Debra Prinzing

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Episode 661: Spring Tune-Up for Florists, Shops, and Studios with Althea Wiles of Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio

Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

You love floral design, but running a business is so not your thing! Longtime Slow Flowers member Althea Wiles has been there, too. She knows how many of us started out because we love flowers, but then realized there’s so much more to the business than just making pretty things! Althea joined us recently at the Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up to share her Spring Tune-Up tips for your floral business and we’re bringing the conversation with you today.

Althea Wiles, Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio
Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio and founder Althea Wiles

Today’s guest, Althea Wiles, is the creative force behind Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio and J. Althea Creative, based in Springdale, Arkansas. With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College, an Arkansas Master Florist Certification and 30 years of experience, she orchestrates 75-100 weddings and events annually, receiving industry accolades and shaping a lasting legacy. As the education director of J Althea Creative, she imparts her expertise to mentor budding florists, cementing her reputation as a visionary and influencer in the field. She annually contributes striking installations to the Art in Bloom exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, further solidifying her impact on the industry.

Rose of Sharon 2
Wedding flowers (left) and centerpiece (right)

When Althea and I were brainstorming about her presentation for the April Slow Flowers Member (virtual) Meet-Up, we decided to take some of the content of her coaching sessions and distill it down to one hour. She has discovered that many floral pro’s have an abundance of creative design skills, but are juggling time is spent on paperwork, office work, accounting, management, writing proposals and interacting with clients—pretty much everything except design.

Rose of Sharon 3
More floral design by Althea Wiles, Rose of Sharon Floral Design

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 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.

Our next thank you goes 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.


Join Us!

Designing with Dried Flowers and Hannah Rose River Muller

Today, you heard from one of our members who shared her expertise at the April Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up. And now, I want to give you a head’s up about the next member meet-up, comping right up on Friday, May 17th – postponed by one week to accommodate for Mother’s Day.

The upcoming session is devoted to Designing with Dried Flowers and our expert member is Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of Full Belly Farm and her IG account, The Wreath Room. This is the topic of Hannah’s brand new book, out on June 4th – Designing with Dried Flowers. 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 the book, so bring your questions! We will have one copy of Designing with Dried Flowers to give away to one lucky attendee. Pre-registration is required and you can find the link to register in our show notes. I’ll see you on May 17th!


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; Spindash
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 659: Designer Leslie Bennett, co-author of Garden Wonderland and founder of Pine House Edible Gardens and Black Sanctuary Gardens

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

Leslie Bennett believes that gardens are for all. In Garden Wonderland, this celebrated landscape designer treats us to an accessible garden-making approach to create our own plant-based spaces, spaces that provide sustenance, beauty, and wonder. Her new book will inspire your own garden journey as you gain more than a pretty landscape and redefine your relationship with nature.

Leslie Bennett (c) Rachel Weill
Leslie Bennett of Pine House Edible Gardens (c) Rachel Weill

It is with much personal joy that I welcome back Leslie Bennett to the Slow Flowers Podcast today. As a past guest of the podcast and a speaker at the first Slow Flowers Summit in 2017, many of you already know about this gifted human.

Leslie Bennett Garden Wonderland
Inside the pages of Garden Wonderland, by Leslie Bennett & Julie Chai (c) Rachel Weill

You probably have read about Pine House Edible Gardens and Leslie’s soulful and soul-fulfilling gardens in top design publications, but now, with her brand new book, Garden Wonderland we can read about Leslie’s garden-making philosophy and principles in her own words. Garden Wonderland is co-authored with Julie Chai and features photography by Rachel Weill.

inside Garden Wonderland
More inside pages from Garden Wonderland (c) Rachel Weill

Leslie joined me last week to talk about her approach to garden design as we paged through the book together. Leslie most recently appeared on this podcast in 2020 to talk about her very personal initiative Black Sanctuary Gardens. And what a treat to have her share Rachel’s photography and the stories Leslie and Julie wrote about two of those garden projects during today’s conversation.

