Debra Prinzing

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Episode 619:  Meet Erin Greene, King Estate Winery’s culinary garden manager, on growing organic and biodynamic food and flowers

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

I’m so happy to share today’s episode with you because it came together through total serendipity, thanks to arrangements made by my friend Jenny Ulum, Senior Director of Communications at King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon.

We were in Eugene last weekend to attend the USA Track & Field National Championships, and when in Eugene, Jenny and her husband Tim Gleason always host us at their home. Jenny and I go way back — we were editors together in the 1980s at the long-ago shuttered Seattle Woman magazine, and have remained close friends ever since.

I had reached out to two Eugene area Slow Flowers members, trying to line up an interview for this week while also having some time away with friends. Sadly, due to travel and other conflicts, both of the farmer-florists I approached weren’t available.

King Estates Winery
King Estates Winery

Erin Greene, King Estates Winery (c) Andy NelsonJenny over heard me discussing my dilemma and she said, “You should come out to the winery and meet our culinary garden manager, Erin Greene. She has been growing lots of flowers and designing bouquets for the restaurant and tasting room.” (photo credit: Erin Greene, King Estates Winery (c) Andy Nelson).

King Estates Winery - rose service

So we arranged a last-minute outing on Sunday morning, and I am so grateful for the experience. It was employee blueberry-picking day, so while my husband Bruce joined Jenny and Tim to pick something like 8 pounds of blueberries, I joined Erin to tour King Estate’s cutting garden, apple orchard, and greenhouse production areas. I learned so much and you’ll enjoy the conversation, too.

King Estate Winery-grown flowers for the tasting room, designed by Erin Greene
Flowers from the King Estates Winery cutting garden.
Flowers from the King Estate Winery cutting garden

Here’s a little bit more about Erin Green:

Erin Greene, Culinary Gardens Manager, joined King Estate in 2018. Working closely with the culinary team, Erin is responsible for all annual vegetable, herb and edible flower production for use in the Restaurant. After earning a degree in Biodynamic Agriculture from Emerson College in the U.K., Erin operated her own farm, Nourish Gardens, in eastern Washington for four years and spent two years working for a 500-acre organic farm in California that served the finest farm-to-table restaurants in the Bay Area.

A native of Washington State, Erin is thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest. “I love everything food-related, from seed to plate,” she says. When she’s not at work she can be found cooking in her kitchen, working in her home garden or out in the wilderness: camping, fishing, hiking and exploring Oregon with her husband and pup (farm dog Bertie).


Biodynamic Compost production at King Estates Winery
Biodynamic Compost production at King Estates Winery
Biodynamics team, Director of Viticulture Ray Nuclo (right) and Viticulturist Edward Burke (left) in front of the compost pile.
Biodynamics team, Director of Viticulture Ray Nuclo (right) and Viticulturist Edward Burke (left) in front of the compost pile.

Thank you so much for joining me today! We fact-checked the scale of King Estates on-site compost program — 800 tons of organic compost is produced at the winery each year.

Bee Friendly Wine Tour
Bee Friendly Wine Tour

Here are more details about the August 19th Bee Friendly Wine Tour taking place as part of The Oregon Bee Project. August 19th is actually National Honey Bee Day and the $35 ticketed event buys you two taste pours of wine, a taste of ale song beer, a box lunch and desert bite. Not to mention bee-themed events and a garden tour! (noon to 3 pm) and you’ll learn about the native bees of Oregon and how they support biodiversity on farms, vineyards, orchards, and residential backyards.


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.

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 johnnysseeds.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 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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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

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:

Toothless Slope; 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 617: A visit to Anne and Scott Sumner’s Walla Walla Flower Farm with a bonus fiddle-and-guitar performance

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
Scott and Anne Sumner of Walla Walla Flower Farm performing in their fields
Scott and Anne Sumner of Walla Walla Flower Farm performing in their fields
Anne Sumner and Debra Prinzing

Welcome, friends! I have such a lively and informative episode to share with you today. A few weeks ago – before we welcomed 150+ guests to the Slow Flowers Summit, I joined my husband Bruce to drive 5 hours east accompanying him on a short business trip. We drove across the state to Walla Walla in the southeast corner of Washington that’s become a major winery and tourism hub.

