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American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour Launches 2017 Series
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The table is set for the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour to be held in the exquisite fields and greenhouses of America's most stunning flower and foliage farms. Now in its third year, the dinner tour is a cross-country series of elegant, intimate pop-up gatherings held on seven flower and foliage farms from coast to coast.
Have you attended one of these amazing flower filled events yet? Are you planning to come this year?
Make this year the year you make this bucket list experience come true for you.
Companions old and new share lively conversations in the company of diners equally passionate about preserving American Grown flowers, farmland and our country's floriculture heritage.
Presented by Certified American Grown Flowers, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour provides longtime industry veterans, designers, event planners and flower lovers to gather on America's most beautiful flower farms.
The first of seven artisan dinners in 2017 takes place Saturday, March 11 inside the fragrant glasshouses of Len Busch Roses, Plymouth, Minnesota. The tour then travels to Carpinteria, California, Thursday, March 30, to the home of Gallup & Stribling Orchids, provider of beautiful, premium-cut and potted cymbidium and tropical orchids.
Other destinations across the country include:
The Flower Fields, Carlsbad, California, Thursday, April 20, home of the Tecolote® Giant Ranunculus, also known as the Persian buttercup or Ranunculus asiaticus.
Destiny Hill Farm, Washington, Pennsylvania, Saturday, June 24, overlooks historic Washington and showcases the beauty of the Pittsburgh region, including 137 acres of fragrant lavender, and an array of florals, berries and shrubs.
Scenic Place Peonies, Homer, Alaska, Thursday, July 29, is located on the scenic East Hill, overlooking Kachemak Bay, at an elevation of 1,150 feet and grows 14 cultivars of peonies for the cut-flower market. It is one of America's largest producers of fresh-cut peony stems.
Hope Flower Farm, Waterford, Virginia, Sunday, Oct. 8, located in the heart of Loudoun County's breathtaking countryside, is a playground for floral design and teaching. Situated on 25 acres, the farm is complete with two traditional barns, a quaint tenant house and an abundance of ground for planting.
FernTrust, Seville, Florida, Saturday, Nov. 18, is a cooperative of 13 family farms encompassing a combined 350 acres growing a variety of ferns, grasses and foliage plants for the fresh-cut floral market, including tree fern, leatherleaf, aspidistra and more.
California Grown Flowers Earn Recognition at Rose Parade
California Grown flowers took center stage during the biggest one-day flower-focused event in the country - the Tournament of Roses Parade Jan. 2.
For the eighth year running, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) worked to highlight California flower farmers and the fruits of their labor as part of this New Year's tradition.
Several Certified California Grown entries made their way down Colorado Avenue, including floats from the California Milk Advisory Board, Cal Poly Universities and Miracle-Gro, as well as host of parade vehicle entries from FTD.
The Cal Poly float, with 54,000 California Grown Flowers, earned the Founder's Trophy. Miracle-Gro's float earned the Queen's Trophy for the best use of roses - 32,000 California Grown roses adorned their award winning float!
The beauty of these entries and their use of California Grown Flowers earned many, many media mentions during the parade and in the coverage that followed. The message about the importance of locally and sustainably grown flowers was spread far and wide, thanks this annual California born tradition that provides a huge stage for not only gorgeous blooms but the "origin matters" message.
Providing an even more personal touch, the CCFC reached thousands of consumers at the Post Parade event where we hosted a booth and shared the California Grown message, encouraging everyday consumers to look for and buy flowers with the CA Grown logo.
We reached thousands of consumers during this year's Tournament of Roses Parade.
All of this adds up to more awareness, more conversations and more mentions of California Grown Flowers to consumers, stakeholders and people who care about where their flowers come from.
Click to read more about our efforts at this year's Rose Parade.
Spread the California, American Grown Message for Valentine's Day
There's no better time to share the "origin matters" mantra to drive sales than Valentine's Day, one of the largest flower-focused holidays of the year. Farmers and farmer florists have lots of tips and ideas for focusing Valentine's Day promotions on California Grown and Certified American Grown Flowers. And what they know for sure - the concept is resonating with consumers.
Floral designer Danielle Kendall is featuring all California Grown Flowers in their promotions for Valentine's Day.
TheFlower Stand in an online retail site offering fresh from the farm arrangements to consumers direct.
First up, all bouquets on The Flower Stand online shop will be 100 percent California Grown and will feature a flirty theme with a handpicked look. Think hand-tied bouquets delivered overnight via Fed Ex to consumers. Orders for large bouquets placed by Feb. 7 include an additional free smaller bouquet, explains floral designer Danielle Kendall.
Using the #CAGrown hashtag, Kendall Farms promotes California Grown Flowers for Valentine's Day.
Further driving home the origin matters message, Kendall Farms is offering a Flirty Flower Workshop that includes a farm tour and floral design class. Participants experience a floral arranging lesson with Kendall, enjoy sparkling wine and cheese, and leave with a Valentine's bouquet in a special container, along with Kendall Farms goodies.
Their "retail ready" program that serves large retailers will feature all California Grown flowers, including bouquets placed in a custom wooden mason jar with original "Be Mine" artwork etched into the jar. The containers are made on the farm from California redwood.
Kendall is already all over social media promoting Valentine's Day offers and educating consumers about the importance of locally grown flowers. "We want to educate the consumer and bring people to the farm, so we're doing lots of social media," Kendall says.
Steve Pabody of Triple Wren Farms, a Certified American Grownfarm, is making sure Valentine's Day is all American Grown by supplementing flowers from his Washington state farm with California Grown Flowers.
"We don't have fields of everything and yet we need to be a full-service farmer florist in February. When we buy from our favorite farmers in California we can offer top-notch product at a time when we really only have sticks and evergreens here in Washington," Pabody says. "We're local farmers and local florists. We buy first from our county, then our state and then we go right to California to help keep our clients and customers buying American."
He says his customers
Steve and Sarah Pabody of Triple-Wren Farms will be offering Certified American Grown Flowers for Valentine's Day this year.
appreciate it - and that the origin matters movement is not fringe anymore. "The slow food movement has gotten a lot of attention. It's a real choice on the menu, so people are paying attention and once they do, they start to wonder where other things are coming from. The whole reason we have a business is that people want to buy locally and if they can't, we help ensure they are buying American."
How are you tapping into the buy American movement? Will you be featuring California Grown and Certified American Grown Flowers this Valentine's Day?
We want to feature your promotions!
Simply reply to this email with your promotions plans and we will feature you as a designer, florist or farmer-florist offering American Grown Flowers this Valentine's Day.
An Interview with Lane DeVries of Sun Valley Floral Farms
Women's Day, coming March 8, is a day to honor and recognize women's achievements, and to celebrate the women in our lives by expressing our respect, appreciation and love. Founded in New York City in 1909, the holiday is celebrated around the world and over the past three years the observance of Women's Day in the U.S. has been growing.
It's a celebration Lane DeVries of The Sun Valley Group says is good for the entire floral industry.
DeVries began leading efforts to market Women's Day as a natural floral holiday in the U.S. in 2010. Since launching the initiative, retailers, wholesalers and other companies have joined efforts to grow the holiday and raise awareness and consumer interest in celebrating it with flowers.
Sun Valley's Lane DeVries (center) was awarded "Marketer of the Year" in 2014 by the Society of American Florists for their promotion efforts to help establish Women's Day as a floral holiday in the U.S. Also pictured is Sun Valley Floral Farm Marketing Director Bill Prescott of Sun Valley (left) and CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist (right).
He says Women's Day is a natural fit for the flower industry, and it's timing helps bridge the gap between Valentine's Day and Mother's Day - the two biggest flower-related holidays in the U.S.
"My vision is to increase flower consumption in America, and I believe the way to accomplish this is to find other opportunities to buy flowers without taking away any efforts from Valentine's Day and Mother's Day," DeVries explains. "By driving sales throughout the year, we put a fresher product in consumers' hands which will increase the demand for flowers."
The celebration of Women's Day is really catching on.
Sun Valley was already receiving calls about Women's Day flowers and promotions in January, and the industry as a whole is doing a terrific job of creating awareness and generating sales for the holiday. Next, Sun Valley would like to see other retailers and industries - such as home and garden centers, balloon and greeting card manufacturers, food and beverage companies - get on board.
"In a world dominated by our smartphones, social media and an unending news cycle, an opportunity to recognize and say thank you to our mentors, our co-workers, our elders and our daughters in real time in proving to be a welcome addition to the traditions we celebrate," DeVries said.
Additional media coverage is also a goal. After all, the idea of Women's day is simple and positive - showing respect and gratitude for the women in our lives, and flowers do an exceptional job of conveying those feelings.
DeVries would like to see more flower farmers, retailers and wholesalers put together their own programs for Women's Day.
"We need consumers to see Women's Day everywhere they look in early March. Look at the average floral department at Valentine's Day. The overwhelming amount of red makes it impossible to walk by and not think about Valentine's Day. Now, imagine that department leading up to March 8 promoting Women's Day with a huge display of flowers, balloons, colorful signage and other merchandise. The potential is enormous," DeVries notes.
California Grown Flowers Star at Inauguration Luncheon
The flowers for the presidential inaugural luncheon were sponsored by the CCFC, while the Wine Institute provided California wine for the event.
CCFC Chair Diana Roy (left) and floral designer and Certified American Grown flower farmer Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios during the California State Society (CSS)Luncheon reception. Andrea and her team at LynnVale Studios designed all of the arrangements and centerpieces for CSS.
A list of generous California flower farms provided flowers and foliage, including Green Valley Floral, Myriad Flowers, Dramm & Echter, Mellano & Co., Ocean View Flowers, Westland Orchids, Holland America Flowers, Joseph & Sons, Pyramid Flowers, Resendiz Brothers Protea and Sun Valley Floral Farms.
California native and "Top Chef" finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley inspired the cuisine for the luncheon. Meek-Bradley is a James Beard Nominated Chef and has worked under renowned chefs across the U.S., including Thomas Keller with Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California. In D.C., she has worked in notable restaurants such as Zaytinya and Graffiato before becoming the executive chef at Ripple and Roofers Union. She recently started a new venture with Smoked & Stacked is working to bring the first location Washington, D.C, soon.
America's Flower Farmers Heading to Washington
A delegation of American flower farmers will head to Washington, D.C., Feb. 28 - March 2 to raise the profile of issues that impact America's flower farmers. The annual trip is also an opportunity to meet with a dedicated group of representatives in the House who acknowledge their care and support for America's flower farmers through their membership in the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus.
Last year's fly-in included the largest ever delegation of flower farmers, and the goal is to bring an even bigger group, and louder voices, in 2017.
Holly Chapple of Chapple Designers and Certified American Grown flower farmer testified to her support during a briefing of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus in Washington D.C. last year.
While there, farmers will meet with elected officials, attend events and discuss the importance and opportunities ahead to help expand the opportunities and improve the competitiveness of American Grown Flowers.
California Cut Flower Commission, PO Box 90225, Santa Barbara, CA 93190-0225