Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

Episode 668: Slow Flowers Summit Preview with Farmer-Florists Melanie Harrington of Dahlia May Flower Farm and Janis Harris of Harris Flower Farm 

Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

Get ready for our inspiring conversation with Janis Harris and Melanie Harrington as these two farmer-florists bring us a preview of their upcoming presentations at the Slow Flowers Summit, taking place next week in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

In just a few days, I’ll be gathering with nearly 100 attendees at the Slow Flowers Summit, which will take place June 23-25 at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

It is our seventh annual Slow Flowers Summit – our first in Canada and our first international conference. We planned this Summit to showcase the expertise and knowledge of Canadian floral, horticultural, and sustainability experts – most of whom are Slow Flowers Members. We are thrilled with the deep body of knowledge that our Summit attendees will receive from 10 inspiring speakers!

I’m delighted that we are partnering with the Cooperative Flower Network based in Edmonton to ensure that our speakers and attendees will have a chance to experience designing with Alberta-grown flowers. I’m also thrilled that we are partnering with the team behind Canadian Flowers Week to share the story of Slow Flowers across Canada.

Janis Harris of Harris Flower Farm (left) and Melanie Harrington of Dahlia May Flower Farm (right)

The first day of the Summit kicks off with two back-to-back presentations under the banner of “Meet the Farmer-Florist,” and it’s my pleasure to introduce today’s guests, Melanie Harrington of Dahlia May Flower Farm in Trenton, Ontario, and Janis Harris of Harris Flower Farm in St. Thomas, Ontario. At the Summit, these women will share the stories of their floral enterprises, each of whom will close out her lecture with a design demonstration.

As a preview, we recently hosted Janis and Melanie as special guests of the June Slow Flowers (Virtual) Membership Meet-Up. We recorded the session for you to hear today. You’ll find it so enlightening to learn about these two farmer-florists and their businesses, as they discuss the challenges (and rewards) of balancing flower farming with design services through a variety of channels. 

Find and follow Melanie Harrington, Dahlia May Flower Farm on Instagram and Facebook

Find and follow Janis Harris, Harris Flower Farm – on Instagram and Facebook

Listen: Melanie’s and Janis’s past appearances on the Slow Flowers Podcast:
Melanie on the Slow Flowers Podcast – Episode 312 (August 30, 2017)
Janis on the Slow Flowers Podcast – Episodse 304 (July 6, 2017) and Episode 450 (April 22, 2020)

Slow Flowers Summit 2024

Slow Flowers Summit 2024

I’m departing for Alberta in a few days to make the trip to Banff, and I want to encourage you to follow @SlowFlowersSociety and @SlowFlowersSummit on Instagram next week, as I know our social media manager Niesha Blancas will be filming some fun IG Live segments straight from the Slow Flowers Summit to share with you! We wish you were with us in person, but you’ll still catch some of the amazing education through our social media channels.

2024 Slow Flowers Summit Sponsor Thanks

And as a footnote, we’re so grateful to all of our Slow Flowers Summit Sponsors, including Red Twig Farms, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, New Age Floral, Sakata Seeds, OLMS Bamboo Floral Sticks, Ball Seed, and Rooted Farmers. Our partner thanks goes to BLOOM Imprint, our publishing partner. We are also grateful for the support from our Alberta host, and member, Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers. You can learn more about our sponsors, speakers, program, and schedule at

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 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

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 than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings 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; One Eight Four
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field