I can’t travel anywhere without looking up our local Slow Flowers Society members and asking permission to visit their floral design studio, shop, or flower farm. On my last trip to Walla Walla (pre-covid), I visited flower farmer Elaine Vandiver of Gholson Gardens and recorded an audio interview, but our community is growing there! In the past year, Anne Sumner of Walla Walla Flower Farm joined our society. I was eager to meet her and learn her story, which you’ll hear today.

Walla Walla Flower Farm
Walla Walla Flower Farm

Walla Walla Flower Farm Is a small-scale, woman-owned and operated farm growing cut glowers in the beautiful Walla Walla Valley. Hailing from generations of Walla Walla Valley farmers and growing up working on the family farm, Anne Sumner has come back to her roots. After years of raising and homeschooling children, working as a registered nurse and most recently serving as a bank VP, Walla Walla Flower Farm feels to Anne like coming home.

Walla Walla Flower Farm
Scenes from Walla Walla Flower Farm

Her mission and the mantra of WWFF is: Share Flowers. Share Joy.

Anne certainly shared her flowers and her joy with me. When I learned that she and her husband Scott were soon heading to Idaho for a week-long fiddling convention, I asked if they would play some music and allow me to record it. I’m so happy to open and close this episode with their guitar-fiddle music.


Thank you so much for joining me today! In case you missed it, we just dropped the July edition of our monthly Slow Flowers Newsletter — it’s filled with free resources, inspiring content, and news of our community.



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.

Thank you, CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at cafgs.org.

Thank you, Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists. Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner. Don’t have time to build your own? They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at storeitcold.com.   

Thank you, Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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


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:

Sage Waltz
by Anne and Scott Sumner, Walla Walla Flower Farm

He Has a Way; 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 612: Buying an established flower farm, expanding a market for luxury flowers, and scaling up for future growth with Lorin Harrison of Florage

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

My conversation with today’s guest, Lorin Harrison, knits together the threads of several past Podcast episodes, so before I bring him on, I’ll try and put things into context for you.

Florage fields and sky
Beautiful flower fields and brilliant sky at Florage in Blackfoot, Idaho

In the past, the Slow Flowers Podcast has featured interviews with longtime expert flower growers Ralph Thurston and Jeriann Sabin of Bindweed Farm. Check out links to those previous episodes below:

It was during that 2nd episode that we learned about Ralph and Jeriann’s plans to sell Bindweed Farm, after starting Bindweed in 1991. That same year in the fall of 2019, I met Lorin Harrison at a Slow Flowers meet-up in Salt Lake City, generously hosted by Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms. I learned of Florage Fresh Cut Flowers, the business he and his former partner Ali owned, a flower farm based in Paradise Valley, Utah, that had expanded to manage marketing and sales for a number of Utah flower farms — a mini-collective.

Snapdragons in the high tunnel at Florage Flower Farm
Snapdragons in the high tunnel at Florage Flower Farm

Fast-forward just months later, and Florage had purchased Bindweed, taking over the Blackfoot, Idaho, flower farm, the sales channels, and more. It’s an impressive and longish story, so I’ll let Lorin tell the rest of it.

flower cooler at Florage
A full cooler of just-harvested blooms at Florage.

Suffice it to say, most flower farmers are coming out of COVID hoping that 2023 will be a year of stability. After enduring so much change and turmoil, floral agriculture deserves it. But so much is uncertain, and my discussion about these issues began when Lorin and I reconnected at the ASCFG conference last August. I’ve been hoping to get him on the Slow Flowers Show and Podcast as a guest, and well, here we are — nine months later and we’re finally doing it!

The Artist's Retreat at Fleuropean
The Artist’s Retreat at Fleuropean — Lorin’s floral design experience
Emily Avenson of Fleuropean
Emily Avenson of Fleuropean

Let’s jump right in and meet Lorin Harrison and learn about what I’m calling Florage 2.0. I hope you learn as much as I did!

