Celebrate ‘Mother’s May,’ purchase flowers during U.S. peak production

Help keep the momentum going!

Thanks to wholesalers, florists and consumers who supported America’s flower farmers, Mother’s Day overall was a floral success! 

In fact, in some areas of the country, the response was better than expected, with many retailers selling out of flowers and florists having to ramp up significantly to keep pace with orders.

In other words, a good problem to have – and one that domestic flower farmers greatly appreciate!

As Patrick Busch of Len Busch Roses shared,

“Sales were very good, exceeding last year and very close to budget. Overall, demand was greater than we were prepared for.”  

The Flower Peddler in New Jersey also saw success:

“We sold directly to retail customers for Mother’s Day and it was beyond anything we could have expected. We actually had to stop taking orders as we were running out of product,” shared Bethany Bernard. 

Other flower farmers found success with gift card programs or on-farm sales. 

But even with the recent increase in demand, not all farms are where they need to be to keep going. Thankfully, there’s a solution! 

Consumers, wholesalers and florists can keep the momentum going and keep supporting cut flower farmers by backing what we’re calling “Mother’s May.” After all, for all they do, mom’s deserve more than one day of celebration. And since many are working from home, assisting with distance learning and still handling their usual mama duties, they’ve earned more flowers than ever this May!

We’re urging everyone to continue to honor their hardworking mom’s with American Grown Flowers. 

And, as July approaches, we have another reason to celebrate: July is American Grown Flowers Month. 

Perfectly timed for the peak production of amazing American Grown blooms and foliage, July is a great time to keep supporting America’s flower farmers and purchase flowers for life’s celebrations and to brighten your home. 

Remember to look for the American Grown logo to ensure your getting top-notch, fresh domestic flowers.  

With your help, we can help all American flower farmers continue to grow amazing blooms and greens, employ more workers and contribute to the economy.

Celebrate Mother’s May

Why not Mother’s May instead of just a Day!

Moms deserve more than just a day – give her a Mother’s May!

Celebrate Mother’s May – yes you read that correctly – we are suggesting that you celebrate the moms in your life for more than just a day. Instead make sure she has American Grown flowers and greens throughout the month of May.

Now more than ever mothers and caretakers need flowers! They are not only taking care of our little ones but now they are also teachers, employees, housekeepers, chefs and more – all at once.

It’s not easy being mom so let’s give her a boost! Several recent research studies have uncovered that flowers not only look pretty but they have a positive impact on our mood and provide connection between the giver and the receiver.

Not only will flowers bring mom joy, they will also support our American Grown flower and greens farmers and their families.

Just a few more reasons to give flowers to mom!

This year Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 10th – but with the current pandemic situation, make sure you order early. Some of the usual supply chains and transportation channels are slowed down by the current situation.

The best way to ensure mom gets the freshest, highest quality flowers is to ask your florist or designer to use American Grown flowers and greens, look for our label in your grocery stores or order direct from one of our farms. For a full guide on where and how to buy American Grown Flowers, click the link below.

 

 

Space savers: The flower power advantage for isolation

How many times have you said to yourself, “I could really use a break!” 

Although the timing and circumstances are not most Americans’ choice, this pause is here, courtesy of COVID-19. But unlike a staycation, we aren’t sure just how much time we have to launch DIY remodeling projects or dive into long-term changes in our life. 

Immediate impacts that refresh our space are the goal now, along with keeping our spirits sweet.

Floral arrangements accomplish both. According to a 10-month behavioral study at Rutgers University, flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. Study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious, and agitated when presented with flowers. Color plays a strong role in this reaction:

Red has a positive effect on the immune system and an energizing influence on fatigue and exhaustion. 

• When you see pink, you often feel joy. Bright hues of this color increase blood pressure, heartbeat and respiration, as well, which leads to energy. 

Violet calms the body and mind and nourishes creativity. 

Yellow, the happy color, encourages communication while it stimulates memory and the nervous system. 

Orange’s psychological profile includes promoting optimism, determination, and success. On the other hand, it also urges viewers to socialization, so be sparing with this color. 

Blue, as you could no doubt guess, promotes a calm, cool, and sedate aura. No wonder it’s America’s favorite color even in normal times. 

Green brings about tranquility.

Photo: The Floral Source Instagram / thefloralsource.com

But the effects don’t end there. If you find working from home is adding undue stress to your daily life, take heart from this study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology: fresh-cut roses in a Tokyo office environment produced measurable degrees of relaxation. “In our stressful, modern societies, the relaxing effect of natural stimuli is considered advantageous compared with other stimuli,” the researchers shared. 

