Debra Prinzing

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Episode 534: Relocalizing Flowers, a Slow Flowers Panel Discussion at the 2021 Tilth Conference

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Thank you so much for joining us! Today, I’m sharing the audio recording of a November 20th panel I moderated for the annual Tilth Conference. Produced by the Tilth Alliance, a Seattle-based organization that works in community with farmers, gardeners and eaters in Washington state to build a sustainable, healthy and equitable food future. The conference planners invited Slow Flowers to propose a presentation, and of course we wanted to bring the conversation of flower farming to this mostly food-focused agricultural event.

For the panel title, I proposed “Relocalizing Flowers,” a fantastic phrase I borrowed from a session I moderated earlier this summer for the Phipps and Penn State Extension Summer Short Course. 

Relocalizing Flowers

And I pitched the following: There is a heightened interest in local and seasonal flowers as an economic opportunity for farmers and florists alike, fueled by the Slow Flowers movement. Our panel of PNW local flower experts will discuss how the audience can participate in Relocalizing our Flowers. Each panelist represents a role along the continuum — including those who grow, sell and design with flowers. The will discussed best practices for the current consumer climate and answered questions about the progressive momentum that’s changing attitudes around local, seasonal and sustainable flowers.

tilth lecture panelists

I put out a call to Slow Flowers members in the Seattle area and I’m so pleased that the people you’ll hear today said Yes and with the panel’s diversity of experience and what they had to share. Let’s jump right in and you can meet the panelists: Brad Siebe of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market; Hannah Morgan of Fortunate Orchard, Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm & Flowers and Tammy Myers of First & Bloom and LORA Bloom.

Here’s more about the panelists:

Brad Siebe is the general manager of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a Farm to Florist Producers Cooperative. He oversees administration, operations, general and financial management, strategic planning/execution, as well as the market’s sales and customer relationships. The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. Its mission is to create a sustainable living for its Pacific Northwest member farms by promoting their vibrant and diverse products to the floral industry. All year round the SWGMC brings the best flowers in the Pacific Northwest to the marketplace.

Owner and lead designer of Fortunate Orchard, a floral studio based in Seattle’s Seward Park neighborhood, Hannah Morgan holds a B.F.A. degree in one hand and a pair of pruning shears in the other. Her designs are deeply rooted in the seasons of the Pacific Northwest and she sources primarily from the West Coast — often from the Fortunate Orchard garden, steps away from her work table.

Sarah Wagstaff is the farmer & owner of SUOT Farm & Flowers.  Home to not only a no-till urban farm in the hub of Skagit Valley WA, it is also a hugelkultur demonstration garden, education workspace, & full-service floral studio.  SUOT stands for Small Units Of Time because we know that we aren’t able to accomplish everything we want to in one day, but little by little, we will get there together!  Since 2015, she has committed to providing her customers, clients, & community with the mindfully grown  flowers, fresh local bouquets, & uniquely stunning arrangements in compostable/recyclable packaging. Proud to be a local woman owned business, her flowers are 100% locally grown in WA and she strives to host, promote, & carry other women artists/makers in her retail studio.

Tammy Myers is a floral designer and owner of LORA Bloom, an online E-commerce and marketing platform that represents florists aligned with the values of supporting local flower farms and offering foam-free designs. The platform serves as a one-stop-shop for customers to order local floral delivery, while participating florists commit to providing great customer service, high quality, foam-free designs and a minimum of 80% American-grown floral ingredients.

We also shared two short videos from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market’s Farm to Florist series in our presentation, filmed by Alayna Erhart

2022 Slow Flowers Summit logo

Today is December 1st and you know what that means?! It’s the day we’re opening up ticket sales to the 2022 Slow Flowers Summit and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

The 5th Slow Flowers Summit heads to Lower Hudson Valley, located just 45 minutes outside of Manhattan. I’m so excited to welcome you to three days of amazing programming on June 26-28, 2022. You will be hearing a lot from me in the coming months, as we highlight our speakers, the immersive floral program and two iconic agricultural venues — Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture and the Red Barn at Maple Grove Farm.

