Today is the last day to sign up for Bloom: A Sustainable Workshop, a fabulous full day of flower classes from local florists who support the slow flowers movement (we are co-hosting the event this Sunday, March 29 with organizer The Note Passer and the Ethical Writers Coalition). Why slow flowers? Outdoor living expert and greenery guru Debra Prinzing, who is sponsoring the event along with Mode Marteau, explains in her guest post below:
I’ve been eating, sleeping, breathing, writing and speaking about SLOW FLOWERS for so long that it’s good to sometimes be reminded that not everyone understands what that phrase means. Recently, one of my flower farmer friends emailed to ask: “Tell me again what SLOW FLOWERS means. I know it’s USA-grown flowers but SLOW?”
Fair enough. Here's my personal definition of SLOW FLOWERS. This is excerpted from my introduction to the book, "Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm."
Thanks to the culinary pioneers who popularized the Slow Food movement, it now seems like you can put “slow” in front of any term to convey a different philosophy or approach to that subject. When I say the phrase “slow flowers,” there are those who immediately understand it to mean: I have made a conscious choice.
My blooms, buds, leaves and vines are definitely in season; not, for example, grown and brought in from elsewhere in the world during the wet, cold winter months in my hometown of Seattle. So, come December, January and into early spring, my commitment to sourcing locally-grown floral materials sends me to the conifer boughs, colored twigs and berry-producing evergreens -- and the occasional greenhouse-grown rose, lily or tulip, just to satisfy my hunger for a bloom.
Slow Flowers (the concept and the book) is also about the artisanal, anti-mass-market approach to celebrations, festivities, and floral gifts of love. I value my local sources. If not clipped from my own shrubs or cutting garden, I want to know where the flowers and greenery were grown, and who grew them. Having a relationship with the grower who planted and nurtured each flower is nothing short of magical. I call so many flower farmers around the country my friends. They are the unsung heroes – the faces behind the flowers we love.
Finally, Slow Flowers reflects life lived in the slower lane . . . My “year in flowers” [written about in my book called "Slow Flowers"] was altogether different. I can only compare it to the practice of praying or meditating. I didn’t realize that those few hours I spent each week, gathering and choosing petals and stems, arranging them in a special vessel, and then figuring out where and how to capture the finished design through my camera lens, would be so personally enriching.
Making a connection with the seasons, with nature, with gardens and with flower farms and fields provides the momentum behind the Slow Flowers Movement. The philosophy supports grown-in-the-USA flower farms as well as floral designers, florists and retailers committed to using American-grown ingredients. But how do we find the farms and florists that are mindful
about the origins of the flowers they sell? After being asked that question countless times by the media and by audiences, I realized there was no single resource that provided an answer. And that's why I created Slowflowers.com.
Slowflowers.com is a free, online directory that helps connect consumers with American flowers and the people who grow and design with them. Since we launched the site in May 2014, this resource has grown to include 530 flower farmers, floral designers, studio florists, and retailers listed on the web site -- in 49 states of the U.S.
There are 20 Slow Flowers members within a 40-mile radius of Manhattan, who you can find here. You'll meet a few of them at BLOOM: A SUSTAINABLE WORKSHOP, hosted by the Ethical Writers Coalition.
Get ready to be inspired and channel your inner-florist, when you learn from Rachel Gordon of Taproot Flowers and Molly Culver and Deborah Greig of Molly Oliver Flowers. Revel in the beauty and creativity of what they'll teach you and enjoy local flowers, in season, from farms close to you.
You'll be helping put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time.
Debra Prinzing is an award-winning author, speaker and leading advocate for American- grown flowers. She is the creator of Slowflowers.com, a free online directory that helps consumers find florists, designers, studios and farms that supply American grown flowers. Debra's book "Slow Flowers" (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) received a Silver Medal from Garden Writers Association in 2014. Debra is a contributing garden editor for Country Gardens magazine and her feature stories on architecture and design appear regularly in the Los Angeles Times’ Home section. She is the landscape and culture editor for Seattle-based Gray Magazine and she writes frequently for Alaska Airlines Magazine and other shelter and consumer publications. Debra serves on the board of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-to-florist cooperative. She is the producer and host of the Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing.