Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘American Grown’ Category

Episode 663: Designing with Dried Flowers – a new book by Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm and Wreath Room

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

Flowers are fleetingly beautiful, but dried floral arrangements are both lovely and lasting. In her new book, Designing with Dried Flowers, Slow Flowers member, Hannah Muller of The Wreath Room and Full Belly Farm shares her unique methods to naturally dry flowers that hold their color and delicacy – and how to design small arrangements for every day, wreaths for all seasons, and celebration showstoppers that will look gorgeous in the moment and for months to come.

Designing with Dried Flowers by Hannah Rose Rivers Muller
Designing with Dried Flowers by Hannah Rose Rivers Muller (c) Molly Decoudreaux

Last week, the Slow Flowers community gathered online for a virtual meet-up with our featured expert, Hannah Rose Rivers Muller, of Full Belly Farm and Wreath Room. With her family, especially her lifelong mentor and mother Dru Rivers, Hannah grows 15 acres of cut flowers in Guinda, California, located about 45 minutes west of Sacramento.

From Designing with Dried Flowers
Hannah Muller in the pages of Designing with Dried Flowers (c) Molly Decoudreaux

We’ve had Dru and Hannah as past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast, Episode 498 (2021). Click to listen to the replay of that conversation.

Book jacket artwork: Designing with Dried Flowers
Creating Everlasting Arrangements with Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of The Wreath Room at Full Belly Farm 

Today, we’re welcoming Hannah back to the Slow Flowers community as she shares her passion for dried botanicals. She spent two years working with photographer Molly Decoudreaux to capture all the seasons of growing, harvesting, processing, drying and designing with flowers, herbs, floliages, grains, and grasses.

From the pages of Designing with Dried Flowers: Wreaths
From the pages of Designing with Dried Flowers: Wreaths

Their new book, Designing with Dried Flowers, will be published on June 4th. Follow along with Hannah as she inspires people to embrace and celebrate the joy and beauty of drying flowers for long-term enjoyment.

From the pages of Designing with Dried Flowers
Step-by-step instructions for creating a centerpiece with dried flowers

Find and follow Hannah Muller at these social places:
Full Belly Farm on Instagram and Facebook
Farmer Hands on Instagram
Wreath Room on Instagram

DIY dried floral garland from Designing with Dried Flowers
DIY dried marigold garland from Designing with Dried Flowers
From the pages of Designing with Dried Flowers
Scenes from Full Belly Farm

The video that accompanies this episode includes Hannah’s centerpiece design demo, and a discussion of some of the varieties she prefers for wreathmaking, bouquet making and creating arrangements.


It’s the 10th Anniversary of Slowflowers.com!

Happy 10th Anniversary Slowflowers.com
Happy 10th Anniversary Slowflowers.com

Remember last week’s announcement. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of slowflowers.com — our online directory to local flowers –we created a gift for our community. If you’ve always wanted to join Slow Flowers, we have a special 50%-off discount for you. Use the discount code HAPPY10 to join or renew for one year’s membership at half the regular price – this offer is good at all levels, from Standard and Premium to our special 3-year perennial membership. Check it out! This offer expires on June 7, 2024.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.

Thank you to Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at storeitcold.com   

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in New Albany, 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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I’m so glad you joined us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Turning on the Lights; Paper Feather
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

Episode 662: Flower farming meets the retail flower shop with Little Petal Farm

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

Going from flower farmer to full-service retail florist and juggling both – is it possible? Hear from Tammy Osselaer, who started Little Petal Farm in 2019 and then in 2022, opened a retail full-service flower shop as an extension of her farm. Learn how she grows all of her flowers during the farming season AND produces floral designs for her community and beyond.

Tammy Osselaer, Little Petal Farm
Tammy Osselaer, Little Petal Farm

On this podcast, I love it when a listener contacts me with a suggestion for an episode that underscores something I’ve mentioned, such as an interesting observation or shift in the Slow Flowers Movement.

Today’s guest did just that. Tammy Osselaer is a loyal Slow Flowers Podcast listener and member who owns Little Petal Farm in Noblesville, Indiana. After an earlier episode when I commented about flower farmers opening companion retail stores, both on farm and as separate businesses, Tammy reached out to introduce herself.

You Pick Flower Experience at Little Petal Farm
You Pick Flower Experience at Little Petal Farm

Little Petal Farm was established in 2019 as a specialty cut flower farm producing high-quality blooms & branches for floral designers, event planners, subscription holders, weddings, and all-around flower lovers.

Wedding flowers by Little Petal Farm
Wedding flowers by Little Petal Farm

Its origins are rooted in Tammy’s personal interest in flower gardening and landscaping, a passion she’s had for more than 25 years. After designing, planting and nurturing her own gardens with perennials, flowering woodies and graceful ornamental grasses, she turned that passion into Little Petal Farm, first as a farm; then as a farm plus retail shop.

A bridal shower centerpiece with flowers grown and designed by Little Petal Farm
A bridal shower centerpiece with flowers grown and designed by Little Petal Farm

Let’s jump right in and learn about her path to flowers – and how she manages to run two sister businesses that are infusing Noblesville and the surrounding area with locally-grown botanicals.

Find and follow Little Petal Farm on Facebook and Instagram.

As mentioned, the Indiana Peony Festival is coming up this weekend, May 18th, so if you’re in the area, find Tammy and say hello!


This Week’s Good News

I want to share an important piece of news, a major milestone for the Slow Flowers Movement. Last week, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the launch of slowflowers.com!

One decade ago, on May 8th 2014, we launched slowflowers.com just before Mother’s Day, as a free, nationwide online directory with more than 200 listings of florists, shops, studios, and farms with local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.

It all began with the book – Slow Flowers – which was published in the spring of 2013, quickly followed by the debut of the Slow Flowers Podcast. The Slow Flowers Movement was born with the book, the podcast, and slowflowers.com, and what an amazing decade we’ve experienced ever since! As part of my announcement last week, I shared these observations:

We have achieved so much in the Slow Flowers Community during the past decade – and we have YOU to thank. Your shared passion for promoting local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers has propelled Slow Flowers to become an international phrase, used in millions of hashtags around the world.  #slowflowers has generated more than 200 million social media impressions in the past four years alone.

The term is much more recognizable and powerful that merely using “local flowers,” because SLOW instantaneously communicates a wider range of values than just geographic proximity.

We believe in the sustainable and ethical practices outlined in our Slow Flowers Manifesto, and our members are the embodiment of those values. We have grown to 750 members – flower farmers, floral designers, and farmer florists who align with our mission

Inspiring the floral industry and its consumers to embrace local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.

Our goals are many, but I just want to highlight two that I know will resonate with you:

         To change the flower sourcing practices of consumers and professionals through outreach and education that highlights the benefits of local, seasonal and domestic floriculture.

         To build a movement that promotes cultivation and sales of local, seasonal and sustainable flowers, while nurturing authentic connections between consumers, farmers and florists.

To celebrate, I wanted to share a gift to our community. If you’ve always wanted to join Slow Flowers, we have a special 50%-off discount for you. Use the discount code HAPPY10 to join or renew for one year’s membership at half the regular price – this offer is good at all levels, from Standard and Premium to our special 3-year perennial membership. This promotion expires on June 7, 2024.


Join our May 17th Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up:

Designing with Dried Flowers and Hannah Rose River Muller
Creating Everlasting Arrangements with Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of The Wreath Room at Full Belly Farm 

And don’t forget to preregister to join this month’s Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up, coming up on Friday, May 17th – scheduled to take place one week later than usual to accommodate for Mother’s Day. The session is devoted to Designing with Dried Flowers and our expert member is Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of The Wreath Room and Full Belly Farm. We’re so excited to feature Hannah as she talks about flower farming with her family in Northern California and developing her special approach to drying the flowers she grows. This will be a very special preview of Hannah’s brand-new book, out on June 4thDesigning with Dried Flowers, so bring your questions! We will have one copy of to give away to one lucky attendee. Pre-registration is required. I’ll see you on May 17th!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 Rooted Farmers. 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.

Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Thank you to 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 johnnyseeds.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I’m so glad you joined us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com.


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Turning on the Lights; Nu Fornacis
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

Episode 660: Flower Farming in Los Angeles: Meet a trio of growers behind an upcoming flower farm tour as they discuss the unique character of urban flower farming in Southern California

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

Meet three of the flower farmers behind the bountiful LA Flower Farm Tour, as eight woman-owned urban flower farms come together to open their gates to the public on May 4th. These growers, including three Slow Flowers member-owned farms, will welcome Los Angeles flower lovers and gardeners to wander through their fields and get to know the farmers behind the blooms.

LA Flower Farm Tour

We’re previewing the upcoming Los Angeles Flower Farm Tour – a journey through the lesser-known world of local blooms being cultivated throughout the City of Angels.

LA Flower Farm Tour May 4, 2024

The May 4th, self-guided tour reveals the magic of locally grown flowers and the importance of supporting community agriculture. Their blossoms aren’t just beautiful; they represent a commitment to sustainability and a connection to the land.

Tour-goers will meet the farmers, making important connections and learning about the dedicated female farmers behind the blooms, including their craft, their passion, and the stories that make each petal special.

Kathleen Ferguson at Frogtown Flora LA
Kathleen Ferguson at Frogtown Flora LA
Hannah Melde-Webster of Golden Heron
Hannah Melde-Webster of Golden Heron

Today’s guests include Kathleen Ferguson of Frogtown Flora; Hannah Melde-Webster of Golden Heron; and Jen Britton of Bloomtown Flower Co. The three women gathered in Jen’s studio to record our conversation, which you’ll see in the accompanying video version of this episode.

With the ultimate goal of simply celebrating the beauty of spring, their hope is to raise awareness of locally grown blooms and inspire others to start their own gardens too. With land access being so limited in Los Angeles, these farmers each beautifully display ways in which micro farms can thrive within an urban landscape.

I want to mention a special thank you to Shannon Tymkiw of FlowerBox Studios and Farm. She is a longtime, Pasadena-based farmer-florist and Slow Flowers member who first suggested that I feature the tour today. Thank you, Shannon; we appreciate your support!

LA Flower Farm Tour Group One
LA Flower Farm Tour Group 2
LA Flower Farm Tour Group 3

After the tour was announced, the RSVP’s came flooding in and, as you’ll hear in our conversation, it is now over-subscribed at 800. There is a waiting list and I’ll share that link in today’s show notes.

As guests chart their own course through LA’s floral wonderland, they will also have a chance to take a little piece of each farm home with them. Each farm will have a variety of goods available for purchase, from fresh cut bouquets, u-pick flowers, and potted plants, to handmade goods, treats and beverages.

Follow the Farms

Participating Farms and their additional offerings:

✨Frogtown Flora (frogtownflora.com) Sweet treats, Frogtown Flora merchandise, ceramics, flowers, seeds, and more!

✨Golden Heron (goldenheron.co) U-pick flowers (by appointment), ambient set by S.E. Webster, baked goods by Mimsy’s Munchies, food by Amenohi, ceramics by Gilded Poppy

✨Drive By Flora (@drive_by_flora) Flower bunches, ceramics, baby tees, seedlings, snack & treats

✨Bloomtown Flower Co (bloomtownflowerco.com) Plants for sale, flower bunches for sale

✨Mamabotanica Blooms (mamabotanica.com) mini garage sale of plants, books, and garden items

✨Pia Floral (@piafloraldesign) plants for sale, bouquets, some food and drinks, handmade grocery bags

✨Flowerbox Studios + Farms (flowerboxstudios.net) Bouquets for sale, refreshments, a cupcake pop-up

✨Rose Lane Farms (roselanefarms.org)

Let’s come together to share the joy of spring, connect with fellow flower enthusiasts, and support the local agricultural tapestry that adds color to our urban spaces. See you on the Flower Farm Tour!

Pro-tip for tourgoers: Bring a bucket of water in your car so any fresh flowers you buy make it home with you!

Marigolds (Frogtown Flora, Left) and Hannah and Golden Heron (Right)
Marigolds (Frogtown Flora, Left) and Hannah and Golden Heron (Right)

This episode is near and dear to my heart, as I lived and worked in Los Angeles between 2006 and 2010, at a time when most Southern California flower farms were big, corporate, and commercial. Those farms play an important role in the country’s cut flower ecosystem, but I’m so glad that there is more diversity of choice and variety with the advent of more micro flower farms. I’ll also share a list and links to all the participating farms, and you’ll want to find and follow their social media accounts.

As a bonus, the video interview ends with short films from all three of today’s guests, plus a fourth bonus video that Shannon Tymkiw of FlowerBox Studios shared. You won’t want to miss this peek into the flower farms discussed today.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com

Thank you to Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at storeitcold.com.   

Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.


Our Gift to YOU: Slow Flowers Summit Promo Code

Join me at the 2024 Slow Flowers Summit

If you’re hearing this episode on its release day – Wednesday, May 1st – we have a special gift for listeners who want to attend the Slow Flowers Summit! The dates are getting closer and closer and we’re so excited to welcome our floral community at the Slow Flowers Summit! We just shared our $75-off Promo Code with the Canadian floral community, but now we’re actually going to share it with everyone!! If you have been thinking of coming to the Slow Flowers Summit, we just released our very best promo code available to use before the June 23rd start date! It is good for all ticket levels and will expire May 5, 2024 at Midnight PT. Find the link in today’s show notes or hop over to slowflowerssummit.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I’m so glad you joined us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Turning on the Lights; Daymaze
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

Episode 657: Meet Michelle Kenny, executive director the new Pacific Northwest Florists Association

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

We believe in community here at the Slow Flowers Society and today’s guest does too, as she has a mission to support florists and the floral Industry within the Pacific Northwest Region. Meet Slow Flowers member Michelle Kenny, founder of the new Pacific Northwest Florist Association based in Portland, Oregon.

Many state florist associations are thriving, but as changes occur in the floral marketplace, others have ceased operations. Today, you’ll learn from Michelle Kenny, co-founder and executive director of the new Pacific Northwest Florist Association, a community to support and promote florists in Oregon and Washington.

Michelle Kenny, executive director of the PNW Florist Association
Michelle Kenny, executive director of the PNW Florist Association

Membership in the Pacific Northwest Florist Association is open to any individual in the florist industry in the region. The association provides networking, support, education and an opportunity to showcase and promote the talented florists in Oregon and Washington. People working in the horticultural and allied industries are also invited to join and I know we have many Slow Flowers, including our society, that are part of this effort to support the growth of the floral marketplace here in the PNW.

Michelle and I first met in 2017 at the Bouquets of the Heart auction in Portland, which was held to raise funds for The Bloom Project. Michelle was one of several guest florists who took inspiration from a featured artwork to create an arrangement. It was a fabulous event and I was there to act as emcee to introduce the florists and the pieces they created.

Michelle is the owner of Goose Hollow Flowers, a Portland-based full-service florist, and we were so happy she joined Slow Flowers as a member. It made sense because of her close relationships with many of the growers at the Oregon Flower Growers Association, where local flowers are available at the Portland Flower Market.

