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Day 27: Slow Flowers & A Book Giveaway

“Each bouquet tells a story about one moment in time, about Grandmother’s cherished flower vase or the fleeting memory that returns with a whiff of lavender or lilac. That’s one of the intangible gifts of bringing flowers into our lives.”

-Debra Prinzing, Slow Flowers

From Debra Prinzing’s new book, Slow Flowers

First there was slow food.

Now, thanks to Debra Prinzing, we are discussing Slow Flowers!

Debra Prinzing by Mary Grace Long Photography

Debra Prinzing is a dear writer friend of mine with incredible talent. Based in Seattle, WA, she writes for numerous magazines and newspapers (including the Los Angeles Times, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Gardens and many, many others). It is always a thrill to pick up a magazine and see her byline because you just know it’s going to be good.

She is also the author of many books including one of my favorites: The 50 Mile Bouquet with photographer extraordinaire, David Perry. And it was with that book that her current journey started.

The 50 Mile Bouquet showcased the local, sustainable flower-growing movement and the farmers and florists making a difference. All of us at Growing A Greener World TV enjoyed that book so much, we filmed an entire episode on it and I had the pleasure of writing it.

The Slow Flowers Book:

Now in her newest book Slow Flowers, Debra brings that message home and shows us the DIY info on how to enjoy local, in season flowers ALL YEAR LONG. (Yes, even in winter.) What started as a challenge to herself to create a fresh, local bouquets all 52 weeks of the year, quickly turned into an entire book.

According to Debra, it doesn’t matter if you are growing the plant material yourself, foraging it from the wild or buying it from your local organic farmer. You really CAN find local/sustainable plant material and the fun is in being creative with it!  In her book, she gives arrangement ideas, earth-friendly floral techniques and even a few “secrets” for long-lasting blooms. It is a beautiful book filled with valuable information.

The giveaway at the end of this post is closed, but there is still some great info about the book and slow flowers below!

So, What are “Slow Flowers”?

Pitchers of Poppies – Week 11

In a nutshell, Slow Flowers are fresh-cut flowers and foliage that are chemical free, in-season and harvested within miles of your home if not from your own backyard. And why shouldn’t we want that? After all, these bouquets are used to brighten our lives, soothe our soul, decorate our home and shower people with love. Right?

But sadly, most florist flowers are anything but local, in-season OR chemical free.

No.

Most of what is found in standard floral shops and grocery stores is covered in a cocktail of chemicals meant to keep it perfect and fresh.

You may be thinking, but we don’t EAT those flowers – so what does it matter?

While it is true that we may not (usually) eat the flowers, we certainly DO touch them our hands and sometimes even stick our nose deep among the blossoms and inhale! However, there is even a bigger message here…

If we purchase chemical laden flowers sourced from two continents away, we are perpetuating the problem! And we are not supporting the sustainable flower growers who are working hard to do it right – for the environment, the health of the floral industry workers and us. Debra says, “It seems so wasteful to spend so much jet fuel to ship a perishable item from South America to Miami; where it is then put on a refrigerated truck and driven across the country to your local supermarket. Those flowers are as disconnected from their origins as you can imagine. They aren’t fresh” (As a side note, there is a great book by Amy Stewart on the back story to the floral industry. Check out Flower Confidential if you want to learn more about that. Sadly some of it will probably shock you.)

The alternative?

Debra encourages us to “enjoy flowers IN SEASON, just like every foodie advocates about their best seasonal menu ingredients. If flowers are in season, then ideally they were grown locally – near where you live and shop.

A Winter Arrangement – Week 4

Finding Slow Flowers:

If you can’t grow flowers in your own cutting garden, Debra recommends that you seek out at least one local flower farmer at the farmers’ market where you live. And if you are STILL having trouble finding someone near you, Debra advices that you check out the flower farm directory on the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

The Giveaway:

I have one copy of the book Slow Flowers to give away to a lucky reader. The giveaway is now closed. I will announce the winner soon.

To win, you need only comment below with just ONE of the following:

  • Tell us what you love about fresh cut flowers OR what they bring into your life.
  • Or just share what your favorite flower is.

The giveaway ends on Friday, March 8th at Midnight (PST) at which time I will randomly pick a winner. Once the winner has confirmed with me via email, they will be announced here on the blog and on my Facebook Page and I will ship out the book. You must live in the United States to win.

Disclaimer: Although I did receive a free copy of Slow Flowers to review, I purchased the book being given away in this post. I did that because I enjoyed the book and felt it was a good fit for my readers. I am not being compensated in any way for this review and my opinions are my own.

Photo credit – All photos are copyrighted by Debra Prinzing except where noted.

This post is part of the 31 Days of Living Homegrown. Sign up for my newsletter (weekly or monthly) so you don’t miss any of the inspiration and resources I will be sharing for living local, fresh and homegrown!

 

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.