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The Slow Flowers SUMMIT took place on June 29th in Washington, D.C. and if you missed it, no worries! You can now enjoy a "virtual" pass to experience Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers'inspiring keynote, as well as all four of the featured presentations that we recorded on video. Click the video trailer above to get a taste of the Summit Video Package, which you can download and watch for an affordable price of $48.
I was on the road for much of August and connecting with Slow Flowers members and sponsors was at the heart of my travel. The group above gathered in St. Paul, Minnesota, to introduce me to Minnesota-grown flowers at a special meet-up hosted by Twin Cities Flower Exchange.
Christine and the TCFE are co-hosting the Summit in their wonderful Twin Cities, where the local floral scene is alive, well, thriving and growing. In addition to arranging for me to visit two of the flower farms that sell their botanical harvest through the TCFE, Christine took me to see three potential venues for the Summit sessions next summer. It’s often quite challenging to manage and plan an event long-distance, so this was hugely important.
It was a major treat to visit Beezie’s Blooms, a Slow Flowers member farm owned by Randi Greiner (above with her partner Jeff and Christine Hoffman), and to tour Allison DeRungs'Flower Child Farm, both located on beautiful properties north of the metro area. On Sunday afternoon, Christine hosted a meet-up-style open house to introduce me to the local floral community – farmers and floral designers who comprise the dynamic change taking place there. We tasted signature cocktails with a floral note (of course), sample butters flavored with petals and herbs to spread on delicious local bread, and munched on local veggies, all part of the festive day.
It was inspiring and encouraging – all inside The Good Acre, a certified organic hub for local food distribution. That place holds state-of-the-art equipment and huge walk-in coolers where yes, produce from local farms is processed for distribution to school lunch rooms, but where every Wednesday florists and designers come to shop for flowers from as many as a dozen Minnesota and Wisconsin flower farms.
What a great Chicago gathering! I'm on the left with Beth Barnett On August 14, thanks to Beth Barnett of Larkspur Chicago, about 18 of us joined together in her beautiful new studio for an after-hours Slow Flowers Windy City meet-up, where we talked flowers, shared personal stories and enjoyed drinks and bites while making new connections and renewing established ones. I’m so grateful to the many who made the time to attend: flower farmers who traveled two to three hours into the city for our evening together; florists who closed busy retail shops or broke away from producing flowers in their studios to come for a special gathering of kindred spirits.
Thank you so much to Kath LaLiberte of Longfield Gardens, a sponsor of this podcast, and to Mackenzie Nichols, a writer and floral designer friend from New York, both of whom were in Chicago to attend the conference with me! They joined me in shopping for food and wine and helped Beth and me get everything set up for the fun. It was a great night and so rewarding to invest in the time to make face-to-face connections with Chicago’s Slow Flowers Community. Thanks to all who helped make it happen.
From left: Compost in my Shoe's Jim Martin, Purple Magnolia's Ann Cunniffe, Roadside Blooms' Teri Reale and me
Charleston -- S.C.
August 26 & 27 took me to Charleston, S.C., where I was hosted at the Southern Flower Symposium by Lowcountry Flower Growers, which is emerging as an important force for reclaiming and revitalizing floral agriculture in the South.
Thanks to the organizing team of Lowcountry Flower Growers for hosting me at the Southern Flower Symposium in late August -- especially to my dear friend Jim Martin of Compost in My Shoe, and Laura Mewbourn of Feast & Flora Farm, along with their core group of local growers for setting up such a great, one-day symposium. Rita Anders of Cuts of Color in Weimar, Texas, an established flower grower and Slow Flowers Member, led off the day with a fabulous, zone-specific presentation on growing premium flowers in the humid, hot southern climate.
I shared a preview of the 2019 Slow Flowers' Floral Insights and Industry Forecast as well as to moderate a floral design demonstration focused on appealing to millennial customers. All the arrangements were created with flowers donated from attending farms, displayed in USA-made vessels donated from Syndicate Sales.
AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK 2018 Recap
American Flowers Week labels decorate bouquets from Le Mera Gardens ~ photographed at the Fry Family Farm Store in Southern Oregon (c) Photo by Erica @ofthewonder
Did you Celebrate American Flowers Week with us?!
We asked new Slow Flowers contributor Mackenzie Nichols to speak with some of you and learn how you maximized American Flowers Week for your brand and in your community! This is just the first of a series of articles that Mackenzie is reporting and writing for us -- and we couldn't be happier that she's sharing her talents with the Slow Flowers Community! In addition to her floral design experience, Mackenzie is a regular contributor to Floral Management and The American Gardener magazines.
As you witnessed during our 2016, 2017 and 2018 Campagns, Slow Flowers loves showcasing and elevating local and domestic cut flowers in as floral couture. The stylized fashion shoots created by member florists and flower farmers are a big part of American Flowers Week's promotional efforts. Do you want to get involved and channel your Inner Fashion Designer? Now's the time to start planning!
For 2019, you're invited to be part of the application process. We'll commission a minimum of five farmer-floral design teams to produce New Botanical Wearable Looks! Think this opportunity might have your name on it?! Click the link below for more details!
Get ready for CANADIAN FLOWERS WEEK -- September 13-19, 2018
Inspired by domestic flower promotion weeks in the U.K., the U.S., and Australia, Natasa Kajganic of the Toronto Flower Market recently announced the inaugural Canadian Flowers Week. She is creating a grassroots, collaborative, nationwide event to involve the entire floral industry — growers, wholesalers, designers, florists and retailers.
“We want to celebrate all flowers grown in Canada, including from the fields and in the greenhouses,” she explains. The objectives are straightforward and echo the many reasons why I started American Flowers Week in 2015. CONGRATULATIONS to our Candian Slow Flowers Members!