Follow Florage on Instagram


Slow Flowers Summit — last chance for LOCAL75 coupon code (expires 5/31/2023)

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 LOCAL75 ticket sale

If you’re hearing this episode on its original air date, Wednesday, May 31st, today is the last day of our Slow Flowers Summit Memorial Day Flash Sale which gets you $75 off of your Summit Ticket. This is the best pricing since we ran our early bird ticket sale last December, so don’t waste a minute. Log onto slowflowerssummit.com to register for this fantastic gathering of Slow Flowers Practitioners — taking place in just four weeks, on June 26-27, 2023 at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. And Slow Flowers Members, don’t forget: you already enjoy a $100-off discount for your registration, so here’s a great way to save $175. We can’t wait to see you in just four weeks at the 6th Slow Flowers Summit!


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.

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 RootedFarmers.com.

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 johnnysseeds.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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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 SlowFlowersSociety.com


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; Capering; 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
Songs by:
audionautix.com

Episode 611: A conversation with Julie Remy of Fleuris Studio and Blooms and a tour of her prolific cutting garden on Vancouver Island

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Last month, passports in hand, I traveled by car and ferryboat to the Island of Vancouver in British Columbia. The trip was to celebrate my mother’s 88th birthday, enjoy high tea at the famed Empress Hotel, tour the spring borders and displays at the famed Butchart Gardens, and enjoy this beautiful destination for a few days.

Of course, I had to invite myself to meet some of our Slow Flowers members in Victoria while there. As I mentioned, we took a ferry ride — 90 minutes to cross from Twassen to Schwartz Bay, and the views were incredible. On the first morning, we set out to visit Fleuris Studio and Blooms, and to meet Julie Remy in person. Julie greeted us, settled my mom and her book on a cozy chair for a while, and we embarked on a lovely tour of the small island farm where Julie and her partner live and work.

Early May arrangement by Julie Remy of Fleuris Studio & Blooms
Early May arrangement by Julie Remy of Fleuris Studio & Blooms

Fleuris Studio’s tagline is: Elegant & Eco-Friendly FLOWERS.

It was fascinating to learn about the journey that led Julie to this special place and to a life focused on growing and sourcing sustainable flowers for her luxurious florals, wedding designs, unique floral subscriptions, and private flower arranging workshops. 

Floral Umbrella
Floral Umbrella by Julie Remy

As she explains on her website: “I want to connect others to nature through the beauty of flowers. My business perfectly draws on my greatest passions: gardening, photography, interior design, antiques and a love of all colours, textures and lines.

Seasonal Summer Bouquet by Julie Remy
Seasonal Summer Bouquet by Julie Remy

I loved learning how Julie has travelled the world as a humanitarian photographer, after which she settled on Vancouver Island and built a small floral design studio surrounded by the flowers that she grows and work with.

We’ll start with an interview, recorded in Julie’s studio. If you’re interested in watching our 20-minute virtual tour of the gardens and flower production areas at Fleuris, check out the video above at the 35:45 time mark.

Botanical couture by Julie Remy
Botanical couture by Julie Remy

Julie’s story is a lovely example of how one woman chooses to leave a positive impact on her environment by thinking creatively and sustainably about the ways in which she grows, sources, and arranges flowers. This includes regenerative growing methods, focusing on seasonality, using recyclable packaging, and never using non-biodegradable floral foam in her designs. As she briefly mentioned, Julie sells her flowers through the Island Flower Growers, Slow Flowers members and a producer-owned co-operative of cut-flower growers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. In a few weeks, you’ll learn more about this vibrant and vital regional flower hub when I host a conversation with Lorna Jackson, one of the founders and board president. I can’t wait to share that episode with you.

Find and follow Fleuris Studio & Blooms:
Instagram and Facebook


News of the Week

In news of the week, I recently recorded two interviews and I want to share them with you.

First, check out the May issue of Shawn Michael Foley’s Fleurvana magazine, which includes a really fun conversation we recently recorded for video viewing. You can find the free link to read this monthly interactive floral design magazine, including my video clip with Shawn, in our show notes — good through the end of May.

Shawn has shared some Slow Flowers promotional codes for anyone interested in a membership in his Fleurvana+ educational hub and a significant discount to one of the upcoming Fleurvana retreats.

