If you’ve always wanted to attend an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner but haven’t yet, or if you’re a past guest who’d like to relive the magical experience, check out these incredible photos from the first stop on this year’s dinner tour!
Guests were awed by the rainbow of colors surrounding this beautifully designed table and the Pacific Ocean within view. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Mike A. Mellano of Mellano and Company, was the host for the evening and led guests on a farm tour sharing both the history and the science behind farming at The Flower Fields. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Smithers Oasis and FloraLife sponsored the boutonniere bar where guests had a fun opportunity to make their own. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Wine and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed before the dinner began. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Our inaugural 2019 dinner was held last week in Carlsbad, California, at The Flower Fields and was hosted by Mellano & Company. Guests dined in fields of ranunculus at tables bursting with homegrown flowers, thanks to floral designer René van Rems, who added an extra splash with fresh flower chandeliers overhead!
Featured designer, René van Rems, created these amazing floral chandeliers that graced the ceiling of the table. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Christi Lopez will be the featured designer at Joslyn Peonies in Homer, Alaska for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in August. Photo by Joshua Veldstra
Guests can count on Lopez to bring her contemporary garden style to the tablescapes and other arrangements at the event, along with a love for peonies and a respect for the American flower farmers that grow them.
“I’m excited to return to Alaska where just last year I was able to experience the amazing peonies and meet the farmers as part of a field trip with other designers,” Lopez shares. “I fell in love with the peony farmers and with Alaska.”
Tours through the Alaskan peony fields will be a highlight of the weekend with Christi Lopez and Betty Joslyn. Photo by Joshua Veldstra
And although she doesn’t know yet what peony colors she’ll be working with, she’s heard that a big harvest is expected this year – and that’s great news for dinner guests who can’t get enough of these glorious blooms!
Christi will be responsible for designing the tablescape for our guests to enjoy. Photo by Joshua Veldstra
“They’re big, fat, audacious blooms and they make it easy to create a garden-style look that’s a pleasing and popular part of today’s floral design trends,” Lopez says.
Save your seat to this experience of a lifetime in Alaska. Photo by Joshua Veldstra
Expect multiple vessels overflowing with just-picked peonies and natural elements from the environment to give an Alaskan feel, Lopez describes.
“It’s the colors and the heavy petal essence of the bloom that enamors people,” Lopez says. “And the best part is that I’ll be designing with these blooms at a time of year when no one else around the world grows them. Having access to that is amazing!”
The popularity of peonies and Lopez’s design aesthetic means that the remaining 20 seats for this dinner will go fast!
The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner is a great mother and daughter opportunity.
Choose the June 1 dinner at Bloomia USA in King George, Virginia, and mom can dine among thousands of blooming tulips. Bloomia also grows hyacinth, peonies and muscari, but the rows and rows of tulips will steal the show at this stop.
Or, if you’re on the West Coast, choose the June 12 tour stop in Sacramento, California. Here, Mom will dine on the lawn of the state Capitol at tables adorned with the hundreds of flower varieties grown throughout the Golden State. She’ll experience and entire state’s worth of blooms at one event!
Consider making a memory with mom that she’ll never forget.
Both dinners include a multi-course artisan meal, wine and craft beer, a create-your-own wearable floral flair station and a swag bag full of flower-related goodies.
Choose your location to make Mom’s floral dreams come true! Seats are selling fast at both locations, so reserve now!
With just over a month to go until our inaugural dinner on the 2019 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, we’re thrilled to announce that renowned floral designer, educator and author René van Rems will be the featured floral designer at our first stop at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on April 18.
Floral designer René van Rems created a stunning tablescape and mesmerizing floral design installations at our Fallbrook Dinner in 2018. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Van Rems is an acclaimed ambassador to the floral industry and a friend to Certified American Grown, having been the featured designer last year at our sold-out dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Brothers in Fallbrook, California.
His designs, featuring assorted protea, were nothing short of amazing!
Van Rems brought brilliant life and color to every detail of the Fallbrook Field to Vase Dinner. He made sure that even this old farm cart was decorated with flowers from the farm.
A leading speaker, educator and floral design demonstrator, van Rems has led workshops and design shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He’s also frequently featured at art museum events, including “Art Alive” in San Diego.
Beyond special events, van Rems regularly holds workshops at his state-of-the-art training center in Carlsbad, California. His two-, three- and five-day programs cover floral trends, advanced floral design techniques and business basics.
And he’s recognized for bringing a European influence to American floral designs. His breathtaking arrangements have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset Magazine and on HGTV.
