We were inspired recently by two events which celebrated
locally-grown cut flowers and the farmers who grow them for us. One of them was held in our own backyard.
In September a Field to Vase dinner was held at Jello Mold Farm in Mount Vernon. Jello Mold Farm is
a 7-acre sustainable, organic flower farm,the dream fulfilled of Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall.
Jello Mold Farm (you identify the farm by
the copper jello molds nailed to a power pole by the entrance) is a founding
member of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative
established in 2011, whose mission is to foster a vibrant community marketplace
that sustains local flower farms and provides top quality products to the
floral industry of the Pacific Northwest.
The Field to Vase Dinner Tour is a series of dinners that took place across the United States over the past months to highlight local purveyors from flower farmers to florists. Lucky for us, one was held in our area. We arrived at Jello Mold Farm late in the afternoon on a
glorious sunny September day.
was filled with fields of dahlias, zinnias and other plants, including the
pumpkins that they grow for us at Ravenna Gardens. With a glass of wine in our hands we started
our tour of the farm with Diane & Dennis, as they explained their vision
and their commitment to land stewardship. Sustainable grown means much more to them than freedom from toxic
chemical fertilizers and pesticides. One
third of their seven acres is set aside for wildlife habitat.
The dinner was held in the fields, with one long table laden
with over 100 vases filled with flowers from the farm and 10 other Northwest
flower farms. The vases were created by
Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers and the featured florist for the dinner. Melissa is the provider of the fabulous
bouquets we sell at Ravenna Gardens during holidays (next up,
The delicious dinner was a 5-course meal from Chef Erik
Johnson of Capitol Cider in Seattle, which included items from the farm. Wines and cider accompanied the meal, and as
the sunset we sadly left feeling very fortunate to have participated in such a
The Field to Vase Dinner Tour has concluded for 2015, but
hopefully it will be back next year and you will have an opportunity to
participate. Also on Facebook as Field to Vase Dinner Tour.
The second event which really excited us happened just last
weekend in Detroit. Flower House
Detroit, the vision of Lisa Waud, a
Detroit florist and owner of Pot & Box, a floral design business.
inspired in 2012 when she saw images of the Christian Dior couture show, held
in a Parisian mansion field with flowers. This year, she purchased a derelict house for $250. Before tearing the house down and creating a
flower farm for her business, she brought together 36 floral designers from
around the United States, to create a series of still-life tableaux, using over
36,000 American grown flowers. Here’s a link to a video.
We couldn’t write this without mentioning local writer and impassioned advocate for a more
sustainable flower industry, Debra Prinzing. Debra wrote The 50 Mile Bouquet in 2012 and is the creator of www.slowflowers.com. She also blogs at www.debraprinzing.com, where you will find weekly podcasts which aren’t to be missed.
Here is a link to Debra's podcast giving a virtual tour of the Flower House in Detroit. Debra is a Board Member of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and also
served as co-host for each of the Field to Vase Dinners.
To see more images from the events - Seattle & Detroit. Most of the images used were taken by Linda Blue.