Debra Prinzing

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Episode 662: Flower farming meets the retail flower shop with Little Petal Farm

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

Going from flower farmer to full-service retail florist and juggling both – is it possible? Hear from Tammy Osselaer, who started Little Petal Farm in 2019 and then in 2022, opened a retail full-service flower shop as an extension of her farm. Learn how she grows all of her flowers during the farming season AND produces floral designs for her community and beyond.

Tammy Osselaer, Little Petal Farm
Tammy Osselaer, Little Petal Farm

On this podcast, I love it when a listener contacts me with a suggestion for an episode that underscores something I’ve mentioned, such as an interesting observation or shift in the Slow Flowers Movement.

Today’s guest did just that. Tammy Osselaer is a loyal Slow Flowers Podcast listener and member who owns Little Petal Farm in Noblesville, Indiana. After an earlier episode when I commented about flower farmers opening companion retail stores, both on farm and as separate businesses, Tammy reached out to introduce herself.

You Pick Flower Experience at Little Petal Farm
You Pick Flower Experience at Little Petal Farm

Little Petal Farm was established in 2019 as a specialty cut flower farm producing high-quality blooms & branches for floral designers, event planners, subscription holders, weddings, and all-around flower lovers.

Wedding flowers by Little Petal Farm
Wedding flowers by Little Petal Farm

Its origins are rooted in Tammy’s personal interest in flower gardening and landscaping, a passion she’s had for more than 25 years. After designing, planting and nurturing her own gardens with perennials, flowering woodies and graceful ornamental grasses, she turned that passion into Little Petal Farm, first as a farm; then as a farm plus retail shop.

A bridal shower centerpiece with flowers grown and designed by Little Petal Farm
A bridal shower centerpiece with flowers grown and designed by Little Petal Farm

Let’s jump right in and learn about her path to flowers – and how she manages to run two sister businesses that are infusing Noblesville and the surrounding area with locally-grown botanicals.

Find and follow Little Petal Farm on Facebook and Instagram.

As mentioned, the Indiana Peony Festival is coming up this weekend, May 18th, so if you’re in the area, find Tammy and say hello!

This Week’s Good News

I want to share an important piece of news, a major milestone for the Slow Flowers Movement. Last week, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the launch of!

One decade ago, on May 8th 2014, we launched just before Mother’s Day, as a free, nationwide online directory with more than 200 listings of florists, shops, studios, and farms with local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.

It all began with the book – Slow Flowers – which was published in the spring of 2013, quickly followed by the debut of the Slow Flowers Podcast. The Slow Flowers Movement was born with the book, the podcast, and, and what an amazing decade we’ve experienced ever since! As part of my announcement last week, I shared these observations:

We have achieved so much in the Slow Flowers Community during the past decade – and we have YOU to thank. Your shared passion for promoting local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers has propelled Slow Flowers to become an international phrase, used in millions of hashtags around the world.  #slowflowers has generated more than 200 million social media impressions in the past four years alone.

The term is much more recognizable and powerful that merely using “local flowers,” because SLOW instantaneously communicates a wider range of values than just geographic proximity.

We believe in the sustainable and ethical practices outlined in our Slow Flowers Manifesto, and our members are the embodiment of those values. We have grown to 750 members – flower farmers, floral designers, and farmer florists who align with our mission

Inspiring the floral industry and its consumers to embrace local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.

Our goals are many, but I just want to highlight two that I know will resonate with you:

         To change the flower sourcing practices of consumers and professionals through outreach and education that highlights the benefits of local, seasonal and domestic floriculture.

         To build a movement that promotes cultivation and sales of local, seasonal and sustainable flowers, while nurturing authentic connections between consumers, farmers and florists.

To celebrate, I wanted to share a gift to our community. If you’ve always wanted to join Slow Flowers, we have a special 50%-off discount for you. Use the discount code HAPPY10 to join or renew for one year’s membership at half the regular price – this offer is good at all levels, from Standard and Premium to our special 3-year perennial membership. This promotion expires on June 7, 2024.

Join our May 17th Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up:

Designing with Dried Flowers and Hannah Rose River Muller
Creating Everlasting Arrangements with Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of The Wreath Room at Full Belly Farm 

And don’t forget to preregister to join this month’s Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up, coming up on Friday, May 17th – scheduled to take place one week later than usual to accommodate for Mother’s Day. The session is devoted to Designing with Dried Flowers and our expert member is Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of The Wreath Room and Full Belly Farm. We’re so excited to feature Hannah as she talks about flower farming with her family in Northern California and developing her special approach to drying the flowers she grows. This will be a very special preview of Hannah’s brand-new book, out on June 4thDesigning with Dried Flowers, so bring your questions! We will have one copy of to give away to one lucky attendee. Pre-registration is required. I’ll see you on May 17th!

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 750 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.

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

Thank you to 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

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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I’m so glad you joined us 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

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; Gaena; Turning on the Lights; Nu Fornacis
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

Episode 420: Pamela Parker of JP Parker Flowers – on combining full-service retail & event florals with an Indiana flower farm, plus, our state focus: Oklahoma

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

Pamela Parker of JP Parker Flowers, Indiana florist, event designer, retailer and flower farmer

I recorded this week’s episode while I was attending the 2019 Society of American Florists conference on Amelia Island, Florida. Before I left on this journey, I remember thinking to myself: “I will find a great guest for there to invite onto the Slow Flowers Podcast. And guess what? That is exactly what happened.

During flower farming season, you can find Pam in the fields more than in one of her two shops. Here, she’s touring the peony fields.

On my first morning there, I was seated in the back row of a presentation on editing photos for social media. I struck up a conversation with a woman next to me as we compared notes on Instagram. I leaned forward to look at her name badge and read: Pamela Parker-Tucker, JP Parker Flowers, Indianapolis, Indiana. “Pam, I exclaimed, It’s so nice to meet you – I’m Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers.”

I had a pretty good idea that she would know who I was because we have a mutual friend, Jo Ellen Myers Sharp, a long-time professional colleague and friend through my garden writing life. Jo Ellen is a popular Indianapolis garden writer, editor and columnist. She had told me about Pam Parker, a very successful florist in her city who also owned a local flower farm.

Well, once we figured out our connection, Pam and I continued the conversation. That led to her joining me today on the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Sunflowers — 300,000 of them each season!

Here’s a bit more about Pam’s story, excerpted from J.P. Parker Flowers’ web site:

After working in the floral industry for thirteen years in Minneapolis, Pam returned to Indiana to live on the family farm. A third generation farmer, Pam developed her love of flowers and growing from her deep Indiana roots. J P Parker Flowers was born when her sister, Janet, became her first employee. They began growing flowers such as sunflowers, alliums and zinnias on the family farm. While Pam enjoyed growing flowers, she missed the corporate and event floral work she had been involved in Minneapolis. She had produced major projects for clients such as General Mills and as a personal designer for the Pillsbury family.

In 1986, Pam decided to follow her passion and return to event and corporate flowers.

As you’ll hear us discuss in this episode, JP Parker Flowers made its local debut in the event industry by decorating Indianapolis’ Historic Union Station.

A JP Parker & Co.-grown and designed arrangement

The executives of Union Station invited a handful of talented designers from across Indiana to compete for a highly sought after opportunity to design and decorate the venue for the Holidays. With nothing more than a mind full of ideas and a briefcase in hand, Pam beat out the competition and landed the contract. In a few short months, she and Janet assembled a makeshift team, and they handily completed this enormous task.

With the well deserved recognition for their décor and design work at Union Station, JP Parker Flowers truly began to blossom. Among their décor accomplishments: the Pan Am Games and the 100 year anniversary of the Columbia Club. After opening a storefront first in Franklin, Indiana, they then branched out to their Indianapolis location in 2008.

Success with numerous corporate clients soon led to weddings and after several exciting years Pam felt she had come full circle when she returned to Union Station to produce a large event for Super Bowl XLI in 2012.

Pam is still the owner of JP Parker Flowers, but the crew has grown to 26 talented designers and dedicated employees. The goal of JP Parker remains providing beautiful custom designs and excellence in customer service with a personal touch.

Thousands of Indiana peonies!

On top of all this, J. P. Parker Flowers is deeply rooted in Indiana’s agricultural history. Part of Pam’s heart and love of flowers resides at the family farm, where literally thousands of flowers grow each year. The farm is full of beautiful field crops during the growing season. In addition to sourcing local flowers from the Parker Family Fields, JP Parker Flowers buys from other area flower farmers, too.

I’m delighted to welcome Pamela Parker to our Slow Flowers Community – as she has just joined us as a new member.

The JP Parker Flower Farm

You can find and follow JP Parker Flowers at these social places:

JP Parker Flowers on Facebook

JP Parker Flowers on Instagram

JP Parker Flowers on Pinterest

Thank you so much for joining me today and learning from a very experienced retail florist who has built her entire business on the origins of flower farming.

The fact that I came to last week’s conference with no guest lined up for today’s show . . . and that I miraculously found myself there, seated next to someone who I’ve been wanting to recruit into our community, well, that was pure kismet. Pam referred to her “luck of the irish woman,” so I’ll claim that for myself – I’m ¼ Irish, after all.

You never know where and who I’ll bump into my next guest – and it could be you!

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Terri Barr of Wild Lark Farm. Located about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa, in Claremore, Oklahoma, Wild Lark Farm’s tagline is: SEASONAL CUT FLOWERS FROM THE HEART OF GREEN COUNTRY

Wild Lark Farm is a small family farm committed to growing specialty and heirloom flowers. By using a mindset of sustainability, Terri is focused on the best of what Oklahoma has to offer – from mid-May to the end of October.

She says: “Flowers are what we love to do. They lift spirits and bring joy to countless lives, and we are honored to be a part of it. All of our flowers are grown using organic methods which promote a healthy environment for both people and pollinators. In keeping with the nature of Oklahoma farmers, we strive to make the land better than we found it.”

Thanks so much for listening today! You can find and follow Wild Lark Farm at these social places:

Wild Lark Farm on Facebook

Wild Lark Farm on Instagram

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 522,000 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.


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

FarmersWeb software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. By lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, reduce errors, and work with more buyers overall. Learn more at

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

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today 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:

Glass Beads; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field
Music from: