from left): Susan McLeary, Max Gill, founder Debra Prinzing, Pilar Zuniga (with her adorable daughter, Paloma), Jennifer Jewell, Abra Lee, Molly Oliver, Kelee Matsushita-Tseng, Emily Saeger and Lorene Edwards Forkner (c) Missy Palacol photography

You’ll hear much more in the coming weeks as I share recaps and resources from the Slow Flowers Summit 2021. Suffice it to say, the timing worked out wonderfully for an all-outdoor conference as we safely gathered at Filoli Historic House & Residence in Woodside, California.

Felicia Alvarez

To arrive there, I departed Seattle on Wednesday, June 23rd, giving myself two days to make the drive south.

It was a good time to be alone with my thoughts, and to schedule a few stops along the way. One stop was in Live Oak, California, located halfway between Chico and Sacramento.

I was lured to Menagerie Flower + Farm, where Felicia Alvarez lives with her family in the beautiful Sacramento Valley.

The farm raises field grown garden roses, specialty flowers, French prunes, assorted stone fruits, nuts and rice.

Menagerie Farm + Flower’s beautiful roses, including (left) Scarlett & Grace’s arrangement (c) Kelly Marie Photography and (right) Felicia’s montage of just-harvested garden roses

If you followed our 50 States of Slow Flowers podcast series in 2019, you heard a short interview with Felicia when I featured California, but honestly, I knew that 15 minutes could never cover all that she could tell us about her diversified family farm and especially about her roses.

Now, I had a very important reason to see Menagerie Farm + Flower in person! BLOOM Imprint, our book venture, is publishing Felicia’s first book this fall. We are so excited about Growing Wonder, which the book is called. You’ll hear all about this new project in our conversation — and learn how you can pre-order your own copy.

Here’s a bit more about Felicia Alvarez before we get started: On her website, she writes:  

“I’ve been farming for over two decades and every day I fall in love with the simplicity & nostalgia of life on the farm. My mission is simple – to grow exceptional flowers & foods with distinctive quality. As a third generation farmer, my favorite memories as a child were tending to my grandmother’s farm garden filled with fragrant garden roses. Her love of flowers made me an avid gardener and now accidental flower farmer. Today I farm French prunes, garden roses and specialty cut flowers with the help of my husband and two little sons in tow.

basket of roses
Felicia Alvarez on “Growing Wonder” (c) Jill Carmichael Photography

After more than a year of recording most of our episodes over Zoom, it was such a joy to sit at a picnic table next to Felicia’s barn and record live and in person. The ambient farm sounds only help to underscore that feeling of immediacy. I hope you enjoy this conversation, so let’s jump right in and get started!

Thanks so much for joining us today! What a lovely preview of Growing Wonder! You can pre-order your copy of Felicia’s book via a link to BLOOM Imprint – we’ll mail it to you in September after publication. In the meantime, there are a lot of resources available to you at Felicia’s website — check out links below and follow her on social media. 

Subscribe to Menagerie Farm + Flower’s Newsletter here.

Sign up for Menagerie Academy, Felicia’s membership for rose lovers, gardeners and growers. There are three levels of membership, depending on your own needs and goals.

Learn more about Felicia’s one-on-one coaching sessions for your rose aspirations. Single sessions, packages and on-farm sessions available.

Workshop details are here. Upcoming is an October 19th workshop at Menagerie Farm called “Elements of Rose Growing.”

Free Printable Resources and Educational Resources from Felicia, created for her students and coaching clients.


American Flowers Week 2021

We just wrapped up American Flowers Week, our 7th annual celebration, June 28th through July 4th. For all of you who participated, THANK YOU for sharing photos of your beautiful flowers, designs, farms and special activities.

Our botanical couture collection was the most extensive ever and we’ve collected one-dozen floral fashions in our special edition digital flip book — it’s free to read (click here for link).

AND, I’m going to say it right now: If you have any inspiration to grow and design a botanical couture garment for our 2022 collection, please get in touch right away. I find that summer races along so quickly that it’s easy to miss the tiny window of time between now and first frost during which you can harvest, create and photograph a wearable floral garment for next year! I won’t let you forget the opportunity to promote your flowers and floral art through this high-visibility member opportunity. Learn more at americanflowersweek.com.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And 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.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Podcast Sponsors.

Today, we welcome Roadie.com as a new Podcast and Newsletter sponsor for 2021. Roadie is a same-day delivery platform that connects you and your flower deliveries with drivers already heading in the right direction. Roadie can handle the delivery of your fragile flowers and plants, so you can get back to creating masterpieces or helping them grow. Check out the link in today’s show notes for more details or visit https://www.roadie.com/small-business/florists-nursery

Flowerfarm.com, 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. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 742,000 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


Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Fern and Andy; Hedgehog Wallace; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 512: Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore celebrates American Flowers Week and shares domestic sourcing expertise through The Floral Source

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021
Kelly Shore Petals by the Shore
Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore & The Floral Source

Today we welcome back wedding and event florist Kelly Shore, owner of Petals by the Shore, based in Damascus, Maryland. In celebration of our 7th annual domestic floral promotion, American Flowers Week, which runs June 28-July 4th, I invited Kelly to discuss two of her recent projects:

First, the botanical couture ensemble Kelly created for this year’s American Flowers Week collection, which features wax flowers, heathers, serrutia and other South African plants grown by her friends at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in San Diego County.