2022 Slow Flowers Summit speakers
Top row, from left: Nicole Cordier, Xenia D’Ambrosi and TJ McGrath
Middle row, from left: Philippe Gouze and Shannon Algiere
Bottom row, from left: Ronni Nicole Robinson, Frances Palmer and Debra Prinzing

Registration to the 3-day event is $899, including breakfasts, lunches, refreshments and an opening day welcome cocktail party reception. Slow Flowers members may register for a $50 discount of $849. If you grab your ticket before December 31st, enjoy an additional savings of $100 off both the member and general rate.

And just a note, the dinner at Blue Hill restaurant on Monday, June 27, 2022 is a separately ticketed event, so plan accordingly. You can find all the details at Slow Flowers Summit (

2022 Member Survey Graphic

No pressure if you’ve been procrastinating, but this is your last chance to take the Slow Flowers Annual Member Survey, which closes this Friday, December 3rd. Follow the link below to complete our Survey and for those of you  who complete the survey and share their names and email addresses,  you will be entered into a drawing for two thank-you prizes.

One Complimentary Slow Flowers Premium Membership for 1 year (a $249 value)

One Free Slow Flowers Dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns – June 27, 2022 in Pocantico Hills, New York, (a $350 value) Don’t miss out!

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

Thank you to Roadie, an on-demand delivery company offering affordable same-day and scheduled delivery. With a network of friendly, local drivers who handle each delivery with care, and one-on-one support from a designated account manager, Roadie guarantees a smooth and reliable delivery experience–from pickup to delivery. Sign up for your first delivery at and use promo code slowflowers–that’s one word–to get five dollars off.

Thank you to, our new sponsor. FlowerFarm is 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 origin and order 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

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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 790,000 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 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:

Betty Dear (piano feature); Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

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Episode 375: Flower Farming in Eastern Washington with Beth Mort of Snapdragon Flower Farm

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Beth Mort of Snapdragon Flower Farm in Spokane, Washington

Over the past week, I’ve had several rewarding encounters with flower farmers, floral designers and avid flower enthusiasts who are eager for inspiration and encouragement about our vibrant Slow Flowers Movement and what it means for their own relationships with flowers.

Each new connection is encouraging and inspiring.

While we have a long way to go in achieving my goal of putting local flowers on the top of customer’s wish lists and supporting florists who want local and seasonal choices in the floral marketplace, it’s notable to see how much has changed since the first week of the Slow Flowers Podcast, back in 2014.

Left: Whatcom Horticultural Society’s floral design workshop; Right: Beth Mort (Snapdragon Flower Farm), Debra Prinzing and Katie Lynd (Washington Dept. of Agriculture) at the Tilth Conference

Late last week, I was joined by more than 40 highly motivated members of the Whatcom Horticultural Society in Bellingham, Wash., where on November 8th I led a floral design workshop using only Pacific Northwest-grown botanicals — at “Brews and Bouquets.”

THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make that experience a huge success for the Hort society, who used the evening as a members’ only bonus. I’m especially grateful to the staff and flower farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market who went the extra mile to help me source 1,000 stems of flowers for the worksho

As I said, it took place on November 8th; the threat of frost was upon us and at times as the date approached, I panicked about the availability of fresh, seasonal and local floral options.

Those talented flower farmers really came through with dozens of dahlias, mums, chocolate cosmos, orange Ilex, roses and sprays, as well as lilies. A sweet haul, some of which you can see above — thanks to Crowley House Flower Farm, Charles Little & Co., Sonshine Farm, Peterkort Roses, Everyday Flowers, Cairn Farm and others.

And from Bellingham, I headed to Spokane, in Eastern Washington, on Sunday, where I joined two smart and talented women to be part of a panel at the annual Tilth Conference.

Produced by the Tilth Alliance, a coalition of people committed to sustainable farming in Washington and building an ecologically sound, economically viable and socially equitable food system, the conference this year recognized floral agriculture as an important facet of our state’s larger farming community by adding a panel presentation called “Marketing Your Local Fresh Cut Flowers: Consumer Research and Industry Trends,” to the program.

The panel was led by Katie Lynd of Washington State Department of Agriculture’s regional markets program. She shared highlights of phase one of “A Collaborative effort to Advance Washington State Cut Flowers,” a USDA specialty crop block grant being administered by WSDA and the Washington Farm Bureau. Slow Flowers is an industry stakeholder in that block grant.

Katie presented the results of the grant’s initial quantitative and qualitative consumer research and she asked me to share highlights of the 2019 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast, the entire report of which you’ll hear on January 2, as part of the New Year’s first Slow Flowers Podcast episode.

A Snapdragon Flower Farm bouquet

She also invited today’s guest, Beth Mort, owner of Snapdragon Flower Farm in Spokane. I’m so pleased that Beth was part of the panel because she brought real-life experience and her personal story to the room.

A slide from Beth’s presentation at the Tilth Conference, featuring highlights and flowers from her farm.

After our panel presentation was over, Beth and I found a quiet corner of the conference to record a full episode so you can hear her story as well.

Beth was raised near Tum Tum, Washington, just outside of Spokane, where she started gardening with her mother at an early age.

Beth grows a diverse and beautiful spectrum of cut flowers

She says, “I love to learn, and gain knowledge from each person, plant and animal I meet.” As an undergraduate, Beth studied ecology and plant & mushroom taxonomy at The Evergreen State College, and followed this with a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University.

She holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Bullock’s Farm on Orcas Island.

The people, flowers and services of Snapdragon Flower Farm

Snapdragon Flower Farm is located in south Spokane near Tower Mountain. In early 2017, Beth and her husband Mike moved to the land that they rent and leasing from Heron Pond, which they call their “parent” farm.

As the 2018 growing season comes to a close, Snapdragon Flower Farm wraps its second full year in flowers.

Beth says she is grateful not just to Heron Pond but also for Urban Eden Farm, which graciously allowed her to test out growing flowers in 2016.

Beth is also owner of Zinnia Permaculture Design, a  Spokane-based garden design company with a focus on food production & building healthy soil while creating beauty and resiliency in the landscape. She blends permaculture principles, long-standing food gardening concepts and client vision to produce a dynamic design clients can use to accomplish their goals.

Beth, with her poppy crop!

As you will hear in our conversation, operating Zinnia Designs allowed Beth to generate some income from her expertise while incubating her dream of establishing a flower farm in Spokane. She applies the same sustainable practices used in food gardening to flower farming.

Snapdragon Flower Farm’s clients, colleagues and community — building an important regional hub for local flowers.

Beth is part of a small group of flower folks in Spokane who recently started a Facebook group for Inland flower farmers and florists.

Here’s how you can find and follow Snapdragon Flower Farm:

Snapdragon Flower Farm on Facebook

Snapdragon Flower Farm on Instagram

Read more about Beth in the Spokesman Review

I want to encourage you to visit the site to learn more about the amazing program, people and flowers you’ll engage with next summer. It’s not too early to save the date and secure your seat! Slow Flowers members receive special discount pricing and everyone receives $100 off with the Early Bird rate, on sale now!

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

We have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement.

As our cause 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.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 380,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all our programs.

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.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at

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. Find them at

Longfield Gardens 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. Visit them 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

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. Check them out at

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

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit

And the Team Flower Conference – a professional floral event where flower lovers from all over the world gather for networking, learning, and celebration. It’s a special time for the floral industry to come together and whether you’re a farmer, designer, wholesaler, or just love flowers, you’re invited to attend as Team Flowers dreams big for the industry’s future. Head to to learn more about the 2019 conference in Waco, Texas!

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

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:
Brass Buttons; Cradle Rock
by Blue Dot Sessions


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