Let’s face it. It’s basically August.
We’re well over halfway through 2015. At this point, there’s is no denying that I’ve failed miserably in my goal to blog each week in 2015, but it certainly has not been due to lack of content to feature. This year has been the most intense year of promotion activity and advocacy for America’s flower farmers in my tenure at the California Cut Flower Commission.
So, I thought I’d write a single post to help get caught up on what I believe are five awesome achievements we’ve experienced so far in 2015.
As a warning, note that I’m listing in them in chronological order rather than by order of importance.
Farms Vote To Continue the California Cut Flower Commission
The continuation of the CCFC? That was an issue?
Yep. It may not be widely known, but because the CCFC is a state commission, the organization is required to go through a referendum every five years. This year was that year, and in April the California Department of Food & Agriculture announced that over 72 percent of our voting farms cast their votes in favor of continuation. This was almost a 20-point improvement on the Commission’s approval as compared to the 2010 referendum and represents a strong vote of confidence in the Commission’s strategic direction.
Continuation of the commission might actually be the most important achievement in 2015, since the continuation of the organization makes the rest of these achievements possible.
Another American Grown Dream Wedding with TheKnot.com
Once again, we were able to collaborate with TheKnot.com to provide the flowers for an all “American Grown” Dream Wedding. This year’s floral designer happened to be Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers. This was a great pairing, and Christina and her team did an amazing job of designing and featuring how beautiful and All-American Grown wedding can be.
American Grown Field to Vase Tour Featured in the WSJ, Food & Wine and Sunset Magazine
To be featured by any one of these publications would be an achievement, but to be represented in all three? That’s a coup. The Wall Street Journal listed the Field to Vase tour as No. 44 on its “Summer Top 50” things for 2015. Food & Wine called the dinner series the “ultimate al fresco dinner party.” Sunset Magazine has also featured each of the first three dinners we’ve held on its Westphoria blog. Here is a list of their blog posts so far:
California’s Legislature Declares June California Grown Flower Month
This year, the CCFC worked with the California legislature to help designate June as California Grown Flower Month. The joint resolution was passed unanimously in both the Assembly and the Senate, helping to create awareness and highlight how important our flower farmers are to the state, the economy and their local communities.
The CCFC marked the occasion by celebrating the news and promoting California Grown Flowers during the Sacramento River Cats baseball game at Raley Field. Flower farmer and CCFC Chair Mike A. Mellano of Mellano & Co. even threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The 1st Anniversary of Certified American Grown
One of the primary reasons for the extraordinary year we’re having is due to the advent of the Certified American Grown program in 2014. This month (July) marks the first anniversary of the launch of the program. There are now 47 farms in 14 states certifying millions of stems of flowers American Grown. This consumer-facing brand has successfully made it to market, showing up in scores of retail stores, helping our farms and retailers increase their sales, and aiding consumers in understanding the value and virtue of buying American Grown Flowers.
In addition to helping consumers identify local American Grown flowers, the program has stimulated positive conversations throughout the country about what it means to be Certified American Grown and why that’s important. Have you seen the list of Certified American Grown farms?
So, there you have it. Five achievements in 2015 I should have blogged about already and that really deserve their own blog post. We still have five-and-a-half more months in 2015, six more Field to Vase Dinners and a few other things planned that I look forward to sharing when the time comes.
In the meantime, make sure you’re subscribed to our monthly Field Notes newsletter. This year, we’re working with Debra Prinzing to produce our monthly newsletter to provide even better content and coverage of our farms and flowers. I also welcome your comments and thoughts about the local American Grown flower movement or our Field to Vase dinners. Weigh in in the comments section or feel free to email me. We’d love to have you join us at a dinner or get involved with the cause.