Fast-forward and a few years ago, and having survived/endured the COVID challenges, Michelle decided to act on a long-held dream of starting an association for florists. With seed funding from the Portland Flower Market, Michelle formed a board, passed articles and bylaws, and launched PNW Florist Association last fall. They recently received approval for their 501 c 3 nonprofit status as an association.

Here’s a bit more about Michelle:

After spending a decade working for Marriott hotels in 1996, and with a lifelong passion for floral design, gardening, and events, Michelle took the plunge and bought Goose Hollow Gardens in 2007 all while on maternity leave.

The first year as an owner, Michelle trained extensively with her mentor, Jeanie Gray, a florist and artist. Michelle brought her past experience in hospitality as an event planner, wedding coordinator and convention sales manager to her new venture and in 2013, re-brand her shop to Goose Hollow Flowers, named after one of downtown Portland’s neighborhoods.

As a small floral shop owner, Michelle saw the need to bring back a new and improved floral association to help support, benefit and showcase the local floral talent in the area. Most importantly, she is excited to connect like-minded professionals to be part of a rich and vibrant community and founded the Pacific Northwest Florist Association.


Upcoming PNW Florist Association Events

Wonder of the Woodlands book by Francoise Weeks
Wonder of the Woodlands book by Francoise Weeks

As we discussed, PNW Florist Association has a sustainability initiative that will be the focus of a weekend of Earth Day programming on April 20-21. On Saturday, April 20th they are hosting an all-day workshop with Francoise Weeks, at the incredible price of $265 including lunch (PNW members receive a discounted registration rate). The morning will include woodland centerpieces and the afternoon includes wearables, and the class rate includes lunch and a copy of Francoise’s new book “Wonder of Woodlands.” Find the registration link here.

The following date, on Sunday, April 21st, is an all day Sustainability Workshop, which includes demonstrations, hands-on design activities and other speakers, including me. Lunch is included and the session is $75 for nonmembers, $45 for members of the PNW Florist Association. Both events will be held at The Creative Space at the Portland Flower Market, a studio and gathering space in North Portland. I hope to see you there! Find the registration link here.


News of the Week

From Bloom to Boom webinar

If you missed it in our newsletter, I want to remind you about tomorrow’s free webinar that Slow Flowers is co-presenting with Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Thursday, April 11th at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET featuring two of our farmer-florist members as experts on the topic of profitability. You’ll hear from Lennie Larkin of B-Side Farm and Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm, both past guests of this podcast, who will discuss their operations and share their approaches to increasing profitability, including tracking labor costs, inputs, markups, and sales channels. Johnny’s Flower Product Manager Hillary Alger will moderate the Q&A session that follows my roundtable discussion with Lennie and Niki. Find the pre-registration here. The session will be recorded for replay!


Althea Wiles of Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio

And don’t forget this Friday’s April Slow Flowers (virtual) Member Meet-Up, scheduled for April 12th at 9 am PT/Noon ET on Zoom. The topic: Spring Tune-Up for Florists, Studios, and Shops, and our special guest is longtime member Althea Wiles owner of Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio and J Althea Creative, based in Springdale, Arkansas. Bring your questions and get ready for a jolt of inspiration for tuning up your floral enterprise.  The meet-up is free, but preregistration is required. You can find the link in today’s show notes or in the Linktr.ee menu at @slowflowerssocity on IG.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 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 johnnyseeds.com.

Our next sponsor thank you 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.

Our next sponsor thank you 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 than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I’m so glad you joined us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Turning on the Lights; Over the Fence
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

Episode 656: Follow the Blooms with Host and Producer Katie Lila, and Bloom TV Network’s founder & CEO Monica Michelle

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

There’s HGTV and there’s the Food Network, but have you checked out the Bloom TV Network? Today, we’ll meet Monica Michelle, creator of the floral-centric streaming platform and Slow Flowers member Katie Lila, host and producer of the new series “Follow the Blooms,” which begins at the flower farm and ends with a beautiful installation for the public to enjoy.

Follow the Blooms installation at the Slow Flowers Summit in progress
Follow the Blooms installation at the Slow Flowers Summit in progress, featuring mural by Toby Keogh
Slow Flowers Summit attendees at Bellevue Botanic Garden, adding flowers to the mural.
Slow Flowers Summit attendees at Bellevue Botanic Garden, adding flowers to the mural. From left: Anne Bradfield (Analog Floral), Mayuri Parikh (True Client Pro), and Lisa Schwarz (Coastal Blooms).

Today, we’re getting a peek behind the scenes of Bloom TV Network’s exciting series called “Follow the Blooms,” which debuted on March 7th with new episodes dropping every Thursday through April 25th.

Slow Flowers Summit 2024 with Katie Lila of Follow the Blooms
Slow Flowers Summit 2024 with Katie Lila of Follow the Blooms. From left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Katie Lila, Debra Prinzing, Olivia Yates O’Donnell and Sarah Wagstaff

The host is Slow Flowers member Katie Lila, owner of Flowers for People in Spokane, Washington. A few years ago, after a career doing everything in the floral space, Katie started collaborating with creative teams to produce pop-up artistic floral installations in a Spokane gallery environment, inviting photographers and the public to be part of the experience.

