Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Episode 650: Cooperative Flower Network of Edmonton, Alberta – a new local flower hub with grower-members Moira MacKinnon and Sarah Laudin

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024
Sarah Laudin of Sunshine Blooms (left) and Moira MacKinnon of Love & Fantasy Flowers (right)
Sarah Laudin of Sunshine Blooms (left) and Moira MacKinnon of Love & Fantasy Flowers (right), members of Cooperative Flower Network of Edmonton, Alberta
Pickup day with members of the Cooperative Flower Network
Pickup day with members of the Cooperative Flower Network

Join me today to learn all about local flowers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where a group of 11 flower growers have formed the Cooperative Flower Network to bring Alberta-grown botanicals to the floral community. This vibrant flower market and distribution hub supports local cut flower growers and supplies buyers with locally grown, unique and high quality blooms.

I’m especially thrilled to welcome two of the growers, including Cooperative co-founder Moira MacKinnon, owner of Love & Fantasy Flowers, and Sarah Laudin, owner of Sunshine Blooms Farm – both are Slow Flowers members and we’re thrilled that the Cooperative Flower Network is also a new member.

Cooperative Flower Network

But the BIG news is that CFN will be a partner of the Slow Flowers Summit this coming June when we come to Alberta, with a generous donation of seasonal, Alberta-grown botanicals that will flower the event. Our attendees will get their hands on this beautiful product, and you’ll experience first-hand one of the best-selling point noted by CFN on its website: The question: What sets CFN apart from other floral wholesale services? The answer: Our product is FRESH and we have a guarantee on your orders! We work so closely with our farming community to get you the very best local product. No rehydrating required, no crushed Dahlias from dry packing, and no unwanted substitutions!

During our video interview and my conversation with Sarah and Moira, we preview a new video about the Cooperative Flower Network, produced by Cooperatives First, a nonprofit formed to assist cooperatives in Western Canada. Cooperatives First offers courses, workshops, and important assistance to emerging communities as they form cooperatives.

Follow Cooperative Flower Network on Instagram
Follow Love & Fantasy Flowers on Instagram and Facebook
Follow Sunshine Blooms Farm on Instagram and Facebook


News of the Week!

2024 Slow Flowers Summit Speakers

I hope today’s episode inspires you to join us in Banff at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, June 23rd-25th at the 7th Slow Flowers Summit. Please check out the link to register below, and learn more about our speakers, agenda, and programming that will inspire you over two days in the Canadian Rockies!


Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up for February

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

Don’t miss this Friday’s Slow Flowers member virtual meet-up on February 23rd, with special guest Lennie Larkin of b-side farm, author of Flower Farming for Profit – we’ll hear her insights on pricing and profitability for flower growers – Preregistration is required and you can find the link in today’s show notes – bring your questions and I hope to see you there!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 750 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

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

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, and a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

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


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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


Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

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


Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Less Jaunty; Great Great Lengths
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 435: Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms and Clara Qualizza of Meadow & Thicket Farm Flowers, co-hosts of The Sustainable Flowers Podcast

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Welcome to 2020 as we dust off the New Year’s hangover and pivot to a new season for growing and designing with flowers.

Clara Qualizza of Meadow & Thicket Farm Flowers (left) and Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms (right), flower farmers and co-hosts of The Sustainable Flowers Podcast

Today’s conversation is the first of several episodes I want to feature about sustainability, the environment and climate change and challenges facing our Slow Flowers Community in this new decade. While researching and writing the 2020 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast, which you heard last week, my instincts were confirmed — that the ever-more-important topic of sustainability in the floral marketplace will be front and center this year. So I’ve committed to inviting at least one guest per month to discuss who, what and how we can each make adjustments in our practices to be more sustainable.

Today’s guests will kick things off. Please meet Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms, based in Cold Lake, Alberta, and Clara Qualizza of Meadow and Thicket Farm Flowers in Wildwood, Alberta.

Together, they women host the Sustainable Flowers Podcast, which they describe as “a conversation about sustainable cut flower growing and designing as two passionate Canadian  growers trying to figure it out.” I take comfort in that, because we are all trying to “figure it out,” aren’t we?

Just to give you a sense of the distance between us all — and we came together through the aid of technology!

Heather and Clara each grow cut flowers for market on the northern edge of the Canadian Prairies. In 2018, these floralpreneurs launched the Sustainable Flowers Podcast as a project in which they discuss the issues they face and alternatives to conventional approaches that they are putting into practice or are trialing to ensure that their small-scale flower farming operations are sustainable. Whether that means looking to the past or forward to new technologies to learn the whys and hows, they discuss everything from peat to floral foam, Antirrhinum to Zinnias as well as their weekly adventures on their Zones 2 and 3 flower farms.

Clara Qualizza of Meadow and Thicket Farm Flowers

I’m so delighted that both are members of Slow Flowers, as well. Their leadership as flower farmers and influencers who view their practices through a sustainable lens is creating change for floral professionals and consumers in the province of Alberta, across Canada and North American, and beyond – their listenership is international.

Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms

Have a listen to our unique three-way conversation, brought to you by the magic of technology (thanks Clara!), which we recorded several weeks ago. I’m so glad that it kicks off the New Year for the Slow Flowers Podcast and sets the tone for the conversations to follow.

Clara at her farm in Wildwood, Alberta, Canada

Follow Clara Qualizza of Meadow and Thicket Farm Flowers on Social Media:

Meadow and Thicket on Facebook

Meadow and Thicket on Instagram

Boreal Blooms on Facebook

Boreal Blooms on Instagram

Boreal Blooms in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada

Registrations continue for the Slow Flowers Summit, and I’m so excited for you to join me and connect with our fabulous speakers, enjoy the incredibly beautiful venue at Filoli Historic House & Garden, and experience the many features that will immerse you in the people, principles and practices of Slow Flowers.

The Garden House at Filoli
Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers

If you’ve not yet checked out details, you can find links to all the details about our partnership with Filoli Historic House and Garden, our venue for days 1 and 2 of the Summit (that’s June 28 &29) and see our speaker lineup and programming.

By the way, Day 3 is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour led by our friend Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flowers. This is rare access, folks, available only to Summit attendees. We hope you join us!!

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 564,000 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 the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Thank you to our sponsors

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnerships with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It 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.

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.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Betty Dear; Daymaze; Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

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

In The Field; Solo Acoustic #5
Music from:
audionautix.com