American Grown at Home with Kelly Shore
One of Kelly’s promotional graphics from 2020 in which she regularly featured curated boxes of domestic cut flowers and foliages from a number of growers

And second, to update us on American Grown at Home, curated collections of wholesale flowers which she markets through The Floral Source, her sister business.

Kelly Shore, teaching at Scenic Place Peonies
Kelly Shore, teaching at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska

Kelly has spent the past several years educating herself about domestic flower sourcing. She began in her own backyard, motivated by a desire to support flower growers in her area, many of whom she originally purchased from through local farmers’ markets.

As her involvement in the Slow Flowers movement grew, Kelly’s commitment and awareness expanded. She committed to only sourcing 100-percent American-grown ingredients for her designs. She reached out to flower farms around the country, introducing herself and asking how she could support them. For some, that meant directly selling their flowers to Petals by the Shore. For many, though, that meant suggesting that Kelly encourage conventional wholesale florists in her area to order more domestic product for their coolers.

In response, Kelly began to invest in photography and graphic design to launch her “American Grown at Home” branding through a new channel of her business, called The Floral Source. She says: “The whole purpose of creating curated boxes was not to generate money for myself, but to empower the design community with the knowledge about what is grown by U.S. flower farmers. I told my florist friends: ‘If you’re not confident or you don’t know where to get flowers domestically, here’s how you can sample these farms without taking a huge risk.’”


The Floral Source was originally designed to host retreats and farm tours for professional florists, with the goal of exciting her peers about domestic sourcing and demystifying the ordering process. The platform gave Kelly a way to highlight dozens of flower farms, their flowers and a seasonal approach to floral design. “I have often felt like my design community was intimidated about connecting directly with growers,” she explains. “And I know that it’s hard to break habits, because it’s easy to go to one place, buy the cheapest, and get the floral product you know and have relied on. But to break out of that mold and transition to sourcing domestically, you have to be willing to reach out to multiple growers.”

I’m so happy to welcome Kelly Shore to the Slow Flowers Podcast. You’ll also find all the details about The Floral Source and how you can subscribe to Kelly’s curated collections of U.S.-grown blooms. A few days after we wrapped up the recording for this episode, Kelly announced a new offering for American Flowers Week — a special American Grown at Home box of blooms This celebratory collection is for all flower lovers, not just designers, highlighting 22 farms in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia – all members of the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, a Slow Flowers Member group.

The lush seasonal box of summer blooms and greenery will be a surprise box, curated by Kelly. It features a little bit of seasonal goodness harvested from all of the mid-Atlantaic botanicals grown by Old Dominion Flower Cooperative farms. Each $150 order includes a 5” Accent Decor metal vase that buyers can use when they participate in a virtual workshop with Kelly on July 1. Celebrate seasonality and our local and American growers and bring the joy of flowers into your home for American Flowers Week. The box will ship from the co-op on June 30 overnight to be delivered to you July 1.

Check it out! And if you miss this offering due to your schedule — no worries, there is a fantastic lineup offerings at The Floral Source, featuring domestic flower and foliage offerings all season long. 

American Flowers Week 2021

This episode is coming to you on Wednesday, June 30th, right in the heart of American Flowers Week, our 7th annual celebration, June 28th through July 4th. Please help us celebrate! You can find all the free social media badges, logos, branding and other resources like a coloring map of all 50 USA-state flowers at americanflowersweek.com! Show your floral patriotism and post photos of your red, white and blue, or any other color of your seasonal and local floral harvest! Be sure to use the hashtag #americanflowersweek when you post! I’ll be doing just the same, friends.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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.

And 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.

sponsor logo bar
5-channel-sponsor-block

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

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.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 740,000 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


Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Game Hens; Skyway; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 511: The Creative Journey, Finding Your Artistic Voice, Truth and Expression with floral artist and educator, Sue McLeary

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021
Susan McLeary (c) e.e. berger

In March 2017, I wrote a 10-page profile of Susan Mcleary for Florists’ Review magazine’s “Creativity” issue. It’s this article that inspired me to invite Sue to be our Keynote speaker at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, taking place next week on June 28-30th in the San Francisco Bay Area at the amazing venue, Filoli Historic House & Garden. Sue’s personal story of seeking, claiming and boldly nurturing her creative process and practice as an artist will inspire and embolden everyone who hears her at the Summit.

Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary — such an artist and inspiration!

Susan is a floral designer, artist and instructor who creates unusual, boundary-pushing floral art including elaborate floral wearables, large-scale installations, and her signature succulent jewelry. Her soulful, seasonally-inspired creations have been described as exquisite living artwork. A passionate teacher, Susan offers private design instruction for new and professional florists in her studio, on her online class platform, and through destination workshops.

