Podcast Gets To The Heart Of Dinner Tour Excitement

Kelly Perry is a floral designer, teacher, content developer, business owner and a podcaster. She’s also the designer for the upcoming American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour Oct. 5 at Green Door Gourmet in Nashville.

Click on the image above to hear Kasey Cronquist talk to Kelly Perry about the Certified American Grown movement.

 

All of this is our way of saying that she’s a master of all things flower-related. And she’s got quite a reputation, thanks to being featured in publications like Southern Weddings and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Photo by Mark Boughton

 

 

With the Field to Vase Dinner just a few weeks away, Perry sat down with Green Door Gourmet’s owner and operator Sylvia Ganier as part of her Team Flower podcast. Ganier talks with Perry about the workings of the farm – from what’s grown to how it’s grown – and discusses what it looks like to grow organically, as well as providing helpful tips and resources for sustainable farming.

 

 

Photo by Linda Blue Photography

 

 

 

Check out the podcast (click on the photo to the right), and then meet Ganier in person at the upcoming Field to Vase Dinner!

 

 

 

 

 

Perry also recently talked to Certified American Grown’s very own Kasey Cronquist about the history of the organization, how it’s grown and why wholesalers and consumers are so thrilled about the movement to source homegrown flowers. Cronquist also shares insider details about the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour.  You can also meet Cronquist, and of course the amazing Kelly Perry, at the upcoming dinner.

 

 

 

But here’s the thing – due to the exciting Nashville location, the renowned designer, the top-notch chefs and the amazing farm, seats to this last dinner of the season are going fast.

We’ve only got a handful left! And prices go up to $200 tomorrow!

 

 

Hello, Nashville: Things to Do, See, Try

When the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour stops at Green Door Gourmet in Nashville on Oct. 5, the focus will be on American Grown flowers, hardworking farmers and fine food.

Experience the hospitality of Green Door Gourmet in Nashville, Tennessee and meet Laura (on right), resident flower farmer and greenhouse manager and her assistant manager Ally!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of everything “Music City” has to offer.

And since the dinner falls on a Friday, it’s the perfect excuse to make a weekend of it and check out all the Nashville happenings.

Like what, you ask? We’re fans of these tips from visitmusiccity.com:

Photo courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame

Your Nashville experience must include a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the world’s largest popular music museum with ever-changing exhibits, a full-service restaurant and two retail stores to feed your country soul. Keep feeding your love of country with visits to The Johnny Cash Museum, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum and the Patsy Cline Museum.

Photo as seen in Rolling Stone

Next, take a tour of Music Row and visit the historic RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded more than 200 songs and Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and so many others also sang their hearts out.

Photo Courtesy of The Loveless Cafe

And don’t miss The Loveless Cafe, named “Top Down-Home Dining Spot” and one of the “10 Great Places to get a Southern-style Biscuit” by USA Today, plus one of the five must-see sights in Nashville by Southern Living.

Fans of the hit TV drama “Nashville” won’t want to miss The Bluebird Cafe, home to up-and-coming songwriters along with those whose music is regularly on the charts, including pop, rock, country and Christian artists.

Photo courtesy of Nashville.com

You’ll still have time to visit what’s been called the “Mother Church of Country Music,” The Ryman Auditorium, home to music legends since 1892!

Next, make some stops on what’s known as the Honky Tonk Highway — Tootsie’s Orchid LoungeLegends CornerThe Second FiddleThe StageLayla’s Bluegrass Inn and Robert’s Western World. You never know who you’ll see in these Lower Broadway clubs in the shadow of the Ryman.

Courtesy of Battle of Franklin Trust

Be sure to take the short drive south of Nashville to Franklin, often cited as one of the most beautiful downtowns in the U.S.   Site of “the most famous battle you’ve never heard of,” according to National Geographic, Franklin’s Civil War story will amaze and enlighten you

 

Courtesy of Off the Beaten Page Travel

 

Visitors can tour two homes impacted by the battle of Franklin. Then take in the charming main street filled with boutiques and antique stores, as well as amazing cafes and restaurants.

