Today is the 5th Encore Episode of our retrospective to highlight one episode from each year of the past decade and bring the best of the Slow Flowers Podcast to you. If you’re a longtime listener, you might recognize these flower folks; if you’re new to the Slow Flowers Podcast, I’m excited to introduce you to them for the first time.
In July 2017, we turned attention to the Slow Flowers Movement in Canada, where there is amazing flower farming and floral design community, with equally passionate kindred spirits like my guest Janis Harris of Harris Flower Farm.
Here’s a little more about Janis and her family’s flower-filled business. There’s a twist, and that’s the other “crop” grown at their farm — husband Mark’s pasteurized pork livestock enterprise. You’ll hear more about THAT — and how flowers and piggies live in harmony in my conversation with Janis!
Janis and Mark Harris and their three youngsters, Cameron, Nathan and Megan, live and farm just north of St. Thomas, Ontario. They have been going to the local market with their fresh cut flowers since 2010
Both Janis and Mark grew up on a family farm. Janis’ parents have an organic vegetable, poultry and beef farm and Mark’s parents have a cow/calf beef farm. They hope to instill the farm life and values to their children. Cameron already loves the farming life; he can be found playing with his tractor toys. Nathan loves helping in the fields picking and hauling in the flower harvests. Megan is already picking up tips on arranging flowers.
The fresh cut flower business is a family affair, everyone picks, packs and sells flowers. Cameron and Nathan have grown up at the market, they look forward to introducing Megan to the ins and outs of selling market bouquets.
Mark and Janis purchased Janis’ Grandparents former dairy farm where Grandma and Grandpa’s love of flowers is apparent throughout the property. There are many established flower gardens filled with collections of lilies, irises, peonies and lilacs. Currently with 3 acres in flower production, the farm is flourishing. Former corn and soyabean fields have been turned into sunflower fields. Lawn has been turned over for perennial beds. The farm is being revitalized and beautified with every growing season. Every year the flowers we grow have increased in number and variety.
As I mentioned, along with the flowers, pastured pigs are raised on the farm. Healthy, happy and MUDDY pigs. The pigs have access to outdoors and are cared for in the best way possible, hands on and one on one with each animal. You will often find Mark in the sows’ pens brushing them. Janis designs — literally – with her “Grandma’s garden” of flowers, as well as field production of flowers. She sells her mixed bouquets at the Horton Farmer’s Market every Saturday from Mother’s Day to Canadian Thanksgiving.
I’m so happy to share this Encore episode with you today. Let’s jump right in and welcome Janis Harris!
Thanks so much for joining me today! I’ll be hosting an IG Live conversation with Janis today, September 6th, so check it out @slowflowerssociety — and you’ll find all of my Slow Flowers Podcast 10th anniversary Live Chats in the archives there.
In this week’s news:
We’re resuming the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Slow Flowers Podcast! Our audio storytelling resonates with so many listeners — people like you who love local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers and who are joining in the Slow Flowers Movement as members, supporters, and allies!
We invite you to share your story of how the Slow Flowers Podcast has been an inspiring companion to you over the years! Post or send us a video tagged #slowflowerspodcast and we may feature you in our Slow Flowers social media feed! Check out our IG stories on @SlowFlowersSociety, which we will run for the next 10 weeks — you could win one of two priceless prizes! We’ll select two winners among eligible entrants:
1 – win a featured guest spot on a future episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast; and
2 – win a chance to co-host an upcoming monthly Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up. We’ll post the details on social media for you to follow along and participate.
First up, our September issue of the Slow Flowers Newsletter dropped on the first and if you missed it, check out our show notes at slowflowerspodcast.com to find the link. If you’re a Slow Flowers member, there is a final call for submissions for our Slow Flowers Journal fall editorial stories – we’d love to see your flowers and styled shoots, so check it out. The submission deadline is September 15th!
I also want to alert you to the Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up, resuming after our summer break! This Friday, September 8th, we are gathering again in the Zoom Room at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. Our very special guest is celebrated British Florist Shane Connolly! He has graciously accepted Slow Flowers invitation to lecture and teach in Seattle at the end of the month, so the September 8th virtual meet-up will preview Shane’s inspiring story. We’ll do a little Q&A and you should bring your questions about how to stay sustainable, shift to sustainability in your floral business, and keeping your sourcing in the seasons. Pre-registration is required, so check out our show notes to find the signup link. I’ll see you there!
Thank you to our Sponsors!
This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.
Thank you to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.
Thank you to Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details is here to improve profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at detailsflowers.com.
I love all this floral goodness and I am so happy you joined me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!
Drone Pine; These Times; Chymique; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
In The Field