Debra Prinzing

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Episode 602: Flower Farming for a Cause at What Cheer Flower Farm with Erin Achenbach

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

We have all heard the research about the influence of flowers on the health and mental wellness to all humans. And so many of our members – flower farmers and floral designers – integrate floral donations into their business model.

Erin Achenbach and What Cheer Flowers
Erin Achenbach and What Cheer Flowers
What Cheer Flower Farm's logo and flower wall
What Cheer Flower Farm’s logo and dahlia wall

The folks at What Cheer Flower Farm in Providence, Rhode Island, provide floral goodness to their community, reinforcing the scientific findings that:

  • Growing flowers reduces anxiety and improves empathy. 
  • Patients receiving flowers tend to have quicker recovery times
  • People with flowers in their homes feel happier, less stressed, less depressed and are able to concentrate more easily.
  • The presence of flowers can help as a memory aid for dementia patients

But of course, you already know this, right?

The colorful delivery van (right) and beautiful What Cheer Flowers
In the heart of Providence
In the heart of Providence!

Today, I want to welcome Erin Achenbach, a Slow Flowers member who is the farmer-florist at What Cheer Flower Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing solace, joy and healing to the people of Rhode Island via flowers, as well as supporting the local floral economy via job training.

What Cheer grows, rescues and gives away 100,000 flowers per year and is on track to expand that impressive amount even more — to giving away 300,000 flowers per year in the next five years. The organization never sells flowers – all are given away freely via a network of local nonprofits and organizations serving Rhode Islanders including hospitals, senior services, recovery centers, shelters, hospices and food pantries. 

Late Summer Harvest
Late Summer Harvest

Thanks so much for joining me today — I’m inspired and encouraged to learn the many creative ways our Slow Flowers members cause ripples of goodness and make meaningful floral connections through their own communities. As part of my interview with Erin, she shared a short video tour of the growing areas at What Cheer Flower Farm, which you can see at the end of the YouTube link above.

Find and Follow What Cheer Flower Farm at these social places:
What Cheer Flower Farm on Facebook and 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

Thank you to Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at

Thank you 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

And 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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

The Slow Flowers Show is a member-supported endeavor and I value our loyal members and supporters! 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. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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.

Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music credits:

Drone Pine; Long Await; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field