 

 

Finally, nothing says Nashville like the Grand Ole Opry. What started as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 has become a showcase for music’s superstars including current members like Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

Whew! That’s a lot of excitement for one weekend – and it all starts down on the farm at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour.

You won’t want to miss it!

 

Driftless Café to Serve at Soldier’s Grove Field to Vase Dinner

For Driftless Café in Viroqua, Wisconsin, “The best” isn’t just a marketing slogan. This family eatery, serving a population of 4,362, has earned a big reputation for farm-to-table delectability. It was chosen as the state’s best small-town restaurant by Thrillist, and one of the Midwest’s 38 most essential restaurants by Eater.

And those are just a couple of the reasons why Driftless Café was selected to create the multi-course meal for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in Soldier’s Grove, Wisconsin, on September 8.

Driftless Café owners, chef Luke Zahm and wife, Ruthie, returned to their Vernon County roots in 2011 after his interviews at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, revealed that much of the food they used was sourced from his hometown. Why not source it right out of the ground, in that case? Now, thanks to his delicious touch, the James Beard Foundation award-nominated restaurant is drawing attention across the Midwest and boosting the local economy turnaround to national fame.

Driftless Café’s entrees depend on what comes in from the field each morning from the more than 200 certified organic farmers the Zahms work with, so guests can count on a fresh concept with every menu.

That’s why diners look forward to culinary treats like black goat truffles, warm beet salads, organic prairie beef tenderloins, lacina kale and sugar snap peas.

We can’t wait for the Zahms to bring their from-the-field approach to the next American Grown Field to Vase dinner, just a few weeks away on Sept. 8.

 

Floral Designer Helps Peers Envision a 100 Percent American Grown Wedding

Last year, floral designer Kelly Shore committed to increasing her use of American Grown Flowers and foliage in her designs with a goal of getting to 100 percent.

Kelly Shore was the featured designer at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in Alaska during 2017. That experience led to a passion for using American Grown Flowers in all her designs. Photo by Joshua Veldstra Photography

She’s edging closer. Shore, owner and lead designer at Petals by the Shore in Maryland, is currently using 85-90 percent American Grown Flowers.

And with her passion still overflowing, she wanted to show other designers that they, too, could successfully source American Grown Flowers for events and weddings – and remain on-trend while doing it.

Photo by Kelly Hornberger Photography

 

That’s why Shore recently used nearly 750 stems of American Grown Flowers and Greens to create and photograph a mock wedding.

“I want to inspire other wedding and event floral designers to give American Grown Flowers a chance and to challenge them to source their flowers from more American farms,” Shore explains. “I wanted them to look at the photos, feel empowered and know that they can do it.”

 

 

 

She also wanted to give a hand up to a new wedding venue in the Washington, D.C., area that needed some photos to promote its space. So after working with leadership of the Congressional Club at the First Lady’s Luncheon (featuring American Grown Flowers and Shore as the lead designer), she offered to do an all American Grown wedding photo shoot at the Congressional Club building, a historic museum and luxury wedding venue.

Photo by Kelly Hornberger Photography

Thanks to support from five Certified American Grown farms and by sourcing a few additional varieties from nearby farms, Shore created a floral-bedecked staircase ceremony location, a “sweetheart table” tablescape, bride’s bouquet and a groom’s boutonnière. And she even managed to get a classic Rolls Royce to use in shots of the happy couple.

Photo by Kelly Hornberger Photography

She was sure to use a popular wedding palette (blush!) and to include a vast variety of American Grown Flowers, including delphinium, stock, tulips, snap dragons, larkspur, protea, callas, peonies, spray roses and seven varieties of garden roses.

Photo by Kelly Hornberger Photography

Shore also made the vibe relatable and recreatable, to inspire other designers to source American Grown Flowers to create beautiful weddings that meet the requests of today’s brides.

“I want designers to see what can be done and know that they can do it, too. Through my designs, I want people to feel empowered to connect with farmers, learn what grows here and become a storyteller through their flowers,” Shore explains.

“It’s about supporting American farmers, supporting our economy and finding new and exciting things that make you, as a designer, feel inspired.”