Susan McLeary
Floral artist Susan Mcleary is a design influencer who advocates for foam-free practices in her large-scale botanical installations (c) Amanda Dumouchelle

Susan’s work has been featured on the cover of Fusion Flowers Magazine twice, and in leading industry publications and websites including Martha Stewart Weddings, Florist’s Review, My Modern Met, Refinery 29, SELF, Buzzfeed, Belle Armoire, Cosmopolitan, Ebony, and Grace Ormond Wedding Style. Susan is a member of Slow Flowers Society and Chapel Designers. Her first book, The Art of Wearable Flowers was released March 3, 2020. 

A few weeks ago, in anticipation of Sue’s keynote presentation The Creative Journey, she and I met up over Zoom to record this special episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. As I mention in the interview, Sue has appeared as a co-guest on two past episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast, but that was many years ago.

Learn More Here:
Susan McLeary on the Slow Flowers Podcast:
Episode 217 (October 2015)
Episode 220 (November 2015)

Read my 2017 article, A Curious Creative (pdf)

Here are the many ways to study with Sue McLeary:
Online Courses (a la carte)
The Essentials Toolkit (bundle)
The Virtual Studio (membership-based), includes Live Sessions and new courses. Total of 60 courses in the library to date

Susan McLeary (c) e.e. berger

As Sue mentioned, she launched a new course yesterday, June 22nd, called The Floral Mentor: A transformative floral learning opportunity.

Transform the 3 Key Areas of Your Floral Business in the Next 30 Days: 

  • The Heart – Cultivate your unique creative voice, overcome limiting beliefs, and cultivate a more purpose-driven floral business.
  • The Art – Unlock the magic of the principles of design to create more advanced, artful and balanced work every time.
  • The Business – Learn practical business, branding, and marketing skills to grow a more profitable and life-giving floral business.

The Floral Mentor opened on June 22nd and is available for signup through June 30th. In this course, Sue and her cohort of friends and colleagues help you master the art, the heart, and the business of floral design. It’s all about aligning your core values with your business, Sue explains. She writes: “Pull up a virtual chair in my personal studio to learn from me and some of my key mentors!” Sue introduces students her wonderful mentors who teach valuable lessons Sue has learned from each of them. Together, Sue and her mentors will help you create the art you’re truly capable of, build a fulfilling business you love, and join hands to move the floral industry forward together. I can get behind those aspirations! Maybe this course has your name on it, too. check it out!


American Flowers Week 2021

Next week is also our 7th annual American Flowers Week, June 28th through July 4th. Please help us celebrate! You can find all the free social media badges, logos, branding and other resources like a coloring map of all 50 USA-state flowers at americanflowersweek.com! Show your floral patriotism and post photos of your red, white and blue, or any other color of your seasonal and local floral harvest! Be sure to use the hashtag #americanflowersweek when you post! I’ll be doing just the same, friends.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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.

And 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
5-channel-sponsor-block

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm that specializes in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 738,000 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

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

DelamineSkyway; Turning On the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 510: An American Flowers Week botanical couture tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Tammy Myers of LORA Bloom

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Here we are, less than two weeks until the fourth Slow Flowers Summit begins on Monday June 28th and continues through Wednesday June 30th.

We launched the Slow Flowers Summit in 2017 in Seattle, intentionally scheduling it to take place during American Flowers Week as the core event during our annual domestic flower holiday week.

And as the Slow Flowers Summit has expanded and improved, so has American Flowers Week, its original impetus. We’ve been celebrating already, as the buildup to American Flowers Week begins in June, leading up to that specific holiday week of June 28-July 4th.

This year’s special botanical couture promotion is a perfect one-dozen floral garments, created by flower growers, farmer-florists, designers, and members of the Slow Flowers community — all with the motivation of elevating flowers and sharing their talents with the public.

Tammy Myers, LORA Bloom (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Today, I’m excited to introduce Tammy Myers of LORA Bloom. Seattle-based, LORA Bloom is an online E-commerce and marketing platform that provides an additional sales channel for florists, giving them a marketplace where customers can find custom, one-of-a-kind designer arrangements for local delivery. LORA Bloom’s florist partners are aligned with Tammy’s own values of supporting local flower farms and offering foam-free designs. 
Read our October 2020 article about LORA Bloom in Slow Flowers Journal. Listen to Tammy’s first appearance on the Slow Flowers Podcast in Episode 201 (July 8, 2015), where you’ll learn more about her evolution from a studio florist to her present role as creator of the LORA Bloom platform.

Tammy’s original concept board for her American Flowers Week 2021 submission

And when I asked Tammy if she was up for designing a second American Flowers Week botanical couture look (she was a participating designer in 2019, as well), Tammy came up with a stunning project that included six of her LORA Bloom florists as collaborators.

