Debra Prinzing

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Episode 609: Falling in love with a country farm and building a life around flowers with Abby Matson of Diddle & Zen

Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Last month you met Jessie Witscher of Understory Farm as we discussed how she and her partner Gregory Witscher grow masses of cut flowers to sell through wholesale channels.

Debra Prinzing (left) and Abby Matson (right) at Green Mountain Floral Supply March 27 2023
Debra Prinzing (left) and Abby Matson (right) at Green Mountain Floral Supply (c) Jenna Brisson

I met Jessie when we both participated in the Spring Educational and Workshop Series presented by Green Mountain Floral Supply in Burlington, Vermont. I called that March event a Slow Flowers love fest because it brought me together with Tom and Kim Jennings, owners of Green Mountain; Jayson Munn, seminar coordinator; Holly Chapple, who taught floral design and business workshops for three days — and two local Slow Flowers members, Jessie and today’s guest, Abby Matson of Diddle & Zen.

Diddle & Zen flowers
Diddle & Zen flowers

So today, I’m going to share the conversation I recorded while I was in Burlington, with Abby Matson of Diddle & Zen. I’m so happy to introduce you to her and share her story. Abby and her husband/partner Derek Matson own a beautiful flower farm in Panton, Vermont, not too far from Burlington.

Diddle & Zen flower farm
Diddle & Zen flower farm, Panton, Vermont

Writing on their website, Abby says: “We have a passion for the beauty of Vermont and its community. We are committed to sustainable practices and supporting small, and local businesses. We create naturally inspired floral designs that are influenced by traditional elegance. Our floral design services are available for events other than weddings too.

Inside the Diddle & Zen farmstand
Inside the Diddle & Zen farm store
Weimaraners at Diddle & Zen
Derek and one of the couple’s beloved Weimaraners

To be honest, Abby’s story is one of serendipity and spontaneity. She and Derek made a radical change in their lives, buying a picturesque farm in Vermont and moving there from Colorado just prior to the arrival of the COVID 19 pandemic. You’ll love hearing how they have shaped a flower-filled life for themselves and their beloved Weimaraners, Gunnie and Ghost.

Popular farm tours at Diddle & Zen
Popular farm tours at Diddle & Zen (c) Elisabeth Waller Photography

When Abby and I recorded this conversation, she knew she had a lot of things planned around Mother’s Day flowers and promised to circle back with the details. Here’s how Diddle & Zen is sharing flowers with their community:

  • They are partnering with Matryoshka’s Bakery to offer a flower/cookie bundle at both the Diddle & Zen farm store and at Matryoshka’s, which known for beautiful macarons with incredible flavor combos.
  • Diddle & Zen will also collaborate with Stephanie Grace Ceramics to offer flower arrangements in her beautiful porcelain vases; and,
  • They have invited Stephanie Brigan Photography to the farm to offer mini photo sessions next Saturday May 13th, which is already sold out.
  • Abby notes: Of course, we’ll have the farm store stocked with lots of grab and go bouquets!

Find and follow Diddle & Zen on Instagram

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, 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

Thanks 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

Thanks 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

Thanks 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

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

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

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; Greyleaf Willow; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field