Here is the public link for viewing, free during the month of May:

Fleurvana+ Membership 50% Slow Flowers Discount with Code: SLOWFLOWERS

Fleurvana Retreats: Take a $600 discount with Code: SLOWFLOWERS


Next, I was delighted to be a return guest of Jennifer Jewell’s award-winning public radio show, Cultivating Place, which aired on May 11th. What a fun experience to catch up Jennifer and her listeners on the Slow Flowers Society, the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, and Bloom Imprint’s latest release, Furrow & Flour. Click above to listen to Episode.


Speaking of the Slow Flowers Summit, last Friday’s May Member Meet-Up featured two of our keynote speakers who will take the stage — Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin. These two floral luminaries shared a preview of what they will teach and demonstrate at the Slow Flowers Summit and you can watch the replay video above.


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.

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, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

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 seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

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 longfield-gardens.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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 SlowFlowersSociety.com


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!

Episode 610: Growing and selling cut flowers in the high desert Rocky Mountain region with Gretchen Langston of Blooms Colorado

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Today, we take a trip to rural Northern Colorado, where sisters-in-law Gretchen Langston and Gaylene Moldt operate Blooms Colorado on 40 acres north of Ft. Collins.

Blooms Colorado delivery  van
Blooms Colorado delivery van

It’s fascinating to learn how they have grown this floral enterprise, established in 2017, to serve Ft. Collins, which is their closest metro market; and florists both south and north — in Denver 2 hours to the south and those in the southern Wyoming cities of Cheyenne and Laramie.

Spring tulips at Blooms Colorado
Spring tulips at Blooms Colorado

Blooms sells its flowers wholesale direct-to-designer through two regional flower collectives, including the Northern Colorado Flower Community (NOCO) and the Colorado Flower Collective in the Denver area. They also serve a grocery account in Ft. Collins.

Raised on a small farm in rural Missouri by her teacher-parents, like many country kids, Gretchen swore never to do the same thing. She had her big-city urban experience, and still has her big-time career as Global VP of Risk Management, Environment, Health & Safety for a company that operates most of the large National Park concessions in the U.S., serving parks like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Zion.

How does she do it all? Well, one of her not-so-secret weapons is her sister-in-law Gaylene, who Gretchen convinced to move to Colorado to run the flower enterprise. Gaylene is the day-to-day manager of Bloom Colorado, which also the market manager for Northern Colorado Flower Community (NOCO).

As for variety, Blooms specializes in perennials, woodies, peonies and dahlias with about 5 acres in production. Supplying designers who produce destination weddings florals is clearly their niche. Gretchen and I recorded a conversation in the virtual studio recently, and let’s jump right in and meet her. At the end of the interview you will see two very short drone videos that Gretchen shared — they will give you a good idea of the prolific flower farm against the background of stunning, high desert landscapes.

Find and follow Blooms Colorado:
Instagram


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.

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.

Thank you to CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at cafgs.org.

Thank you to Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at storeitcold.com.   


This week’s news:

SLOW FLOWERS JOURNAL – Spring 2023 | Celebrations: Our Slow Weddings Edition

Cover art Slow Flowers Journal Spring 2023
Cover art Slow Flowers Journal Spring 2023 | For an October ceremony in Virginia, Little Acre Flowers provided the cake flowers: Sunflowers, dahlias, and companion blooms that echo floral decor and personal flowers. Cake design by Jason Reaves, executive pastry chef, Salamander Resort.
(c) Genevieve Leiper Photography

First up, in partnership with BLOOM Imprint, we have just released the Spring 2023 issue of our ezine Slow Flowers Journal. This issue is free to Slow Flowers members, so if you’re an active member, look for the link to our Celebrations issue in your in-box. Click the link to preview and purchase this issue — it’s packed with inspiring content, and a focus on Slow Weddings, nontraditional boutonnieres, and more people, flowers, and stories about our Slow Flowers Movement.


You’re invited to attend the May Slow Flowers Virtual Member Meet-up

Amy Balsters (left) and Lennie Larkin (right)
We have a special treat for you this month! Two of our keynote speakers for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit will join us to share a sneak peek of their upcoming presentations and answer your questions about floral design and flower farming!

Our focus is the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit and we’ve invited two of our keynote speakers to join us. Meet Lennie Larkin (above right) and Amy Balsters (above left) who will join us to share a sneak peek of their upcoming presentations and answer your questions about floral design and flower farming! Lennie Larkin of B-Side Farm, will be presenting on “THE FLOWER DOLLAR: Knowing the true cost of your flowers + designs.” Amy Balsters, The Floral Coach, will present a design demonstration on “BUILDING A BETTER BOUQUET.”

Preregistration is required (click link below). See you this Friday, May 19th, at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern — on Zoom.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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 SlowFlowersSociety.com


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; Funk and Flash; 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
Songs by:
audionautix.com

Episode 606: The Profitability Sweet Spot for Selling to Wholesale Florists with Jessie Witscher of Vermont’s Understory Farm  

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

Last month I participated in the Spring Educational and Workshop Series presented by Green Mountain Floral Supply in Burlington, Vermont. It was a Slow Flowers love fest, bringing 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 today’s guest, local Vermont flower farmer Jessie Witscher, co-owner with her partner Gregory Witscher of Understory Farm — all Slow Flowers members.

Jessie Witscher by Jenna Brisson
Jessie Witscher, photographed by Jenna Brisson at Green Mountain Floral Supply
Understory Farm
A bird’s eye view of the beautiful Understory Farm

Jessie was invited to share about her flower farm, and to discuss growing premium specialty cut flowers to supply Green Mountain. We also heard a presentation by farmer-florist Abby Matson of Diddle & Zen, also located in the Burlington area. I took advantage of a free day to invite both Jessie and Abby to record conversations to share with you. We’ll hear from Abby in a few weeks, but today, you’re in for a treat to learn from Jessie.

Drone image of the flower fields at Understory Farm
A stunning drone image of the flower fields at Understory Farm

We’ll learn how Jessie and Gregory do the math to calculate profitability for their mostly wholesale-focused operation. Nearly 80 percent of their flowers include wholesale channels to Green Mountain Floral Supply and to two grocery coops in their region. If you’ve always wondered how to make it work, learning from Jessie’s insights is a great place to start.

Grocery bouquets from Understory Farm
Grocery bouquets from Understory Farm

Find and follow Understory Farm on Instagram and Facebook

Understory Farm Newsletter signup

FarmFirst Peer Support Network


Slow Flowers News

Johnny's Seeds Webinar Graphics

In other news, if you’re a Southeastern flower grower, you’re invited to Join Slow Flowers +Johnny’s Selected Seeds at attend a free webinar on April 27th (2 pm Pacific/5 pm Eastern). I’ll be co-hosting the session with Johnny’s Seeds’ Flower Product Manager Hillary Alger for a discussion on what it means to grow flowers in the challenging climatic conditions of the southern United States.

Our guest panel of experienced Slow Flowers members are cut-flower growers from Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. We’ll hear their farming stories firsthand and discuss regional growing challenges, lessons learned, and their favorite varieties. You’ll meet and learn from them:

Rita Anders, Cuts of Color, Weimar, Texas

Eileen Tongson, FarmGal Flowers, Orlando, Florida

Taij & Victoria Cotten, Cotten Picked, Pittsboro, North Carolina

Julia Keel, Full Keel Farm, Fort White, Florida

The webinar is free and you can sign up at the link below.


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.

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 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.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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 SlowFlowersSociety.com


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; 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 605: The Color of Roses with Rose Story Farms’ Danielle Hahn

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023
The Color of Roses by Danielle Dall’Armi Hahn

If you’re a rose lover, you already know about Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria, California, a mecca for garden roses — all 40,000 plants that produce cut flowers to supply the national floral trade and event design world. Rose Story Farm thrives under the care of Danielle Dall’Armi Hahn, her husband Bill Hahn, her mother Patricia Dall’Armi, her sister Nina Dall’Armi, her business manager Patti Keck and so many other longtime farm staff members.

Introduction to The Color  of Roses
Introduction to The Color of Roses

She may not remember this, but I first met Dani in October 2007 when I had recently relocated to Ventura County and my Seattle friends Maryann and Charles Pember, who were vacationing in Santa Barbara, invited me to meet them at Rose Story Farm for one of its famous tours and luncheons in the display gardens. Writing about the visit was one of my very first blog posts!

Later, we corresponded when Dani joined Slow Flowers Society during the very first year of our existence. And then, I visited during an industry dinner in 2014 where we finally met in person. Soon thereafter, Dani appeared as a guest — my 28th guest – of the new Slow Flowers Podcast in February 2014.

Title page The Color of Roses

So much has happened in the ensuing years, which she and I discuss in today’s episode, while I also turn the pages of The Color of Roses and we admire the lush and dreamy rose photography of Victoria Pearson — all 330 pages of it!

table of contents The Color of Roses

Let’s jump right in and meet Dani Hahn, catch up on all that she’s been doing, and learn why she wants to reclassify the term Garden Rose! What a lovely experience to talk roses with one of our living rose legends!

photography by Victoria Pearson
photography by Victoria Pearson

Thank you, Dani ~ I can’t wait to return to Rose Story Farm for another visit!

Order your copy of The Color of Roses here.

We will also share the public dates for visiting Rose Story Farm, just released. The first date is at the end of April so check it out if you’ll be in the Santa Barbara/Carpinteria area. To celebrate their 25th Anniversary RSF will be hosting a limited number of garden tours. Experience the splendor of this 15-acre farm featuring 30,000 rose plants in 200 varieties. Blooms rotate in six-week cycles so at any time during the season (mid-April to end of November), over 3⁄4 of the plants will be in bloom.


News for this Week

Fragrance from Field & Florist; jewelry from FLEUR Inc LLC
Fragrance from Field & Florist; jewelry from FLEUR Inc LLC

In News of the Week, our Member Meet-up of the month takes place this Friday, April 14th, 9 am PT/Noon ET. We have invited four guests, all Slow Flowers members who own successful retail flower shops and who have curated an unique product mix of gifts and other items that pair well with fresh, local flowers. You’ll hear from this panel who offer high-value collections to their floral customers. Meet:

Heidi Joynt of Field + Florist — luxury fragrances

Susan Chambers of bloominCouture — custom candles

Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur Inc. Chicago – fine jewelry

Lauralee Symes of Sellwood Flower Co. – wine and bubbly


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.

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 longfield-gardens.com.

Thank you goes 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 RootedFarmers.com.

Thank you goes 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 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


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; He Has a Way; 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 598: Alex Cacciari of Michigan’s Seeley Farm on trialing native perennials for the floral market

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

A few weeks ago, Slow Flowers and our publishing partner BLOOM Imprint released our 2023 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast. We called our first insight “Non-Floral Florals,” acknowledging the broadening plant palette for cut flower growers and florists who are adopting all types of botanical ingredients — from mushrooms and vegetables, to foraged materials to nontraditional plants such as native species.

Seeley Farm and Joe Pye Weed, a native perennial
Michigan’s Seeley Farm and Joe Pye Weed, a native perennial

We highlighted today’s guest in that insight and I’m thrilled that you can meet her today and learn more. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Slow Flowers member Alexandra Cacciari of Seeley Farm has introduced her floral customers at the Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative to native perennials suitable as cut flowers.

Amsonia and other foliages
Amsonia (top right) and other foliages


Through a Farmer-Rancher grant from North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE), the project has trialed more than 20 species of native, herbaceous flowers and foliage plants to determine their value and marketability in the wholesale floral industry.

Lupine bouquets
Mixed bouquets featuring native lupine

According to Alex, these plants (which include such beauties as gentian, black-eyed Susan, blue flag iris, Joe Pye weed, and swamp milkweed) support wildlife and pollinators, and are more drought and flood tolerant than their non-native counterparts. “As cut flower crops, when planted in their desired conditions, native plants require less added water, fertility, and pesticides than traditional crops, and offer a sustainable option for growers,” she explains.

Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope you are inspired to explore native perennials in your region!

Find and follow Seeley Farm on Instagram

Listen to our October 2018 conversation: Episode 371: The Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative  with Amanda Maurmann of Gnome Grown Flower Farm and Alex Cacciari of Seeley Farm

More about the Native Cut Flower Project


This Week’s News

In other news, I have a lot of thanks to share.

NYT op ed (c) Lindsay Morris
Credits: New York Times (c) Lindsay Morris

Last week, Valentine’s Day week, was filled with flowers and opportunities to share our Slow Flowers message!

We received a lot of media attention, including three major mentions in the New York Times, David Byrne’s “Reasons to be Cheerful” newsletter, and the international environmental publication Hakai Magazine.

We also wrapped up five amazing days at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival floral stage, where Slow Flowers produced daily hands-on floral design workshops with local and domestic botanicals. One-hundred-and-fifty students participated and hundreds more were in the audience to learn from our member design instructors, including Riz Reyes of RHR Horticulture and Heronswood Gardens (past Slow Flowers Summit speaker); Hannah Morgan of Fortunate Orchard (who many of you met during our November Slow Flowers Meet-up), Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Design (past podcast guest), and other past podcast guests Nick Songsangcharntara and Tracy Yang of Jarn Co. Farm — Tracy will also be speaking at the 2023 Slow Flowers Summit coming up. We also hosted friend of Slow Flowers, horticulturist Tyra Shenaurlt of the WW Seymour Conseratory in Tacoma, Washington. I met many fans and listeners who introduced themselves, and many other aspiring flower farmers and florists who we hope will join our Community very soon. It was an incredible and inspiring week and the Flower Show theme  – Spring Vibes Only! – was exactly what we all needed.


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.

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 seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

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 longfield-gardens.com.

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 RootedFarmers.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

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.


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

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. And NEXT WEEK will be very very special — our 500th ever episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast! I can’t wait to start celebrating and I’ll meet you then!

Music credits:

Color Country; 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 588: Meet Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm in Manitoba – Experience Guide, Flower Grower and Natural Dyer

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

A few weeks ago, we had a virtual visit to the big Island of Hawaii to meet farmer-florist Christian Ingalls of Daisy Dukes Flower Farm. Today, we’re journeying to the Canadian province of Manitoba, where it’s quite the opposite, weather-wise. But you’ll be warmed by my guest’s positive energy and inspiring story!

Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm
Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm

You may remember meeting Lourdes Still of Masagana Flower Farm and Tinta Studio during our March 2021 Slow Flowers member meeting – the theme was Diving into Dye Plants, and Lourdes was one of three expert members who shared about how they integrate plant-based natural dyes into their cut flower farms. Our other member-experts included Julie Beeler of Bloom & Dye, and Elaine Vandiver of Gholson Gardens.

Students of the Tinta Experience at Masagana Flower Farm
Students of the Tinta Experience at Masagana Flower Farm

In the past 18 months, a lot has happened at Masagana Flower Farm, and I asked Lourdes to share how her entire business focus has shifted to on-farm experiences built around growing and crafting with dye plants. By partnering with Travel Manitoba and taking advantage of mentorship and grant programs for small businesses in her area, Lourdes has leveraged her micro farm and textile studio into a flower destination that soon will draw customers not only during flower farming season, but year round.

Plant-based dyes and textiles
Flowers for plant-based textile dyes

Lourdes has hosted between 75 and 81 TINTA Experience guests annually in the past two years. With the opening of the studio, she hopes to double the capacity and reach, projecting an average of 160 guests annually, with summer being the busiest time of the year.

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN:

Check out Masagana Flower Farm’s Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to complete her studio. The studio construction is two-thirds finished and Lourdes needs to raise the final funds to complete the structure for her 2023 season.

Hands-on learning at Masagana Flower Farm
Hands-on learning at Masagana Flower Farm

Find and follow Masagana Flower Farm:
Masagana Flower Farm on Instagram and Facebook
READ: Chatelaine Magazine: Inside The Growing, Gorgeous, Female-Led Slow Flowers Revolution


News of the Week

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speaker collage
Top row, from left: Julio Freitas, Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin
Middle row, from left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Dee Hall, Tracy Yang and Valerie Chrisostomo
Bottom row, from left: Becky Feasby, Amber Tamm, Sarah Reyes and Debra Prinzing

The Slow Flowers Summit takes place June 26-27, 2023,  in a strategic partnership with venue and host Bellevue Botanical Garden in Bellevue, Washington, outside Seattle.

In news this week, the Slow Flowers Summit Early Bird ticket sale continues through the end of December — you’ll want to take advantage of the $100 off discount we’re extending to our Slow Flowers members and guests. The Slow Flowers Summit is unique as a professional floral industry conference because it brings together influencers in both growing and design — all to support domestic floral agriculture and sustainable floristry. We invite flower lovers, artists, gardeners, growers, wholesalers and retailers to come together in this event that celebrates responsible design practices.