And, finally, don’t overlook the power of scent. Lavender has long been known as a way to relieve anxiety and depression. (It’s also been used as antiseptic) The small, white jasmine flowers enhance mental alertness. Lilac triggers serenity. 

Mother Nature loves you. Be sure to let her into your life in the coming days!

 

Create Alongside America’s Most Talented Floral Designers

Volunteer for 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team

Certified American Grown Flowers is seeking volunteer floral designers and support team members for the 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon.

As a volunteer, you’ll work side by side with some of America’s most talented floral designers to create hundreds of arrangements and a floral selfie wall – all from American Grown Flowers and Greens – to wow guests at this historic bipartisan luncheon that’s been an annual tradition since 1912.

This is your chance to give back and make a difference, all while honing your floral design chops for a prestigious audience!

First Lady’s Luncheon 2020 designer Christi Lopez of Bergeron’s Flowers.


This year, the Certified American Grown First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team is being co-led by Christi Lopez AIFD EMC of
Bergerons Flowers and Carrie Wilcox of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design

With over 30 years of experience in the floral industry, Lopez’s Bergerons Flowers specializes in weddings and event design for clients in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area.

Big on giving back, Lopez also helps florists who are just starting out confidently unleash their design creativity and run a profitable business through professional coaching, floral design intensives and her Business of Flowers Facebook Group.

Carrie Wilcox of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design will serve as co-designer for the 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon.

Carrie Wilcox Floral Design is a full-service floral event studio that works with East Coast clients in Fairfield County, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, Coastal Connecticut, Massachusetts and beyond. Weddings and special celebrations are Wilcox’s only focus, so she’ll perfectly on task at the luncheon. 

Check out these photos from last year’s effort on our Flickr page. Then let us know that you’d like to volunteer!

It’s the floral design opportunity of a lifetime! 

 

Join Us In Washington, D.C., For Annual Fly-In

Mark Your Calendar for Feb. 25-27

Year after year, we encourage flower farmers to join us in Washington, D.C., for our annual fly-in. 

Why?

Because meeting face to face with policymakers, telling flower farmers’ stories and sharing pain points works. It impacts policy. It leads to change. It creates understanding. 

American Grown flower farmers in Washington D.C., February 2019. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

That’s why we’re encouraging you to mark your calendar for this year’s fly-in, set for Feb. 25-27. 

This is your opportunity to advocate for the work you do and its impact on the economy. It’s your chance to explain how policies from D.C. affect real farmers and their families. And it’s your opening to help make something big happen for flower farmers. 

Delegate Benno Dobbe pleased to share his passion for American Grown Flowers and Greens. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

Perhaps it will be something related to trade policies, labor requirements, or sustainability or a host of other potential bills on critical topics that require the voices of real flower farmers who are affected. 

Great things happen when farmers are able to share their challenges and concerns with policymakers. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

You don’t have to be an expert. We’ll provide the background you need and tips for speaking to policymakers. But we do need your voice. Your experience. Your time. 

Let us know you’d like to join the delegation signing up today!  Together, we can advocate for the industry we love.

 

Cal Poly, Farms, Wholesalers Share the Floral Love

Petal It Forward Garners Nationwide Attention


Petal It Forward, an annual event from the Society of American Florists, encourages florists, flower farmers and flower lovers to surprise people with a double floral treat – two fresh flower bouquets, one to keep and one to share. 

For the second year in a row, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) partnered with the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Rose Parade float team to bring Petal It Forward to the campus on Oct. 23. 

The Cal Poly Rose Parade Float Team handed out hundreds of bouquets on campus in San Luis Obispo, California.

The Rose Parade Float team, which is also working with Cal Poly Pomona on its certified California Grown Rose Parade float, handed out about 160 bouquets across the campus and in campus offices. The flowers were donated by Mellano & Company, Kitayama Brothers, Ocean Breeze Farms and Glad-A-Way Gardens. 

Representatives from Ocean View Flowers, a Certified American Grown Farm, also participated in the event, taking to the streets of Lompoc to hand out over 400 bouquets and 1,000 bunches of stock. “Spreading smiles in petal form around the Valley of the Flowers turned out even better than we hoped,” Ocean View noted on social media. 

Bouquets waiting to surprise and delight recipients who were given on bouquet to keep, one bouquet to give away.

And Certified American Grown wholesaler DV Flora got in on the fun, spreading smiles in Media, Pennsylvania. “We had the chance to meet, interact and put a smile on so many faces around town by offering two free bouquets … one for them to keep and another to pass along to a neighbor or stranger. It truly was an incredible day and you could feel a positive vibe in the air,” DV Flora shared on Facebook. 

The Ocean View Flowers team also handed out bouquets for Petal it Forward in downtown Lompoc, California.

Other flower farms that took part in Petal It Forward include Kitayama Brothers, MOBIS and Maximum Flowers.  

All in all, an amazing day full of surprise and delight for folks nationwide! 

 

Certified American Grown, 6 Certified Farms Shine at Fresh Summit Booth

Certified American Grown staff members were joined by six certified farms in a large booth at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California, last week. 

Within the 20×50 booth space, each farm had dedicated space to put their American Grown Flowers and Greens front and center. A sign over the booth ensured that no one on the show floor could miss us! And a huge Certified American Grown logo heart created with Certified American Grown Flowers attracted lots of attention. 

B Fresh Floral, Bloomia USA, FernTrust, Inc., Kitayama Brothers, Mellano & Company and Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers joined the Certified American Grown booth space at the 2019 PMA Fresh Summit.

We’re so grateful to B Fresh Floral, Bloomia USA, FernTrust, Inc., Kitayama Brothers, Mellano & Company and Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers for participating! We appreciate the grant funding that covered the booth space (this year and next) that came through an Agricultural Trade Promotion grant. And we’re beyond excited that Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Josh Eddy, executive director of CDFA, stopped by the booth. 

Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) visited with Dave Pruitt, Interim Administrator of Certified American Grown showing her support once again for flower farmers.

Finally, we’re grateful for the opportunity to talk to those who stopped by the booth (which may have been the most beautiful at the entire event) about American Grown Flowers Month in July and California Grown Flowers Month in June; becoming BloomCheck certified; becoming a Certified American Grown Farm; and the award-winning American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour. 

The large, circular Certified American Grown signage, was a clear beacon to those on the trade show floor, drawing attention to the beautiful flowers and greens that American Grown farmers provide.

Sure, it was a whirlwind. But being at Fresh Summit was also an amazing opportunity to showcase the flowers and greens American farmers are producing 365 days a year and share all of Certified American Grown’s efforts to support them. 

A win-win in every way! 

 

American Flower Farmers Participate in Trade Mission to South Korea, Vietnam

A delegation of Certified American Grown flower farmers, accompanied by interim Certified American Grown Administrator Dave Pruitt, recently participated in a trade mission to South Korea and Vietnam. 

During the trip, the delegation hosted an industry seminar in Seoul to introduce U.S. cut flower and foliage varieties, and to provide handling, shipping and display techniques to preserve shelf life and maximize profitability. 

U.S. Delegation – Asia Trade Mission. From Left: Kristie Park, Jim Omoto, Rita Jo Shoultz, Misty Welborn, David Pruitt, Betty Joslyn, Ken Yang, and Min Lee. Photo courtesy of Korea Business Services Inc.

Five U.S. cut flower and foliage farmers spoke and presented to the group of approximately 16 South Korean import companies and Pruitt gave a keynote address. 

The delegation then traveled to Vietnam, an emerging market for American Grown Flowers and Greens, where they met with cut flower and foliage import companies and toured the domestic growing region. They also met with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) to discuss market opportunities and challenges.

U.S. Cut Flower and Foliage Seminar in Seoul, South Korea. Photo courtesy of Korea Business Services.

The trade mission delegation included: 

  • Betty Joslyn of Joslyn Peonies
  • Jim Omoto of Kendall Farms
  • Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
  • Rita Jo Shoultz of Alaska Perfect Peony
  • Misty Welborn of Mellano & Company 

Stops during the trip included the Yangjae Flower Market and a number of floral industry businesses, including Flower Box,  Hoa Yeu Thuong, Dung Khoa Flower, Hoa 38 do Company, CASALANA and The Flower Market VN Company. 

The delegation visited the Yangjae Flower Market in South Korea. Photo courtesy of Korea Business Services.

Certified American Grown has prioritized markets in North and Southeast Asia that represent the most promising emerging markets based on export volume and value over the past five years. Certified American Grown has used federal grant funds to establish in-country representation in each market to begin building relationships with local importers and retailers, lead outbound trade missions for industry delegations, and conduct promotions at retail to move more volume during peak supply periods.

Certified American Grown led trade missions to China in 2017 and 2018 for similar market development purposes. 

 

It Was a Glorious Fall Evening at Red Twig Farms

Last Stop on 2019 Field To Vase Tour Doesn’t Disappoint!

The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour made its final stop of the 2019 season at Red Twig Farms in New Albany, Ohio, and all we can say is, “Wow, what a ride!”  

It was a perfect evening to be on a flower farm, enjoying the hospitality and beauty of Red Twig Farms.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography.

This spectacular evening was an amazing way to wrap up the tour, thanks to flower farmers Josh and Lindsey McCullough who shared the art and science of flower growing with guests and floral designer Mindy Staton of Two Little Buds.

Josh and Lindsey McCullough took great pleasure in hosting the first Ohio Field to Vase Dinner.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography.

On a perfect early-fall evening, 150 guests gathered on the flower farm to dine on a multi-course dinner created by chef Amanda Stuart of Cameron Mitchell Premier Events that featured an Arcadian greens salad, salmon with tomato and olive relish, flat iron steak with chimichurri, roasted seasonal vegetables and herb-roasted red potatoes. 

Cameron Mitchell Premier Events created a mouth-watering menu for guests of the New Albany dinner.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography.

The meal was accompanied by wines from Glass Mountain, thanks to Heidelberg Distributing Company; craft beer from North High Brewing Company; and a specialty cocktail from Watershed Distillery. Guests were serenaded throughout the evening by musicians Wild Ohio Duo. 

The wine flowed freely throughout the event thanks to sponsor Heidelberg Distributing Company.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography

Flowers from American farms, many of them Certified American Grown, dazzled in mixed fall bouquets at the center of the community table. And winning the evening’s biggest oooh’s and ahhh’s was a vintage truck packed with F2V swag bags and overflowing with autumn blooms and foliage. 

American Grown Flowers spilled out of this vintage truck in a display that caught everyone’s attention.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography

The evening simply could not have been a more perfect representation of all the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has to offer – American flower farmers, local food and drink, renowned floral designers and flower lovers from near and far gathered to connect and share their love of homegrown blooms and greens. 

The Field to Vase Dinner Tour ended its 2019 season as it ends every dinner, with a bounty of American Grown Flowers and swag for every guest and lots of smiles.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography

As we wrap up, we offer our sincere thanks to the many flower farmers who donated flowers: 

Bluegreen Gardens Farm and Florals

California Pajarosa

Camflor

Continental Floral Greens

Cut Flowers by Clear Ridge

Eufloria

Fern Trust Inc.

Green Valley Floral

Kitayama Brothers

Maximum Flowers

Mellano & Co.

Myriad Flowers

North Pole Peonies

Ocean View Flowers

S & R Farms

Sun Valley Floral Farms 

Photo by Red Gallery Photography

If spending an evening on an American flower farm appeals to you, stay tuned for our 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour dates, coming in January! 

 

American Grown Flowers, Greens Take Center Stage at State Dinner

Roses, Jasmine Vines, Dahlias From U.S. Flower Farms Adorn Tables

American Grown Flowers and Greens adorned the tables at President Donald Trump’s second-ever state dinner with Australia on Sept. 20. 

The president and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife, Jenny, on the South Lawn of the White House. The dinner was held in the Rose Garden and featured floral arrangements in green and gold, the Australian national colors.  

American Grown Flowers were showcased in the centerpieces at the state dinner with Australia. Photo by Andrea Hanks.

Dinner centerpieces were created in gold woven baskets filled with yellow garden roses and golden wattle to signify the combined friendship and long-lasting relationship between the United States and Australia. More than 2,500 roses were used, along with jasmine vines and dahlias, all from domestic flower farms. 

Homegrown garden roses, jasmine vines and dahlias were showcased in the White House designs. Photo by Andrea Hanks.

“The unique designs paid homage to the national flower of Australia, the golden wattle, while celebrating the diverse floral bounty of this country with garden roses, jasmine vines and dahlias, all homegrown on U.S. farms and greenhouses,” shared Dave Pruitt, interim administrator for Certified American Grown. “America’s flower farmers work hard every day in every state to provide beautiful flowers to consumers. These family farms are honored that their flowers were showcased at the White House in designs imagined by First Lady Melania Trump, showing the world the variety of flowers grown throughout all 50 states,” he added. 

This is the second time American Grown blooms were used at a state dinner. In 2014, President Barack Obama welcomed France’s president at a state dinner that featured American Grown flowering quince branches, weeping willow, Scotch broom, iris, nandina, alocasia, equisetum and green liriope. 

State dinners are a way to celebrate U.S. relations with international friends and allies while demonstrating and celebrating America’s cultural, culinary – and now floral –  heritage.