I’m so grateful to them for bringing Johnny’s resources and cutting garden design ideas to the garden media – editors, writers, bloggers and broadcasters. Hundreds of them media members stopped by the Johnny’s booth to pick up plans, seeds and images for use in their columns and blog posts.
DESIGN YOUR OWN CUT FLOWER GARDEN
Hillary Alger is Johnny’s Flower Product Manager and she spends 365 days a year immersed in cut flowers and herb evaluations, as well as planning for the coming season and interacting with an ever-expanding community of Slow Flowers members, flower farmers, farmer-florists, DIY flower growers like me and gardening enthusiasts.
Here, you’ll learn more about her suggested 11 easy-to-grow annual varieties for the residential cutting garden. This “set” will produce attractive blooms on long stems throughout your growing season.
Here's an article about the #slowflowerscuttinggarden and how Slow Flowers' Debra Prinzing incorporated an easy design scheme to plant summer bulbs in one raised bed -- yielding a proliferation of blooms for giving as gift bouquets and enjoying in her home.
Last spring, Longfield recommend a collection of plants for one of Debra's 3′ x 7′ raised beds in her backyard. They helped her realize my vision for a mini-cutting garden that would produce at least 10 weeks of stunning summer bouquets, proposing a color-coordinated assortment of spring-planted bulbs with high-impact flowers that would complement the annuals, perennials and shrubs that she was already growing in other parts of her yard.
Before anything else, I'd like to send a big shout out to Debra Prinzing, founder of the Slow Flowers movement and powerhouse behind the Slow Flowers Summit, which took place in D.C. this year.
Attending any conference or summit is an opportunity I seek out to connect with like-minded people and to catch up on the latest trends. The most touching aspect of the Slow Flowers Summit was to listen to flower growers and designers who believe deeply in the power of flowers and who are transforming communities with flowers.
@myslowflowers on Instagram reaches 10k followers!
Huge thanks to the Slow Flowers Community for engaging and supporting our Instagram feed! Niesha Blancas of Fetching Social Media has truly made the difference for increased engagement and for keeping our feed relevant and informative!
2018 debuted a new series of articles authored by Debra Prinzing featuring Slow Flowersmember growers and retailers for SuperFloral.
SuperFloral is the sister magazine of Florists' Review, with editorial content tailored and designed to reach grocery and supermarket floral decision-makers.
The August Issue features "Dazzling Dahlias," and Slow Flowers member Michael Genovese of Summer Dreams Farm in Oxford, Michigan, as well as the famous #dahliawall created by Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs for the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.
PS -- Contact Debra if you want to share how you sell or design for the Grocery marketplace! She's always looking for great story ideas!
of PepperHarrow Farm announced their first "Flower Farming, Floral Design, and Creative Writing Workshop" -- and Slow Flowers will be there. will be there.
Immerse yourself in the farm for two
gloriously full days of flower farming, inspiration, design, and fellowship. This beginning flower farmer workshop is for the hands-on learner and goes in-depth into the basics of flower farming, creative writing, floral design, and developing your flower farming business.Students will gather with like-minded flower souls while learning and seeing life on a beautiful working flower farm. Throughout the course, personalized instruction will delve extensively into the essentials of flower farming so attendees leave with the confidence to bring flower farming goals to life. In addition to all of this incredible content, Margaret Ludwig, of
Giverny Design, in New Orleans, will be leading creative instruction on floral design.
SLOW FLOWERS IN KANSAS CITY WITH MoKan Farmer-Florist Connection September 11, 2018 5:30-8 p.m. (dinner included)
Hosted by Andrea K. Grist Floral Artand Florasource KC The Homesteader Cafe, Kansas City
MoKan Farmer Florist Connection's Facebook Group is open to anyone who has an interest in organic/sustainable gardening practices, flower farming, floral design, and
growing the Slow (local) Flowers Movement
in America. Members are invited to share flower farming experiences, availability of product, seed sources, greenhouse growing, flower conferences, floral designs, branding, sales and marketing, wedding work and more. Its creator is Slow Flowers member Andrea K. Grist of Andrea K. Grist Floral Art. Tickets include farm-to-table dinner. Pre-registration is required.
ASSOCIATION OF SPECIALTY CUT FLOWER GROWERS Annual Symposium September 24-26, 2018 On Wednesday, September 26 (1:30 p.m.) join me for a Future-Looking Floral Industry Overview and early peek at the 2019 forecast for flower farmers and farmer-florists alike. I last spoke at ASCFG six years ago, at the 2012 Symposium in Tacoma, Washington. So much has changed for the good in the subsequent years and I'm excited to share my insights and experiences with ASCFG's attendees.
FLOWERSTOCK 2018 October 15-16, 2018 Hosted by Holly Heider Chapple, Hope Flower FarmWaterford, Virgnia
For the third year, Holly Heider Chapple will welcome designers and flower lovers from near and far to Flowerstock at HOPE Flower Farm.
Floral professionals and members of the floral community will gather two days of demonstrations and talks by renowned floral designers.
Debra Prinzing will join Holly for the second year to experience and teach at Flowerstock, leading creative writing exercises for attendees, guiding as everyone begins to transcribe a personal floral narrative.
EVENT DIVA Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events. Karen Thornton is the talent behind the 2nd annual Slow Flowers Summit and I'm so grateful for her counsel, her organizational genius, her strategic planning and her generally chill approach to anything that makes me panic. We've worked together on two previous events for creativepreneurs and I have to say, Karen's involvement in any event is the *secret sauce* to success! If you attend the Summit, you'll meet both Karen AND Niesha! Follow Karen at @avenue22events.