The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour Covers New Territory in 2017

Reserve Your Seat at the Table Today!

Last year’s sold out American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour took guests on extraordinary adventures, from a world-renowned celebrity event stylist’s private flower farm, to the largest tulip farm in America, to a ranunculus field overlooking the ocean. With so many accolades and happy guests with high expectations fulfilled, we knew we needed to raise the bar even further in 2017.

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Dinner in The Flower Fields overlooking the ocean – Carlsbad, California, dinner in 2016.

Deciding where to go and how to format each dinner is a serious process for our team. We listen to guest feedback and reviews, try new things at each of the dinners (a boutonnière bar, cocktails that feature edible flowers and live music, for example), but at the heart of it all is our Certified American Grown Flower Farms and some amazing sought-after floral designers who come together to help share their stories and passion for American Grown Flowers.

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Bluegrass band playing dinner tunes at Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata, California.

After months of planning, we’re ready to announce our 2017 tour locations. We have some surprises in store for you as well that we’ll unveil in coming months (for instance, you asked for more hands-on floral experiences and we’ll soon be announcing some special opportunities we’ve added to the tour that will provide just that).

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Floral fun at The Fresh Herb Company in Boulder, Colorado.

One of the more remote destinations on our list is more of a Field to Vase Adventure than a dinner.  We’ll blaze new territory when we travel to Alaska to visit the only place in the world where peonies thrive during the mid-to-late summer months. Scenic Place Peonies is remote, and travel will require some planning. We’re putting together travel information to assist you in preparing for this trip of a lifetime, along with a package that will include the dinner, a private farm tour and hands-on floral experiences. If you’re interested in this date, please let our team know as space is very limited.

So, without further ado, here are the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour dates and locations:

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The tour locations were selected to represent the variety of flowers and growing conditions found in the United States. While we can’t showcase every flower each year (that would be a feat!), we always strive to introduce new American flower farms and varieties to our guests.

Here is what some of our guests said last year about the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour:

“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Aside from my wedding, it was the best event I’ve been to. Every detail was thoughtful and innovative. I loved the venue, the boutonniere bar, the swag bag!” – Erin R., Boulder, Colorado

“It was truly a beautiful and unique experience! I would attend all the dinners around the country if I could!” – Adrienne S., Carlsbad, California

“The Field to Vase dinner was, quite honestly, the most extraordinary event I’ve ever attended in Humboldt County. Everyone came with a spirit of adventure, ready to traipse through the greenhouses in all their farm-chic elegance on a behind-the-scenes tour, before settling in for a fantastic gourmet meal. It is such a joy to rally around local flower farmers and make new friends! It was an unforgettable night that people here are still talking about.” – Amy Stewart, acclaimed garden writer and best-selling author of “Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful.”

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Cheers to Certified American Grown Flowers!

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Every location has the best selfie photo-ops, just like David Beahm’s Thistle Dew Farm in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Wouldn’t you think so?

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Food, flowers, wine and friendship! They’re #F2V staples.

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It was a true bloggers’ paradise at Cornerstone Sonoma with Sunset Magazine! If it’s not Insta-worthy, we’re not having it!

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Guests at Texas Specialty Cut Flowers got theirs … it’s all about the F2V swag bag.

Save your seat today as we expect a sell-out tour for the third year in a row. In the weeks, ahead we’ll be announcing the star-studded cast of floral designers involved with this year’s tour. World-renowned and pioneers in their craft, the 2017 slate of designers will be bringing their own following to the table, so seats will go quickly.

Cheers to a big year with an even BIGGER #F2V adventure! Save your seats today!

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Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest F2V news, special behind the scene moments and live stories! #AmericanGrown #F2V #OriginMatters

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(Did you attend last year’s tour? Share your stories and pictures and help us spread the good news of this year’s tour! We’ll be watching for your posts!)

