Debra Prinzing

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Episode 653: Piedmont Wholesale Flowers – celebrating its 8th season and a new facility with flower farmer Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm and market manager Julia Carpico

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024
Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm (left) and Julia Carpico of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers (right)
Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm, Piedmont Wholesale Flowers,
president ermitus (left) and Julia Carpico, Market Manager (right)

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Piedmont Wholesale Flowers’ tagline is: farmer-founded, farmer-directed, farmer-grown. Today, you’ll hear an update as this Slow Flower member cooperative celebrates the start of Season Eight with Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm and market manager Julia Carpico.

Increasingly, Slow Flowers is enjoying the addition of flower collectives and cooperatives joining as members – a reflection of the decade-plus work we’ve been doing to advocate for a local and seasonal floral marketplace. This benefits everyone – from grower to florist and I’ve personally witnessed those relationships flourish and enhance our thriving community.

Piedmont Wholesale Flowers logo and members
Piedmont Wholesale Flowers’ logo and some of its farmer-members

Today, we’re checking in with the Piedmont Wholesale Flowers, a hub in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area, as I catch up with Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm, long-time Slow Flowers member, and with Julia Carpico, the PWF market manager. My relationship with many of the growers and florists involved in PWF dates to September 2016, when I was invited to attend a flower farmer potluck and teach a creative writing workshop there. What an inspiring visit! I was there for a few days, and during the visit, I recorded a podcast episode with Stephanie Hall – you can listen here.

Later that fall I connected with Kelly Morrison of Color Fields Farm, another Raleigh area grower, and she told me about the origins of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers. That cooperative, one of the first to open after the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market landed on the map in 2011, is entering into its 8th season. Listen to my interview 2017 with Kelly on the start of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers.

Piedmont Wholesale Flowers' new market space in downtown Durham
Piedmont Wholesale Flowers’ new market space in downtown Durham

But a lot of good things have changed, and that’s what today’s conversation is all about. Piedmont Wholesale Flowers has moved into a new, larger market space and has added two more market days for a total of 3 market days per week. With 14 member farms, this is a solid, well-run flower hub and I’m thrilled that we’ll all learn more today.

Flowers fill the Piedmont Wholesale Market on Opening Day March 12, 2024
Flowers fill the Piedmont Wholesale Market on Opening Day March 12, 2024

Find and follow Piedmont Wholesale Flowers on Instagram and Facebook.


Rooted Farmers-Slow Flowers Society promo code for 2024

You may have heard Stephanie mention that PWF has recently moved to the Rooted Farmers platform. Rooted Farmers is sponsor of this podcast and longtime supporter of Slow Flowers. In fact, Slow Flowers members who want to sell through the Rooted Farmers’ platform enjoy a special discount. It’s a great opportunity! If you’re a Slow Flowers member, you can join Rooted Farmers using the code: SF2024. This code will work for $75 off for first-time members on either the Essentials or Pro plan for farms.

Thank you to our Sponsors

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

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

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

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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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

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

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

Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Rafter
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

Episode 296: The Farm-to-Florist Wholesale Story Continues in Montana and North Carolina

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Local flowers grown and designed by Kelly Morrison, co-founder of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers. (c) Kissick Weddings

Many of you feel that pull — the desire to come together with like-minded Slow Flowers folks and create community, cooperation — and commerce — around local flowers. It’s a powerful urge, and I’ve been fortunate to observe and come alongside individuals all around N. American who are making something happen as a response to that pull.

Some of the ideas I’ve been tracking in my annual Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecasts, since our first report in 2015, embody these themes. I just shared my thoughts about this with a group of Michigan flower farmers who are exploring a new wholesale model, so the timing is ideal given today’s podcast topic.

Fresh, local, and seasonal flowers at Piedmont Wholesale Flowers © Ali Donnelly

If you haven’t noticed, I’m here to tell you: New, Farmer-Driven Wholesale Hubs are meeting the growing demand for local, seasonal and sustainable flowers coast to coast.

On the heels of recent podcast episodes featuring an update about the Sonoma Flower Market’s second year and the new Twin Cities Flower Exchange’s launch (featured in Episode 290) and the episode celebrating the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market’s successful 6th Anniversary (featured in Episode 294), today I am delighted to introduce you to two emerging wholesale flower hubs, run by flower farmers and tailored to their floral customers. Both flower farmers are Slow Flowers members and I’m delighted to share their stories with you.

Kelly Morrison, co-founder of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers

First, meet Kelly Morrison of Color Fields Farm and the new Piedmont Wholesale Flower Market, based in Durham, N.C. Our interview is followed by my recent conversation with Carly Jenkins of Killing Frost Farm and the Westside Flower Market in Missoula, Montanta.

These conversations really underscore the following themes I’ve been tracking in my annual forecasts:

  1. Cooperation and community – this idea needs no explanation other than to say, when flower farmers and floral designers convene, something explosive takes place – a harmonic convergence of nature and art, creativity and ingenuity. Wholesale hubs for local flowers foster that convergence.
  2. Micro regionalism – across North America, as farmers and florists form unique alliances for commerce, marketing and promotion, the net benefit means more local flowers available to more consumers.
  3. More farms selling direct – Flower farmers are increasingly taking power into their own hands to market their crops rather than abdicate to a wholesaler who may or may not represent their brands as they like.

And if you have any doubt about this cultural shift spreading far and wide, these two women’s stories will give you something exciting to consider, perhaps about your own marketplace.

I met Kelly Morrison in person when I traveled to the Triangle NC area last September as a guest of Jonathan and Megan Leiss of Spring Forth Farm and Maggie Smith of Pine State Flowers, where we held a mini version of the Slow Flowers Creative Workshop and had a blast designing with gorgeous locally-grown flowers.

So it has been wonderful to correspond with Kelly about what’s happened since — and that is the debut of a local wholesale flower cooperative instigated by Kelly and two other flower farmers, Jillian Mickens of Open Door Farm and Katy Thelen of Happy as a Coneflower Farm.

Here is a little more about Kelly: A first generation farmer, Kelly comes from a long line of southern gardeners going back as far as anyone can remember.  Plants and their stories are passed down in her family like heirloom jewelry or antique furniture. They are something to be shared. They have a history and a story to tell. They are intimately tied to their season. This connection to time and place drives Kelly’s work as both a farmer and a designer. Her goal is to bring the story and seasonality of flowers to her clients’ special event and also to their lives.