RBG-inspired Botanical Couture, at the University of Washington (c) Missy Palacol Photography
Business in the front; Party in the back, with botanical surface design by Tammy Myers; dress by Riva Juarez
A reimagined judicial robe, seen in sketches by garment designer and this project’s model, Riva Juarez

The result is what we are calling a Floral Tribute to RBG — the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who Tammy considers a fashion icon and a female role model. Because Ginsburg died in 2020, the timing was significant to honor her now.

RBG collars from Time Magazine
Tammy’s inspiration: RBG’s collars, featured in Time Magazine (c) Elinor Carucci
Creative botanical collars:
Top row, from left: Lori Poliski, Flori and Anne Bradfield, Analog Floral
Middle row, from left: Maura Whalen, Casablanca Floral and Kristal Hancock, Sublime Stems
Bottom row, from left: Sophie Strongman, The Old Soul Flower Co. and Sharlet Driggs, Sharlet Floral

Floral Palette: Domestic U.S.-grown botanicals from Washington, Oregon and California
Creative Concept/Creative Direction: Tammy Myers, LORA Bloom, lorabloom.com,
@lorabloom.flowers
Model: Riva Juarez, rivaladiva.com, @rivaladiva
Hair/Makeup: Riva Juarez
Photography: Missy Palacol, Missy Palacol Photography, missypalacol.com, @missy.palacol
Collaborating Slow Flowers Society florists: Tammy Myers; Anne Bradfield, Analog Floral, @analog_floral; Maura Whalen, Casablanca Floral, @casablancafloral; Sharlet Driggs, Sharlet Floral, @sharletfloral; and Lori Poliski, Flori, @flori.flowers
Other florists: Sophie Strongman, The Old Soul Flower Co., @theoldsoulflowerco and Kristal Hancock, Sublime Stems, @sublimestems
Location: University of Washington Campus, Seattle, Washington

Thanks so much for joining us today! I love something that Tammy shared with me when I interviewed her for the story that appears in Slow Flowers Journal Botanical Couture special edition:

“In my research, I learned Ruth Bader Ginsburg had favorite pieces that communicated subtle messages of the Court’s decisions. We know that flowers speak in similar ways.”

Tammy myers, lora bloom

By the way, if you haven’t yet seen the free, 72-page special edition of Slow Flowers Journal, released on June 1st, you can find the link here. You’ll read all about the RBG Floral Tribute along with stories about the eleven other botanical couture looks created for American Flowers Week. Prepared to be wowed at all the beauty and talent in our collective community! Maybe it will trigger some ideas for you to get involved in 2022!


Next week:

Susan McLeary designing a fabulous floral ‘fro (c) Amanda Dumouchelle photography

Next week, you’ll hear my interview with Susan McLeary, our keynote presenter at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. It is guaranteed to inspire you, as Sue is such an important influence, an incredible floral artist, and a boundary-pushing leader in our community. I can’t wait to share our conversation with you – and for attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit to see Sue’s design demonstrations and hear her keynote, The Creative Journey: Finding Your Artistic Voice, Truth and Expression.

To me, the Slow Flowers Summit gives our community the opportunity to gather annually and celebrate domestic flower growing and sustainable floral design, to go deeper than it is possible in an online, virtual, social media kind of way; to have human contact; a mind-meld, as one of our past speakers described it; to push ourselves to consider new ideas and unique perspectives; and to hear from a diversity of voices in the floriculture and horticulture marketplace. There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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.

And 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

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.

We’re thrilled that our Podcast sponsor, Mayesh Wholesale Florist, is also a Supporting Sponsor of the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. 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.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 736,000 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

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photograph

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Skyway; Great Great Lengths; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 509: From Cutting Gardens to Flowers for the Home, a Conversation with the Horticulture Team at Filoli Historic House & Garden, Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021
The Wedding Garden at Filoli Historic House & Garden (c) Gretchine Nievarez

Over the past year, you’ve heard from many of the panelists and personalities scheduled to present at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, scheduled for June 28-30, which is right around the corner. And today, I’m bringing you straight to our Summit destination, Filoli Historic House & Garden based in Woodside, California, where we will gather for the first two days of the conference.

Filoli’s remarkable Georgian Revival architecture (c) Gretchine Nievarez

I am so excited for the opportunity Summit attendees, speakers, sponsors and guests will enjoy as we immerse ourselves in the beauty and legacy of this Bay Area cultural institution. We will spend two full days experiencing the historic property, including Filoli’s legendary landscape and cutting gardens, which you’ll learn more about today. We also will have unprecedented access to design a ‘floral takeover’ in ‘The House,’ California’s most triumphant example of the Georgian Revival tradition and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century.

From left, today’s guests: Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor of Filoli’s Horticulture Staff

For now, I’d love to introduce you to the horticulture team at Filoli, because they are the ones whose involvement in the Slow Flowers Summit will ensure a thoroughly immersive plant and floral experience.

Today, join me in a conversation with Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor.

Jim Salyards is the director of horticulture, a 26-year veteran of Filoli!