Experience Heirloom Fire at David Beahm’s Thistle Dew Farm

Meet our featured Chef Jim Gop, owner of Heirloom Fire, a fire-based catering events company located in the Berkshires.

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Jim Gop of Heirloom Fire, featured #F2V chef at David Beahm’s Thistle Dew Farm.

In the midst of his second complete season, Chef Jim Gop is no stranger to putting his talent and passion in front of the fire to wow his guests. Focusing on the dining experience from start to finish, Jim and his team have a night of wonderful surprises in store for our guests.

Providing our #F2V guests with an experience unlike any other, Jim has prepared a menu fit for a king (or queen) at none other than world-renowned celebrity event designer turned American flower farmer, David Beahm’s farm, Thistle Dew Farm.

Recently, we had the chance to catch up with our featured chef to talk about everything from what inspires him as a chef and business owner, to his story of chasing dreams in California and the aesthetic he has established within his company, Heirloom Fire.

F2V: We are so excited to have you join us at David Beahm’s Thistle Dew Farm in Quakertown, PA as our featured Chef! What will we see during this upcoming dinner?

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.00.03 PMJim: I am super excited to come along for the ride! It is important to pay attention to the aesthetic of the event, which happens to be much bigger than just the food. It’s the entire experience that we will be focusing on. To be able to work with the Field to Vase Dinner Tour and David Beahm to create this exclusive experience is beyond thrilling.

The menu we designed for the night will elaborate on that Pennsylvania feel. We will be roasting and cooking pigs in various ways, as well as serving handcrafted charcuterie, hearth baked breads, grilled summer vegetables, cast iron roasted lattice peach pies, fireside s’mores and more.

F2V: What is your story? How did you get started in the industry?

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 1.55.54 PMJim: I have always been into art and loved expressing my vision through art. In my early years, I started drawing and eventually got really into special makeup effects, even working on sculpting prosthetics for faces. The attention to detail has always been my thing. Wanting to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, I went to California at the age of 17. Not breaking into the career I aimed for, I traveled back to the East Coast. I began to work for a grocer (similar to Whole Foods) in which I learned a lot about seasonality. It was that moment I began to fall in love with food. I attended the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and had the opportunity to learn hands-on through internships at high-end, white tablecloth restaurants. Eventually, I got burnt out from putting in long hours and often felt disconnected from who I was preparing a meal for within the restaurant scene.

Shortly after, I began working for my friend who did simple pig roasts and grilled vegetables. I couldn’t help but think how amazing this experience was to be outside and actually interact with the guests. I wanted to marry this artistic and higher-end background I had with the feeling of being outdoors. Sooner or later, Heirloom Fire was born. Believe it or not, this is our second full season as a business. It has been great!

F2V: If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be and why?

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.47.00 AMJim: Captivating. We rely so much through display and exposure. When we set up for our events, we try to tuck ourselves away from the actual ceremony. Guests may visualize smoke in the air or see some fire flumes in the sky, but they eventually must turn a corner. For example, when you go to a baseball game, you purchase your tickets from the outside, come into the field, and it’s just an explosion of green. That’s the experience I want to provide my guests when they come around the corner from seeing the amazing smoke coming up from the flames, and the sounds of everything cooking.

F2V: As a chef, what inspires you?

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.02.00 PMJim: I am always inspired by the local flavor of the locations we travel to. For this dinner, I want to highlight Pennsylvania with fresh summer ingredients grown locally on the East Coast. For me, summer is decided by peaches and melons that are so juicy, you want to stand over a bathtub while eating them!

Seasonality plays a huge factor in inspiration, which has captivated my love and appreciation for food but also the process of how a summer peach tastes different than a peach that would be shipped in from Chile or Argentina in January.

F2V: What makes you different compared to all the other Chefs we have featured in the past?

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 1.56.38 PMJim: When it comes to our food, it is important to realize its more than just the taste, but also the presentation. We believe the overall experience is the most important factor. We are a fully exposed open-kitchen, conscious of reducing waste and focusing on the roots of cooking.
When we do events, we do not use any electricity. Everything is hand-driven. For refrigeration, we use our ice chests, which require large ice blocks. We have no plastic (anything) used in our kitchen. We use vintage copper and brass utensils, as well as kitchenware. From what I know, no one is doing it like us. People often stand near our set up and I want them to come closer – to give them a tour of our kitchen and explain our process for their meal. Our guests get to see the whole story being told by food. I want to capture your attention.

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It is no secret that your FULL attention will be captivated ALL NIGHT through your eyes, nose, ears, and taste buds with Chef Jim in the house! Join the Field to Vase Dinner Tour for a dinner to remember in Quakertown, PA on Wednesday, September 14!

Save you seats today!

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Field to Vase Dinner destination featured in Sunset Magazine

When you think of Alaska do you conjur up images of majestic mountains where moose roam like cattle, wild salmon jump directly into the mouths of bears and the towns are full of rugged…flower farmers? That’s right, it’s Alaska’s peony farmers who are changing the landscape of agriculture in Alaska and gaining well deserved attention for their beautiful American Grown blooms.

In fact, Sunset Magazine is featuring Alaskan peony farmers in this month’s issue (you can pick it up in news stands now if you haven’t already). Included in this month’s feature is our Alaska Field to Vase Dinner host Beth Van Sandt of Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. Beth will be hosting what promises to be one of the most awe-inspiring dinners to date.

The article highlights how Alaska has been able to successfully extend the season of American Grown peonies. Not only are the only state with peonies during the months of July, August and September, Alaska is the only peony producing region in the world at that time. This is wonderful news for brides planning late summer and early fall weddings.

Planning for our Field to Vase Dinner in Homer on July 28, 2017 is underway and tickets to this amazing place are available now. As a Field to Vase Dinner guests you’ll have a chance to see these extraordinary flowers growing in fields overlooking the beautiful Kachemak Bay. You’ll also get to meet the extraordinary farmers who are growing this delicate crop in a state known for extreme weather and rugged landscape.

So don’t wait! Save your seat today for our July 28, 2017 Field to Vase in Alaska.

Check out the full article here!

(Photo Credit: Thomas J. Story/ Sunset Publishing)

(Photo Credit: Thomas J. Story/ Sunset Publishing)

Setting the tone in Texas!

Well ya’ll it was a success in the great state of Texas! The Field to Vase experience was like none other at Texas Specialty Cut Flowers!
After one of our Field to Vase dinners, guests leave with smiles on their face and flowers in their arms.

After one of our Field to Vase dinners, guests leave with smiles on their face and flowers in their arms.

Rain or shine, the #F2V party did not skip a beat. Guest enjoyed a little Texas two-step to the wonderful sounds of Paul Glasse and his band. Delicious Austin cuisine was perfected through the joys of juicy pork chops and savory greens prepared by Sonya Coté of Coté Catering.
The inspiration behind the tablescape came to florist Erin Esensee of HEB Blooms. while driving the county roads in Texas.  She admired the way the wildflowers met up with the rustic fences along the road.  The burlap covered poles on the table were meant to bring that same aesthetic to the design.  Her theme for the night (beautifully executed we might add) was “we belong among the wildflowers.” And the evening proved her right, we absolutely belong among the wildflowers and can’t wait to go back to Texas Specialty Cut Flowers.
Take a look for yourself… Enjoy!
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Certified American Grown Proudly Sponsors First Lady’s Luncheon

Thousands of American Grown Flowers Donated For Last First Lady's Luncheon for Michelle Obama

The Certified American Grown program was a proud sponsor of the 2016 First Lady’s Luncheon held May 12 in Washington, D.C. An annual tradition hosted by the Congressional Club since 1912 to honor the first lady of the United States, the luncheon is attended by over 1,500 people, including Congressional spouses, associates of members of Congress and cabinet members.

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First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to guests at the luncheon from a head table adorned by beautiful American Grown Flowers

The Certified American Grown program worked with the Congressional Club’s First Lady’s Luncheon Committee to help ensure that 100 percent of the flowers used during this year’s event were American Grown. With beautiful stems of flowers and greens from California, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Virginia, over 200 centerpieces and arrangements were created to fill the Washington Hilton Ballroom.

Representing American Grown from left to right are Daevid Reed, Tim Dewey, Bill Frymoyer, Diana Roy, David Register, Lane DeVries, Kasey Cronquist, David Beahm and seated are Andrea Gagnon, Debra Prinzing and Rita Jo Shoultz

Representing American Grown from left to right are Daevid Reed, Tim Dewey,
Bill Frymoyer, Diana Roy, David Register, Lane DeVries, Kasey Cronquist, David Beahm
and seated are Andrea Gagnon, Debra Prinzing and Rita Jo Shoultz

“This was a tremendous honor and opportunity for America’s flower farmers,” said Kasey Cronquist, administrator of the Certified American Grown program. “We commend the Congressional Club’s decision to seek and source blooms grown here in the United States for such a wonderful tradition of honoring our first lady.”

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One of the elegant table centerpieces
designed by the Certified American Grown design team.

The bouquets featured beautiful American Grown roses, peonies, stock, tulips, lilies, protea, Bells of Ireland, alstromeria, bupleurum, dianthus, freesia, lisianthus, ranunculus, viburnum, waxflower, ferns, leatherleaf and curly willow.

Oh Sunsets!

You guessed it, Sunset shots are to die for when dining with #F2V

Sunset moments are the most magical times, especially when experienced during a Field to Vase dinner. It is the moment we all anxiously wait for, simply because it paints a beautiful picture and happens when everyone is settled into their seat, enjoying a wonderful meal and lovely conversations. Take a peek at some of our favorite sunsets during our nation wide tour. Enjoy!

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Top 8 Instagram Dinner Photos

From "Table to Social": Instagram lights up #F2V

We love social media. It is a tremendous way for us to show and tell the story of America’s flower farmers. If you follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, we post a lot from the farms and of their flowers.

However, what we’ve loved about the Field to Vase Dinner tour is seeing what our guests find beautiful about the farm, the flowers, the food; their experience.

Whether we dine amongst the flora in a beautiful greenhouse or in the middle of a gorgeous American Grown Flower farm, it is our guests who capture some of the most amazing images of the evening and inspire us to continue this effort.

Behold, our Top 8 Instagram photos from our Field to Vase Dinner in The Flower Fields of Carlsbad! Enjoy!

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Re-living Carlsbad

Our guests enjoyed beautiful scenery, great food and wonderful people

Last week’s dinner at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad did not disappoint. Our floral designers, Flower Duet created an ombre tablescape with color variations that complemented the amazing rows of colors that surrounded the table at The Flower Fields.

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The beautiful Carlsbad tablescape designed by Flower Duet.

Floral design team and sisters, Kit and Casey of Flower Duet not only provided our guests with gorgeous flowers for dinner, but our guests enjoyed a lively flower crown demonstration during the reception.

Flower farmer Mike Mellano gave tours to guests prior to the start of dinner.  Avid gardeners in attendance were thrilled to get advice from Mike Mellano and the gracious Flower Duet team.
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Wonderful #F2V dinner goers enjoying blooming table conversation in celebration of American Grown flowers.

The food was met with rave reviews from the diners who enjoyed multiple passed appetizers from Terra Catering, served with delicious Mattucci Wine and stunning Bagby Beer.  And dessert course was served with locally grown organic coffee from Good Land Organics, a first for the Field to Vase Dinner series as it is rare to find an American coffee farmer. Guests heard from Jay Ruskey, the coffee farmer, as he explained how the “berry” on the coffee bean effects the flavor of the coffee.
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Our favorite moment of the night; having dinner in the middle of a gorgeous American Grown flower farm with the sunset as the most perfect backdrop.