Van Rems will lead a hands-on floral design workshop April 17 and 18 at The Flower Fields. The workshop is open to dinner guests and the public, but just 25 seats are available! This hands-on one-and-a-half day workshop will cover designing with ranunculus and other Certified American Grown botanicals and cut foliage.
Learn about tabletop vignettes, large display-style arrangements, floral chandeliers and more!
The speed at which seats for this year’s American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour stops are selling is nothing short of amazing. With just over a month to go before the first dinner, we’re setting sales records!
Which is why we’re reminding you that if you’ve been pondering attending one of the upcoming stops, now’s the time to save your seat!
The Carlsbad Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields is always a full table and this year is no exception. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Josyln Peonies, in Homer, Alaska, is located on the Kenai Peninsula and has a beautiful view of Kachemak Bay. Photo by Joshua Veldstra Photography.
Due to popular demand for our nearly full dinner at Joslyn Peonies in Homer, Alaska on Aug. 3, we’re adding some seats! But it’s just a handful, and the opportunity to dine in a field of peonies is truly once-in-a-lifetime – so make your plans today!
It’s a full table for our October 5 dinner at Red Twig Farms in Ohio.
And our Oct. 5 dinner at Red Twig Farms in New Albany, Ohio, is also at sold out! This last stop on the 2019 tour will be the crowning event of the dinner tour season.
If you’re reading this, you likely already agree that origin matters. Where the flowers and greens consumers’ purchase come from and how they were grown matters.
Homegrown flowers matter. And the origin of flowers has become an important call to action in the floral industry.
It’s that thinking that led us to change the name (and format) of our newsletter from Field Notes to Origin Matters, starting now. And the new publication will also arrive in your inbox weekly, instead of monthly. Because we’ve got so much news, so frequently, that it can’t wait 30 days!
You need to read about what’s happening related to the origin of flowers more often and in a more accessible format. So that’s what we’ll be providing every week!
After all, Field Notes was originally created to share news specific to California, but with the growing success of Certified American Grown and BloomCheck, and the demand for homegrown blooms increasing, a weekly Origin Matters newsletter will let us capture all of those news-making items that help people find what they’re really looking for in the floral industry today.
#OriginMatters makes for a great hashtag on social media.
It will open the door to more storytelling. More thought-provoking ideas. More timely news.
Because origin really does matter, and we can’t wait to share how many ways and places that’s being proven!
Passion Project Shows What Can Be Designed 365 Days a Year With Domestic Blooms
Kelly Shore, recently featured in an ad in Florists Review, highlighting her commitment to Certified American Grown Flowers as a promise she can build her business on.
At the start of 2018, floral designer Kelly Shore challenged herself to spend the year designing with the highest percentage of American Grown Flowers possible. It was a personal effort on her part to see exactly what was achievable with flowers sourced exclusively from U.S. flower farms.
Kelly Shore with freshly cut flowers arranged on the farm at Plantmasters in Maryland. Photo by Susie & Becky.
Sure, her goal to use more Certified American Grown Flowers was public, but she was privately working on (and funding) another project that came to light at the start of 2018.
Each month, Shore, owner and lead designer at Petals by the Shore in Maryland, designed and photographed a bride’s bouquet created entirely with American Grown flowers and foliage. She describes the project as an experiential exercise to help her learn what grows 365 days a year in the U.S.
“I’m an experiential learner and actively making change with a hands-on approach is the only way I knew I would learn how to confidently make the change I wanted to. So I began the project ‘A Year of American Grown bouquets.’ My work with Certified American Grown inspired the undertaking – meeting the farmers, hearing their stories, that meant everything. And having those people connections was important, and motivating. ”
Kelly Shore has traveled to Alaska to design with the peonies growing there. She was the featured floral designer at the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Joshua Veldstra.
Every month, Shore picked an unconventional color palette – think lavender and blue in December, orange and yellow in February – and sourced all floral materials from American flower farmers.
She worked closely with wholesaler DVFlora and also reached out personally to source flowers from U.S. farms that grow varieties bride’s crave.
With the flowers sourced and 100 percent American grown, Shore would design a bouquet and have it professionally photographed (by Sarah Collier of Taken by Sarah Photography) in the hands of a bridal model in a studio or outdoor floral-related setting.
The project is featured in the January 2019 issue of Florists Review, and Shore started blogging about the effort and posting on social media in early January.
She stresses that the project was not just art for art’s sake, but was instead a learning journey and “a real working project to change my business.” And, in the long run, to show other designers what’s possible with domestic flowers.
“In everything I do, I want to bring visibility to the flower farms and encourage other designers to want to do the same,” Shore explains. “People are so inspired by it and they feel like they can do it. Designers are reaching out and saying the bouquets are gorgeous, and I’ve had a lot of farms comment that they appreciate the project and the recognition.”
