Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Archive for the ‘Slowflowers.com the Directory of American Flowers’ Category

Episode 595: Debra Prinzing and Robin Avni Present the 2023 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast

Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Here we are at the beginning of 2023; we have already wrapped up the first month of the year! — and it’s time to present the ninth annual Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast.

Like you, when we turn the page to a new calendar year, the Slow Flowers community embraces the inevitable progress of change with a dose of optimism as we forecast the future. I’m so excited to be joined today by Robin Avni, my partner in BLOOM Imprint and an experienced consumer trend analyst and ethnographer for lifestyle brands. We will share 8 key insights for 2023 and elaborate both on how the larger culture reflects these themes and how our members are leading the shifts we discuss.

2023 Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Forecast

Botany Lessons, the 2023 Slow Flowers Floral Insights + Industry Forecast

I’m so delighted that Robin Avni joined me in the review. As we move into 2023, we will be expanding on many of these insights with new content, podcast interviews, articles, and meet-up topics. Access to all of these resources is a definite benefit of being a member of the Slow Flowers Society — and I encourage you to join us as a member. You can find all the details and benefits of membership at slowflowerssociety.com.

Starting with the Winter 2023 issue of Slow Flowers Journal, the digital magazine will be behind a pay wall. Current members of Slow Flowers Society will receive the quarterly magazine subscription as a free benefit. In this issue you’ll find a 20-page expanded version of the Slow Flowers Floral Insights & Industry Report, along with our regular features and departments.


News for the Week

Above (left) Krista Rossow of O’Flora Farms and (right) Tiffany Brown Anderson of Earth & Seeds

One more bit of news to share with you this week. On Friday, February 3rd, we’re hosting the February Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up with 2 of our expert members, Krista Rossow of O’Flora Farm, and Tiffany Brown Anderson of Earth & Seeds. The session Floral Photography Tips & Techniques, takes place Friday, February 3rd 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. Both women have extensive backgrounds as professional photographers in addition to owning flower farms.

What a great combination, as they have turned their cameras on the flowers they grow and provide to their communities! We’ve invited Krista and Tiffany to share their expertise with you, including how to make the most of your photography opportunities, both in the field and in the studio. Due to Valentine’s Day, we’re holding the Meet-Up one week early – on Friday, February 3rd.

This session is a MEMBER ONLY Benefit. You must be an active Slow Flowers member to register and attend. The link to register is in today’s show notes and will also be in the LINKTREE menu of our slowflowerssociety profile on Instagram. You will gain new ideas and easy steps you can take to immediately improve your flower photography, whether you use a smart phone or a DSLR Camera. Bring your Questions!


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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

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


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much 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.

Music credits:

A Palace of Cedar; Drone Pine; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
Songs by:
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 594: Flowers for All with educator and author Susan McLeary

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Today, we have a real treat — a visit with floral artist and longtime Slow Flowers member, Susan McLeary. Susan’s new book, Flowers for All, will be released on February 7th and she joined me earlier this week to record a conversation about the book and what inspired Sue to produce it. We discuss her passion for continual experimentation with mechanics, ingredients, as she pushes the boundaries of ordinary botanicals.

Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary (c) EE Berger

The subtitle for Flowers for All is this: MODERN FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR BEAUTY, JOY, AND MINDFULNESS EVERY DAY.

Forsythia Bloom Room from Flowers for All
Forsythia “Bloom Room,” from Sue McLeary’s new book, Flowers for All (c) EE Berger photograph
Simply Strung from Flowers for all by Sue McLeary
From “Simply Strung,” a project in Flowers for All by Sue McLeary (c) EE Berger photograph
from "Trumpet Beads" a project by Sue McLeary in Flowers for All
From “Trumpet Beads” a project by Sue McLeary in Flowers for All (c) EE Berger photography

From the belief that flowers should be enjoyed by everyone, renowned floral artist, Susan McLeary reveals the secrets to making striking, joyful floral displays using common ingredients – whether you get flowers at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or your own picking garden.

Edibles in Flowers for All Book
More projects from Flowers for All by Sue McLeary. (Left) Summer Still Life with edible materials; (Right) Floral Meditation with edible flowers and more (c) EE Berger

Here’s how to enter the drawings: As a thank you for pre-ordering Flowers For All by February 6th, Sue is offering an exclusive and completely free workshop just for you, plus you’ll be entered to win a handmade gift!Go to susanmcleary.com/flowers-for-all and follow the steps.

More resources and courses with Sue McLeary:
Facebook “Flower Forward” Private Facebook Group

Mayesh Design Star 2023 – Q&A with Sue McLeary

Sue’s first Tutorial for Mayesh 2023 — Sustainable Mechanics and Flower Pillar

Sue McLeary Virtual Studio: Membership Group (join the Wait List)

Library of Individual Design Tutorials


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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 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 and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

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


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining 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.


Music credits:

Peacetime; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 593: Tom Precht and Sarah Daken of Grateful Gardeners, on buying farmland and establishing a new aquaponics greenhouse operation

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

I’m excited to reintroduce Tom Precht and Sarah Daken, Maryland-based Slow Flowers members and owners of Grateful Gardeners back to the show today.

I interviewed them for the Slow Flowers Podcast in the fall of 2019, before adding our video podcast (aka vodcast) feature. That’s when we discussed the early chapters of Grateful Gardeners, when Tom and Sarah both had fulltime, off-farm careers that they were hoping to leave behind and grow flowers for both a living and a lifestyle.

Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Grateful Gardeners
Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Grateful Gardeners

Well, lots has happened in the past few years, and they joined me last week in the to record an update to share with you. This is a full-blown conversation so I won’t take too much time introducing my friends, Sarah and Tom. But I will share just a paragraph from Sarah’s January 1st blog post:

She wrote: “Dreams do Come True. We knew we needed to expand if we were ever going to try to make flower farming our livelihood. But could we ever have imagined in less than a year it would mean selling our old house, buying a new one, moving thousands of perennials, building new fields, building a greenhouse, a pavilion, a walk in cooler …. that we would spend over $300,000 dollars in 9 months! That we would win over $350,000 in grant money. Literally, you can’t make this up.”

So let’s learn more and jump right in to meet Tom and Sarah.

More resources:

Follow Grateful Gardeners on Instagram and Facebook.

Read More about Aquaponic Flower Growing


News for this Week

Slow Flowers Creative Workshop logo art

I also want to remind you that registration continues for the 2023 Slow Flowers’ Creative Writing Workshop — and we’ve just extended the $100 discount through Sunday, January 22nd. This online course begins on January 28th and is designed to help you gain confidence with content as a write. Sign up for the Slow Flowers Creative Workshop: Floral Storytelling and receive the following: Three Modules; Ten Lessons; 19 Worksheets; Four Writing Templates; Two Guest Editor Sessions; 4 Weekly Q&As during Debra’s “Office Hours,” You’ll also receive a 28-page workbook, “The Journey from Blog to Book.” PLUS, you’ll enjoy our BONUS MODULE – “Visual and Verbal Storytelling” with Debra Prinzing and BLOOM Imprint’s Creative Director Robin Avni.

The course is $297 and we will extend the $100-off discount through Sunday, January 22nd. Join our highly motivated group of students who have already signed up — florists, designers, flower farmers and growers, gardeners and flower lovers who want to be better Floral Storytellers!


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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 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.

Thank you to CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at cafgs.org.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much 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.

Music credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 592: Creating a sustainable, streamlined, and low-stress wedding floral business with Carolyn Kulb of Bloom Poet

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

It’s the first week of January and if you’re like me, you already have swept away the holiday decor and turned the calendar page to 2023. It’s time to shake off 2022 and dive into the new year with a fresh attitude and new commitment to shape our floral enterprises so they not only reflect our personal aesthetic, but also honor our values, personal mission, and the way we want to show up in this world.

Caroly Kulb of Bloom Poet (c) Janet Lin Photography

So I know you will be delighted to join my conversation today with Carolyn Kulb, Seattle-based floral designer and owner of Bloom Poet, a wedding and events design studio.

Carolyn may be familiar to you for two reasons: first, she appeared as a guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast in December 2019; and second, she was a 2021 American Flowers Week botanical couture designer whose futuristic ombre-hellebore dress generated a major wow-factor among the media and flower lovers alike.

In the past year, Carolyn has put all of her focus into the design side of her business, rebranding as Bloom Poet.

Florals by Carolyn Kulb
Spring florals by Carolyn Kulb (c) Janet Lin Photography

Here’s more about Carolyn Kulb: She is the founder and lead artist of Bloom Poet—a full-service wedding florist and event design company based in Seattle, Washington. Bloom Poet serves couples ready to create a meaningful and breathtaking experience for their wedding day. Carolyn helps couples dream big, embrace new ideas, and look to nature for inspiration. Carolyn also offers floral education and coaching to fellow florists and wedding pros. Through online classes and 1-to-1 coaching, Carolyn helps floral entrepreneurs learn proven methods for streamlining their wedding businesses and mastering sustainable floristry methods with less stress.

