An Inside Look: Virtual Field to Vase Experience

The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour invites guests to dine in the fields of America’s most stunning flower and foliage farms. This year, we took it virtual!

American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tours

The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour invites guests from around the world to different parts of the U.S. to dine in the fields of America’s most stunning flower and foliage farms. The dinner tour is a cross-country series of gatherings where seasonal blooms and foliage dazzle on beautifully designed tablescapes dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while gourmet meals are prepared by well-known farm-to-table chefs. Take a look at where past Field to Vase experiences have been held!

Since its inception, the dinners have garnered unprecedented local and national media attention and provide an interactive way to showcase the heritage of America’s flower-farming families. In 2017, the tour was even awarded Floral Management’s Marketer of the Year Award!

While planning for upcoming Field to Vase dinners is still in the works, we look forward to sharing updates about Certified American Grown and our farming families. Make sure to keep an eye out for all the news from Certified American Grown.

Learn more about the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tours here.

An Inside Look at Our First Virtual Experience

Like many businesses and events in the last year, we had to pivot due to the pandemic. We postponed our in-person Field to Vase Dinner that was to be held at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. Instead, we transformed the event into a virtual, multi-sensory experience from the farm straight to your home for the first time ever – and what an evening it was!

The virtual tour provided guests the opportunity to enjoy a tour of The Flower Fields, meet cut flower farmer Mike Mellano and owner Paul Ecke, and enjoy a fun and creative design demonstration by award-winning designer Shawna Yamamoto. For those guests who wanted to, there was even an option to order wine and cheese to complement the tour, all from the comfort of your own couch. The evening concluded with a musical interlude while watching the California sunset over the gorgeous fields of ranunculus.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Virtual Field to Vase Experience at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, and if you didn’t join us, read the recap below and keep an eye out for our upcoming events!

Meet the Farmer

To kick off a beautiful evening by the ocean, we met flower farmer Mike A. Mellano of Mellano & Company, a Certified American Grown farm, and our host for the evening! He started out by giving us a tour of the 50-acre, blooming Ranunculus fields while diving deeper into his family’s flower farming history and how they got started. He also gave us a behind-the-scenes look into what they grow at the Mellano & Company Carlsbad location and how they do it! In case you didn’t know, they not only grow the beautiful Ranunculus that we saw throughout the evening, but they also grow blueberries, olives and they’re even starting to grow coffee beans!

After learning more about the history of the farm, farmer Mike taught us about growing Ranunculus specifically, an extremely popular bloom these days, as well as the pros and cons of growing in California. While one of the best parts of growing close to the ocean are the gorgeous views and the mild weather, it’s also really challenging to cultivate so close to the public. Agricultural practices must be adapted (because people weren’t too happy when they started spreading the chicken manure!). Another challenge is having to harvest Ranunculus by hand, a difficulty shared across cut flower harvesters in general. Groups of employees have to make two to three passes a week to walk every row, cutting and checking flowers. Next time you buy American grown Ranunculus, remember that fun fact!

“My favorite part about growing Ranunculus is engaging the public—having the opportunity to teach people what it is we do as flower farmers,” said Mike A. Mellano. He went on to say that people aren’t always familiar with what it takes to see flowers through their entire life cycle—from a bare patch of dirt and then back to a bare patch of dirt again. When people come to visit and tour the farm, he loves to teach them what it is their team does and how they do it. When it’s deemed safe again, be sure to visit the Ranunculus rainbow at the Flower Fields, managed by Mellano & Company, but do it earlier in the year because the fields are only in season from March to May.

DIY Floral Arrangement Lessons From a Seasoned Pro

Just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean it can’t be interactive! Attendees had the option to add American Grown cut flowers and foliage and locally sourced charcuterie and wine, which were delivered straight to their door. Attendees could use these blooms to take part in a workshop by renowned floral and event designer, Shawna Yamamoto of Shawna Yamamoto Event Design.

She taught us how to use the beautiful American Grown flowers and foliage from Mellano & Company to design our own bouquets using common household items—like a stand mixer! Virtual attendees that opted into the floral delivery option received a farm fresh floral box featuring The Flower Field’s beloved Ranunculus, along with other blooms and foliage, to design along with Yamamoto. While she made the demonstration look easy, we did our best to keep up!

She also gave us some of the following tips and tricks for caring for our American Grown flowers once we get them home:

  • Cut your stems one to two inches up and at an angle (start long—you can always shorten them!).
  • Add flower food to water to ensure your flowers last 7-10 days.
  • Try to change the flower water every day. The fresher the water, the fresher and longer the flowers will stay!

Learn more about Shawna and explore her beautiful designs on Instagram. Fun fact: 75,000 stems is the largest event she’s done!

Finally, we rounded out the evening with closing remarks and a sunset serenade with live music. Thank you again if you did join us for our first virtual Field to Vase Experience at The Flower Fields, and if you didn’t, we hope to “see” you next time!

Join us for Future Field to Vase Events

We want to make Certified American Grown events more accessible to you wherever you are—even if that’s your own living room! We’re also looking forward to the day when we can all gather around the table again at America’s most beautiful flower and foliage farms.



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