Kate Nowell is the horticulture production manager, with about one decade at Filoli, and Haley O’Connor is Filoli’s new formal garden manager who joined about six months ago.

Let’s jump right in and take an audio (virtual) botanical tour with three talented plants people.


Attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit will have full access to the beautiful grounds at Filoli Historic House & Garden during our workshops and immersive floral experiences

Thank you so much for joining our conversation today! There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com. We are so excited to welcome our attendees to a safe, in-person, COVID-compliant and mostly outdoor setting at Filoli Historic House and Garden. The countdown begins!

The Garden House at Filoli

And by the way, if you’re not attending the Summit, watch Slow Flowers Society on Facebook, Slow Flowers Society and Slow Flowers Summit on Instagram for live feeds coming to you from the Slow Flowers Summit, including a behind-the-scenes tour that I will lead on setup day, Sunday, June 28th.


Something really fun happened this past week as I traded places at the microphone and answered questions posed to me rather than being the person asking those questions. Our good friend Jennifer Jewell, producer and host of Cultivating Place, an award-winning public radio program and podcast, invited me to join her to discuss all things Slow Flowers. I’ll share the link to that episode in today’s show notes. You’ve heard Jennifer here as a past guest and you may already subscribe to Cultivating Place. If not, please check out her amazing, inclusive and expansive weekly radio program about plants, people, place and other conversations about natural history and the human urge to garden. Jennifer is coming to the Slow Flowers Summit as our capstone speaker on day two — and I’m so honored that she shared our story – your story – the story of Slow Flowers – on her terrific show.


Our 2021 Botanical Couture Collection for American Flowers Week 2021

As you know, in the buildup to American Flowers Week, June 28-July 4, there is much to celebrate. This Friday, you’re invited to join our Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up, June 11th at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. The topic: Botanical Couture for American Flowers Week 2021 Collection. The guests? Several of the creatives responsible for this year’s expansive and flourishing fashion collection! Get a peek at the behind the scenes and hear from the creatives — Slow Flowers member farmers, designers and floral artists who rose to the open call for floral wearables. We have one-dozen looks in all this year — a feat of talent, ingenuity and inventiveness! Can’t wait for you to join us — all the details and the link to log in are available in today’s show notes. See you there!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Flowerfarm.com, is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected growers 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. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.

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.

Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 734,000 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

Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Flattered; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 508: Horticulture, pop culture and Black American floral legends with Abra Lee of Conquer the Soil

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

Today, we continue our series to highlight the talented speaker lineup for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, taking place June 28th-30th at Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside, California, with an extended conversation I’m excited to share with you.

Abra, pruning roses as a volunteer at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion

Please meet Abra Lee, horticulturist, author, speaker and founder of the media platform called Conquer the Soil. Based in Atlanta, Abra says she is a self-proclaimed horticulturist extraordinaire that is half country bumpkin, half bougie, occasionally extra, and inherently Southern. She writes: “The opportunities I’ve been fortunate to experience during my career in the garden industry have far surpassed my ancestors’ wildest dreams!”

Abra, leading the horticulture program at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Educated at Auburn University College of Agriculture in Auburn, Alabama  with a B.S. in Horticulture and a distinguished Leadership in Public Horticulture Fellow from  Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Abra takes notes on plants + pop culture and shares her observations across her blog and social media. Count on Abra to bring her distinct perspective to horticulture, popular culture, fashion, celebrity, and the history of Black gardeners.

Her impressive professional path began as a city arborist, which led to landscape management roles at two major international airports (in Atlanta, followed by Houston), and as a University of Georgia Extension Agent.

Meet the women of the Negro Garden Clubs of Virginia, circa 1932, featured in Conquer the Soil’s IG Feed

Years of research into the history of Black American gardeners propelled Abra to collect her research into a new book, scheduled for publication in the fall of 2022.

The forthcoming book is called Conquer the Soil – Black America and the Untold Stories of Our Country’s Gardeners, Farmers, and Growers

Conquer the Soil profiles 45 hidden figures of horticulture—the Black men and women whose accomplished careers in the plant world are little known or untold. Among them are Wormley Hughes, an enslaved African-American who was head gardener at Monticello and dug Jefferson’s grave; Annie Vann Reid, an ex-teacher turned entrepreneur in South Carolina who owned a five-acre greenhouse and nursery in the 1940s that sold millions of plants and seeds; and David August Williston, a graduate of Cornell University and the first African-American landscape architect, a student of Liberty Hyde Bailey, and the designer of the Tuskegee University campus. Abra’s lively text will be enriched by illustrations of each individual, making this forthcoming book as beautiful as it is critically important.
In Conquer the Soil, Abra Lee–a rising star in the plant world–gives these women and men the spotlight they deserve and enriches our collective understanding of the history of horticulture. 

