A conversation about the native plants and sustainable land care practices of the Canadian prairies and grasslands
Last Friday, November 10th, we held a virtual members meet-up to introduce the just-announced Slow Flowers Summit in 2024.
We shared the dates — June 23-25, 2024 — the venue, beautiful Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity in Banff, Alberta, Canada, surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, and highlights of our program.
We have eleven inspiring speakers, an extensive hands-on design immersion, and presentations on flower farming, floral design, floral entrepreneurship and sustainability. I can’t wait to see you there!
I invited two of our Summit speakers, Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers and Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed, owner of ALCLA Native Plants, a Calgary area nursery. As a surprise bonus, Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm in Manitoba, who will also present at the Slow Flowers Summit, joined our conversation.
We covered the highlights of their involvement in the world of plants, flowers, and horticulture In Canada’s prairies and grasslands – and the conversation took a wonderful turn toward sustainability and regenerative practices.
Here’s a bit more about these three women:
Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed is a botanist, herbalist, educator, and artist, and is co-owner of ALCLA Native Plants a native plant nursery based in Treaty 7 Territory, near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She holds a BSc in Botany from the University of Calgary and an MSc in Herbal Medicine from Middlesex University, London, UK. She has been working with native plants for 15 years and her expertise includes identification, sustainable collection, cultivation, and ethnobotany.
In 2016 she founded Latifa’s Herbs, which primarily serves to educate the public on the edible and medicinal uses of wild plant species in both Alberta and British Columbia. Latifa is a former faculty member at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC where she taught Botany and Horticulture in addition to Wild Plant Nutrition.
Becky Feasby completed her gardening and landscape design training in New York, Calgary, and Chicago and has completed floral design training with many leading florists who specialize in environmental-friendly floristry and who support the Slow Flowers movement.
She previously worked as the Horticultural Therapist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where she oversaw the design and management of five acres of gardens. In creating prairie girl flowers, she wanted to utilize all of her training to bring sustainable beauty to Calgarians – and to cultivate a change in the floral industry. A change that makes florals better for the planet and creates opportunities for clients to make a conscious choice that supports local growers and our environment.
Becky is currently working towards her Master degree in Sustainability at Harvard University – because sustainability is not only the focus of our work, but also the reason for our existence: to create a sustainable floral business in Calgary that maintains the environmental, social, and economic integrity of the floral industry.
Lourdes Still is the owner of Masagana Flower Farm & Studio in southeast Manitoba. She grows and interacts with plants and flowers as natural dye sources, and juggles the roles of a flower grower, a natural dyer, and an experiential tourism guide at her farm. In her flagship offering, the Tinta Experience,
Lourdes started as a self-taught flower grower, natural dyer, and tourism operator but has since learned and trained from industry leaders.
Lourdes is a past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Listen to her December 2022 episode here.
This is an inspiring conversation, so let’s jump right in and meet Becky, Latifa, and Lourdes!
Attend the Slow Flowers Summit in 2024!
You’ll want to take advantage of Early Bird Registration, which just opened for the 2024 Slow Flowers Summit. Save $100 off your Slow Flowers Summit registration, now through December 31st.
Hot off the Press: Slow Flowers Journal Autumn 2023
In news of the week, we have just published the Autumn 2023 issue of the Slow Flowers Journal, a beautiful 54-page digital magazine that is filled with inspiration, instruction, ideas, and news about the Slow Flowers community!
The issue settles into the coziness of the season and our stories deepen the connections between indoors and outdoors. The issue features two stories that inspire the term “Floral Hospitality.” You’ll love reading about Elizabeth Brown and Jill Redman, two Slow Flowers members who are flowering the travel, tourism, and lodging niche in creative new ways.
Meet “Slow Flowers Hero,” Kelly Morrison of Color Fields, in a profile by Tonneli Grüetter and immerse yourself in landscape architect Emily Saeger’s survey of an urban forest. We visit Stems Brooklyn as part of our Where We Bloom series and get lost in the late-season beauty of Mary Kate Kinnane’s dahlia workshop. Enjoy gorgeous floral photography in recaps of June’s Slow Flowers Summit and September’s lecture and workshops that welcomed British floral artist Shane Connolly to Seattle. We love sharing the season’s coziness in this issue of Slow Flowers Journal.
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 our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.
Thank you goes to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.
Thank you to Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details is here to improve profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at detailsflowers.com.
I love all this floral goodness and I am so happy you joined me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at SlowFlowersSociety.com
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!
Shift of Currents; Drone Pine; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
In The Field