Carolyn’s work has been featured in national publications such as Flower Magazine, Aisle Society, Well Wedded Magazine, Trends Magazine, and Houzz.com. She has been invited to design, teach, and present across the country, including the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, the Slow Flowers Podcast, the Evolve Your Wedding Business Podcast, and American Flowers Week.

Carolyn believes that floral design is an art form, meant to tell the stories of our love. Carolyn wed her college sweetheart 12 years ago so they could serve in the Peace Corps together in Africa. After living in four countries and traveling in many more, Carolyn continues to draw upon multicultural art, architecture, and design influences in the way she crafts experiences for couples. She believes that in our culture, flowers are used to signify our most universal human experiences, and to tell our stories in ways that words cannot. This confluence of art, exploring cultural traditions, and helping people celebrate their milestones is what brought Carolyn to floral design years ago – and why she continues to love doing it.

In her free time, you can find Carolyn cuddling with her senior kitty, laughing with her husband, plotting where to travel next, tending her flower garden, writing music, spending time with friends, and learning Italian.

The analogous winter bouquet that Carolyn designed for the Slow Flowers Show, using all local and CA-grown fresh and dried botanicals

When I invited Carolyn to join me to talk about sustainable wedding florals, she also agreed to design for us on camera.

Part two of this show featured a fun demo in which Carolyn creates a lovely hand-tied wedding bouquet with all locally-grown and domestic flowers, with both fresh and dried ingredients.

Thanks so much for joining us today. As we discussed, Carolyn’s new course, Sustainable Wedding Design, goes live on Thursday, January 12th, and you can find the details at her website, carolynkulb.com. The 90-minute comprehensive training will teach you how to create impeccable, long-lasting wedding designs using foam-free and sustainable floristry methods. As an introductory rate, the course is $97 and includes a 30-minute live Q&A session at the end of the training – or the opportunity to submit questions in advance if you can’t attend the live session. I hope you check it out!.

Find and follow Carolyn at these social places:

Bloom Poet on Instagram and Facebook

Carolyn Kulb on Instagram


News for this Week

Emily Ellen Anderson business coach for artists
Emily Ellen Anderson of Curious Lola
January 13th Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up: Dive into the New Year with a Fresh Vision for your Floral Enterprise
You’re invited to join our special NEW YEAR conversation with Slow Flowers member Emily Ellen Anderson of Curious Lola. Emily is a business (& bravery) coach for artists. She helps creative entrepreneurs sell art to support their life, be willing to be seen and heard, and expand their own creative impact. Through a mix of practical strategy, business tools, and self-awareness exercises, artists who work with Emily grow their art practices in ways they never imagined were possible. The result is a self-assured, empowered artist who is deeply connected with their own creative genius. The result of which is, not surprisingly, a vibrant, flourishing business.  
Join Slow Flowers Founder, Debra Prinzing, as she hosts a conversation with creative business coach Emily Ellen Anderson at our January 2023 “Slow Flowers Members’ Virtual Meet-Up”Friday, January 13th (9:00 a.m. PT/Noon ET)Click on the link below for login details and join this enriching gathering!#slowflowersmeetup

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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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

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

Thanks so much 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.

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 591: Debra Prinzing Reflects on Slow Flowers Society’s 2022 Year in Review

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

With 2023 here, it’s fitting to say goodbye to 2022 as we review the year’s highlights. All I can say about 2022 is that after slogging through the pandemic in 2020 and its aftermath in 2021, this past year felt like a sprint, not a marathon. The year seemed to race by so quickly, week by week, month by month, and the march of time propelled our beautiful and inspiring Slow Flowers community through the year, as we sought fulfillment, prosperity and peace — and balance in all things, right?! We lived our values, communicated our message, and supported one another in our shared mission. But wow, as much as the word *slow* is at the heart of all we do here, 2022 was anything but *slow*.

2022 Slow Flowers Society Year in Review

Yet, the annual ritual to pause, review, evaluate, and celebrate – as well as learn from — the lessons and experiences from our past year are activities I wouldn’t miss – and I want to share  with you!

The 50 Mile Bouquet 10-year celebration

One personally meaningful major milestone was the 10-year anniversary of the book that started us off on the Slow Flowers journey — The 50 Mile Bouquet. When it was published in 2012, The 50 Mile Bouquet was the first book to spotlight a major cultural shift and a transformation around how cut flowers are grown, designed and consumed, closely mirroring the culinary world’s locavore/slow food revolution.

interior spead The 50 Mile Bouquet
“Brimming with Blooms” documents the origins of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in The 50 Mile Bouquet.

One decade ago the floral industry was just beginning to ask for changes, seeking alternatives to imported, mass-produced and chemical-laden flowers. The 50 Mile Bouquet introduced some of the innovative voices of the dynamic new Slow Flower Movement: the organic flower farmers, the sustainably-motivated floral designers . . . and the flower enthusiasts who were increasingly asking, ‘Where and how were my flowers grown, and who grew them?’

interior spread The 50 Mile Bouquet
Melissa and Tutta Bella appeared in The 50 Mile Bouquet

The 50 Mile Bouquet included documentary-feature reporting and full color photography to bring readers into the farms and design studios of Slow Flowers practitioners. As the book that coined the phrase “Slow Flowers,” its relevance today is more important than ever, considering issues around climate change, supply chain limitations, and equity and inclusion in the floral marketplace. 

Fast-forward, here we are wrapping up 2022, and the issues around flower sourcing are just as timely and more important than ever! From my original storytelling in the pages of The 50 Mile Bouquet, the Slow Flowers Movement emerged, with the launch of the Slow Flowers Society and so many meaningful conversations through the Slow Flowers Podcast interviews and our other programs, content, advocacy and outreach to floral professionals and flower lovers alike.

Let’s take a look at our Membership!

membership map of US Slow Flowers membership
Map of Canadian Slow Flowers membership

We know that joining Slow Flowers Society as a member takes a financial commitment, a modest one that I believe offers incredible value for anyone in the business of communicating their brand in alignment with slow, seasonal, local and sustainable.

2022, for some, was a challenging year, as flowers continued to be bought and sold in a marketplace that is often based on cheap and convenient. Against that backdrop, we are so grateful to welcome 75 new flower farmers and floral designers who joined Slow Flowers Society as members in 2022. One Hundred percent of our focus is to add value to your investment in this organization. Since launching Slow Flowers in 2013, all of our revenue from membership subscriptions and partner sponsorships are poured right back into building Slow Flowers Society into a relevant and significant presence in the floral marketplace. Our strength in numbers has earned Slow Flowers a place at the table in mainstream floral circles, in the media, in conversations about the future of floriculture and floristry. That is priceless!

Slow Flowers Society educational benefits

In the past year, Slow Flowers Society has produced hundreds of hours of educational resources for you, from the weekly Slow Flowers Show and Podcast (and supporting blog posts) to our monthly Virtual Membership Meet-Ups, and info-packed monthly newsletters, to stories you read on slowflowersjournal.com and in our quarterly digital magazine Slow Flowers Journal, to the feature reports we produce with Johnny’s Selected Seeds for their newsletter – and more. It’s all about education, from growing and design advice to small business and marketing resources. When you add it all up, that’s incredible value for a small membership subscription.

Slow Flowers Meet-Ups 2022

In 2021, we hosted 10 Meet-Ups on a variety of topics important to our members, beginning with our January session when I co-presented our 2022 Slow Flowers Insights and Industry Forecast with Bloom Imprint’s creative director Robin Avni and closing up the year recently with our December Meet-Up focusing on value-added flower farm product development with Natasha McCrary of 1818 Farms and Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm & Flowers.

Thousands have watched the replay videos with close to 8,000 impressions our YouTube channel! This is evergreen educational content always available to you and you can find the YouTube link to search all of our 2022 videos from the homepage of SlowFlowersPodcast.com.

Member appreciation month

October was our membership appreciation month, with our focus to highlight members and their floral stories ~ all across the continent.  During October, we brought weekly member conversations to IG Live and the Zoom Room, with even more opportunities to learn and hear from our members — people at the heart of the Slow Flowers Movement. The social media exposure was incredible, generating thousands of views and impressions. You met and heard from October 4th: On Farm Events with Chelsea Willis of @sweetdelilahfarm and Misty VanderWeele of @all_dahliad_up who shared how they stage on-farm events; we discussed retail floristry with Jill Redman of @forageflorals + Angela Turner of @belfiorefarm; Pam Parker of JP Parker Flowers led a tour of her retail flower shop and discussed being a farmer-florist, and wedding designer Jessica Stewart of @bramble_blossom_pgh shared her tips for keeping your studio sustainable.