A Conquer the Soil IG post — picking up on news about “The Gardener,” a forthcoming Batman villain

As we discuss in today’s epsiode, Abra has an infectous passion about the people she’s discovered through her research. She has lectured extensively on African-Americans and Ornamental Horticulture, gathering her research of 600 years of history from pre-colonial Africa to today and the artistic contributions of Black gardeners, horticulturists, educators and landscape architects to the green profession. While continuing her research for her upcoming book on the subject, Abra has unearthed an incredible narrative of Black Americans in floristry. She will share these stories of people, their flowers and their entrepreneurism in a new talk for the Slow Flowers Summit audience.

Sneak peek of Mrs. Blanche Hurston, one of the women you’ll meet in Abra Lee’s presentation at the Slow Flowers Summit (from Conquer the Soil’s IG feed)

Her presentation, The History of the Black American Florist, will inspire our attendees with her storytelling gifts as she brings their untold stories to life, giving voice to the important history about Black pioneers in horticulture, floriculture, landscape architecture and botany.

Some of the fun Conquer the Soil merchandise that Abra will bring to our Book & Art Table at the Slow Flowers Summit; from left: Famed florist Lucille Caine orchid hat pop-art poster, Conquer the Soil tote, Music x Flowers tote (a historic florist said these words, but you’ll have to hear about that from Abra!)

Find and follow Abra Lee and Conquer the Soil at these social places:

Conquer the Soil on Instagram

Conquer the Soil on Facebook


Slow Flowers Summit 2021

2021 speakers Slow Flowers Summit
Our fabulous speaker lineup includes (top row), Susan McLeary, Emily Saeger, Molly Culver; (middle row), Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Max Gill; (bottom row), Abra Lee, Pilar Zuniga, Jennifer Jewell + our host, Slow Flowers Society’s Debra Prinzing

Thank you so much for joining our conversation today! There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com. We are so excited to welcome our attendees to a safe, in-person, COVID-compliant and mostly outdoor setting at Filoli Historic House and Garden. The countdown begins!


American Flowers Week 2021

Our 2021 Botanical Couture Collection!

You’re hearing this Podcast on June 2nd and this week we’re kicking off the anticipation of American Flowers Week! American Flowers Week takes place June 28-July 4 each year, we’re heading into our 7th annual campaign!

Create your own American Flowers Week activities and events — use our branding, logos, free downloads and all the content available at Americanflowersweek.com to promote your floral enterprise. See the home page for our “Media Resources” and “Free Downloads” menus.

Read about the designers, growers and creatives behind one-dozen Botanical Couture looks for American Flowers Week 2021!

This year, Slow Flowers Society has partnered with our publishing arm, BLOOM Imprint, to produce a special Botanical Couture edition of Slow Flowers Journal. The 72-page digital magazine is available FREE to you – you’ll be inspired and amazed at the collective talent of the Slow Flowers community of creatives — flower growers, floral designers, and their teams who produced one dozen distinctly different botanical fashions. You can find the link to our special edition in today’s show notes at debraprinzing.com — and download social media graphics of each floral ensemble for your own use.

I want to share an invitation specifically for flower farmers who may be planning a special promotion, pop-up sale, workshop or other way to celebrate American Flowers Week. I’ll be writing a story about what flower farmers are doing during the campaign for an upcoming issue of Growing For Market — and I’m looking for ways to feature you and your plans. Please get in touch if you have something in the works! You can shoot me a note at debra@slowflowers.com.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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.

And 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
5-channel-sponsor-block

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors:

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm, specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 732,000 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

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long photograph

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Lumber Down; Heartland Flyer; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 507: Slow Flowers Summit Preview with Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Emily Saeger on Sustainable Farming x Floral Design

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

The Slow Flowers Summit is one month away — it’s really impossible to believe as I speak that sentence, especially after having to postpone the 2020 Summit, which would have been our fourth consecutive year holding a live, in-person gathering to celebrate Slow Flowers Society and American Flowers Week.

Our fabulous speaker lineup includes (top row), Susan McLeary, Emily Saeger, Molly Culver; (middle row), Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Max Gill; (bottom row), Abra Lee, Pilar Zuniga, Jennifer Jewell + our host, Slow Flowers Society’s Debra Prinzing

Alas, as each of you knows, little took place last year. However, as we entered 2021, with the availability of vaccinations and some incredibly creative event planning by Karen Thornton, our Summit event manager along with the leadership at Filoli Historic House & Garden, we now can joyously proclaim that the Slow Flowers Summit 2021 will take place on June 28-30th.

You have met many of our speakers on past episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast, but in the coming weeks you will hear from several others. Consider this an introduction and a preview of their presentations coming up.