And the lesson in it for Shore?
“That’ there’s a reliability in what I can get that’s American Grown. I can ask for specific farms and products because now I know the quality. And I get excited when I know the farms I’m getting the flowers from and see the sleeve and the beautiful logos. I’m proud to know that I’m supporting American farmers and their families.”
Flowers labeled Certified American Grown allow designers to quickly identify the origin of their blooms and provides them a third-party guarantee that the source of their flowers have been verified.
Shore’s confident her project can serve as a road map for other floral designers who may be considering increasing their use of domestically grown flowers, or even who are just hoping to get to know nearby flower farmers and their products.
“I understand how, as designers, it’s can be easy find ourselves celebrating some of these exotic flowers from places like Holland or Japan, but through this experience, I was really amazed to see what’s growing year-round right here in the U.S. We’re not even scratching the surface of what we can create with as designers, and to me, that had to change.”
Kelly Shore on the farm at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Joshua Veldstra.
We couldn’t be more excited about the lineup of farms involved with this year’s floral-infused dinner tour. Known for stopping at America’s most beautiful flower farms, this year’s tour features amazing locations, including a peony farm in Alaska and a return visit to one of our most popular stops!
So grab your calendar and check out these destinations!
You ‘ll be surrounded by flowers with a view of the Pacific Ocean during our dinner at The Flower Fields of Carlsbad. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
We’re thrilled to be starting the 2019 tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on April 18. The American Grown Field To Vase Dinner Tour returns to this postcard of an experience each year. Guests at this dinner get exclusive access and enjoy dining among acres and acres of colorful ranunculus while looking out over the Pacific Ocean. This is a very popular tour stop that sells out faster and faster each year.
Click here to save your seats The Flower Fields!
We want to see your name on the guest list during this year’s tour. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Next, we’ll head to Bloomia USA in King George, Virginia, on June 1, where guests will dine in a greenhouse bursting with tulips and hear about the flower-growing process for these flowers that so many name as their favorite bloom.
Click here to save your seat to Bloomia!
Grab your friends and find yourself at one of our tables during this year’s tour. Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.
On June 12, the tour heads back to California for a unique stop smack dab in the middle of a city This pop-up dinner destination will not only “pop up” a meal experience on the lawn of California’s State Capitol, we’ll be popping up a flower farm experience in the shadow of the Capitol building! We’ll be working with our farms to bring our American Grown Flowers story to the steps of California’s Capitol building, sharing our collective stories, the flowers we grow and the value our American flower farms bring to their communities and the economy. This dinner will bring flower farmers together with lawmakers to highlight just how important the consumer movement toward American Grown Flowers really is.
Click here to save your seats at the Capitol.
Picture you and that special someone on that Alaskan floral adventure you’ve been dreaming about. Photo by Joshua Veldstra Photography.
On Aug. 3, we head to Alaska! We couldn’t be more excited to return to Homer, this time for a stop at Joselyn Peonies, where guests will dine in a field of blooming peonies on a farm with views of Kachemak Bay. This destination also includes additional excursions such as fishing trips and a multi-farm tour. Be sure to check out all the reasons you should join us in Alaska and turn it into a true adventure!
Click here to save your seat at Josyln Peony Farm!
We can’t wait to dine in the middle of the stock fields of Ocean View Flowers! Photo courtesy of Ocean View Flowers.
In the fall, join us in Lompoc, California, at Ocean View Flowers on Sept. 7 where you’ll enjoy an artisan meal in fields of stock in a variety of hues. While there, you’ll learn about the unique coastal climate that helps Ocean View grow so many flower varieties on hundreds of acres.
Click here to save your seat to Ocean View Flowers!
You will find beautifully designed centerpieces by amazing floral designers at each one of our tour stops in 2019. Photo by Liraz Photography.
Our last stop will be at Red Twig Farms in New Albany, Ohio, on Oct. 5, where you’ll dine under a canopy of dogwood and willow branches. You don’t want to miss out on a visit to this nine-acre family-owned-and-operated cut flower and branch farm in central Ohio that grows oh so many specialty flowers and branches.
Click here to save your seat to Red Twig Farm!
We’ll be focused on the flowers, but the food and wine will not disappoint. Photos by Kelleghan Production.
There’s so much more we could share and explain, but for now, please visit the landing pages we’ve created for each one of these locations; find the complete list here. You’ll discover even more information and details about each stop, but make sure you book your tickets right away. Last year, we had dinners selling out months in advance!
The Certified American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has served over 5,000 people in the last four seasons. Photo by Kelleghan Production.
