Debra Prinzing

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Episode 531: Coaxing Color and Pigment from the World of Foraged Mushrooms, with Julie Beeler of Bloom & Dye

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us today! If there’s anything I’ve learned from my publishing partner Robin Avni, creative director of BLOOM Imprint, it’s that some stories are best told visually. And today’s guest is going to immerse us in the visual delight of the natural world’s amazing palette for pigments, dyes and paints.

Please meet Julie Beeler, a farmer-florist and owner of Bloom & Dye, based in Trout Lake, Washington in the Columbia River basin.

Julie is a designer, artist, educator and native Oregonian who grew up with a deep love and curiosity for the natural world. Along with her husband, Brad Johnson, she founded and led Second Story, an interactive design studio in Portland until 2012.

Indigo-dyed textiles
Textiles reflect the range of beautiful blue pigments from the Indigo plants grown by Bloom & Dye

A Trout Lake resident since 2014, she conceived and launched Bloom & Dye in 2018 to grow her work and passion to benefit what she values most: curiosity, education, creativity, collaboration, community, and the environment.

Growth often starts with conversations that lead to an interest in knowing more. For Julie, educating others on how plants and their colors reflect the beauty of nature is something she is moved to share as a way to inspire care, stewardship and impact. When she is not digging in the soil, Julie is working in her art studio or leading workshops.

The Mushroom Color Atlas
Colors of the mushroom world: Julie Beeler’s new project will inspire you to explore mushrooms and the colors they produce
One detail page that features an illustrated mushroom and the many colors derived from it.

She joined me to introduce her newest amazing project, The Mushroom Color Atlas. Julie gathered a small team of artists and experts to create this free resource. The Mushroom Color Atlas is a reference for anyone and everyone curious about mushrooms and the beautiful and subtle colors derived from them. But it is also the start of a journey and a point of departure, introducing you to the kaleidoscopic fungi kingdom and our connection to it.

Some of you may remember being introduced to Julie and two other talented Slow Flowers members during our April 2021 monthly meet-up – Diving into Dye Plants, with Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas & Gholson Gardens, Lourdes Casañares-Still of Masagana Flower Farm and Tinta Studio and Julie. It was such a fantastic session, and you can watch the replay link above.

I’m so excited that Julie brought this project to life and shared it with our community and anyone who loves plants, the natural world, art and color! And, as we discussed, if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, please come to Julie’s DIY stage presentation at the NW Flower & Garden Festival, Saturday, February 12th at 5 p.m.Colors from the Dye Garden. I’ll see you there!

Bloom and Dye flowers
Dried flowers from the Bloom & Dye gardens and studio, often used in Julie’s workshops, kits and courses.

Places where you can connect with Julie Beeler:
Follow Bloom & Dye on Instagram and Facebook

Follow The Mushroom Color Atlas on Instagram

Workshops at Wildcraft Studio School

It’s a busy week here at the Slow Flowers Society, folks, and I want to draw your attention to two items of note!

Connie and Patti
Connie Homerick of Ohio Cut Flower Collective (left) and Patti Doell of Garden State Flower Cooperative

First, this Friday, November 12th is our Virtual Member Meet-up for November and the theme is a hot topic for sure: All About Flower Co-ops & Wholesale Hubs. Now that the growing season is winding down for many of our members who are flower farmers or farmer-florists, it’s time to reassess and also plan for the future. We’ve heard from so many members and supporters about the desire to form a collective selling hub for your flowers — but the concept may seem daunting. Of course, there are some established models, most notably, the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, now in its 10th year. What about some of the newer groups? We wanted to bring their stories and voices to you in the Meet-Up format.

Click on the Link below to sign up for the Meet-Up. You will receive the log-in details. And the session will go for 90 minutes this time around, beginning at 9 am Pacific/Noon eastern on Friday, November 12th.

Our guests include: Connie Homerick of Ohio Cut Flower Collective (left) and Patti Doell of Garden State Flower Cooperative and their presentations will be followed by a Q&A session after which you’ll be invited to join one of three topic-specific breakout sessions, led by:

Jamie Rogers and Carly Jenkins, Killing Frost Farm & Ali Harrison, Florage Farms (Farmers wholesaling their own and others’ product); Amanda Maurmann, co-founder of the Michigan Flower Growers Co-op and florist Haley Tobias on the multi-owner LLC model representing Old Dominion Flower Cooperative

It will be an info-packed session and we’re so grateful to each of the experts who are joining us to share their knowledge with you!

2022 Member Survey Graphic

Oh, and another item of note that dropped this week — our annual Member Survey. Following up after a fantastic October Member Appreciation Month, we’d love to hear from you. The reason for this survey is to learn how you feel about all of the ways Slow Flowers Society benefits and supports its members, and to hear your new ideas for features, programs and resources that we might consider for the coming year.

One year ago, in the fall of 2020, I’m pleased to say we had 30% member participation, with more than 200 of you taking time to complete the survey. Our membership has grown since then and the Slow Flowers community is now nearly 900 members. We’re hoping to continue to increase the participation in this year’s member survey. To make it worth your time, here’s an enticement. Every Slow Flowers member who completes the survey by December 3, 2021 will be entered into a drawing for two giveaways: 1. Complimentary Premium membership for 1 year, valued at $249; and 2. a dinner ticket to the four-course, farm-to-table dinner on Monday, June 27, 2022 at the famed Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns Center – during the Slow Flowers Summit, valued at $350.

Thanks in advance for sharing your insights and ideas!

Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by, 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

2nd sponsor bar
sponsor logo bar

Thanks to, 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 Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at

Thanks to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. Its mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at

Thanks 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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Show is a member-supported endeavor and I value our loyal members and supporters! If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at Slow Flowers 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 at

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

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

Music Credits:

Heliotrope; Open Flames; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

Episode 445: Mara Tyler of Pennsylvania’s The Farm at Oxford, a boutique cut flower farm and botanical shop

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Mara Tyler, farmer-florist, The Farm at Oxford

I’m so pleased today to introduce you to Mara Tyler of The Farm at Oxford in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. I think we first met in 2014 at an ASCFG annual conference when it was held in Wilmington, Delaware, and it has been inspiring to witness how Mara has grown her floral enterprise to encompass growing flowers, designing flowers, teaching about flowers and connecting with flower lovers in person and through social media.

I’ve been so curious about the retail side of Mara’s business and I asked her to join me for today’s episode.

In the dahlia fields at The Farm at Oxford (c) Mariya Steckler Photography

Here’s more about Mara Tyler and her flowers:

California native turned Pennsylvania flower farmer, Mara Tyler grew flowers in small spaces for 20 years in her home state.  When she and her young family decided to move their roots to Pennsylvania, they discovered the desire for more space and land to put down roots.

Life on The Farm at Oxford

Sixty property visits and 1.5 years later, they found a beautiful 1838 farmhouse in Southern Chester County, on a 12-acre farmette that was historically used for dairy and sheep farming. Fenced pastures with meadowed flatlands seemed perfect for brightly colored flowers, and the idea of The Farm at Oxford was born. 

Beautiful mixed peony bouquets

The farm’s cut flower business specializes in locally grown peonies, dahlias, roses, spring bulbs and companion perennials. Mara is inspired by the unique and the challenging, and as long as the ground is not frozen, you can typically find her outside digging in the dirt or in the workshop playing with flowers. 

A peek inside Mara’s plant-filled shop at WorKS Artisan Collective

New in 2018, The Farm at Oxford launched a YEAR-ROUND mini-plant and flower shop inside of the WorKS artisan collective in Kennett Square, near famed Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia. WorKS Botanical & Flower Shop is open Friday through Sunday, 11-5 and there you can find unusual pots, plants, fresh flowers; as well as lots of garden related home decor items such as watering cans, pruning shears, or Mara’s favorite garden sign. In winter, you can find homemade wreaths, lots of goodies for holiday; and also pick up flower bulbs for planting.

The Farm at Oxford also brings fresh bunches of blooms…everything from a gathering of peonies to a combination of what is blooming at the field each week. Customers can find those flowers at garden and lifestyle retailer Terrain.

Stunning dahlias, with the bonus of backlighting

Thanks so much for joining my wonderful conversation with Mara Tyler of The Farm at Oxford. I hope you gained as much inspiration and encouragement as I did from this talented floralpreneur.

Mara Tyler (c) Taken by Sarah

Find and follow The Farm at Oxford at these social places:

The Farm at Oxford on Facebook

The Farm at Oxford on Instagram

The fourth annual Slow Flowers Summit takes place in late June, but I want to make a few comments for those of you who’ve registered or who are planning on doing so. I want to address concerns regarding COVID-19 and coronavirus, concerns that are affecting all of us in our daily lives.

The Summit team is following the situation closely, monitoring the CDC health and travel information and the San Mateo County Department of Health recommendations. At this time, as reported by the CDC and U.S. Travel Association, there are no restrictions on travel anywhere within the U.S.

High Place at Filoli
FILOLI: the recently-renovated “High Place” at Filoli in Woodside, Calif., destination for the Slow Flowers Summit 2020

Rest assured we are working in partnership with the Summit venue, Filoli Historic Garden and Home, to ensure a wonderful experience for you. We are very optimistic about the prospect of a fabulous conference and hope you are as well. The Slow Flowers Summit team promises to provide you with regular updates if the status changes in the coming weeks or months, but in the current climate, we are remaining positive about seeing you in California — June 28-30 — for a celebration of the Slow Flowers people, passion and practices. You can contact us anytime with questions:

Debra Prinzing, Slow Flowers

Karen Thornton, Event Manager

You can also follow the Filoli VISIT Page and Slow Flowers Summit Page for additional updates.

(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 588,000 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 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.

Thank you to our Sponsors

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.

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

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

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

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

Music Credits:

Cottonwoods; Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field