Lush and verdant Garden Wonderland projects by Pine House Edible Gardens
Lush and verdant Garden Wonderland projects by Pine House Edible Gardens (c) Rachel Weill

Please join me as we dive into the wonderland of gardens, formed through the vision, heart, and soul of Leslie Bennett. Along the way, you’ll learn how Leslie integrates her personal leadership style into running a dynamic design/build/maintain landscape design business, a decidedly female-centric approach that I find truly inspiring.

Order Garden Wonderland here

Find out more from Pine House Edible Gardens

Listen to our 2017 Slow Flowers Podcast interview with Leslie Bennett


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.

And 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; Glass Beads
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 658: Meet floral marketing strategist Sahid Nahim, host of YouTube’s The Bloom Show

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

On Slowflowers.com there are several search categories to help visitors find flower farms, florists, suppliers and other floral businesses, and one of those – business consulting and development services — was originally inspired by my conversations with Sahid Nahim of New Bloom Solutions, today’s guest. Join us as we discuss branding, social media, and other ways you can market your floral enterprise.

New Bloom Solutions

With an emphasis on helping floral business with B2B marketing, New Bloom Solutions is a media consultancy that provides a full menu of services, including website design, SEO management, content creation through videography and photography, plus brand promotion, recruitment, networking opportunities and more.

Today we’ll meet Sahid Nahim of New Bloom Solutions as we discuss how to expand your network and increase your sales.

Sahid is co-president of sister companies, ‘Above All Flowers‘ and ‘New Bloom Solutions’. With two decades of floral industry experience, Sahid started his career with major international brands and has since collaborated with global leaders like Fleurmetz, Chrysal, and Cal Flowers. His passion drives innovation and strengthens connections in the floral world.

You can watch Sahid behind the microphone on ‘The Bloom Show,’ a live YouTube platform where he highlights industry pioneers. The show has been filmed at major global conventions, including in the U.S., Holland, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Floral industry calendar from New Blooms Solutions

RESOURCES:
Download the free 2024 floral event calendar – including the Slow Flowers Summit

FLORIEXPO
The code for free entry: Bloom2
The Boot Camp: 25% off is NewBloom


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 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 goes 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 bouquet-giveaway program that allows customers to buy a 10-stem tulip bouquet for others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

And 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

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; Lissa
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 655: A visit to Françoise Weeks’ studio and a peek into her new book, Wonder of the Woodlands

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

Françoise Weeks brings home the charm of the wild woods with her creative botanical arrangements that are so much more than bouquets of blooms. Our conversation about Wonder of the Woodlands, Françoise’s new book, includes an exclusive visit to her Portland garden and design studio.

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

Françoise Weeks is a good friend to the Slow Flowers Movement and she is a longtime member of our society. Regular podcast listeners will have met Francoise on a few earlier occasions, including on her first appearance on Episode 217 in the fall of 2015, during Lisa Waud’s Flower House Detroit – Françoise collaborated with Susan McLeary to design a fantstical vintage kitchen filled with flowers and root vegetables, plants, and foliages – it was a delight.

Françoise has influenced the floral community as an educator and artist, and we now have the delightful gift of her first design book – Wonder of the Woodlands, The Art of Seeing and Creating with Nature.

The book will be published on April 2nd so you’re the first to hear all about it and if you check out the video interview on which today’s podcast is based, you’ll enjoy a peek into Françoise’s Portland, Oregon Studio, where we recorded our conversation.

Wonder of the Woodlands Title Page
Wonder of the Woodlands

Here’s a bit more about the new book:

Containers lined with bark to replace ordinary glass vases. A bed of moss to cushion a vibrant spring arrangement. Ever-changing wreaths to showcase acorns, branches, lichen, twining vines, and delicate ferns throughout the year. A cloche holding an arrangement of dried mushrooms that might have come out of a fairytale.
 
In this gorgeous celebration of the woodlands, renowned floral designer Françoise Weeks offers all the ways, from simple to complex, that you can bring the wildness and wonder of the forest to your indoor arrangements. Each chapter of Wonder of the Woodlands features the materials Françoise uses most—barks and logs; acorns and seeds; ferns, branches, moss, and lichen—and showcases how she builds her unique, beautiful arrangements, which last far longer than a vase of cut flowers.
 
Inside are also Françoise’s insights on seeking out the most unique natural materials for arrangements, and how to responsibly forage or source them in a shop. And you’ll find her tips on how to reuse materials so you can enjoy lots of different arrangements without increasing your environmental impact.
 
Bursting with images of nature and suggestions for weaving that magic into your interiors, Wonder of the Woodlands is a celebration of arrangements that are inspired by a walk through the trees. With stunning photography of wild and wonderful wreaths, table arrangements, wall décor, and more, you can re-create the peaceful majesty of spending time in the forest in your own home.

A Bark Trough
A Planted Bark Trough
How I see Mushrooms
How I see Mushrooms
A Moss Carpet
A Moss Carpet


In this gorgeous celebration of the woodlands, renowned floral designer Françoise Weeks offers all the ways, from simple to complex, that you can bring the wildness and wonder of the forest to your indoor arrangements. Each chapter of Wonder of the Woodlands features the materials Françoise uses most—barks and logs; acorns and seeds; ferns, branches, moss, and lichen—and showcases how she builds her unique, beautiful arrangements, which last far longer than a vase of cut flowers.
 
Inside are also Françoise’s insights on seeking out the most unique natural materials for arrangements, and how to responsibly forage or source them in a shop. And you’ll find her tips on how to reuse materials so you can enjoy lots of different arrangements without increasing your environmental impact.
 
Bursting with images of nature and suggestions for weaving that magic into your interiors, Wonder of the Woodlands is a celebration of arrangements that are inspired by a walk through the trees. With stunning photography of wild and wonderful wreaths, table arrangements, wall decor, and more, you can re-create the peaceful majesty of spending time in the forest in your own home.

An Acorn Wreath
An Acorn Wreath

Francoise Weeks
Françoise Weeks

Françoise was born in Belgium and started her business in 1996. She has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following.

Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to many cities in the US in studios, at wholesalers, at garden clubs, Art in Bloom events and conferences, including at AIFD Symposium. She also taught in Mexico, Canada, England, Sweden, Iceland, France, China and Australia.

Her dynamic work has been published in national and international publications such as Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, OR where she teaches and offers online courses, including Zoom workshops.

She created “The Herbal Recipe Keeper,” a blank journal featuring her artwork, published by Timber Press in 2018.

Debra Prinzing, Francoise Weeks, and Julie Beeler
Debra Prinzing, Françoise Weeks, and Julie Beeler

Before we start the interview, I want to mention that you’ll occasionally hear the voice of botanical artist Julie Beeler of Bloom & Dye, a Slow Flowers member who lives in Trout Lake, Washington, outside of Portland; Julie joined me on my visit to Françoise’s studio last week and then the three of us had lunch together. I had wanted these two women to meet and I’m so delighted that it worked out. Julie and Françoise share a mutual love of mushrooms and Julie has a forthcoming book – out this fall – called The Mushroom Color Atlas, A Guide to Dyes and Pigments Made from Fungi, so keep an ear out for her appearance on this podcast.

Click here to find Françoise’s upcoming book events, classes, and workshops and a link to order your own copy of Wonder of the Woodlands.


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 Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program. 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; Drone Birch; Homegrown
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 654: Native Flora for farmers and florists with Holly Lukasiewicz of District 2 Floral Studio; Deborah Majerus of Iron Butterfly Farm and Lodging; and Kate Watters of Wild Heart Farm

Wednesday, March 20th, 2024

More Slow Flowers members are exploring native plants as potential floral design elements – both on their farms and in their studios. In fact, in our recent survey, 87 percent of members say they grow native plant species as part of their crop mix! Today, you’ll hear the inspiring Native Flora conversation recorded during our March Slow Flowers member meet-up, as three creatives share their insights and advice for adding more native plants to your floral business.

Floral design by District 2 Floral Studio
Floral design by District 2 Floral Studio (c) Mike Machian Photography

There’s an emerging a mindset that individual actions, while small, can be part of our cumulative efforts to address climate change. While the horticulture and landscape professions in North America have long been tuned into the importance of preserving native plant species, that awareness has not been present in flower farming and floral design circles until recently.

Native Flora from Slow Flowers Floral Insights 2024
Native Flora from Slow Flowers Floral Insights 2024

We’ve been tracking the embrace of native flora for some time here at the Slow Flowers Movement. In the 2023 Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Forecast, we noted the work of flower farmer Alexandra Cacciari of Ann Arbor-based Seeley Farm to evaluate native perennials as cut flowers and later hosted Alex on Episode 598 to discuss her research exploring native plants as potential floral design elements.

Native Flora for a Nebraska Wedding
Native Flora for a Nebraska Wedding (c) Mike Machian Photography
Design: District 2 Floral Studio

In our 2024 Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Forecast, we devoted the first insight to ‘Native Flora,’ with contributions from Holly and Deborah. There are long-term benefits of championing native plants, and that conversation continued during the March 8th virtual member meet-up, the recording of which you’ll hear today. I’m delighted to share this episode with you and many thanks to our three panelists, Native Flora for Farmers and Florists with Holly Lukasiewicz of District 2 Floral Studio; Deborah Majerus of Iron Butterfly Farm and Lodging; and Kate Watters of Wild Heart Farm.

Deb Majerus quote

Here’s a bit more about our guests:

Holly has a background in design, creative projects and community art and through her Omaha-based District 2 Floral Studio she serves Nebraska and Iowa with floral design rooted in sustainability and Slow Flowering practices, offering event work, installations, workshops, daily deliveries, New Moon monthly flower subscriptions, Celebration of Life pieces, custom flower preservation, along with home & corporate account design services.

Deborah is the owner of Iron Butterfly Farm and Lodging in Rochester, Minnesota, an urban flower farm that uses sustainable and regenerative practices, grows a permaculture mini food forest, peonies, woody ornamental shrubs, early spring bulbs, and annuals.

Kate Watters joined the panel to share her unique perspective from Rimrock, Arizona, where she owns Wild Heart Farm. Here creative mission is to share the detail and diversity that exists in moments from a place through the seasons – through writing, floristry, gardening, and art. She grows and designs with flowers, bringing 20 years’ experience from botany and conservation.

Thanks so much for joining me today! We are fully behind the goal of increasing the propagation and planting of native plants and increasing awareness among florists and consumers around supporting native habitat!

Native Flower and Foliage for floral design database

To that end, inspired by this conversation, Deb Majerus has created the start of a database for native cut flowers and plants – and you are invited to contribute your recommendations. This is an ongoing project that we hope to expand and share with the broader Slow Flowers Community – and I salute Deb for getting it started. Kate and Holly will add their suggestions by specific region, and I hope you will do the same. The Native Flowers and Foliage for cuts database is a place to compile our collective knowledge so members are not duplicating efforts – and can make the growing of native flora more accessible to farmers, growers, gardeners, florists, and the public.


Get Ready for the Slow Flowers Summit – Ticket Promotion this Week!

Slow Flowers Summit 2024 Spring ticket promo

If you’re listening during the first week of Spring – I’ve great news to share. We’re celebrating the Spring Equinox with a special ticket promotion for the Slow Flower Summit registration, March 19-25th. Use the coupon code SPRINGISHERE to receive $50 off any Slow Flowers Summit registration – and put that $50 in your pocket (or fund your seed or plant purchases) as our gift to you! The Summit is about 100 days away – and native plants are on the program this year! We’re excited to feature Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed of ALCLA Native Plants, based in Calgary, Alberta. She will help us understand what defines a plant or flower as “native,” and how to use natives to boost the diversity of your own growing areas. Hope to see you at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity in Alberta, Canada!


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 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.

And 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

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; A Burst of Light
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