 

Click to watch the beautiful sunset over the Pacific from The Flower Fields.

Click to watch the beautiful sunset over the Pacific from The Flower Fields.

Meet Our Carlsbad Chef: Jeff Rossman of Terra Catering

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Let us introduce to you our chef for the night! We are so honored to have one of San Diego’s best, Chef Jeff Rossman of Terra Catering to fancy our taste buds in Carlsbad, CA.

Jeff Rossman, a skilled, self-taught Chef of nearly 30 years, helped pioneer San Diego’s thriving farm-to-table movement by purchasing fresh, organic produce from local growers before it was en vogue. Rossman traveled to farmer’s markets before farmer’s markets were cool.

Rossman is a strong advocate for his city and his passion for culinary. He constantly donates time, energy and product to help the local farm to school movement assisting the Oceanside, Lemon grove and most currently the San Ysidro School Food Services Directors teaching skills to workers and developing recipes.

He serves on the board of directors for the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association as well as vice president of the board for Chef Celebration Foundation of San Diego, a nonprofit which raises scholarship money for aspiring chefs.

In 2011, Rossman published his first cookbook showcasing local farms and school gardens. His award-winning book, “From Terra’s Table”, focuses on the love story of the hardworking local growers and artisans he supports. He has released his second book “BYOB (Build Your Own Burger)” which features thousands of burger combinations as well as condiments, sides, and farm to bar beverage creations.

He has been selected by the California Avocado Commission to represent them in cooking demonstrations with recipe creations for their website.

Rocking the taste buds of our guest, Chef Rossman will prepare a regionally inspired menu, which will include the best of springs harvest and the freshest culinary ingredients California has to offer!

Join us for dinner, we promise your taste buds will thank you! #F2V #AmericanGrown #OriginMatters

The Intersection of Food, Flowers and Wine

Guest post by: Bill Prescott, Sun Valley Floral Farms

“You know that bees they go for honey. And the grapes they go for wine.” – John Gorka

A Field to Vase Dinner has a sensory appeal, which is easy to appreciate, yet very hard to describe.  These unique events create a space both physically and mentally that highlights the intersection of our food, our flora and our drinks. It amazes me that nearly the same plot of soil can produce grapes for wine, stargazer lilies, and vegetation from which both humans and animals can receive their necessary sustenance.

The Dinner Tour wordlessly lets your explore the origin of all the delights you will experience, and if you are moved to words, then the person who farmed your flowers or perhaps vinted your wine is within earshot.

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What separates a Field to Vase Dinner from say a fancy gala with amazing food and wine,  or a wonderful county wedding with a locavore chef and a talented floral designer, is that at these events the ”who “ “what” and “where” are highlighted. The cause, the couple or the business takes center stage.

A Field to Vase Dinner pulls back the curtain to see the mechanics of the “how” and the “why” and the celebration is in its very existence.

Why would a person dedicate their time to growing flowers for their community?

Why would someone quit their job as a professor at a prestigious college to make small batch artisanal wine?

How did the chef come to the realization that sourcing local ingredients was better for her customers and for her community?

How was this tulip bulb rooted, then grown?

Wendell Berry famously wrote, “Eating is an agricultural act.” And this prophetic statement could not be realized more clearly than this dinner, held in a greenhouse brimming with tulips.

The kinetic energy of row upon row of growing tulips, will affect you on a physiological level; “Physis” from the ancient Greek “nature, origin” and “logia” meaning “to study.”

The experience is at once ethereal and visceral.

The sparkling company of like-minded souls who attend these dinners, is what makes the gathering complete. Since crafts people, makers, growers, and designers must have an audience. A group of devotees who appreciate the artist’s aspiration to work with the purest ingredients and tap into nature itself, to create a meal, a drink or even a flower so inspired in its simplicity and that it achieves the divine.

Be a part of this sensory delight and let nature take a dance with your senses.