Dinners That Make a Difference

This weekend, we’ll host the fourth American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at The Fresh Herb Co., a Certified American Grown flower farm just outside of Boulder, Colorado.

The event is a part of a nationwide tour of farm-to-table style dinners developed to challenge the status quo of flower buying in our country and to encourage support for America’s cut flower and greens farmers.

You might be thinking to yourself, “is such a tour really necessary?”

As I interact with people as CEO of the California Cut Flower Commission, there are a couple of data points that never cease to surprise the folks I connect with: first, 80 percent of the flowers we consume in the U.S. are imported; and second, almost 99 percent of all roses sold in our country are flown in from Colombia or Ecuador. These are shocking statistics to the average consumer and numbers that resonate with nearly every person I talk to.

Whether it’s for environmental, quality or economic reasons, we encourage people to consider the reasons for supporting America’s flower farmers during each Field to Vase dinner.

Additionally, consumer research also tells us that 74 percent of Americans have no idea where the flowers they buy come from. So whose job is it then to tell them?

It’s ours.

With the launch of the Certified American Grown program, the decision was made that now is the time to hit the road, wave the flag and tell the story of America’s flower and greens farmers.

A beautiful table was set at our Field to Vase Dinner at Westland Orchids in Carpinteria, CA.

With that in mind, we’ve developed a dinner tour that mirrors “farm-to-table” concept and translates it to mean something just as relevant when it comes to flowers – that the flowers at the center of your table should be just as fresh, local and sustainable as the food on your plate. That’s the connection people should make with the flowers they are buying. That’s the kind of thinking that should drive the movement.

So, how do we do that?

We buy American. 

Yep, it’s that simple and it makes a difference. Not only in the quality of the flowers you buy, but it makes a difference to our local economies, supports local jobs and maintains the generational intelligence of American flower farming that’s required to grow those beautiful, fragrant American Grown Flowers we all love to enjoy.

I hope to see you at one of our Field to Vase dinners this year. If not, I hope we can count on you to help wave the flag for our flowers and our farmers. And, finally, I hope you’ll encourage others to buy American Grown Flowers. It makes all the difference.


PS – Don’t forget to check out that awesome video by Jodee Debes featuring our Field to Vase dinner at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA with flower farmer Mike A. Mellano of Mellano & Co., Bess Wyrick of Celedon & Celery and Chef Marrissa Gerlach of Vista Valley Country Club.

We also have some amazing photography by Linda Blue on our Flickr page:

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