Legislators Battle It Out at Field to Vase Dinner

Lively floral design challenge entertains dinner guests

The most recent American Grown Field to Vase Dinner was unique, even for this remarkable tour.

It wasn’t on a farm.   It involved politicians and was held on the lawn of a state capitol.

With the California State Capitol in view, guests dined on an incredible meal and enjoyed the bountiful blooms that filled the table from around The Golden State.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

And it was awesome.

Members of California’s state assembly participated in the annual Floral Design Challenge hosted by the California Cut Flower Commission. Pictured left to right; Assemblymemember Rocky Chavez, Assemblymember Jim Cooper, Assemblymember Monique Limon and Assemblymember Anna Caberello.  Photos by Eye Connoisseur Photography

It started with a beautiful reception where guests enjoyed watching members of the California state assembly compete in a floral design competition hosted by the California Cut Flower Commission. For the last three years, the California Cut Flower Commission has hosted this design competition involving legislators to help raise awareness that June is California Grown Flower Month. Combining the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner with this annual tradition by CCFC was not only fitting, but it also really helped guests, including California’s lawmakers, understand just how valuable the American Grown Flower movement has become.

Assemblywoman Monique Limón takes the trophy from California Cut Flower Commission CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist, winning this year’s Floral Design Challenge.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

After the vote was tallied, Assemblywoman Monique Limón was announced the champion of the 2018 Floral Design Challenge. Limón will receive a delivery of fresh American Grown Flowers each month for an entire year to display in her office.

Assemblymembers Chaves, Cooper, Limon and Caballero delighted and entertained guests with their floral design skills.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

One guest commented that the design competition was “entertaining and a great local touch.”

J.J. Pfister Distilling created a refreshing Raspberry Lemonade Cocktail for guests to enjoy.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

The reception included delicious hors d’oeuvres, a very popular floral-inspired cocktail by J.J. Pfister Distilling Company [link https://www.jjpfister.com/] and great local brew by Track 7 Brewery [link https://track7brewing.com/].

Smithers Oasis is bringing a smile to the face of our Field to Vase guests with their sponsorship of the boutonniere bar. Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

Always a guest favorite, the boutonniere bar brought lots of smiles and delight, thanks to sponsor Smithers Oasis.

The tablescape at the Sacramento Field to Vase Dinner was as unique as the location with each arm of the table representing the flowers of a different region of the state.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

Designed by Liezet Arnold of Bloem Decor of Sacramento, the dinner’s tablescape was a stunning arrangement of flowers and meaning. Rather than the tradition of one long farm table, Liezet took the opportunity to showcase growing regions by arranging the table like a compass, highlighting the different growing regions throughout California. Starting in the north, with lilies, iris and tulips and through the state to the south where her designs showcased protea, pincushions, leucadendron, eucalyptus, Italian ruscus and wax flower. It was one of the most beautiful table settings we have ever had on the tour.

Chef Dan Watterson of Statehouse at the Capitol did a masterful job of creating a California-inspired menu.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

Statehouse Chef Dan Watterson walked everyone through the menu, highlighting the great care that went into procuring the evening’s ingredients. He explained that the potatoes and carrots were sourced from Full Belly Farm, which he had a chance to visit himself prior to the dinner. The entrée was a delicious rack of lamb that was sponsored by the California Sheep Commission and provided by Richard Hamilton, who was in attendance with his family. Richard was acknowledged and thanked for his contribution to the dinner. Last, but certainly not least, California Grown Strawberries, donated by the California Strawberry Commission, rounded out the meal for dessert, a light and refreshing strawberry shortcake.

A light and airy dessert made with strawberries from the California Strawberry Commission was the perfect ending to a beautiful evening.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

We’ve since received some wonderful feedback from our guests:

Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography

“We enjoyed the entire dinner experience! From the tour of the capitol, the flower arranging competition, looking at all the beautiful arrangements, listening to the music in such a beautiful setting, we loved every minute!” ~ Denise C.