We also produced a new Member Benefits Booklet with discounts and coupons from Slow Flowers Society and our sponsors. If you can’t find the link to the booklet, please reach out and we’ll be happy to share it with you. Speaking of reaching out, our membership services gained a boost this past September when Tonneli Gruetter joined us as community engagement and member manager. A flower farmer herself, Tonneli has jumped right in to connect with you, and enhance membership engagement — if you have a question or suggestion, she’s your front-line contact and you should feel free to reach out to her at membership@slowflowers.com.

Member Benefits Book

In November, we surveyed the Slow Flowers community – an annual exercise that informs our planning and forecasting for the year to come. Here are some highlights:

We asked Members how they engage with Slow Flowers Society and about their participation in the long list of benefits and features for 2022; Our Members cited the original benefit of joining Slow FlowersSociety, dating back to the launch of slowflowers.com as an online directory in 2014.

Nearly 70% of you mentioned the value of your Slow Flowers directory business listing
found at slowflowers.com.
43% of you use our Slow Flowers badges and logos on your businesses’
branding and communications.
One-third of you value being featured in Slow Flowers’ social media posts as a popular feature.

When it comes to Member Benefits

Respondents ranked top member benefits as follows:

69% Business listing on Slowflowers.com

43% Used Slow Flowers badges and logo on business branding/communications

34% Featured in social media post @slowflowerssociety

28% Purchased discounted tickets for Slow Flowers events

20% Attended Slow Flowers virtual meet-ups

20% Collaborated with other Slow Flowers members for special projects

18% Interviewed as guest on Slow Flowers Podcast

12% Participated in American Flowers Week

11% Participate in Slow Flowers Facebook Community

Where do you fall on this list? Are you missing out on features and programs available to you as a Member?! Take a moment to align our services with your floral enterprise! In 2023, we will continue these features, so if you’re not participating, that means you’re missing out on all the benefits of your membership!

Relating to Member Value, I’m so encouraged with these numbers:

81 percent of you rate the value of your Slow Flowers membership as high value or very high value – up from 75% in 2021
and 82 percent of you are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their Slow Flowers membership, up from 78 % in 2021

We asked members to share key ways in which they find value in their Slow Flowers member benefits.
The top items:

80% of you say: I want to Align my business with the values of the Slow Flowers Movement and Show my support for the mission of the Slow Flowers Movement

70% of  you say: I want to connect with like-minded floral professionals and Educate myself and/or my staff about the importance of Slow Flowers.

We chose two thank-you gifts for our name drawing of those of you who completed our survey – and congratulations to our winners! On December 14th, I drew the names and announced the winners during an IG Live with Niesha Blancas, our social media manager:

Adrianne Gammie of Marilla Field & Flora received a Complimentary Premium Level Slow Flowers Society Membership for 1 year

April Vomfell of Flathead Farmworks received a Complimentary 2023 Slow Flowers Summit registration – June 26-27, 2023 in Seattle, Washington

Congratulations to Adrianne and April!


——————————————–

American Flowers Week 2022

For 2022, eight creative Slow Flowers individuals and teams participated in designing and producing our American Flowers Week botanical couture collection! These stylish and artistic floral fashions engage viewers with flowers and nature in new ways. We marvel how each look in the American Flowers Week Collection is unique to the location and season where it was produced and photographed — elevating flowers and foliages as works of art.

On June 29th, we invited the creatives who participated in our Botanical Couture collection to appear in the Slow Flowers Show and discuss their designs. And in conjunction with our American Flowers Week 2022 campaign, Slow Flowers Society and its publishing partner, BLOOM Imprint, released a special digital issue of Slow Flowers Journal, available for free download. The Summer 2022 edition featured our botanical couture collection and the stories of each designer, flower farmer and the floral ensembles designed with iconic American-grown botanicals. We already have five designers lined up to create looks for the 2023 American Flowers Week campaign so get ready to be wowed! And keep an eye out for more details on how to participate when we unveil our 2023 artwork next February.


Slow Flowers Summit 2022

In 2022, we produced an ambitious, fifth Slow Flowers Summit, as the 3-day gathering moved to lower Hudson Valley outside New York this past June. Since its inaugural conference in 2017, the Slow Flowers Summit has given attendees a chance to learn from artists, innovators, and thought leaders whose commitment to domestic flowers is at the heart of the Slow Flowers Movement. This past year gathered more than 125 progressive and sustainably-minded floral professionals from 25 states and two Canadian provinces.

Guests heard from seven inspiring presenters and enjoyed a farm tour, five design demonstrations, an interactive day of hands-on floral design, and a immersive maker-artisan experience. On Day One, attendees convened at The Red Barn at Maple Grove Farm in Bedford, New York, a private farm owned by local philanthropist George Bianco. On Days Two and Three, the Summit moved to nearby Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and its Arts & Ecology Lab, which develops sustainable uses for all that a farm produces. Thank you to our partners, speakers, sponsors, and to all who attended this magical conference.

TJ McGrath teaching at 2022 Slow Flowers Summit

Here are a few Raves from our members:

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Slow Flowers Summit. From the beautiful day of flowering at Red Barn at Maple Grove Farm to the inspiring presenters and classes, to the impeccable Stone Barns Center with its amazing grounds and delicious farm-to-table food, it was a tour de force to be sure! I know the Slow Flowers team put in countless hours to make the Summit a wonderful experience for all and it really was. I feel like I have found my tribe in my fellow Slow Flowers members! Your spark of an idea has become an incredible movement!”

“I learned so much from fantastic speakers and presenters. My favorite part was meeting and getting hands-on (experience) working on installations with those experts and the wider community of attendees. I’m feeling inspired and I’ve picked up some new tricks of the trade!”

“We are so inspired by all of the growers, artists, florists and ALL of the amazing people we met at the Slow Flowers Summit and we had a great time learning and connecting with other like-minded farmers and designers! Beyond excited to be part of the Slow Flowers Society and the Slow Flowers Movement!”


Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speakers

The ambitious programming continues for 2023, with an expanded list of speakers, topics, and experiences taking place over two days at Bellevue Botanical Garden in the Seattle area, June 26-27, 2023. You’ll be hearing much more about the 2023 Summit in the coming months, but save the date and we hope to see you there.


@slowflowerssociety on Instagram

Slow Flowers communicates with our members through many channels, and we learned through this year’s Survey which of our methods are most used.

Ninety-five percent of members follow Slow Flowers Society on Instagram, while more than 40 percent engage with us via Facebook. The metrics for social media are easy to track, and they are impressive:

On @slowflowerssociety on Instagram, we have close to 41k followers, with an annual reach of 1.3 million. New in 2022 our social media manager Niesha Blancas launched reels on our @slowflowerssociety IG account, generating more than 165,000 views; clearly our most popular social media feature.


Subtext for Slow Flowers Society

We also launched a member texting service and we use it judiciously, not over-spamming, but utilizing the channel to get useful and timely information at your fingertips. We know people can gain their flower farming and floral design news in many ways, through many channels, and we want to make it easy for our members to receive what they want, when they want it.

Slow Flowers Newsletter

Our Slow Flowers monthly newsletter now reaches 3.6k subscribers, both members, followers, and fans who are interested in this Movement. We love producing the info-packed newsletter as it gives me a way to stop and reflect on all that has happened in any given month — chronicling everything from hosting our Slow Flowers podcast guests to featuring new promotional opportunities for members. The newsletter is a popular resource for our members – in fact, in the recent survey, more than two-thirds of you tell us you usually or always read it. You can always go back and read the archives from month to month; the archives are easy to find in the link at the bottom of slowflowers.com.


Slow Flowers Journal

SLOW FLOWERS JOURNAL

Earlier, I mentioned the special botanical couture issue of Slow Flowers Journal, published last June, that issue served as the launch of our quarterly e-zine. The digital magazine is co-produced with BLOOM Imprint, and our goal is similar to our book publishing efforts: to support stories by and about Slow Flowers members. The subscription to Slow Flowers Journal is free to our members, as a member benefit. In 2022, we shared the issue widely, as an introductory promotion. In 2023, we will charge a market-rate subscription for nonmembers, either on a per-issue or annual basis.

GardenComm GOLD Award for Slow Flowers Journal

Earlier this year, I’m proud to say that Slow Flowers Society and BLOOM Imprint received the GOLD Medal of Achievement for Slow Flowers Journal  in the Trade: Special Project category. The e-zine was published in June 2021 via Americanflowersweek.com and features the cover fashion and photography of Niesha Blancas of Fetching Social Media and model Jada Cruz.

bloom imprint home page
2022 Bloom Imprint publications

BLOOM Imprint, our floral lifestyle book publishing arm, continued its ambitious publishing schedule for 2022, producing four titles, including:

Black Flora in February
Growing Wonder in March
Small Farm, Big Dreams in April
and House + Flower in June.

Each of these books shared the beautiful message of a flower-centric life, and the expertise of authors and those featured in the pages.

Bloom Imprint press

These titles and our authors generated impressive attention in the media, and just to mention a few here: Veranda, Washington Post, Sunset Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Better Homes & Gardens, Architectural Digest, Flower Magazine, New York Times, House Beautiful, Cottage Journal, Apartment Therapy, Garden Design, Canadian House & Home, The American Gardener, Homes & Antiques, Cultivating Place on Public Radio, Central Texas Gardener on Public Television, Martha Stewart Online, Seattle Times and Cottages & Bungalows, among others. This type of attention underscores the significance and relevance of the books BLOOM Imprint has been producing — and we’re so proud of this work.


National Garden Survey

For the past 2 years, Slow Flowers has partnered with the National Gardening Association and gardenresearch.com to include cut flower questions in their annual National Gardening Survey.

The 2022 survey expanded on the 2021 findings, revealing that consumer awareness, attitudes and behavior about domestic and local cut flowers has only continued to increase.

National Garden Survey LOCAL flowers stats

In the 2021 survey, 58 percent of respondents said it is very or somewhat important that the flowers they purchase are locally grown. In 2022, that number climbed to 65 percent — nearly 2/3rd of respondents prefer locally-grown flowers.

National Garden Survey AMERICAN GROWN cut flower attitude

The attitudes about American-grown flower purchases is also trending up — from 57% of respondents in 2021 who said it’s very or somewhat important that the flowers they purchase are U.S. grown, to 61% preferring domestic flowers in 2022.

Slow Flowers will again participate in and sponsor the National Gardening Survey that is conducted this month, with results ready to share this coming April. I can’t wait to see the needle continue to move up on this positive trend, so stay tuned!


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Slow Flowers Podcast
Earlier I mentioned that 2022 was the 10-year anniversary of the publication of The 50 Mile Bouquet. During this year, 2023, we will celebrate the publication of the book Slow Flowers. Its publication in the spring of 2013 led to the launch of the Slow Flowers Podcast, with the first episode appearing on July 23, 2013.

Since that date, the Slow Flowers Podcast has defined this Movement. It was the first ever podcast about flowers, flower farming and floral design, and is an award-winning weekly program known as the “Voice of the Slow Flowers Movement.” Airing consistently, without fail, each week for more than 9 years, this important gift to the floral marketplace focuses on the business of flower farming and floral design through the Slow Flowers sustainability ethos.

Slow Flowers Video Show

Our lifetime downloads have now exceeded one million episodes, and in 2022 alone, due to a major distribution expansion that came along with changing our syndicate hosting platform, the Slow Flowers Podcast was downloaded more than 500,000 times.

On top of this, we have produced a full year of Video episodes, bringing you flower farm tours, studio tours, Q&As, design demonstrations, and a visual immersion into the podcast conversations. You can find the video episodes, which we post each week as the Slow Flowers Show on Youtube, FB Live, Linked in Live and IGTV. Our viewership continues to grow and further enhance how we share the Slow Flowers Movement with you.


The Slow Flowers movement aspires to change how consumers and professionals in the floral marketplace view their flower purchases. The movement involves every facet of the floral distribution pipeline — from breeders and growers to wholesalers, to florists, to consumers — as they ask for domestic, seasonal, and sustainably-grown flowers.

We value our members, partners, sponsors and others who pursuing similar values and goals.

Slow Flowers Partnerships

In 2022, Slow Flowers Society sponsored the Black Girl Florists Conference and sessions at the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers Conference. We provided scholarships to BIPOC florists and flower farmers to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and others who pursued continuing education.

We provided educational presentations at CalFlowers’ FunNSun, and spoke about the Slow Flowers Movement at the FREESIA Summit, the Great Grow Along conference, the Madison Square Park Conservancy Lecture Series, the Hardy Plant Study Weekend, King County Library’s Literary Lions, GardenComm International, Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, and for numerous garden clubs around the country.


Slow Flowers press

We contributed to and provided quotes for national and major market media, including stories that appeared in Cottage Journal, Veranda, Better Homes & Gardens, Business Traveler, The Oregonian, Society of American Florists, Johnny’s Advantage Newsletter, BizWoman Magazine, Mayesh Blog, and Avocado Magazine, and appeared on the Blooming Good Time Podcast and the Cut Flower Podcast.

All of these activities continue to elevate the idea and values of the Slow Flowers Movement; they are your ROI – your return on investment – for joining this organization; and these benefits ripple across the industry and inspire the consumer mindset about local and seasonal flowers. It isn’t a direct line but a multidimensional force that builds a network of support for you and your own floral enterprise each and every day.

Slow Flowers sponsors 2022

As we wrap up this year-in-review, I want to take a moment to thank all of our sponsors, including our lead Sponsor: Farmgirl Flowers, who has generously returned as our 2023 Lead Sponsor.

Our Major Sponsors for 2022 included:
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
The Gardeners’ Workshop
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Longfield Garden
Red Twig Farms,
Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
and Flowerfarm.com

Our Channel Sponsors for 2022 included:
CalFlowers
CoolBot
Details Flowers Software
DoorDash
Mayesh Wholesale Florists
and Scenic Place Peonies


emily ellen anderson of curious lola

Coming up in 2023, you’re invited to join our Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up on Friday, January 13, 2023 — when we welcome Emily Ellen Anderson of Curious Lola, a Slow Flowers member and business coach for artists and creatives — she’ll help us with a New Year re-set and you won’t want to miss it!

In late January, Bloom Imprint’s Robin Avni and I will co-present our 2023 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast in a webinar format, produced in conjunction with the publication of our winter 2023 issue of Slow Flowers Journal. We’ll announce that date soon.


Thanks so much 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.

Music credits:

Chymique; Game Hens; Gasland; Glass Beads; Lissa; Spindash; Yarrow and Root; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 590: Foraged Design with artist and educator Françoise Weeks

Wednesday, December 28th, 2022
(c) Theresa Bear photography

Photography, courtesy of Francoise Weeks (c) Theresa Bear

Today, I’m delighted to welcome artist, educator, friend, and Slow Flowers member, Françoise Weeks back to the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Francoise Weeks

Françoise was born in Belgium, and 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 of students.

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon. Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to classrooms around the globe and here at home. Her dynamic work has been published in Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and many other publications.

Françoise’s generosity of knowledge and perspective in use of floral materials, structure and mechanics, in addition to the business of being a florist, unite to create rigorous and exciting learning opportunities for her students to explore all that nature has to offer.

Francoise Weeks

I invited Françoise to join me in the virtual studio to talk about her newest online course, Foraged Design, which recently launched. The curriculum covers decor for the home, events, and everything in between. The inventive project includes eggplant, pear and artichoke arrangements, a vase arrangement, four botanical napkin rings, a wine bottle with a floral ribbon, and a framed woodland-inspired wallscape.

Artichoke arrangement by Francoise Weeks
Eggplant, Pear, and Artichoke Arrangements: Showcasing the natural beauty of produce from the market, Françoise has created three designs to turn the edible into the incredible. You’ll find an eggplant blossoming with pieris, poppies, and tillandsia; an artichoke utilizing cornflowers, oregano, and acorns; and a pear harvesting blackberries, nicandra, and love-in-a-puff.
Francoise Weeks' vase arrangement with a twist
Vase Arrangement with a Twist: Learn the mechanics to cover an ordinary container by attaching paperbark maple to create an eye-catching arrangement that uses a variety of botanicals and textures such as hellebore, evergreen, and trumpet vine. You’ll also gain insight into flower deconstruction to find new ways of using materials.
Framed woodland landscape by Francoise Weeks
Framed Woodland-Scape: Create a stunning foam-free woodland landscape within a frame of your choosing. Use a variety of textures and botanicals to create visual interest in a piece that you can display on your dinner table or even hang in your living room.

Foraged Design Free Lesson

There will be an end-of-year sale for Françoise’s Foraged Design course but you need to be subscribed to gain access, so SUBSCRIBE today — If you’re following Françoise on IG, you’ll also catch more details @francoiseweeks – find the links in her profile menu.

And an update about Françoise’s forthcoming book, The Wonder of Woodlands, out in Spring 2024. She shares: “it will show people how they can gather nature’s treasures to create their own artful arrangements. The book is divided into chapters, each showcasing a common building block in her arrangements and suggesting a simple project. Since bark, logs and branches form the background of her designs, she begins there. That’s followed by chapters on moss, mushrooms, acorns, seedpods, lichens and ferns. My primary goal is to teach readers to see the artistry contained in any natural landscape. Like me, I want them to see with a new pair of eyes.”


Last Chance for $100-Off Slow Flowers Summit Registration (Expires 12/31/22)

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speakers
Top row, from left: Julio Freitas, Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin
Middle row, from left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Dee Hall, Tracy Yang and Valerie Chrisostomo
Bottom row, from left: Becky Feasby, Amber Tamm, Sarah Reyes and Debra Prinzing

There’s still one week left to take advantage of the Early Bird Ticket pricing for our 2023 Slow Flowers Summit — the $100 off promotion expires at midnight Pacific Time on December 31st. Register now to take advantage of the lowest ticket prices available for our 6th annual Summit, June 26-27, 2023 at the Bellevue Botanical Garden outside Seattle.

We have invited more floral experts than ever before to join our Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speaker lineup! Our Summit theme is “Community and Collaboration,” emphasizing our interdependence and the amazing outcomes when flower farmers and floral designers come together for a better and more sustainable marketplace. You will gain inspiration for developing a deeper relationship with flowers in your own growing and design practice!  

We 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 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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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 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.

Thank you to CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at cafgs.org.

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.   


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much 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, learn more and check out all 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.

Music credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 588: Meet Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm in Manitoba – Experience Guide, Flower Grower and Natural Dyer

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

A few weeks ago, we had a virtual visit to the big Island of Hawaii to meet farmer-florist Christian Ingalls of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm. Today, we’re journeying to the Canadian province of Manitoba, where it’s quite the opposite, weather-wise. But you’ll be warmed by my guest’s positive energy and inspiring story!

Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm
Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm

You may remember meeting Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm and Tinta Studio during our March 2021 Slow Flowers member meeting – the theme was Diving into Dye Plants, and Lourdes was one of three expert members who shared about how they integrate plant-based natural dyes into their cut flower farms. Our other member-experts included Julie Beeler of Bloom & Dye, and Elaine Vandiver of Gholson Gardens.

Students of the Tinta Experience at Masagana Flower Farm
Students of the Tinta Experience at Masagana Flower Farm

In the past 18 months, a lot has happened at Masagana Flower Farm, and I asked Lourdes to share how her entire business focus has shifted to on-farm experiences built around growing and crafting with dye plants. By partnering with Travel Manitoba and taking advantage of mentorship and grant programs for small businesses in her area, Lourdes has leveraged her micro farm and textile studio into a flower destination that soon will draw customers not only during flower farming season, but year round.

Plant-based dyes and textiles
Flowers for plant-based textile dyes

Lourdes has hosted between 75 and 81 TINTA Experience guests annually in the past two years. With the opening of the studio, she hopes to double the capacity and reach, projecting an average of 160 guests annually, with summer being the busiest time of the year.

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN:

Check out Masagana Flower Farm’s Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to complete her studio. The studio construction is two-thirds finished and Lourdes needs to raise the final funds to complete the structure for her 2023 season.

Hands-on learning at Masagana Flower Farm
Hands-on learning at Masagana Flower Farm

Find and follow Masagana Flower Farm:
Masagana Flower Farm on Instagram and Facebook
READ: Chatelaine Magazine: Inside The Growing, Gorgeous, Female-Led Slow Flowers Revolution


News of the Week

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speaker collage
Top row, from left: Julio Freitas, Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin
Middle row, from left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Dee Hall, Tracy Yang and Valerie Chrisostomo
Bottom row, from left: Becky Feasby, Amber Tamm, Sarah Reyes and Debra Prinzing

The Slow Flowers Summit takes place June 26-27, 2023,  in a strategic partnership with venue and host Bellevue Botanical Garden in Bellevue, Washington, outside Seattle.

In news this week, the Slow Flowers Summit Early Bird ticket sale continues through the end of December — you’ll want to take advantage of the $100 off discount we’re extending to our Slow Flowers members and guests. The Slow Flowers Summit is unique as a professional floral industry conference because it brings together influencers in both growing and design — all to support domestic floral agriculture and sustainable floristry. We invite flower lovers, artists, gardeners, growers, wholesalers and retailers to come together in this event that celebrates responsible design practices.


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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

Thank you to 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

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

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.


Music credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 587: Walking the Talk: Unpacking the Slow Flowers Manifesto and putting our six values into practice for your floral enterprise

Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Today, I want to share a bonus episode with you — an updated lecture originally created for the FREESIA Summit, held in September 2022. FREESIA is an acronym for Florists Recognizing Environmental & Eco-Sustainable Ideas & Applications and the online conference was produced by Hitomi Gilliam and Colin Gilliam.

The presentation is called “Walking the talk” and it examines our Slow Flowers’ values and concepts and discusses how our members are putting them into practice. In this episode, I’ll introduce you to several Slow Flowers Society members and highlight their stories. You can have all the theory you want, but implementing these values is what will help you build a sustainable brand for your business.

Slow Flowers in flower letters
This SLOW FLOWERS image was designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm

I first started writing about the concept of Slow Flowers more than 10 years ago, coining the phrase “Slow Flowers” as a way to describe the values of slow, seasonal and domestic flowers. We defined the term Slow Flowers and what it reflects as a cultural shift: “A movement that encourages consumers to purchase locally-grown flowers and connects them with the source, from the flower farmer to the floral designer.”

During one of the open chat sessions during the FREESIA Summit, an audience member commented:  “We have to find a network of like-minded professionals to gather together and support our work,” and I had to pause and say: “That’s what Slow Flowers is!” That’s our laser-focused mission. Specifically, the Slow Flowers Movement has two audiences. We have the floral industry and we have consumers, and really, our message is constantly talking about the benefits of local, seasonal, and domestic flowers. And we want to influence floral buying practices of both groups.

Some people say, “Is it mainstream yet?” According to Keyhole, a social media tracker, in a recent 365-day period, the hashtag #slowflowers, created 67 million social media impressions. the term is now being used worldwide to really communicate and convey sustainability. Our members use the Slow Flowers affiliation to elevate and amplify their branding and marketing. They use it to telegraph to their customers and clients what they’re all about.

An important model for the Slow Flowers Movement is the Slow Food Movement. Many of you know about Slow Food, that phenomenal organization founded in 1986 by Carlo Petrini in Italy, as an organization that promotes local food and traditional cooking and really. Slow Food was an anti-fast food response to what was happening in the culinary world. We took similar inspiration to shine a light on what has happened over the past 3 decades in the floral marketplace. Yes, I blatantly borrowed the adjective “slow” and added the word “flowers” to it.

Slow Food has a manifesto and so I thought it be only fitting if Slow Flowers had one, too. I wrote our Slow Flowers Manifesto in 2017, as a call to action and to help our members define the spirit of their work and their own mission.


Slow Flowers lecture title slide Walking the Talk

Let’s talk about the six values that are featured in the Slow Flowers Manifesto, and I’ll break them down by theme and what our members are doing to really reflect those values.


Slow Flowers Manifesto_Value one
The Slow Flowers Challenge (c) Debra Prinzing

Our first value is “To recognize and respect the seasons by celebrating and designing with flowers when they naturally bloom.”

As a guiding principle, we are influenced by what we see in the Slow Food movement, where people are saying, “To really celebrate flavor and the best food available is to eat it in season.” The strawberry’s lack of flavor in January is a frequent example given, but if you get it right off the vine or right off the plant in the middle of summer, there’s nothing more pure as the essence of season.

Similarly, we see this in the flower world. I think the idea of seasonality is universal and relatable to gardeners, and it certainly makes sense to me, since I come out from horticulture as a garden writer. During the pandemic, we saw something like 23 million new people who entered gardening during the shut-down. Having conversations about seasonality is important, because people are understanding they need to connect to nature more than ever.

The phrase “Slow Flowers” first appears in my books. I wrote The 50 Mile Bouquet in 2012 and used the phrase Slow Flowers throughout that book, kind of as a shorthand to explain to people what the topic was about.

The following year in 2013, I wrote a follow-up book called Slow Flowers, in which I set out to create a bouquet each week from my cutting garden in Seattle, using what grew there in season. It was a experiment to say, “You know what? There’s a dormant season in winter; it’s quieter, my design palette includes twigs and conifers. I asked: Can I create an arrangement as aesthetically pleasing as an expression of the current season, with as much excitement as I might during the peak of summer when everything’s exploding?”

The Slow Flowers book stimulated wonderful responses. There was a Slow Flowers Challenge in 2014 that started when one of my readers began using the hashtag #theslowflowerschallenge and sharing it on social media, asking other gardeners to join her. Inspired by her effort, we took it upon ourselves to create an opportunity for everybody to post and share images of their seasonal, garden-inspired arrangements. Flower lovers, gardeners, and florists joined in to create an arrangement every week, posting and sharing — it really exploded.

While I was out presenting lectures and presentations at flower shows, garden clubs, and other venues, I heard from audiences who said to me, “Okay, Debra, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid; I believe in what you’re talking about, but how do I find farmers and florists who are sourcing locally?”

I was asked the same question by my peers in the media who were interested in the renaissance that was taking place in our floral marketplace. In response, I launched Slowflowers.com in 2014, and began to use the platform to highlight our members as sources for local flowers.