Plus, early birds benefit from special “Tour Launch” pricing. For the first 30 days, we’ll be selling tickets to each of our dinners for $175, however the price for each ticket will increase after this introductory offer!
Seating is limited and every dinner will sell out, so don’t wait to save your seat. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Please consider helping us share this year’s locations and special launch pricing with your flower-loving friends. If you’re planning to attend a dinner, invite them to join you. If you’ve gone before, help us share this magical experience with others on social networks like Instagram and Facebook.
We can’t wait to welcome you to the flower farm. Photo by Liraz Photography.
We look forward to seeing you on a flower farm in 2019!
All too exciting and not sure which dinner to attend? Click here to see the entire line up and descriptions of each farm at AmericanGrownFlowers.org/fieldtovase
In its fifth season, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is a cross-country series of elegant pop-up gatherings where seasonal, sustainable blooms dazzle on beautifully designed tablescapes that have been elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while gourmet meals are prepared by well-known farm-to-table chefs.
Every table at every dinner overflows with the glory of American Grown Flowers. Photo by Liraz Photography.
At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tour and design demonstrations, guests will make a personal connection between flowers and agriculture as part of America’s floral landscape. They’ll experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served platters of delicious, seasonal and locally grown fare through multiple courses that are accompanied by wine, micro-brewed beers and floral-inspired cocktails.
Each dinner is a night to remember. Guests will delight in delicious food, flowing wine and stunning American Grown Flowers. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.
Guests, seated at long community tables, will share lively conversation in the company of diners equally passionate about preserving American Grown Flowers, farmland and our country’s floriculture heritage. While enjoying the seasonal meal, guests will be drawn to the botanical beauty of petals, branches, foliage, vines, buds and berries – all artistically arranged to bring multi-sensory pleasure to the dining experience. The attention is on the farmers, their flowers, their beautiful farms and the floral designs they inspire.
Beginning its fifth year, the award-winning American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is presented annually by Certified American Grown Flowers, a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farmers, including small and large farms located in flower-producing states around the country. Certified farms participate in an independent third-party supply-chain audit to verify origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and is an assurance that the flowers they’ve purchased were grown on a domestic American flower farm and assembled in the United States.
“The Field to Vase Dinner Tour showcases the beauty and heritage of America’s flower-farming families,” says Kasey Cronquist, administrator for Certified American Grown Flowers. “In our fifth year, we’ll stop at six of America’s most beautiful flower farms where guests will meet a flower farmer, create wearable flowers at a boutonniere bar and enjoy a farm-to-fork meal. Time and time again we hear how special these floral-focused evenings are and 2019 will be no exception!”
The first American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in 2019 takes place April 18 at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. This is the fifth time the tour has stopped at The Flower Fields, where guests dine in a sea of brightly colored ranunculus while looking out over the Pacific Ocean.
Other summer and fall destinations across the country include:
Bloomia USA, King George, Virginia, on June 1, where guests will dine in a greenhouse bursting with tulips just outside our nation’s capitol.
The California State Capitol, Sacramento, California, on June 12, a special tour spot where we’ll bring the flower farm to California’s capital during California Grown Flowers Month. Watch as members of the state Legislature compete in a live design competition before dinner.
Joselyn Peonies in Homer, Alaska, on Aug. 3, where guests will dine on blooming peony farm with stunning views of Kachemak Bay.
Ocean View Flowers in Lompoc, California, on Sept. 7, among fields of stock and surrounded by acres and acres of incredible flowers in a unique coastal climate.
Red Twig Farms, in New Albany, Ohio, on Oct. 5, where guests will meet farmers Josh and Lindsey McCullough and see the incredible flower farm they’re growing just outside of Columbus.
Field to Vase dinners are generally from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., depending on location. Attendees will leave with fresh, seasonal American Grown Flowers, a swag bag packed with gifts from the tour’s generous sponsors and a greater understanding of why fresh American Grown Flowers in the home – and on the table – are important to health, well-being, local economies and good conversation.
These special floral-infused destination dinners sell out quickly. Seating and tickets are limited. For more about participating farms, floral designers and chefs – and for reservations, tickets and travel information – visit americangrownflowers.com/fieldtovase, and be sure to sign up for the e-newsletter. For up-to-the-minute news, follow the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour on Instagram and Facebook.
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About Certified American Grown Flowers. Launched on July 1, 2014, Certified American Grown Flowers represents a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms, including small and large entities in multiple states across the country. Certified American grown flower farms participate in an independent, third-party supply-chain audit to verify both origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown Flowers logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and assures them that the flowers they purchase come from a domestic American flower farm. For more information about Certified American Grown Flowers, visit www.americangrownflowers.com.