Today, I invited two of the three panelists who are part of Sustainable Farming x Floral Design – what I envisioned as a conversation about how sustainable farming practices influence design choices, aesthetics and style. Hear each presenter’s personal journey through farming to floral design, and enjoy visual inspiration as each demonstrates a signature arrangement using all locally-grown seasonal flowers.​

Sustainable Farming x Floral Design Panel
The Slow Flowers Summit’s Sustainable Farming x Floral Design Panel (from left): Emily Saeger, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Molly Culver

Kellee Matsushita-Tseng will be moderating the panel, joined by Emily Saeger and Molly Culver. Today’s episode features a conversation with Kellee and Emily. Molly was unable to join us but I have a bonus for you — links to Molly’s past appearances on the Slow Flowers Podcast:
Episode 172: Brooklyn Grows Flowers! Meet Molly Oliver Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers
Episode 412: The Flowering of Brooklyn with Molly Oliver Flowers
Episode 451: From Grower to Designer to Consumer: How two floral models are changing and adapting, with Yvonne Ashton of Mayesh Wholesale Florist and Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers

First, I’ll tell you a bit more about Kellee and Emily – and then we will jump right into the conversation:

Kellee Matsushita-Tseng is a queer, fourth generation Japanese-Chinese farmer. They are an educator and instructor at CASFS (The Center For Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems) at UC Santa Cruz, training folks to grow a variety of fabulous fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They train growers in flower production, design, and sales for fresh markets and special events. They believe that cut flowers should be accessible to everyone, both for their cultural and spiritual significance, as well as for their beauty and sensory delight. Kellee is delighted to be part of creating a flower movement that is rooted in social and environmental justice. They are currently enamored by our native Matilija poppies, and excited to continue exploring design possibilities with other great natives.
Follow KELLEE on Instagram @bravenewseed

Emily Saeger is a Filoli Horticulture Alumni and currently pursuing a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington. She has eight years of horticultural experience blend production agriculture, landscape maintenance, garden and floral design.  She has worked for several notable Bay Area farms including, Fifth Crow Farm, Bluma Farm and Hidden Villa.
Prior to entering the Landscape Architecture program in the fall of 2020, Emily served as the Lead Horticulturist at Filoli, where she looked after the rose garden, cutting garden and orchard.  Her design aesthetic is a blending of her work experience – foraged and cultivated, wild and formal – always designed with seasonality and senescence in mind.  A strong believer in the healing powers of nature, through her gardens and floral design she hopes to facilitate this connection for all.  
Follow EMILY on Instagram @emilyadelias 

Thank you so much for joining our conversation today! There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com. We are so excited to welcome our attendees to a safe, in-person, COVID-compliant and mostly outdoor setting at Filoli Historic House and Garden. The countdown begins!


A few announcements:

Two gorgeous peony arrangements featuring the floral art of Brandon Scott McLean

If you missed last week’s Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up with Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies and Brandon Scott McLean of East Hill Floral — two peony experts from Homer Alaska — we have the playback video to share with you!

Save the date for our next Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up on June 11th. More details to come but the theme is American Flowers Week!


Our American Flowers Week 2021 artwork from Los Angeles illustrator Jeanetta Gonzales

Speaking of American Flowers Week, which takes place June 28-July 4 each year, we’re heading into our 7th annual campaign! I want to share an invitation specifically for flower farmers who may be planning a special promotion, pop-up sale, workshop or other way to celebrate American Flowers Week. I’ll be writing a story about what flower farmers are doing during the campaign for an upcoming issue of Growing For Market — and I’m looking for ways to feature you and your plans. Please get in touch if you have something in the works! You can shoot me a note at debra@slowflowers.com.


And finally, we have just drawn the winners for the May 12th book giveaway featuring Niki Irving’s new book, Growing Flowers. Niki is a longtime Slow Flowers member, a farmer-florist and owner of Flourish Flower Farm in Asheville, North Carolina. We discussed Growing Flowers, her first-ever book, and issued a giveaway challenge to our listeners. Thanks to the generous donation from Mango Publishing, we have two copies to give away to listeners. We asked you to post a photo of one or more of the flowers you are growing, and use the #growingflowrs hashtag, as well as tagging @flourishflowerfarm@slowflowerssociety and @mangopublishing. We rounded up all of your posts and did a random drawing for the two books. Congratulations to Jenni Hulburt and Flower Folly Farm. We’ll be in touch to get your addresses for receiving a free copy of Growing Flowers. I know you’ll enjoy Niki’s new book!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast 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.

And 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors:

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.

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.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 730,000 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

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Heartland Flyer; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely
by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 496 Growing a Slow Flowers Farm-ily – a beautiful story from Perry-winkle Farm, where Mike Perry and Cathy Jones mentor and co-farm with Taij and Victoria Cotten

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021
Victoria and Taij Cotten at Perry-winkle Farm
Cathy Jones captured an iPhone photo of that “meeting” between Taij and Victoria Cotten and me at the ASCFG conference in September 2018 (I just found this photo on her IG feed!)

In 2018, at the most recent Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers’ national conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, I met a young couple named Taij and Victoria Cotten. It was serendipity that placed us together at the banquet table, the night of ASCFG’s 30th Birthday Celebration, in fact. I learned that Taij and Victoria were invited to the conference by their mentor, Cathy Jones, who joined them at that table. I learned a little bit about their unique co-farming experience, and that’s what you’ll hear more about in today’s conversation.