Flower farmers and florists joined Slowflowers.com very early on to be part of the Movement. For example, farmer-florist Beth Syphers of Salem, Oregon-based Crowley House Flower Farm, joined as a member. She uses her association to promote the unique garden roses and other amazing crops her farm grows for the floral trade.

I was really fortunate, at the very beginning of this journey, to partner with local flower farmers in the Pacific Northwest, including those who formed the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in 2011, including Crowley House Flower Farm. I like to say I was their embedded journalist.

The farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market are focused on bringing premium couture flowers to the florists of their region. They have differentiated local flowers from imported flowers and commercially-grown flowers.

I attribute the secret of their success to specializing in flowers that can’t be shipped or only bloom for a short period of time, like the beautiful lilacs which are grown by Jello Mold Farm in Washington’s Skagit Valley. Jello Mold is pictured on the cover of The 50 Mile Bouquet and you heard owners Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall on this podcast recently. As a storyteller, by partnering with the Growers Market and its farmers, I focused more people’s attention on locality of flowers.

The natural evolution of interviewing flower farmers led to connections with their customers, who are the florists, like Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers,  based in Seattle. She highlights seasonal flowers in her shop and educates her customers about her farm sources as part of her branding, such as her Instagram post: “Support Local Growers.” In fact, Melissa was a founding member of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, the only florist to join with the growers in launching the co-op.

These actions inspired other florists. Tammy Myers, of First & Bloom, also in the Seattle area, specializes in locally grown and American grown everyday flowers. She is rebranding for 2023 with the “eco-florist” tagline. After 9 years in business, her mission hasn’t changed.

Melissa and Tammy are among 850 florists and flower farmers, farmer-florists, retailers, wholesalers, and designers who are Slow Flowers Society practitioners.


Slow Flowers Value Number Two
Above: Adam O’Neal of PepperHarrow Farm in Winterset, Iowa (c) PepperHarrow Farm

Clearly, we all can see the benefits of supporting local flowers –our first mandate. These concepts inform value number two, which is really all about the transportation footprint.

In the past decade especially, as our community of flower farmers and floral designers, consumers and floral enthusiasts is gaining momentum, we are seeing people who view their floral purchases in the same way they spend their food dollars, with the goal of sourcing our flowers as close to home as possible. In North America, that’s obviously a challenge, because many areas have winter weather conditions, and so that’s where we really rely on flowers from warmer states like Hawaii, California, Florida, or even Oregon and Washington, but local is clearly the value that segues into this issue of the flower transportation conversation.

We wanted to know consumer attitudes about the correlation between where their flowers are grown and how they are purchased.

There hasn’t been a baseline understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviors for a long time, in terms of understanding their concern about local. In 2021, we partnered with the National Gardening Association and their annual National Garden Survey, which conducts a scientifically accurate survey of 2,500 households across the US, mainly asking them about lawn and garden trends and purchases and behaviors.

For two years, we have asked, “How important is it to you that the flowers you purchase are locally grown?”

In 2022, 65% said it is very or somewhat important; and that is up from 58% in 2021. This is very encouraging. We’re going to keep asking this question and measuring how the trend line is going.

We asked a second question, “How important is it to you to buy US grown cut flowers?” The response was not quite as high as the question around local flowers, but it’s still impressive, with 61% of respondents saying it is very or somewhat important; and that is up from 57% in 2021.

The National Gardening Survey is consumer-focused, which is why we also survey Slow Flowers members every year on issues and concerns that relate to their businesses. As I mentioned earlier our members include flower farmers, florists, studio and wedding and event florists, retail florists, and also people that define themselves as farmer-florists, as well as wholesalers and suppliers.

This past year, we asked, “What type of local support are you currently experiencing?”

89% of our respondents said that more customers are interested in my floral enterprise because it’s local.

45% said more customers are requesting locally grown flowers for their designs, so that’s really affirming.

Let’s talk about some of the things that we are seeing in context of the transportation footprint. The old-fashioned, original dictionary definition of FLORIST is one who is in the business of raising or selling flowers and ornamental plants. It’s a concept that’s having a comeback because of the Slow Flowers movement and an interest in locally grown flowers.

So, we asked our members, “What percentage of the flowers used in your designs do you grow yourself?”

A very large percentage, 55%, said that they grow 76 to 100% of the flowers used in their own designs. Only about 10% of our respondents saying they don’t grow any of their own flowers.

As an extension, we asked, “How important is it to you and your business to purchase US made products for use in your floral designs?” This relates more to the whole issue of hard goods and accessories. A year ago, we hadn’t quite felt the pinch of supply chain.

Now, we’re seeing an increased focus on reusing vases, recycling, repurposing — a lot of innovation is taking place in fighting supply chain challenges. I just wanted to mention one interesting example of this way to address supply shortages. Tammy Myers, of First & Bloom, who I mentioned in the first section recently partnered with an organization here in Seattle called Ridwell. Ridwell is a private recycling company that takes items that municipalities don’t have a recycling method for, including light bulbs and batteries and plastic bags. Tammy created a pilot project with Ridwell to recycle glass vases that homeowners have collected under their sinks or in cupboards. I believe they ran this project in two neighborhoods with an overwhelming response.

Tammy has created vase collections of these recycled vessels, by shape and size, from bud vases to centerpiece sizes, and is re-selling them at an affordable rate to cover her costs to supply local florists who need a regular quantity of vases and have had trouble sourcing them. We’ll be following this story as it unfolds. It’s encouraging to see how one person has diverted used glass vases from landfills.

To understand local, we wanted to explore flower sourcing and that goes back to the farm and the wholesaler. What does local mean? Some of the things that people would consider local include growing your own cutting garden; wild-gathering, buying farm-direct, or ordering from a farm one or two state away, or shopping for Certified American Grown flowers. I like to describe it as the pebble in the pond approach, with the goal of sourcing as close to home as possible.

When I wrote The 50 Mile Bouquet, I was very much inspired by the food mile, so I started my own cutting garden. I like to call it the five-step bouquet, because it is right outside my backyard.

Major wholesalers are responding to florist requests for local and American grown flowers, like a poster that Mayesh Wholesale Florist hung in their Portland branch, which reads: “Mayesh is Proud to Offer Local + American Grown Product,” and they’ve used this graphic on some of their sponsorship branding with Slow Flowers.

We know, good or bad, that grocery accounts for 50% of all floral sales and grocery customers want locally grown flowers. But not all grocery stores put a priority on supplying domestic or local flowers. We are thrilled that Town & Country Markets, a family- owned grocery chain in the Seattle area with six stores, are Slow Flowers members. Every year, Town & Country produces a special floral department promotion during American Flowers Week to highlight the local flower farms, which, of course, we love.

Whole Foods, certainly before their Amazon ownership, and even now, region by region, partners with local farmers. Our members Chet and Kristy Anderson of The Fresh Herb Company in Boulder, Colorado, for example, supply all of the Whole Foods branches in the Rocky Mountain region. Their program is so big, they’re delivering flowers to the Whole Foods distribution center, which supplies something like 12 stores across the Rocky Mountain region.

Individual Whole Foods stores also partner with growers to bring hyper-local flowers to their customers. For example, the Williams family of WilMor Farms in Metter, Georgia, supply the Whole Foods outlet in Savannah, Georgia. They support WilMor Farms with in-store signage, at the point-of-purchase and on bunches and bouquet labels.

I encourage people to define local on their own terms. If you put in the work, you can find local flowers everywhere. Yet LOCAL is a rather elusive term.  We researched whether there was a U.S. Government definition of “Local.” The USDA’s Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act defines local as a maximum 400-mile distance between where a product is produced and where it is consumed, or in the state in which the product is produced.


Slow Flowers Manifesto: Value Three
Local flowers – From the garden and farm (c) Debra Prinzing

Okay, let’s talk about Value Number Three. “To support flower farmers small and large by crediting them, when possible, through proper labeling at the wholesale and consumer level.”

When we see florists including “local messaging” into their branding, we know it captures the imagination of clients who care about how their money is spent. By supporting farmers small and large when we credit them, it helps everyone who is in the business of selling domestic and local flowers. This is very much about transparency in labeling. When people join Slow Flowers Society as a member, we say to them, “You don’t have to be 100% local or domestic in your sourcing, you just have to be willing to be transparent with consumers. If someone’s asking for local flowers in a particular category, for example, and you can’t supply it because you only have imported, you just have to be honest and tell them.” Through education, we’re encouraging flower farmers to develop relationships or partnerships with wholesalers. With strong farmers, with an increase in flower farming as a viable economic enterprise in agriculture, the equation benefits us all.

There has been a huge explosion of regional wholesale models, including collectives, cooperatives and other marketing networks. Inspired by the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, which opened in 2011, regional hubs are popping up across North America, as farmers open their own wholesale operations to sell direct to florists.

Every single week I receive an inquiry from somebody who wants resources on how to start their own collective in their region, perhaps with as few as three flower farmers coming together with a central location to sell their flowers. You can learn more in the webinar that we produced with Johnny’s Seeds in 2021, called Producer Cooperatives for Small Scale Farms, which is available for free to watch on their website.

There are also new online selling platforms emerging to help flower farmers with technology, so Gather Flora is out of the West Coast in California, Rooted Farmers is based out of the East Coast. Each of these models has unique proprietary software, created by people who saw a need for a platform that allows farmers to upload their inventory and make it easy for florists to shop from multiple farms at once, so this is a real connection, a missing link. When I started slowflowers.com, I envisioned that Slow Flowers would be a tool to help consumers and florists find flower farmers, but I’m not an eCommerce expert and I never wanted to do transactions through the site, so I really applaud these groups that are coming together to solve that pain point to help flower farmers sell their product professionally to florists.

I mentioned earlier the benefit to florists who base their brands on local sourcing, and here’s just one florist I want to highlight. Pilar Zuniga is based in the Oakland area. Her studio is called Gorgeous and Green and her online store prominently offers local flowers.

Not only do I think this is really important, we often see florists who feature their farm sources on their blogs and websites. For example, Grace Flowers Hawaii on the Big Island, owned by Allison Higgins, recently posted a story about Daisy Dukes Farm, which is one of their local flower sources, which we love to see. These are simple things anybody can do, in terms of just educating your customers about your values.

Hometown Flower Company, our members based on Long Island, is another example. Owner Jaclyn Rutigliano is a third-generation florist, whose family were conventional florists. She has reimagined a new model for floristry, saying, “I want to focus on local.” One of the ways Hometown Flower Company communicates this brand attribute is through a map of Long Island that shows exactly where their flower farms and partners are located along the island. It’s really fun to see this map and realize that one little business is supporting a lot of flower farmers.

Back to our Slow Flowers member surveys, we captured florists’ increasing desire to go to the source, which is completely disrupting how flowers are sold. We asked our members, “What percentage of your cut flower purchases are through farm-direct channels?” Almost 40% report that it’s 76 to 100% of how they buy flowers. I just want to comment that this trending pattern is exactly one of the reasons why wholesalers are ramping up their focus on local-sourced flowers within their branches, using signage and labeling to telegraph that they, too, are working with local florists.

In last year’s member survey we also asked, “If you purchase from conventional wholesale florists, are you finding more American grown and local options than in the past?”

70% of our respondents said yes, so I think that’s just something that we’re going to see more of across the board. And this is an encouraging trendline.

Value number four: “To encourage sustainable and organic farming practices that respect people and the environment.”

You can see a great example of this value on the homepage of Le Mera Gardens, in Ashland, Oregon. Joan Thorndike has operated Le Mera Gardens for more than 30 years. Long before Slow Flowers was even a term, Joan sought organic certification. She says, as a mother who always had her children on the farm with her, she wanted her children to be safe, but she also wanted her florists and their children to be safe and their consumers to be safe.

We discussed florists who feature the farms they source from – as a way to inform their customers. Joan has flipped it around and she lists the florists who carry Le Mera’s local flowers. Joan wants to let people know, “Here are the florists who buy their flowers from our farm; please go patronize them.” I love this reciprocity.

In terms of Sustainability, there are many definitions, but one widely used example is a definition from the United Nations: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

So, what does it mean in the floral trade? I love a little sign I found years ago on a counter of a flower shop in Portland that reads: “We compost all floral cuttings.” It’s just a simple sign that goes a long way to communicate sustainability. That particular florist was located next to a farm-to-table restaurant, which made a big deal about composting their food waste, so she felt like she wanted to get in on that act, and it was a small but smart gesture. Kelsey Ruhland of Foxbound Flowers in Eugene, Oregon, recently shared that she weighs her flower waste every single week before putting it into the municipal compost collection, because she’s trying to document, over the course of a year, how much flower waste she’s composting, which is an extra step. Clearly it takes work – and intentionality – to be sustainable. But letting your market know what you’re doing is important.

One of the best ways to teach the values of sustainable flowers takes place when consumers and florists can step onto a flower farm. We did a report for Johnny’s Seeds featuring the ways that farmers are staging on-farm events as an education, a marketing, and a community-building tool.

Staging open houses or farm tours clearly nurture organic, in-person connections between consumers and local flowers. The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, especially before COVID, regularly held open days at their member farms. Usually held on a Sunday, families were invited for a day of festivities, and a lot of florists came for the country experience and to see where the flowers that they buy, week in and week out, were grown.

There are a few other sustainable themes I’d like to discuss. As a home gardener who is 100% organic in my own backyard, I understand sustainable farming practices. While I don’t plant cover crops, there are some practices I emulate, such as rotating planting areas and harvesting rainwater.

Not all flower farms can achieve a USDA organic certification. There are other third-party designations that evaluate sustainable practices, such as the Certified Naturally Grown program, a peer-to-peer farmer evaluation that was formed because of all the rigor and difficulty of becoming certified through the USDA.

In the Pacific Northwest we see farms seeking Salmon-Safe certification. This is a label seen on Oregon and Washington wines as a way to telegraph to consumers that their vineyard farming practices have been designated to be safe for salmon habitat. The flower farmers at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market have gone through this evaluation and they view it as another way to communicate to consumers that they’re serious about their practices.

At Jello Mold, Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall have also hosted floral departments from local grocery stores, so that the staff gain product knowledge and education. At Right Field Farm in Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C., David Brunton and his family send a weekly email to their CSA customers. The email tells everybody what’s happening on this small family farm; what they’re growing; something unique about a particular variety that’s available that week; where people can also buy their flowers at the local natural grocery store. The highly personalized communication nurtures authentic connections between people and flowers.


Slow Flowers Manifesto Value Five
Myriah Towner, documentary producer of Black Farmer Stories

We added Value Five in 2020. This was an important action, in response to our desire to proactively pursue equity, inclusion and representation in the floral marketplace with as much support as we give to environmental sustainability.

Personally, I was inspired by one of my mentors, a Black horticulture professional and friend through the gardening industry; She pointed out that the missing component of sustainability so often overlooked is human sustainability.

We believe that supporting environmental sustainability is only part of the equation. We have to show we care as much about representation, inclusion, and equity in the floral industry as we do our environmental choices, so this value five is really important.

Slow Flowers is committed to expanding our inclusion, representation and diversity, including through our partnership with Bloom Imprint, which is our book publishing venture owned with Robin Avni. Earlier in 2022, Bloom Imprint published Black Flora by Teresa J.  Speight, which features top Black farmers and florists across the U.S.

Black Flora amplify the voices of not only floriculture professionals, but agricultural and horticultural professionals. Why is it important to feature Black florists and flower farmers? When young and emerging floral professionals see someone who looks like them practicing professionally, it sends such a important message about the values that we have. Among the many other inspiring floral entrepreneurs, you’ll want to meet Dee Hall of Mermaid City Flower Farm in Norfolk, Virginia. She started Black Flower Farmers last year as a community group for specialty cut flower growers across the U.S., and we really want to support this expanding farming group.

Flower farmer Aishah Lurry owns Patagonia Flower Farm, and she is both a Slow Flowers member as well as active in the Black Flower Farmers group. Aishah has created an incredibly vibrant local business in a market that, honestly, never had local flowers, in Tucson, Arizona, so she’s really changing people’s definition of what’s local. When you see that she’s growing lisianthus and tulips in the high desert, it’s kind of mind-blowing. She’s just a real leader in the industry.

By supporting Black floral professionals and other people of color in the floral industry, we all benefit from connections and shared values. One leader is Valerie Crisostomo, an Atlanta-based wedding and event florist. She started Black Girl Florists in 2020 . It’s an organization much like Slow Flowers, a network of Black florists across the US. They’ve become a real important resource for each other and to share a unified voice. Black Girl Florists had their first conference in 2022, it included wedding and event professionals, as well as florists and flower farmers.

One of the other groups recently emerging on Instagram is Florists of Color, a feed to be celebrated. It’s hosted by Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green; I mentioned her earlier. A Latina florist, Pilar has expanded representation of all Florists of Color, including indigenous and Asian and Pacific Islanders and all Black and brown florists and flower farmers through the Instagram account. I encourage you all to join me in elevating and promoting representation and justice in the floral marketplace. Let’s ensure the growth and sustainability of the people in our profession.


Slow Flowers Manifesto Value Six
Organically-grown flowers from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden (c) Debra Prinzing

Let’s wrap up with our last value, value number six, “to eliminate waste and the use of chemical products in the floral industry.”

We just have to look at the media coverage around Queen Elizabeth’s recent funeral to see that the topic of floral industry waste is a global issue. I illustrated this point with a story published in September by CBC News in Canada, critiquing the amount of plastic wrapping accumulated from all the bouquets that were left at Buckingham Palace and other places to commemorate Queen Elizabeth.

