Debra Prinzing

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Episode 601: Meet Rita Feldmann of the Sustainable Floristry Network, a new global education organization for florists

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

I’ve been eager to record a conversation with today’s guest, Rita Feldmann of the Sustainable Floristry Network — and we did just that earlier this week.

The Sustainable Floristry Network – or SFN – evolved from the #nofloralfoam campaign, which we all witnessed on social media, as florists from all over the world are abandoning the use of floral foam, an environmentally harmful, single-use plastic. At the same time, many florists entering the industry were turning their backs on outdated education systems that have positioned floral foam as a fundamental tool.

Rita Feldman and SFN

Through their shared concern about the floral industry’s lack of progress on this topic and other issue, Rita and many other like-minded floral leaders, both in her home country of Australia and in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe and other regions, realized that floristry needs a new type of education.

They founded the Sustainable Floristry Network, bringing together the knowledge of academics, industry leaders and champions for a better industry to create more sustainable models for design and doing business. SFN aims to provide florists with the latest information about sustainability, specifically as it relates to our profession. SFN refers to science to establish the facts and consults expert advisors for guidance in understanding and applying this information.

Slow Flowers Society has joined SFN as an expert advisor to come alongside this inspiring initiative. Now that it’s official, and we’re featured on SFN’s website along with other impressive leaders, I wanted to introduce Rita to the Slow Flowers Podcast audience. You’ll find our conversation enlightening and I hope it calls you to action. We’ll share more resources after the interview, so let’s jump right in and get started.

In the near future, SFN will announce its continuing professional development course and membership program, setting a new standard for floral design – based on sustainability principles. These principles are entirely aligned with the Slow Flowers Manifesto and will elevate floral education to an essential new level. I’m excited to support this campaign.

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Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, 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

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

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

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

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  

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. I’ll see you then!          

Music credits:

Drone Pine; Town Market; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field