This week’s Slow Flowers Challenge comes to you from the flower farms of Colorado!
I spent several days last week as a guest of Chet and Kristy Anderson, owners of The Fresh Herb Co., based in Longmont, Colorado. We featured the Andersons and their beautiful farm, flowers and philosophy in The 50 Mile Bouquet – in a chapter called “Rocky Mountain Flowers.”
You can learn more about this couple in our Slow Flowers Podcast episode that aired earlier this year.
Returning to Colorado was a delightful excuse to play with flowers picked from fields just steps away from the back door. I was there to co-host the fourth Field to Vase Dinner of 2015 – farm-to-table dining experiences held on flower farms across the country.
Chet and Kristy graciously welcomed this very special gathering at The Fresh Herb Co. Eighty lucky guests enjoyed a delicious meal, local wine and an unparalleled setting next to the gurgling Left Hand Creek. Flowers were on the table and the conversation was all about American grown flowers, the Slow Flowers movement, and the important reasons to focus on domestic, local, seasonal and sustainable flowers. Check out this beautiful and engaging blog post about the dinner from Boulder photographer Kirsten Boyer, “Slow Flowers and Slow Friendships.”
When Chet was asked to speak, he uttered a very simple sentence that resonated with me: “Without people buying our flowers, we wouldn’t exist!”
I deeply believe in his statement. And this is what motivates me, to honor and value the lives and work of flower farmers like Chet and Kristy.
I share this lovely bouquet and I really can’t take credit for the design. This is a market bouquet similar to those that they harvest, gather and sell each week at the Boulder and Longmont Farmers’ Markets.
While in Boulder, I had a fun chance to speak about the Slow Flowers Movement and local, American-grown flowers at an evening sponsored by the Boulder Co. Farmers’ Market.
The Market also promoted the Field to Vase Dinner by giving away two free tickets. The winner was Matt Carson of 934 Farms LLC, based in Milliken, Colorado. A relatively new flower farmer, Matt and his wife Jonie grow gladiolas and also sell them at the Boulder Co. Farmers’ Market.
I couldn’t make it to their farm, about 45 minutes outside Boulder. But I did get to shop at Matt’s stall and purchase some gorgeous glads from him on Saturday morning. It was a treat to add those tall, elegant stems to the bouquet given to me by Nick Anderson, Chet and Kristy’s son.
I’ll try and list all of the flowers included below.
Colorado-grown LOCAL and SEASONAL bouquet:
From The Fresh Herb Co.: Oriental lilies, zinnias, goldenrod (Solidago sp.), bachelor’s buttons and MINT!!! Boy, does it smell glorious!
From 934 Farm LLC: Eight variously-hued gladiolas