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.

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, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

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 seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.

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 longfield-gardens.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 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


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:

Georgii; 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 585: Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall of Jello Mold Farm on the 10-year publication anniversary of The 50 Mile Bouquet

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

When it was published in 2012, The 50 Mile Bouquet was the first book to spotlight a major cultural shift and a transformation around how cut flowers are grown, designed and consumed, closely mirroring the culinary world’s locavore/slow food revolution.

Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall
Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall, photographed by Mary Grace Long (c) September 2012 at Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington. (c) Mary Grace Long

One decade ago, the floral industry was just beginning to ask for changes, seeking alternatives to imported, mass-produced and chemical-laden flowers. The 50 Mile Bouquet introduced some of the innovative voices of the dynamic new Slow Flower Movement: the organic flower-farmers, the sustainably motivated floral designers . . . and the flower enthusiasts who were increasingly asking, ‘Where and how were my flowers grown, and who grew them?’

jellomoldbarn
Jello Mold Farm, fields, and barn
Dennis Westphall
Linda Blue captured Dennis performing at his own farm, Jello Mold, as a special feature of the Field to Vase Dinner Tour in September 2016.

The 50 Mile Bouquet’s documentary-feature reporting and photography took readers into the personal stories of Slow Flowers practitioners. Its relevance today is more important than ever, considering issues around climate change, supply-chain limitations, and equity in the marketplace.

Today’s guests involved me in their story, their flowers, and the renaissance of floral agriculture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. I learned so much from them while interviewing and writing about the farms and design studios of Slow Flowers practitioners, even before I began to use the phrase, “slow flowers.”

Buckets of just-picked lilacs at Jello Mold Farm (c) Missy Palacol Photography
Buckets of just-picked lilacs at Jello Mold Farm (c) Missy Palacol Photography
A view
Jello Mold Farm and the distant views of Skagit Valley (Washington) (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Let’s jump right in and meet Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall, co-founders of Jello Mold Farm, in Mt. Vernon, Washington, and part of the group that established the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in 2011. I’m so grateful to Diane and Dennis for their support and friendship over the past 12 years since we met. They are both past guests of the Slow Flowers Podcast and I consider them sustainability leaders and pioneers of the Slow Flowers Movement.

WATCH Seattle Wholesale Growers Market: Farm to Florist Video Series (Lilacs)

Farm to Florist: Lilacs, filmed and edited by Alayna Erhart for Seattle Wholesale Growers Market; produced by Slow Flowers Society

Find and follow Jello Mold Farm on Instagram:
@jellomoldfarm
@mister.mold

Jello Mold Farm on Slow Flowers Podcast (Past Episodes):
December 2015: Episode 225: Slow Flowers’ Holiday Special with Musician-Flower Farmer Dennis Westphall
April 2017: Episode 294: A Floral Collective of Greater Good: Celebrating and Selling Local Flowers with the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market’s Sixth Anniversary


This Week’s News

Slow Flowers Summit 2023 speakers
Top row, from left: Julio Freitas, Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin
Middle row, from left: Gina Lett-Shrewsberry, Dee Hall, Tracy Yang and Valerie Chrisostomo
Bottom row, from left: Becky Feasby, Amber Tamm, Sarah Reyes and Debra Prinzing

And head’s up– next week, on December 1st, we will open the early bird registration for the 2023 Slow Flowers Summit! We are extending a $100 discount to members of the Slow Flowers Society and the general public who preregister for the Summit – through December 31st. You’ll want to take advantage of this offer to lock in your registration and take advantage of end-of-year savings. You’ll be hearing much more about this wonderful event, taking place over two days — June 26-27, 2023, returning to the Seattle Area where it all began in 2017. Can’t wait to share the full program, speaker lineup and special features with you.


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.

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, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

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 longfield-gardens.com.

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 seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.


Gratitude for YOU

Lorene Edwards Forkner hands holding carrots
With gratitude for you xoxo

We’re airing this episode on Wednesday, November 23rd, the day prior to American Thanksgiving. I want to share my thanks with you and my gratitude for your ongoing support of this show. The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 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


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:

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/

Nice and Easy; In The Field
audionautix.com