California Flower Farm Receives Marketer of the Year From SAF

A huge congratulations goes to California’s Sun Valley Floral Farms on winning SAF’s Marketer of the Year award! For those of you who aren’t familiar, SAF is the Society of American Florists, an industry association that annually recognizes a progressive and successful company for their marketing efforts in the floral industry. The award is announced at their annual convention, held this year on Marco Island in Florida.

Pictured left to right

Pictured left to right; Sun Valley Marketing Communications Associate Bill Prescott, Sun Valley’s head flower farmer Lane DeVries and me at the Society of American Florists Marketer of the Year Award ceremony.

This year’s award recognizes CCFC past chair Lane DeVries and his team at Sun Valley for their efforts to encourage industry-wide collaboration and alignment on improving the health of United States floral market by promoting Women’s Day on March 8th.

Why is the President’s Iris #AmericanGrown?

The most recent state dinner with French President François Hollande was full of the standard White House traditions that serve to highlight the very best of our country’s culture and culinary.

American Grown (#CaGrown) purple iris was the focal flower featured at the recent White House state dinner with French president Hollande. [Photo Credit Eddie Kohan]

However, this state dinner was notably different.  Something special, subtle and important happened.

The Obama White House decided to ensure that

Purveyors of Joy

This is a guest post by Bill Prescott, Marketing Communications Associate for Sun Valley Floral Farms. Bill is responsible for Sun Valley’s social media platform, blogging and multi-media communications.

Subscribe Sun Valley’s “Flower Talk” blog and follow Sun Valley on Twitter.


“I have never seen a consumer receive flowers, and not be happy.”


Sun Valley’s Lane DeVries with a happy customer

These words were spoken by Sun Valley’s Lane DeVries as we were filming a short video about our farm.  Lane’s inspired quote really sums up our whole industry in a nutshell.  What are flower farmers if not purveyors of joy? This is what we bring to the table. This is why we

Why is it so hard to find American Grown Flowers today?

I enjoy sharing information about our farms and flowers.  In fact, the CCFC has helped to coordinate two Open House events (Carpinteria & Monterey) to help more people learn about our farms, meet the farmers and learn where flowers come from.  I also get requests to speak to groups on the subject of flowers and flower farming.  I enjoy those opportunities.

Hug ’em, if you got ’em! A Carpinteria Greenhouse Farm Tour attendee shows her love for locally grown flowers.

However, the #1 question that I get asked when I get done speaking is, “Where can I find your flowers?”

This is a great and supportive question, but one that strikes at the heart of

Why would a Texan move to California to become a farmer?

This is a guest post by Jennifer Everett, Farm Manager for California Floral Greens in Watsonville, CA. Jennifer also serves as a Commissioner for the California Cut Flower Commission.

You can follow Jennifer on Twitter.

I grew up on the family farm admiring my dad and wanting to be a farmer just like him.

It has been almost 5 1/2 years ago now that I asked myself, “why would a texan move to California to become a farmer?”  At that time, my father, Jim Everett, was offering me a chance to move to the sunny state of California and manage a total of 120 acres of floral greens.  I had been teaching chemistry for the last 7 years and was looking for a change of pace, when the opportunity

#FlowerFarmer: A Familial Occupation

This week I’ve invited Ivan Van Wingerden to guest blog on Field Position while I’m on vacation. Ivan represents one of California’s “next gen” flower farmers. We are fortunate to have him continue the family tradition of flower farming in California and writing for me while I’m out of the office…

Please leave Ivan any comments or questions you might have and we’ll make sure he gets back to you.


Guest Blogger: Ivan Van Wingerden, Ever-Bloom, Inc.


Ivan Van Wingerden standing among the anthurium crop in their Carpinteria, CA greenhouse

“So, do you want to be a farmer or a priest?”

Those were the two vocational choices for my grandfather and every Van Wingerden son for the previous 400 plus years.  Amazingly, given any other opportunity, both my father and I have also chosen the same path that my grandfather did—and are happier for it.  When growing a beautiful product is a family tradition, it builds a support group of multi-generational knowledge and expertise and a green thumb to boot!

My grandfather started with a simple wood frame glass house for his tomatoes and grapes in Holland.  When the family transplanted themselves to California in 1967 he started a five-acre flower business with his brothers and giant family support group.

Twelve years later, with the support of my grandfather, my dad bought