“There’s something really special about being surrounded by so many flowers. The boutonniere bar was my favorite part of the event—what a great idea! And it was terrific to be able to bring so many amazing flowers home, thank you!” ~ Anonymous

“Thank you for the amazing hospitality! Loved the boutonniere bar. The swag bag was a fun treat!!!” ~ Sarah H.

“I love the idea of field to vase as it is in keeping with farm to fork.” ~ Nancy K.

We love it too, which is why we’re headed to Star Valley Farm, in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, for our next dinner on September 5.

Only two more dinners remain!

 

 

 

 

First Lady's Luncheon Showcases American Grown Flowers

Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography

This was the 106th annual effort by the Congressional Club to host the First Lady’s Luncheon.

It was also the third opportunity for Certified American Grown to provide all of the flowers for this bipartisan tradition.

Each table was adorned with a beautiful centerpiece, carefully handcrafted by an all volunteer team of dedicated designers, helping to showcase the beauty of American Grown Flowers. Accent Decor provided all of the vases for this year’s luncheon.  Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography

On May 15, every table centerpiece, the dais, the high tops, the flower wall, the runway and all 800 boutonnières were 100% American Grown. America’s flower famers proudly sent over 15,000 stems of flowers from farms across the country to Washington, D.C.

An all-volunteer team of floral designers worked together to help make all of the American Grown Flowers shine for this year’s First Lady’s Luncheon. The awesome T-shirts were donated by Nature Supply Co.. Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography

An incredible team of 32 floral designers convened in Washington, D.C. and transformed the Washington Hilton Ballroom into an amazing display of the beauty that is represented in our homegrown flowers. Lead by Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore and Mary Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet, designers worked through Mother’s Day weekend to ensure everything was ready for the almost 2,000 people who would attend this time-honored event honoring the First Lady of the United States.

The Washington Hilton Ballroom is the second largest ballroom in Washington, D.C., capable of hosting over 2,000 people.  Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography

Unfortunately, First Lady Melania Trump  was unable to attend. Admitted into Walter Reed Hospital on May 14 for a routine kidney procedure, the luncheon would go on without the First Lady for just the second time in the event’s history.

Certified American Grown representatives pose for a picture with Second Lady Karen Pence (center). Pictured from left to right, Jumana Misleh, Kasey Cronquist, Benno Dobbe, Second Lady Karen Pence, Pamela Arnosky, Kelly Shore and Klazina Dobbe. Photo by Marion Meakem Photography

Second Lady Karen Pence stood in for the First Lady and a delegation of American flower farmers had the opportunity to speak with her about the growing movement for American Grown Flowers. In conversations, flower farmers encouraged the administration to consider bringing American Grown Flowers back to the White House, featuring the homegrown origin of flowers like they do food and wine.

Certified American Grown hosted Congressman Tom O’Halleran during the luncheon. Congressman O’Halleran’s wife, Pat, was this year’s chair of the First Lady’s Luncheon. Going around the table from the left, Congressman O’Halleran, Kasey Cronquist, Michael Genovese, Betty Joslyn, Mary Kate Kinnane, Kelly Shore, Klazina Dobbe, Benno Dobbe, Claudine Perez, Kate Penn, Pamela Arnosky and Jumana Misleh.   Photo by Marion Meakem Photography

“It was an incredible feat,” shared Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist. “From the flowers sent by our farms, the transportation provided by Delaware Valley, the vases from Accent Decor, the amazing volunteer design team; everyone came together to contribute to something beautiful and it really reflects the ‘can do’ of what Americans can accomplish when we are working together.”

Wearing their American Grown boutonnières, guests were excited to take their picture in front of the beautiful flower wall. Photo by Marion Meakem Photography

A major highlight for guests attending this year was the floral wall and boutonnière bar. Guests stood in line for the opportunity to take a picture in front of the all-American Grown Flower wall. The boutonnières made the event even more festive, and nearly everyone in attendance wore one!

Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography

“It was an honor to be involved with this year’s luncheon,” shared Kelly Shore, this year’s floral design team leader. “We had an outstanding group of volunteers and I could not be more proud of all that we accomplished on behalf of America’s flower farmers. They sent us some amazing flowers to work with.”

Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore and Mary Kate Kinnane led this year’s design team effort, responsible for over 180 arrangements and a team of 32 volunteer designers. The awesome T-shirts were donated by Nature Supply Co.. Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography

Thank you to the following flower farms for contributing over 15,000 stems of flowers to this year’s luncheon:

The all-American Grown Boutonnières were a big hit at this year’s luncheon.

California

  • CallaCo
  • Dramm & Echter
  • Eufloria
  • Green Valley Floral
  • Holland America Flowers
  • Kendall Farms
  • Myriad Flowers
  • Ocean View Flowers
  • Protea USA
  • Resendiz Brothers
  • Sun Valley Floral Farm

Florida

  • Fern Trust

Minnesota

  • Len Busch Roses

    The design team worked together to prepare the ballroom.

Oregon

  • Oregon Flowers

Texas

  • Texas Specialty Cut Flowers

Virgina

  • Bloomia
  • Harmony Harvest

A big thank you to our partners Accent Decor, Delaware Valley Wholesale, Smithers-Oasis and Nature Supply Co.

Second Lady Karen Pence stood in and represented the First Lady during this year’s First Lady’s Luncheon. Kirstin Smith Photography

[Video] Watch This! Fallbrook Was Magical

Inspiring Video Features Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea

We worked with Orange County wedding videographer Brian Kadar of Love Is Cinema to help capture the beauty and splendor our guests recently experienced at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California.

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Check out this quick-two minute feature of this mountaintop experience!

It will take your breath away!

When you recover, share your comments, below, and then share the video widely with your friends. They’ll thank you for it!

Certified American Grown Heads to Sonoma Wine Country’s Premier Wine and Food Festival

 

Certified American Grown is supporting Sonoma wine country’s favorite festival – Passport to Dry Creek Valley – April 28-29 by providing American Grown Flowers and foliage for Geyser Peak Winery’s spring garden party that’s part of Passport weekend.

As a  national sponsor, Geyser Peak brings their amazing wines to the dinner table for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour.

Geyser Peak Winery is a national sponsor of the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, now in its fourth year. During Passport to Deer Creek Valley, visitors to Geyser Peak Winery can make their own corsage or boutonniere from Certified American Grown Flowers and greens and enjoy 100 percent American Grown floral designs.

Throughout the weekend, guests can attend elaborate themed parties with exquisite food and wine pairings at 40+ participating wineries. They can also meet Sonoma County’s most renowned chefs, including Michelin-starred Chef Charlie Palmer, Diavola Chef/Owner Dino Bugica, Bistro 29 Chef/Owner Brian Anderson and other culinary stars while savoring their inspired culinary creations alongside newly released and limited-edition wines.

Wineries taking part range from the internationally acclaimed Ridge Vineyards and Ferrari-Carano to boutique wineries like Nalle and Talty that produce fewer than 2,000 cases per year.

Winery party themes range from the glamorous (think Old Hollywood red carpet) to the goofy (think Caddyshack), with unforgettable food and wine at each stop. Live entertainment and activities support the wineries’ unique themes. Music will include a Beatles cover band, bluegrass, jazz, Hawaiian music from Maile Swing, funk from The Jacktones and more.

Three not-to-miss wineries

Geyser Peak Winery

Geyser Peak will be celebrating spring with a festive garden party! Guests can build their own “floral flourish” (otherwise known as a boutonniere or corsage) thanks to blooms donated by Certified American Grown. Then, sample Geyser Peak’s new Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc releases and, on Saturday, get your groove on with special musical guests Junk in the Trunk.

Amphora Winery

Journey to Amphora to explore the kingdoms of their “Game of Rhônes,” from dark and brooding Syrah in the north, to the sunlit realm of Grenache in the south, with the  questionable prince Petite Sirah and the awesome alliance of GSM — all vying for the coveted throne.

Seghesio Family Vineyards

America’s heritage grape will be paired with America’s favorite pastime at Seghesio’s baseball-themed party. Guests can round the bases to taste distinctive Zinfandels and Executive Chef Peter Janiak’s twists on classic ball game fare, then step up to the mound to show off their pitching skills (for prizes of course)! Complete with a rock-n-roll band, this stop is sure to be a grand slam!