And then she learned that Bloom TV network, the new online streaming platform for all things floral, had announced a call for creatives to submit their pilot concepts to be considered for the network’s programming lineup.

Katie Lila (left) and Monica Michelle (right)
Katie Lila (left) and Monica Michelle (right)

Katie saw the potential opportunity to turn her public floral installations into a show – and she teamed up with DittoFilm Media in her community to film three pilots that they submitted to Bloom TV. Like a fast-paced floral party with a race to the finish, Katie brings the viewer along for the ride as she comes up with a venue, brainstorms the design concept, seeks out flower farmers whose seasonal blooms will bring the concept to life, and then with a design team, a floral installation is brought to life. And the viewer “follows” the blooms from field to floral art piece.

Fast-forward to June 2023 and Follow the Blooms was launched as a bonafide series in production for Bloom TV. Katie and her crew asked if they could film one of their eight episodes at the Slow Flowers Summit, which we held at Bellevue Botanic Garden. Of course, we said yes, and it was a whirlwind moment during the busy Summit – I’m glad we documented the experience because it was a bit of a blur. We’ve been anxiously awaiting the series release ever since.

Follow the Blooms Mural at Slow Flowers Summit 2023
Follow the Blooms Mural at Slow Flowers Summit 2023

The Summit episode includes a large, interactive “paint by flower” mural, the creation of which invited our attendees to participate. The film crew also visited the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and JARN Co. Flowers, a member flower farm owned by Tracy Yang and Nick Songsangcharntara – we “followed” the blooms from both spots to the Summit where Katie’s installation became a reality.

When you see a sneak peek of the series, you’ll be swept up in Katie’s joyful approach to life. She’s determined to get everyone involved in her big schemes, including friends, family members, and strangers, and it all ends up in an explosion of blooms.

We’ll also learn more from Monica Michelle, CEO and founder of Bloom TV Network, and I’m delighted that she was able to join Katie for our conversation today.

Monica Michelle has an extensive background in marketing and entrepreneurship, and has spent her career implementing new ideas, and building online communities across multiple industries including the medical industry, food industry and now in the world of media. In 2021 she developed a new niche media model meant to elevate creators, serving as a launchpad for individuals interested in expanding their brands through the power of streaming TV. In January of 2022 she launched her first streaming tv network, building from the model to create “BloomTV,” where an array of floral focused content was housed for streaming, as well as broadcast to over 615k homes in the state of Colorado.

In 2023, Monica co-founded a sister network based on the same model called “Made TV” that is designed specifically for makers and artists of all kinds, with the mission of helping them to share their creations and crafts with a wider audience. She believes that connection is key, and that through innovative ideas that combine technology with education, people can all experience life in full bloom.

Monica will share her story of how the seed of an idea blossomed in to a digital platform for video content. Through her goal of “restoring Eden,” Monica’s mission is to help spark inspiration and beauty, connecting people to each other and to the planet through nature’s most beautiful creation – the Flower.

A few program notes, Bloom TV is a subscription-based platform with packages that start at $12 per month or $99 per year. However, right, now, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial and watch Follow the Blooms, along with countless hours of other great floral content, so check it out.

I was so happy to catch one of our Slow Flowers members, Spokane area farmer-florist Loreen McFaul of Daisies in May, featured in one of the episodes. Congratulations on being featured, Loreen! Loved seeing your blooms in that special episode about the Spokane Lilac Festival Parade.

And in another episode, Katie uses dried flowers grown by Beth Mort of Snapdragon Flower Farm – Beth is a past guest of this podcast, so it’s great to see her flowers play a role on Follow the Blooms!

Follow the Blooms IG Live April 10th
Follow the Blooms IG Live April 10th

On Wednesday, April 10th, you’ll want to log onto Flowers for People on IG, to join a live conversation about the Slow Flowers Summit episode. Then on Thursday, April 11th our episode will air! Can’t wait to see the full story of the Slow Flowers Summit on Follow the Blooms!

You also heard Monica mention a new call for creators who wish to participate in their upcoming Bloom TV Network Earth Day programming. The Earth Day campaign invites floral creatives to submit a video tutorial showcasing sustainable practices within the floral world. Submitted videos will enjoy a prominent spot on the Bloom TV platform from April 22nd through May. Submission deadline is April 18th or sooner – and you can find the details here. Who knows? You could become the next Katie Lila!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 the 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.

Thank you to 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.

Thank you to Rooted Farmers. 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

I’m so glad you joined us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Floating Whist
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

Episode 653: Piedmont Wholesale Flowers – celebrating its 8th season and a new facility with flower farmer Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm and market manager Julia Carpico

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024
Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm (left) and Julia Carpico of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers (right)
Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm, Piedmont Wholesale Flowers,
president ermitus (left) and Julia Carpico, Market Manager (right)

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Piedmont Wholesale Flowers’ tagline is: farmer-founded, farmer-directed, farmer-grown. Today, you’ll hear an update as this Slow Flower member cooperative celebrates the start of Season Eight with Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm and market manager Julia Carpico.