Perhaps all those flower bouquet purchase were good for flower retailers, but the criticism generated by scenes of plastic trash by the container loads was disheartening, especially since most of that cellophane is not recyclable. One of our members, Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers, was quoted in the article questioning whether there are other ways that packaging can be changed to reduce plastic.

On a positive note, it was encouraging to also read coverage about the flowers in the wreath placed on Queen Elizabeth’s coffin — and the fact that they came from gardens that were important to both her and to King Charles III. I love this sentence that caught my eyes: “At His Majesty’s request, this wreath is made in a totally sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches, and without the use of floral foam.” I think we have Shane Connolly to thank for that influence on King Charles III.

Increasingly, people are concerned about the single-use plastics in the floral industry. In last year’s Slow Flowers Member Survey, we asked, “What percentage of your design work uses alternatives to floral foam?” 75% of our respondents said 75 to 100% of their work is foam-free.

We also asked our members to identify the foam-free mechanics they used.  95% of our respondents identified chicken wire, which, of course, we know about. The other top ones were pin frogs, hairpin frogs, Holly Chapple’s Syndicated eggs and cages, chicken wire and moss, taped grids, and other organic mechanics like branches.

Another organization you’ll want to check out is The Sustainable Floristry Network. Founded by Australian florist Rita Feldmann, SFN features several of our Slow Flowers members as ambassadors, including Susan McLeary, Becky Feasby, Pilar Zuniga, and Tobey Nelson. Slow Flowers has joined on as an advisor. One of their statements really moves me. It says: “We can’t wait for the day the Sustainable Floristry Network closes its doors. On that day, floristry will be carbon neutral, non-toxic and waste-free, with safe and fair conditions for all working in the industry. We’ll get there when all sides of floristry come together, creating a system that equally supports our passion, our livelihoods, and the planet


Slow Flowers spelled out in flower petals
Another beautiful Slow Flowers vignette, created by our friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Slow Flowers supports this statement and Slow Flowers is synonymous with local, seasonal, and sustainable, and inclusive floristry and flower farming. Since our origins more than a decade ago, we have been advocating, often quietly and often seen as a fringe element in the marketplace, and now, it’s so gratifying to see what an influence we have brought to the industry, changing the conversation, and bringing our values into the mainstream.

I think everybody who gardens will find the mental health benefits of growing their own flowers. And when that happens, the floral consumer is enlightened and engaged in sustainable issues that relate to our profession.

There is so much more to share, and I hope you’ll get more involved, whether you’re already a member or if you wish to learn more. Click here to join us as a member!

Download PDF of the Walking the Talk slideshow below:


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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 CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at cafgs.org.

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 the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. Its mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

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.


Music credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 586: Flower farming on Hawaii’s Big Island with Christian Ingalls of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

It’s dreary and cold in many parts of North America, so I’ve invited farmer-florist Christian Ingalls of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm to warm us up and share her taste of the tropics with us today. But rather than tropical flowers, we’re in for a treat as Christian teaches us about growing temperate flowers on the Big Island of Hawaii. Her floral enterprise, Daisy Dukes Flower Farm is located in Papaaloa, home to a menagerie of animals, fruit trees and lots of flowers. Daisy Dukes Flower Farm produces temperate annuals, perennials, flowering bulbs, and herb crops — flowers not typically associated with the Aloha state.

Christian Ingalls of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm
Christian Ingalls of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm (c) Pomaikai Photo


Christian designs florals for weddings, events and special occasions. She wholesales flowers to chefs and florists, retails her flowers to local customers, and produces on-farm events like you-pick flowers and workshops.

Rainbow over Daisy Dukes Flower Farm
A full rainbow frames the vista and views from Daisy Dukes Flower Farm

Together, the interview and the farm tour will transport you to the big island of Hawaii and the exciting potential for growing temperate flowers there. Plus, you’ll get a jolt of sunshine just listening to Christian’s positive energy. It’s contagious.

Find and follow Daisy Dukes Flower Farm on Instagram


News of the Week

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speakers
Top row, from left: Julio Freitas, Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin
Middle row, from left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Dee Hall, Tracy Yang and Valerie Chrisostomo
Bottom row, from left: Becky Feasby, Amber Tamm, Sarah Reyes and Debra Prinzing

Tomorrow is December 1st and we will be opening up the Early Bird Registration for Slow Flowers Summit 2023! We will extend a $100-off discount to members of the Slow Flowers Society and the general public who preregister for the Summit – through December 31st. Take advantage to lock in your registration and enjoy end-of-year savings. As our sixth Slow Flowers Summit, the event is scheduled for June 26-27, 2023, returning to the Seattle Area where it all began in 2017. Keep an eye out for our announcements in your in-box and on social media, including our Instagram account @slowflowerssummit — you’ll want to follow us there for up-to-the-minute information about the Summit, our program, our fantastic speakers, and the bonus features we’ll be adding in the coming months. It’s going to be our sixth Slow Flowers Summit, the best ever!


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

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

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

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


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 1.1 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.


Music credits:

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

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts

Episode 585: Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall of Jello Mold Farm on the 10-year publication anniversary of The 50 Mile Bouquet

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

When it was published in 2012, The 50 Mile Bouquet was the first book to spotlight a major cultural shift and a transformation around how cut flowers are grown, designed and consumed, closely mirroring the culinary world’s locavore/slow food revolution.

Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall
Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall, photographed by Mary Grace Long (c) September 2012 at Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington. (c) Mary Grace Long

One decade ago, the floral industry was just beginning to ask for changes, seeking alternatives to imported, mass-produced and chemical-laden flowers. The 50 Mile Bouquet introduced some of the innovative voices of the dynamic new Slow Flower Movement: the organic flower-farmers, the sustainably motivated floral designers . . . and the flower enthusiasts who were increasingly asking, ‘Where and how were my flowers grown, and who grew them?’

jellomoldbarn
Jello Mold Farm, fields, and barn
Dennis Westphall
Linda Blue captured Dennis performing at his own farm, Jello Mold, as a special feature of the Field to Vase Dinner Tour in September 2016.

The 50 Mile Bouquet’s documentary-feature reporting and photography took readers into the personal stories of Slow Flowers practitioners. Its relevance today is more important than ever, considering issues around climate change, supply-chain limitations, and equity in the marketplace.

Today’s guests involved me in their story, their flowers, and the renaissance of floral agriculture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. I learned so much from them while interviewing and writing about the farms and design studios of Slow Flowers practitioners, even before I began to use the phrase, “slow flowers.”

Buckets of just-picked lilacs at Jello Mold Farm (c) Missy Palacol Photography
Buckets of just-picked lilacs at Jello Mold Farm (c) Missy Palacol Photography
A view
Jello Mold Farm and the distant views of Skagit Valley (Washington) (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Let’s jump right in and meet Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall, co-founders of Jello Mold Farm, in Mt. Vernon, Washington, and part of the group that established the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in 2011. I’m so grateful to Diane and Dennis for their support and friendship over the past 12 years since we met. They are both past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast and I consider them sustainability leaders and pioneers of the Slow Flowers Movement.

WATCH Seattle Wholesale Growers Market: Farm to Florist Video Series (Lilacs)

Farm to Florist: Lilacs, filmed and edited by Alayna Erhart for Seattle Wholesale Growers Market; produced by Slow Flowers Society

Find and follow Jello Mold Farm on Instagram:
@jellomoldfarm
@mister.mold

Jello Mold Farm on Slow Flowers Podcast (Past Episodes):
December 2015: Episode 225: Slow Flowers’ Holiday Special with Musician-Flower Farmer Dennis Westphall
April 2017: Episode 294: A Floral Collective of Greater Good: Celebrating and Selling Local Flowers with the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market’s Sixth Anniversary


This Week’s News

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speakers
Top row, from left: Julio Freitas, Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin
Middle row, from left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Dee Hall, Tracy Yang and Valerie Chrisostomo
Bottom row, from left: Becky Feasby, Amber Tamm, Sarah Reyes and Debra Prinzing

And head’s up– next week, on December 1st, we will open the early bird registration for the 2023 Slow Flowers Summit! We are extending a $100 discount to members of the Slow Flowers Society and the general public who preregister for the Summit – through December 31st. You’ll want to take advantage of this offer to lock in your registration and take advantage of end-of-year savings. You’ll be hearing much more about this wonderful event, taking place over two days — June 26-27, 2023, returning to the Seattle Area where it all began in 2017. Can’t wait to share the full program, speaker lineup and special features with you.


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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

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

Thank you to 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 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.


Gratitude for YOU

Lorene Edwards Forkner hands holding carrots
With gratitude for you xoxo

We’re airing this episode on Wednesday, November 23rd, the day prior to American Thanksgiving. I want to share my thanks with you and my gratitude for your ongoing support of this show. The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

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.

Music credits:

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

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

Nice and Easy; In The Field
audionautix.com

Related posts