Round out your Passport weekend with a Prelude to Passport lunch on Friday, April 27 or the newest Friday night event, The Vintage Soiree, featuring exquisite Dry Creek Valley wines and beautifully paired cuisine from the best Sonoma County chefs.

WHEN:

Friday, April 27, 2018 – Prelude to Passport and The Vintage Soiree

Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, 2018, from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

TICKETS:

General admission price: $135.00 for a two-day passport or $90.00 for Sunday-only passport. $50.00 for

daily designated driver tickets. Tickets are on sale online at www.drycreekvalley.org.

 

Add-Ons :

$175 – Vintage Soiree: The new ticket in town. Our Friday night, exclusive party for our Passport guests.

$75 – Prelude to Passport: Lunch at A Rafanelli, Cast Wines, DaVero Farms or Wilson Winery.

$50 – Vineyard Designate Tour: Tours at Mauritson’s Rockpile vineyard – Pritchett Peaks or Old Vine territory at Saini Vineyards.

$25 – Vineyard Tour: Attend a vineyard tour the morning of Passport, offered Saturday at Peterson Winery’s diverse Bradford Mountain and Sunday at Frick Winery’s home-to-Rhônes, Owl Hill Vineyard.

Sunday.

 

 

Win a Breathtaking Protea Wreath!

Spring has officially sprung, despite wild weather on both coasts, and we’re celebrating its arrival with a fun spring flowers giveaway.

 

In a nod to the first stop on the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour on April 7 at Resendiz Brothers Protea, and because we just can’t resist sharing our bounty, we’re giving away one of their breathtaking protea wreaths.

 

Win a beautiful wreath from Resendiz Brothers, like the one featured in Sunset Magazine!

 

 

Submit your entry and you could win a protea wreath to adorn your door (like the one featured in Sunset Magazine!) – and because proteas are long lasting, it will look lovely all spring long!

Can’t get enough of the amazing protea? Check out these beautiful images from @resendizbrothers on Instagram!

Check out @ResendizBrothers on Instagram! Can you believe this beautiful farm is our first stop in the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour?!

Farm & Flower Guide Inspires Wholesaler to Increase American Grown Offerings

Andrea Grist, business manager for Florasource KC in Overland Park, Kansas, was preparing for a customer open house when she had a bright idea. Why not have some issues of Florists’ Review available to hand out at the event?

When the magazines arrived, Grist was happy to find the publication included copies of the new Certified American Grown Farm & Flower Guide as an added bonus. What she didn’t foresee was how that bonus publication would impact her business.

Since starting with the wholesaler in March, Grist had been changing things up in terms of suppliers, making an effort to work with America’s flower farms. When she saw the guide, she expanded her thinking and began learning about flower farmers nationwide who could provide the flowers and foliage she was seeking.

It was fortuitous opportunity to support the American Grown Flowers movement.

“For me, it’s important to be mindful of American Grown products and where products come from. It’s our responsibility as consumers to feel comfortable with where we’re getting things from,” Grist explains.

In addition to sharing the magazine and the flower guide at the open house, Grist also showcased different varieties of flowers sold by Florasource KC along with a tag about their origin.

American Grown Flowers are a priority to Florasource.

“I enjoy telling people about it and giving people the background. I also enjoy knowing that we’re supporting and American farmer,” Grist says.

And she’s walking the talk.

Grist is now getting a truck a week of American Grown Flowers. And she’s sourcing flowers from Florida and several small farms in her area that offer special varieties.

Certified American Grown brand waves proudly on the flowers at Florasource.

She also has a Facebook page where local farmers can let her know what they have available, like the tuberose, zenias and peonies that grow well in her area.

Grist makes a point of stopping at flower farms whenever she travels and follows up by blogging about the farmers she meets. The farm and flower guide comes in handy there, too, as a way to find nearby farms.

“It’s part of my job to educate our floral designers about the process, the supply chain, the struggles the farmers face,” Grist describes. “It’s all full-circle.”

And all paths lead to American Grown Flowers.