Cathy Jones and Mike Perry of Perry-winkle Farm

This is a story of two couples, one farm, and one special friendship between the generations. Cathy Jones and her husband Mike Perry founded Perry-winkle Farm thirty-plus years ago on land in Chatham County, outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Their farm products include vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, and fresh eggs from pastured hens, which they sell at three regional farmers’ markets: Fearrington Village (seasonally) and 2 Carrboro Farmers markets (Wednesday-seasonally and Saturday- year round).

More photos from Perry-winkle Farm: Cathy Jones with her flowers and Mike Perry with his world-famous chicken eggs

As first-generation farmers, they began the process of converting over-worked dairy crop land into a sustainable vegetable operation with little more than a few hand tools, a walk-behind tiller and subscriptions to Organic Gardening and New Farm magazines.  They sought advice from other local growers and started attending conferences and workshops to broaden their “education”.  A few years later, Perry-winkle Farm became one of the first farms in Chatham County to be “Certified Organic”.

One of the mobile Chicken Houses at Perry-winkle Farm

Over the years they have trained and benefited from the help of many employees.  Working with motivated “learners” remains one of the most positive aspects of the farm’s activities. And when it comes to selling their beautiful, field-grown cut flowers, Perry-winkle creates mixed bouquets for farmers’ market sales. What Cathy, Mike, Victoria and Taij they really love is using their design skills to fashion arrangements for weddings, parties, and other special events. They also offer “custom or farmer’s choice” buckets of their flowers.

Click here to read more about Perry-winkle Farm in an article from NC State Extension’s Debbie Roos

more scenes from Perry-winkle Farm
More scenes from Perry-winkle Farm: Mike and Cathy with Taij and Victoria (left); the Cotten kids, Carleigh and Titus (right)
More photos from Perry-winkle Farm
A gallery of the beautiful harvest from Perry-winkle Farm

Here’s more about Taij and Victoria Cotten:

After responding to a Craigslist ad for Valentine’s Day in 2017 at Preston Flower Shop, Taij and Victoria were hooked on flowers. They quit their jobs and traveled North Carolina’s Piedmont farming region, talking with any farmer that had time or space for them. They quickly realized they wanted to farm. 

Now farming alongside their mentors/farm-ily Michael Perry and Cathy Jones of Perry-winkle farm, the couple helps sustainably farm 4 acres in Northern Chatham County, specializing in seasonal vegetables, specialty cut flowers and pasture laying hens. Taij and Victoria reside in Chatham County, NC with their two adorable, flower-loving children: Carleigh (6) and Titus (1)

At the Farmers’ Market with Perry-winkle Farm

You may recall that Taij and Victoria were featured panelists on the flower farming panel as part of last December’s Young Farmers & Cooks Conference hosted by Stone Barns Center for Sustainable Agriculture, which I moderated — and later shared as a Slow Flowers Podcast episode 484 on December 16th. They shared part of their story then, but we were pressed for time to include all the panelists, so I promised to circle back and devote an entire episode to Perry-winkle Farm. 

It is inspiring to learn how a new generation of flower farmers is being nurtured and supported! Thanks for sharing your story, Cathy, Mike, Taij and Victoria!

Thanks so much for joining me today. I am inspired by the story of Mike and Cathy, Taij and Victoria, and I can’t wait to see more from this amazing farm-ily, a potential model for other established farms in need of young talent and enthusiasm.

Find and Follow these flower farmers:
Perry-winkle Farm on Facebook
Perry-winkle Farm on Instagram
The Cottens on Instagram


This Friday, we are hosting the March Slow Flowers Member (virtual) Meet Up — and all Slow Flowers Society members are invited to log in via Zoom for a fantastic session! You’ll meet three Slow Flowers members who will share all about Dye Plants and Natural Pigments from Botanical Ingredients. Learn how you can grow dye plants for your own projects or to market to other artists.

Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas and Gholson Gardens
Lourdes Casanares-Still of Masagana Flower Farm and Tinta Studio
Julie Beeler of Bloom and Dye

Our special guests include Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas and Gholson Gardens (Walla Walla, Washington); Julie Beeler of Bloom and Dye (Trout Lake, Washington); and Lourdes Casañares-Still of Masagana Flower Farm and Tinta Studio (La Broquerie, Manitoba).

I want to emphasize that your Slow Flowers Membership Gives You an Important Narrative and Mission to Share with Your Community and Your Customers. And joining our monthly meet-up is one very popular benefit that has emerged in the past year . . . educating, connecting and inspiring hundreds of you. I can’t wait for this incredible lineup of savvy growers and artists to share their information with our community.


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This podcast 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.

And 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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to 240 team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.


For each Podcast episode this year, we also thank three of our Major Sponsors. Our first thanks goes 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.

It’s fitting that our next sponsor thanks goes to Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, through which I met these lovely humans at Perry-winkle Farm. 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.

Our final sponsor thanks goes 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 so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 700,000 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’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

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. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Alustrat; Turning On the Lights; Gaenaby Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts