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Whenever I travel, even for pleasure, I’m likely to add three things to my itinerary:
First, I visit Slow Flowers’ members to see their places of business — flower farms, floral studios and retail florists locations.
Next, I team up with one or more of those generous folks to schedule a Slow Flowers meet-up.
And third, I turn on the digital recorder to interview at least one of these folks for a Slow Flowers Podcast episode.
Yes, I do travel quite a bit, the “non-slowness” of which is a bit ironic, as my friends and family have pointed out.
But I’m so passionate about getting out “on-location,” so to speak, to capture your stories.
Sharing the stories of American flowers and the people who grow and design with them is at the heart of the Slow Flowers mission.
Last month, you benefitted from my interviews in Montana. This month, it’s Connecticut and Virginia. Next month, it will be Massachusetts and Arizona. And then, maybe I’ll stay home for the holidays!
So enough of that. Let me introduce you to Michael Russo, a farmer-florist and gifted artist who co-owns Trout Lily Farm in Guilford, Connecticut. He and his husband, Raymond Lennox, who works in the health care industry when he’s not co-farming, purchased Trout Lily about 13 years ago. The farm is located on picturesque Lake Quonnipaug in North Guilford, where Michael and Raymond grow and sell organic edibles and seasonal cut flowers for the table, weddings and events.
I’ve been wanting to visit Trout Lily Farm ever since I first met Michael in the fall of 2014 at a floral design workshop I taught in Rhode Island at the wonderful estate home and garden called Blithewold Mansion.
My friend Ellen Hoverkamp of My Neighbor’s Garden, an botanical artist and photographer who is a previous guest of this podcast, came from her home in New Haven, Connecticut and brought Michael along. I was so enchanted with their long friendship dating back to high school and college, as artists and former public school art teachers, both of whom both took early retirements to pursue new creative ventures.