Increasingly, Slow Flowers is enjoying the addition of flower collectives and cooperatives joining as members – a reflection of the decade-plus work we’ve been doing to advocate for a local and seasonal floral marketplace. This benefits everyone – from grower to florist and I’ve personally witnessed those relationships flourish and enhance our thriving community.

Piedmont Wholesale Flowers logo and members
Piedmont Wholesale Flowers’ logo and some of its farmer-members

Today, we’re checking in with the Piedmont Wholesale Flowers, a hub in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area, as I catch up with Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm, long-time Slow Flowers member, and with Julia Carpico, the PWF market manager. My relationship with many of the growers and florists involved in PWF dates to September 2016, when I was invited to attend a flower farmer potluck and teach a creative writing workshop there. What an inspiring visit! I was there for a few days, and during the visit, I recorded a podcast episode with Stephanie Hall – you can listen here.

Later that fall I connected with Kelly Morrison of Color Fields Farm, another Raleigh area grower, and she told me about the origins of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers. That cooperative, one of the first to open after the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market landed on the map in 2011, is entering into its 8th season. Listen to my interview 2017 with Kelly on the start of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers.

Piedmont Wholesale Flowers' new market space in downtown Durham
Piedmont Wholesale Flowers’ new market space in downtown Durham

But a lot of good things have changed, and that’s what today’s conversation is all about. Piedmont Wholesale Flowers has moved into a new, larger market space and has added two more market days for a total of 3 market days per week. With 14 member farms, this is a solid, well-run flower hub and I’m thrilled that we’ll all learn more today.

Flowers fill the Piedmont Wholesale Market on Opening Day March 12, 2024
Flowers fill the Piedmont Wholesale Market on Opening Day March 12, 2024

Find and follow Piedmont Wholesale Flowers on Instagram and Facebook.

ROOTED FARMERS UPDATE:

Rooted Farmers-Slow Flowers Society promo code for 2024

You may have heard Stephanie mention that PWF has recently moved to the Rooted Farmers platform. Rooted Farmers is sponsor of this podcast and longtime supporter of Slow Flowers. In fact, Slow Flowers members who want to sell through the Rooted Farmers’ platform enjoy a special discount. It’s a great opportunity! If you’re a Slow Flowers member, you can join Rooted Farmers using the code: SF2024. This code will work for $75 off for first-time members on either the Essentials or Pro plan for farms.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, and a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

Thank you to the 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.

Thank you to 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

I’m so glad you joined us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Rafter
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

Episode 652: Building a niche supplying flower seedlings for farmers and gardeners with Kate Skelton of Gratitude Flowers

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

In the run-up to spring’s arrival in a few weeks, join me on a visit to Gratitude Flowers outside Tacoma, Washington, a boutique home-based floral business, where Kate Skelton specializes in growing and supplying lisianthus starts to flower farmers and offering a wide array of cutting garden plants to her community.

Kate Skelton of Gratitude Flowers
Kate Skelton of Gratitude Flowers

At the end of last month, I took a Friday afternoon outing to Edgewood, a community located about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma near me, to visit today’s guest, Kate Skelton, owner of Gratitude Flowers. It’s a boutique, home-based floral business that reflects Kate’s passion for growing flowers from seed.

The day was chilly, but beautiful, and the drive there gave me a front-row view of Mount Rainier in all its snow-capped glory. I was in a great mood, and Kate and her story lifted my spirits higher.

Kate Skelton with tulips and a lisianthus bouquet
Kate Skelton with tulips and a lisianthus bouquet

I first me Kate last fall when Jodi Logue of Moss & Madder Farm hosted a flower farmers’ pie-and-coffee (you can watch or listen to that interview in Episode 633 from October 25, 2023). A lovely group of local growers, including several Slow Flowers members, came together on a Sunday afternoon to chat and network over delicious homemade pie and warm beverages at Jodi’s home in Olalla, Washington, on the Kitsap Peninsula. My conversation with Kate was fascinating, as I learned that she is a community college math professor who launched her flower nursery and seedling venture during the pandemic.

Gratitude Flowers plant sale
Gratitude Flowers plant sale

I also learned about her seedling offerings – especially lisianthus – which she grows for other flower farmers. Being a greenhouse owner and aspiring seed-starting gardener, I was intrigued. And after Gratitude Flowers joined Slow Flowers as a member, I knew that I wanted to feature Kate on the Slow Flowers Show.

Healthy seedlings
Healthy flower seedlings from Gratitude flowers

Gratitude Flowers offers timeless farm-grown, organic, specialty plants for cutting gardens and seasonal floral blooms for floral enthusiasts. Kate plans to open for the season on Saturday, March 30th.

Follow Gratitude Flowers on Instagram and Facebook for more details.

Sign up for Gratitude Flowers’ newsletter.

Download Kate’s Lisianthus Growing Guide.


Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up for March

Photo courtesy of District 2 Floral Studio: (c) Mike Machian Photography
Photo courtesy of District 2 Floral Studio: (c) Mike Machian Photography

Don’t forget to pre-register for the March 8th Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up – 9 am PT/Noon ET. The topic: Native Flowers for Farmers & Florists. We are so excited to welcome a panel of four members who will help us think about the possibilities of integrating native perennials and other native plants into farming and design efforts. They include:

Holly Lukasiewicz of District 2 Floral Studio, Omaha, Nebraska
Deborah Majerus of Iron Butterfly Farm and Lodging, Rochester, Minnesota
Kate Watters of Wild Heart Farm, Rimrock, Arizona


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Thank you to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.

And thank you to returning 2024 Podcast sponsor, Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at storeitcold.com   


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thank you for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Heartland Flyer
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

Episode 651: Growing and Designing With Fragrant Flowers with Stefani Bittner of Homestead Design Collective

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

Today, you’re invited to inhale and enjoy the fragrance of flowers, herbs, and foliage. Stefani Bittner of Homestead Design Collective uses sensory plants as a way to immerse her clients in nature. She is the co-author of forthcoming book, “The Fragrant Flower Garden: Growing, Arranging, and Preserving Natural Scents,” and we’re delighted to learn from her.

Alethea Harampolis (L), Stefani Bittner (R) - photo by David Fenton
Alethea Harampolis (L), Stefani Bittner (R) – photo by David Fenton
The Fragrant Flower Garden
The Fragrant Flower Garden

Welcome to Stefani Bitter, returning for her second appearance on the Slow Flowers Podcast. A garden designer and Slow Flowers member, Stefani is the owner of Homestead Design Collective, based in Lafayette, California. Follow the link below to listen to my 2017 interview with Stephanie on the publication of Harvest – Unexpected projects using 47 extraordinary garden plants.

Modern potpourri
Modern potpourri

She appeared on the episode with co-author Alethea Harampolis, and they have collaborated on the new book, “The Fragrant Flower Garden: Growing, Arranging, and Preserving Natural Scents” (Ten Speed Press, 2024). The Fragrant Flower Garden invites gardeners and growers to design with fragrance in mind and encourages readers to choose plants that can be smelled, awakening the senses.

Garden by Homestead Design Collective
A garden for all the senses, including fragrance, designed by Homestead Design Collective

By connecting people with fragrance in the garden and vase – or by preserving fragrance for longer enjoyment — we have a richer, more visceral relationshp with nature, they authors say. This means making floral teas, natural perfumes, flower tinctures, modern potpourris, and more applications for scented plants. The idea of creating beauty products from the garden appeals to anyone who desires a non-synthetic alternative to the plethora of chemicals used in beauty and bath products. “Keep in mind that scent is subjective, emotive, and personal,” Stefani points out.

The Garden Eclectic
The Fragrant Flower Garden

I’m a huge fan of this book and its mission – to engage with plants through the senses – especially scent. When Robin Avni and I were collecting our top themes for the 2024 Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Forecast, we wanted to include fragrant flowers and gardens. Stefani generously shared a preview of the new book, along with photography by David Fenton, which we highlighted in Insight #7 – the Garden Eclectic. In our insight, we encouraged flower farmers, gardeners, and florists – to lead with fragrance as a way to engage customers’ emotional memories with the scent of flowers.

the Fragrant Flower Garden
Soaking in the citrus orchard

“You can preserve the scent, perhaps making a flower tincture. You can make perfume, a hydrosol, or an updated potpourri,” Stefani suggests and several projects are included in the book to introduce the idea of “preserving fragrance.”

As Stefani and Alethea write, floral customers are not farmers, but they are inspired by the farm, and they want to translate what they see into their lifestyle. “Just like food, they want to enjoy garden scents, and that’s what really speaks to them about those sensory bouquets.”

Find and follow Homestead Design Collective on Instagram

Take a virtual tour of Trulli Trazzonara, Stefani’s vacation rental in Puglia, Italy. Talk about agrotourism! I am so enchanted by this destination and how she plans to integrate her design and teaching into an Italian lifestyle!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 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.

Thank you to Rooted Farmers. 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.

Thank you to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnyseeds.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thank you for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Rue Severine
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

Episode 649: Flowers as Art: Botanical Couture and Floral Installations with Jennifer Reed of Jennifer Designs

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – if you’re listening on February 14th, it’s the day we released Episode 649. I hope you’ve had a great one.

Jennifer Reed of Jennifer Designs
Jennifer Reed of Jennifer Designs

Today’s guest, Jennifer Reed of Jennifer Designs based in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, regularly conjures up amazing botanical displays at the Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest indoor garden show in the country. Today, she’s joining me to preview America in Bloom, her most ambitious exhibit ever.

America In Bloom

The Philly Show draws gardeners and flower lovers eager for an early dose of springtime. She’s calling the large floral display a botanical road trip of a lifetime, as it celebrates flowers blooming across the U.S. – and in the exhibit’s description, Jennifer writes: “There’s nothing better than hitting the open road and experiencing the beauty of our nation’s public gardens, arboreta, and natural landscapes along the way!”

Tammy Tulip by Jennifer Reed for American Flowers Week 2021
Tammy Tulip by Jennifer Reed for American Flowers Week 2021
The Romance of Peonies by Jennifer Reed for American Flowers Week 2023
The Romance of Peonies by Jennifer Reed for American Flowers Week 2023

Another reason I invited Jennifer to chat with me for this episode is to share her advice to aspiring botanical couture designers thinking about submitting a floral fashion to be part of Slow Flowers’ American Flowers Week campaign later this year. We will review the two floral fashions Jennifer designed for the 2021 and 2023 campaigns – including seeing photos of her work and hearing her secret tips for success.

Thanks so much for joining me today! Here are links to the feature stories we included in past issues of Slow Flowers Journal about Jennifer’s two Botanical Couture looks – including Summer 2021 with Tulip Time, and last summer’s cover look – Jennifer’s dreamy and romantic peony gown.


Happy Valentine’s Day

Slow Flowers on The Weather Channel – click to watch

Slow Flowers has enjoyed some fun news coverage, including with INC. Magazine and The Weather Channel. We’re thrilled that the press is paying attention to the importance of local and seasonal flowers for gifting bouquets and arrangements.


Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

It’s also the beginning of flower & garden show season, with today’s opening of the 2024 Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle. If you attend, please come and say hello at the Main Stage, where Slow Flowers is hosting Blooms & Bubbles, the daily DIY flower and plant workshops! We’re excited to meet and great our members, seven of whom are teaching and speaking at the show.


February 23, 2024 Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up with Lennie Larkin

One more item of note – if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ve already seen the announcement that the February Slow Flowers member virtual meet-up will take place on February 23rd, postponed due to Valentine’s Day. Save the date for next Friday’s session with Lennie Larkin of b-side farm and author of Flower Farming for Profit – we’ll hear her insights on pricing and profitability for flower growers – Preregistration is required – bring your questions and I hope to see you there!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 Rooted Farmers. 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.

Thank you to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnyseeds.com.

Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thank you for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Less Jaunty; Great Great Lengths
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

Episode 648: Our pre-Valentine’s Day Virtual Tour of American-grown flowers with Joost Bongaerts and the Florabundance team

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and if you’re panicking about your flower order, today’s episode is just for you. We’re taking a virtual tour of Florabundance in Carpinteria California, to learn from Joost Bongaerts about the domestic US-grown flower sourcing options for this important floral holiday.

If you’re a longtime listener of the Slow Flowers Podcast, you may recall today’s guest Joost Bongaerts, owner of Florabundance, based in Carpinteria, California. We featured a conversation with Joost back in April 2014, on Episode 139 during our very first year of the Slow Flowers Podcast. At the time, I was interested in sharing his story because Florabundance was one of the first if not the very first wholesalers who regularly offered US-grown flowers and foliage.

It’s been a decade – can you believe it? And we’re grateful for Florabundance’s decade-long membership in the Slow Flowers Movement, as well as the advice and insights Joost has personally shared with me over the years.

Now that the Slow Flowers Show has a video component, I thought of Florabundance when we were thinking of a good pre-Valentine’s Day episode – nothing like a beautiful floral show-and-tell to wow and inspire, right?

Florabundance Web Site
American Grown tab on Florabundance’s home page

I asked Joost if he would join me to walk through the many US-grown flower options that florists can order for Valentine’s Day. So many of our members, retail florists and studio florists, use Slow Flowers’ mission as part of their branding – to support local and domestic flower farms through their own sourcing practices. He was joined by sales manager Debbie Kline and Jenna Foster, the main buyer who works with boutique flower growers.

To be perfectly honest, in most parts of the U.S., getting local flowers in mid-February is next to impossible. This is slowly changing as flower farming innovations are leading to season extension methods (like winter tulips and early greenhouse crops like anemones and ranunculus), but if you’re not able to find those in your region, ordering from a place like Florabundance is a great option.

Here’s a bit more about Joost Bongaerts:
Born in 1959 in Den Haag, The Netherlands, Joost grew up in the Netherlands. His father managed agricultural land holdings all over the country. Joost spent summers working on his family’s farm in northern Holland and became interested in agriculture and horticulture as a result. He studied at Wellant College in Gouda, graduating with a degree in Plant Science. Joost also spent a semester at Michigan State University as part of an exchange student program, which led to his desire to work and live in The United States.

Joost began his professional career in 1981 marketing fresh cut flowers from Holland for The Dutch Flower Auctions & Exporters Organizations, first in Holland and then in Livonia, MI. From 1983 to 1991 Joost worked for several Dutch Flower Bulb Companies selling flower bulbs and perennial plants to specialty cut flower growers in The United States and Canada. In 1991 Joost and his wife Alexandra opened Bonfleur (Bongaerts Flowers), a European-style retail flower shop in New Canaan, CT, which they sold to their manager in 2002. During this time, Joost also imported flowers from Holland and was president of First American Florist, an online wholesale flower company shipping flowers from Holland. He started to do business with Florabundance, becoming a partner in 2002 and eventually full owner in 2008.

Joost’s background and experience in selling flower bulbs to growers, importing cut flowers and running a successful retail flower shop provides a unique perspective from which he has developed the Florabundance brand into one of the premier wholesalers in the United States. Joost and Alexandra moved from Connecticut to California in 2008 and have two grown children.

Fabulous Florals: Check out Florabundance’s consumer site for US-grown flowers

Find and follow Florabundance on Instagram and Facebook


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches and a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program. 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.

Thank you to 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

Thank you for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com


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. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; He Has a Way
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