Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Episode 570: A visit to Blossom & Branch, Briana Bosch’s Colorado Flower Farm

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

My guest today is Colorado-based flower farmer and educator Briana Bosch. We recently met in person when Briana attended the Slow Flowers Summit and I’ve been wanting to host her on the show – so we finally got this conversation on the calendar to share with you.

Just a little bit of background: Armed with an MBA from the University of California, Briana established Blossom & Branch in 2019 with her husband.  As she writes on the Blossom & Branch website:

“. . . cubicle life has just never been a fit for me.  Farming runs in my blood: I am a fifth generation farmer, but I myself never thought I would get a chance to start up my own farm!  We got lucky when we found 1.7 acres in the suburbs of Denver and moved to the farm in 2018.”

Briana Bosch (c) Alex Brooks
Briana Bosch during our Slow Flowers Summit Floral Takeover (c) Alex Brooks

The farm name Blossom & Branch refers to the unique site, which is half field (home to field-grown flowers such as annuals, roses and peonies), and half woods–where Briana and her husband focus on providing habitat for wildlife and pollinators through native plants such as chokecherries, american plum, currants, and serviceberries.

Let’s jump right in and meet Briana and learn about her farm, her focus on regenerative farming processes and carbon sequestration – and how she shares her flowers with her community of flower lovers and wedding clients.

Find and follow Blossom & Branch:
on Instagram and Facebook
On-Demand Workshops
Sign up for Blossom & Branch’s newsletter (scroll to bottom of the page)


News for You

FREE Slow Flowers Webinar
Madison Square Park Conservancy Lecture Series
August 18, 2022

Madison Square Park

The Slow Flowers Movement is a response to the disconnect between humans and flowers in the modern era. Slow Flowers connects consumers with the source of their flowers, putting a human face of the flower farmer and floral designer behind each bouquet or centerpiece. 

Join Slow Flowers Society founder Debra Prinzing and Slow Flowers member Janet Kramka, proprietor of Backyard Blooms for a free webinar 3-4 pm PT/6-7 pm ET on Thursday, August 18th. The conversation will focus on the importance of the Slow Flowers Movement, and how their work has both supported and been inspired by it. The Madison Square Park Conservancy Program is free and will be hosted on Zoom.


Slow Flowers Member Discount
Sustainable Flowers Project Workshop
September 18-20, 2022

Sustainable Flowers Project 2022

SUSTAINABLE FLOWERS PROJECT: Slow Flowers has signed on as a partner in the September workshop produced by two of our members, Becky Feasby and TJ McGrath — the Sustainable Flowers Project. The three-day intensive + creative workshop explores sustainability with some of the biggest leaders in sustainable floristry today. The location: Jardin de Buis, in Califon, New Jersey; the dates: September 18-20, 2022.
You’ll learn from Ingrid Carozzi, Tin Can Studios; British Designer Shane ConnollyShane Connolly + Co.; flower farmer and social justice activist Amber Tamm, as well as Andrea Fillippone and Eric Fleisher, environmental designers and owners of Jardin de Buis, as well as from Becky and TJ. They have created a special $150-off promo code for Slow Flowers members who sign up. Register here with SF150.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, 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 farmgirlflowers.com.

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 this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.

Thanks 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 longfield-gardens.com.

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 johnnysseeds.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 874,000 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 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 and consider making a donation to sustain Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.


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. 


Music credits:
Enter the Room; Turning on The Lights; Gaena
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 521 Lessons from a Young Flower Farmer and a Visit to Pops Flowers with owner Vanessa Vancuren

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

I’m so excited to introduce today’s guest, Vanessa Vancuren of Pop’s Flowers, based in Edgewood, Washington. Click below to watch the farm tour and interview, recorded on August 23, 2022.


Vanessa Vancuren of Pops Flowers
Dahlias of the season (left) and flower farmer Vanessa Vancuren of Pop’s Flowers
The log cabin at Pop's Flowers
Sunflowers frame the view of the log house at Pop’s Flowers

I visited Vanessa last week to record a video tour of her flower farm, which is based on a two-acre parcel complete with a solid log cabin. Here’s the delightful surprise — she is literally 12 miles from my suburban home (we’re both situated between Seattle and Tacoma) and visiting Pop’s Flowers truly feels like a trip to the country. What an incredible find — and you’ll love seeing what Vanessa and her husband Garrett Burns have created in just two seasons.

Flower Stand and Vanessa Vancuren
The Saturday Flower Stand at Pop’s Flowers (left) and Vanessa Vancuren (right)

I sat down with Vanessa to talk about her business, which she describes as in its young-teenager phase! It’s a great conversation. Before we get to that, here’s some background on Pop’s Flowers.

Vanessa and Garrett
Garrett and Vanessa (c) Angie Arms Photography

Vanessa is an old soul, a millennial, a floral entrepreneur and an artist with a background in photography. Her partner Garrett is naturally curious, has a humanitarian heart and a car enthusiast, who is also now an accidental flower farmer. The Pop of Pop’s Flowers is CP aka Clarence Paul Reardon, Vanessa’s 94-year-old grandfather, and inspiration for this business. Pops is a widowed WWII Veteran, an avid gardener and homesteader and a retired cabinetmaker/woodworker.

flowers and Vanessa with Pops
Vanessa with Pop, the flower farm’s namesake and inspiration (right)

In 2017, Pops gave his garden to Vanessa and she began to grow flowers and sell them in a hyper-local channel – their local Facebook community in the Edgewood, Milton, and Fife, Washington, located between Seattle and Tacoma.

From 2017 to 2019, all the flower proceeds went to Pop, helping him with household costs and home repairs.

In 2020, Vanessa and Garrett found their own modern homestead, not too far from Pop’s house. And you’ll hear the rest of the story as we meet Vanessa.

pops flowers website

Thank you so much for joining us today! You’re hearing this episode on September 1st and this is the day that Pop’s Flowers opens their new online store, designed to make shopping for local flowers in the South Puget Sound region just as convenient as ordering from a traditional florist. As Vanessa explained, working with Anna Krumpos, a new member of the team who will serve as designer, Pop’s flowers will be transformed into arrangements for everyday orders for delivery on Thursdays or Saturdays, featuring 100% local and American-grown flowers, including those grown at Pop’s Flowers. I’ll share all the links for you to check it out and follow along on Vanessa and Garrett’s beautiful journey.

Join Pop’s Flowers on Facebook

Follow Pop’s Flowers on Instagram

Watch Pop’s Flowers on YouTube


Slow Flowers News

As I mentioned, it’s September — how did that happen so quickly! I want to share a few opportunities for you to connect with me and the Slow Flowers Society. First, I’m heading off right after Labor Day to Missoula, Montana, where I will speak at the Montana Cut Flower Conference on Wednesday, September 8. I’ll be sharing insights on the cultural, consumer and marketplace shifts in the U.S. floral industry, and I’m excited to reconnect with some of my favorite flower friends, including our members who will also be speaking — including Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat and Lindsay Irwin of Bitterroot Flowers. You’ll hear more, I’m sure, because the recorder and video camera are traveling with me.

Slow Flowers Meet-Up Logo Art

On Friday, September 10th, we’ll be resuming our Virtual Slow Flowers Member Meet-Ups, after a summer vacation.

Designed as a member forum for connecting with one another in the early days of the Pandemic (remember then? back in April and May 2020?) the Meet-Up has evolved into a way for Slow Flowers members to share their knowledge and learn from one another.

Our September guests will be focused on the why, what, how and art of Styled Shoots. Click here to pre-register. See you there!


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 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 Banner

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

More sponsor thanks:

Flowerfarm.com. FlowerFarm is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at flowerfarm.com. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.

The 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.

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches. Today, we welcome Lindsay and Joshua McCullough of Red Twig Farms as Slow Flowers Society’s newest Major Sponsor. We’re excited for some fun collaborations in the year to come. You can learn more at www.redtwigfarms.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! ! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 760,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra in her garden
(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem 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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Color Country; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
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 378: Rachael Ackerman introduces Blue Sky Flower Farm in Minnesota, site of the Slow Flowers Summit pre-conference farm tour

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Rachael Ackerman of Blue Sky Flower Farm (c) Photography by Red Bird Hills

June 30th may seem like a long way off, but we all know how soon your the flower farming season arrives next spring, followed quickly by wedding and event season for floral designers.

So bear with me as we fast-forward to June 30, 2019, the day before the Slow Flowers Summit takes place on July 1st & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Rachael (left) with her peonies; CSA bouquets (center); the abundant floral harvest (right)

Perhaps you’re planning to arrive in the Twin Cities early and if so, you’re invited to participate in our optional pre-conference farm tours and Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, two fantastic opportunities to learn more about the flora of Minnesota, including a lovely and educational visit to Blue Sky Flower Farm, owned by today’s guest, Rachael Ackerman.

I’ll share more details about the actual tour schedule immediately after our interview, but let me start by saying how thrilled I am that horticultural duo Rachael and Jon Ackerman, owners of Blue Sky Flower Farm, will open their farm on Sunday, June 30th for an exclusive tour welcoming attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit.

Rachael and Jon Ackerman with their three “minions” at Blue Sky Flower Farm (c) Photography by Red Bird Hills

I met Rachael and Jon in person in 2017 at the ASCFG regional meeting in Ontario, Canada, and soon thereafter, their farm joined the Slow Flowers Movement. They grow a diverse palette of plants on land about 30 miles outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and they’re part of the core group of growers who sell through the Twin Cities Flower Exchange, owned by Christine Hoffman, our co-host for the 2019 Summit on July 1st & 2nd.

Rachael is often dwarfed by the long branches and prolific foliage she harvests, year-round, at Blue Sky Flower Farm.

I’ve invited Rachael to share their story with us today.

Here’s a little bit more about Blue Sky Flower Farm:

Jon and Rachael dreamed of Blue Sky Flower Farm for many years. They both have horticulture degrees and between them have a combined 30-plus years working in the industry. While working full-time and raising three children, now ages 3, 5 and 7, they started the farm by planting woody cuts, including dogwoods and willows, on Jon’s parents’ dairy farm.

More branches and ornamental blooms! A Blue Sky Flower Farm specialty.

The couple now owns a 10-acre farm near Elko-New Market, Minnesota, south of the Twin Cities, where they have diversified into a year-round operation, with Spring woodies (pussy willows, lilacs, forsythia, mock orange, sweet peas and peonies); Summer crops (ninebark foliage, raspberry foliage, dahlias, baptisia, scabiosa, statice and anemone) Fall crops (bittersweet, sunflowers, rudbeckia, broom corn and unique gourds) and winter crops: flame willows, curly willows, and dogwoods of many colors.

Blue Sky Flower Farm also serves its community through a bouquet shares program each summer. I’ll let Rachael share more about how she and Jon have developed their market channels to serve a number of wholesale clients in both floriculture and horticulture.

Rachael’s grandfather, who along with her grandmother, helps on the farm once a week.

In the past, before diving deep into flower farming, Rachael and Jon worked in the commercial wholesale nursery industry, including a number of years at Bailey Nurseries Inc., one of the largest plant companies in the U.S.

Because of those ties, it is fitting that we’ve invited Rachael to join the stage at the Slow Flowers Summit and introduce our keynote speaker, Terri McEnaney, president of Bailey Nurseries.

I’m thrilled that Rachael and Jon will open their flower farm and host Slow Flowers Summit’s attendees to experience a summer afternoon on their uniquely beautiful Minnesota flower farm.

Their farm will be open between 1-3 pm on Sunday, June 30th, for self-guided touring — we’ll post more details prior to the Slow Flowers Summit.

Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm hosts, Jolea Gress and Jenny of Green Earth Growers

Immediately following our time at Blue Sky Flower Farm, attendees are invited to tour a second venue, Green Earth Growers, a women-owned enterprise specializing in nursery bedding plants, vegetables AND flowers.

The tour of Green Earth Growers is free, but you’ll need to register separately for the first-ever Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, an evening of locally-grown food, flowers, entertainment and camaraderie.

Tickets are $100 inclusive and you can find more details here. We’re partnering with Green Earth Growers’ owners Jolea Gress and Jenny for this event, and I promise to feature them and their stories on this podcast in the near future.

The farm-to-table dinner is a production of Monica Walch, owner of the successful Dinner on the Farm series that takes place each year in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area.

Dinner on the Farm creates unique local food experiences designed to celebrate farmers, growers, chefs, brewers, distillers, makers and artisans dedicated to good, sustainable food. Through a series of roaming culinary events, Monica and her collaborators work to connect people back to the land and to the farmers and artisans who are making their community a better place to live.

If you attend the Slow Flowers Dinner on the Farm, you’ll join with me in an intimate, sensory evening celebrating our true sense of community with other Summit attendees, Slow Flowers members and our Summit speakers in a relaxed environment taking place just prior to the following day’s Summit Conference. I can’t wait to see you there!

December is the month to take advantage of Early Bird Ticket Pricing for joining us at the Slow Flowers Summit.

You can save $100 off if you register before Dec. 31st.

The rate for Slow Flowers member registration is $275, which includes 1-1/2 days of conference sessions, morning refreshments both days, and lunch and a cocktail reception on July 1st, plus a fabulous program, people and flowers.

We have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement.

As our cause 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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 385,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting The Slow Flowers Podcast.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

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. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens 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. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

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. Check them out 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

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.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

And the Team Flower Conference – a professional floral event where flower lovers from all over the world gather for networking, learning, and celebration. It’s a special time for the floral industry to come together and whether you’re a farmer, designer, wholesaler, or just love flowers, you’re invited to attend as Team Flowers dreams big for the industry’s future. Head to teamflower.org/slowflowers to learn more about the 2019 conference in Waco, Texas!

PepperHarrow Farm (c) Liz Brown @estorie

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: