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Welcome to MAY! I hope the information shared in this month's newsletter is useful and thought-provoking, Warmly, Debra
HASHTAG: #Slow Flowers
Use of the #slowflowers hashtag on Instagram and Twitter alone over the past 365 Days
30k posts, 3k users
6.2 million reach, 33.9 million impressions
If you are using #slowflowers in your social media posts, congratulate yourself! If you aren't, then join in -- the numbers don't lie. People are tagging and searching for local flowers with #slowflowers.
No other hashtag in our industry has as much influence!
You're the first to see our fab new campaign graphics for American Flowers Week 2017! Isn't it gorgeous?
The stunning All-American Sunflower gown represents the best collaboration between flower farmers and floral design -- Seattle designer Amy Kunkel-Patterson of Gather Design Co.(right)created this magnificent wearable gown using more than 500 stems of locally-grown Pacific Northwest sunflowers, rudbeckia, amaranth and ornamental grasses. Kelly Uhlig of Sonshine Farm on Whidbey Island, Washington, modeled the luxe botanical gown (see her in the photo above), and Anna Petersphotographed the creation at Vivian Larsen's beautiful Everyday Flowers farm in Stanwood, Washington.
Thank you to everyone involved, and especially to the farmers and staff of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market for donating the freshest, most beautiful, locally-grown elements for American Flowers Week. In the coming weeks, we'll release more photos and background stories about how this gown came together. Suffice it to say, the lowly sunflower has been elevated to symbolize American Flowers Week. It's an icon!
Developed and produced by Debra Prinzing and Slow Flowers LLC, this one-day event is designed to celebrate AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK (June 28-July 4, 2017) and bring together creatives, thought leaders and change agents with a lecture series featuring leading voices in the progressive American-grown floral community.
Future interviews with our other speakers and panelists are in the works! Watch for news about them soon!
Nettle Textiles: Naturally-dyed ribbons from floral designer Susanna Luck
[Editor's Note: Here's an excerpt from our Q&A with Portland floral designer and textile entrepreneur Susanna Luck]
SFJ: How and when did you first start dyeing textiles and ribbons?
SL: About a year and a half ago, I had a wedding that needed a particular shade of blue ribbon and I couldn’t find anything that worked – all I was finding were really artificial-looking satins that clashed horribly with the flowers and greens. I think I was searching online and I came across a blog in which the author was experimenting with making a pretty blue dye from black beans (believe it or not!). She had step by step directions, so I thought I’d give it a try.. and I was immediately hooked.
The process was so satisfying – it reminded me somewhat of developing a photograph, in that the colour changed as it dried, or of painting (my first love). Then I just couldn’t stop playing with colours and trying to figure out what else I could use. I made LOTS of mistakes, of course – lots of horrid browns – but every time I happened across something new and lovely it felt like a personal discovery and I still can’t get enough of it. I love how some of colours marble and seem to capture that moment in time, rather like a watercolour painting, and working with silk is just very deeply satisfying to me. I love making something beautiful by hand, wrapping it up like a gift and sending it off around the world.
Phipps Conservatory welcomes a Slow Flowers workshop to its popular floral design certificate program. Debra Prinzing will present: "American Beauty: Slow Flowers, Seasonal Floral Design and Eco-Friendly Techniques" The workshop includes a short lecture, followed by a demonstration and hands-on eco-design workshop. More details can be found here.
June 25 | Washington, PA
Sunday, June 25th, all day
Destiny Hill Flower Farm, a Slowflowers.com member, presents its popular Lavender Festival, complete with workshops, gardening vendors, food and fun. Debra will present "Blooming Beauty: Tips, Tricks and Ideas for the DIY Floral Designer." More details can be found here.
July 2 | Seattle, WA
Sunday, July 2nd, all day
The Slow Flowers Summit brings together thinkers and doers in the progressive floral community, with inspiring and engaging speakers, panels, demonstrations and interactive design.Tickets & details here.
Tuesday, September 12, 9-10 a.m. Debra Prinzing presents "Slow Flowers" as part of this fabulous 2-day symposium about edibles, ornamentals and floral design. Details and registration here.
Slow Flowers on the Road
The Slow Flowers story went to Des Moines, Iowa, in April, hosted by the Wonder of Words Festival at the downtown Des Moines Public Library. It was so fitting that I spoke about locally-grown flowers and the Slow Flowers Movement on Earth Day!
Special thanks to Meredith Corp., publishers of Better Homes & Gardens and Country Gardens, for sponsoring my presentation. And a HUGE BOUQUET OF THANKS to Slow Flowers Members Jennifer and Adam O'Neal of PepperHarrow Farmin Winterset, Iowa, for sharing their flowers at my presentation. I loved having their presence and their support!
Got Peonies? Slow Flowers PR Opportunity
Our Slow Flowers friends at Alaska Peony Marketing Group are staging the first annual Peony Design Contest with prizes and the promise of recognition from Florists' Review and the Slow Flowers Journal! Check out the details here and submit photos of your peony designs in these categories:
Entry Deadline: July 10, 2017. Category winners will receive: $150 cash prize
$350 toward fresh Alaska-grown peonies in 2018, free Slowflowers.comdirectory listing & 1-year subscription to Florists' Review.
Slow Flowers in the News
Three Slowflowers.com member farms are featured in a "Slow Flowers" article that appears in the current issue of SOUTHERN FARM & GARDEN magazine, "a high quality agricultural lifestyle journal."
The farmers/farms include:
Jonathan and Megan Leiss of Spring Forth Farm in Hurdle Mills, N.C. (thanks, Jonathan & Megan for introducing the magazine's co-founders Nancy Suttles and Abby Jackson to Slow Flowers!); Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens in Southport, Conn.; and Mandy and Steve O'Shea of 3 Porch Farm in Comer, GA.
The beautifully illustrated story, "American Beauty: The Renaissance of Local, Seasonal and Sustainable Flowers," introduces each of these three farms, the story of "Slow Flowers" and the unique philosophy of each farm.
Southern Farm & Garden is a relatively new publication that is eager for more stories from flower farmers, so get in touch if you're interested in partnering with us on future articles. Here's how to subscribe.
Our Slow Flowers Podcast blog has been named one of the TOP 100 FLOWER BLOGS on the Web by Feedspot. [We came in at #29!!]
Along with all sorts of fantastic flower blogs -- including those published by fellow Slowflowers.com members -- we're thrilled to be part of this comprehensive list.
Feedspot Founder Anuj Agarwal told us that the blog list was compiled by evaluating SEO ranking, social media influence, social media buzz, Alexa ranking, post frequency a quality score assigned by his editorial team. Pretty Cool!
Quill & Trowel, the membership publication for GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators, recently profiled Slow Flowers founder Debra Prinzing. She diescusses the professional and horticultural path that led her to writing, speaking about and advocating for America's flower farmers and florists. Click below to read the entire piece, authored by Jean Starr.
Voices of the Slow Flowers Movement Each week the Slow Flowers Podcast releases a new episode featuring timely interviews with flower farmers and floral designers whose wisdom and insights will inspire you!
Check out the wide range of guests we've heard from last month:
We announced details about the 2017 Census of Agriculture during the Slow Flowers Podcast #293 (April 19) but you my have missed it. So Take Note!
Every five years the USDA – that’s the US Department of Agriculture – conducts a Census, a complete count of farms and ranches, and the people who operate them, all across the country.
2017 is an Ag Census year. Producers who are new to farming or who did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. USDA defines a farm as any place from which at least $1,000 of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year — and that means unless you’re a hobby grower like me, you should be counted!