She Is Going To Change Valentine’s Day Forever

Click to contribute to Debra's Slow Flowers campaign.

Click to contribute to Debra’s Slow Flowers campaign.

…and Mother’s Day.

…and birthdays.

…and graduations.

…and weddings…

If Slow Flowers author Debra Prinzing’s successful in her efforts, all of these floral related holidays and life events will take on new meaning for people’s gift giving in the future.  If Debra Prinzing’s successful she’ll transform the landscape of the floral industry we know today, connecting local florists who are selling local flowers with consumers who care.  If Debra Prinzing’s successful she will be the catalyst this country needs to bring flower farming back to the United States, so that the millions of flowers that are purchased each year are coming from local family flower farms, growing in our own backyard.

How does she plan to do all of that?

Her answer; SlowFlowers.com

The purpose of SlowFlowers.com is to recognize and feature local floral retailers who commit to American Grown flowers and connect them to consumers seeking to make a truly local choice in the flowers they give to that special someone, during that special event or holiday.

When you consider that imports from South America make up approximately 80% of flowers sold in the United States each year and that over 97% roses sold on Valentine’s Day will have to be flown in from countries like Colombia and Ecuador, you can see what a tremendous change it would be for our country to begin looking locally when buying their flowers.

Of course you’ve heard the phrase, “When there is a will, there is a way,” and there is no doubt that Debra has that will.

Beyond authoring two books on the subject (The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers), Debra continues to travel the country speaking to garden clubs, giving demonstrations at Flower & Garden shows and sharing her “Buy American Grown” message with major industry flower buyers at trade shows. She’s armed with a deep belief that consumers simply have no idea where their flowers come from and that if they did, they’d choose to buy American Grown if given the choice.  Of course, our consumer research at the Commission backs up that belief. An omnibus study on floral consumers found that 74% of people have no idea where their flowers come from, but that 58% of them would choose “CA Grown” flowers over imports if given the choice.  To Debra’s point, I’m sure the percentage would be even higher if we would have simply said “American Grown.”

Now, I don’t think I could be easily convinced that another website about flowers would be that catalyst for anything these days.  However, Debra’s effort is different.  The website she is designing is simply the tool that connects, but the real strength and power in her campaign are the people behind it. The support that she is receiving for her fundraising efforts on Indiegogo is amazing. With over 180 “funders,” she has raised over $13,000 with 15 days remaining in her campaign.  The contributions she’s received have been in $15 increments and up to $1,000.  The support has come from consumers, floral designers, farmers and others who believe in what she is attempting to accomplish.

Click to watch this video about Debra's campaign.

Click to watch this video about Debra’s campaign.

I can only speak on behalf of California’s flower farmers when I say that we support her efforts. In the days ahead, the CCFC will be contributing to this campaign as well and I would welcome others to consider doing the same.

Buying American Grown flowers really does address important issues that consumers care about, such as sustainability, quality and freshness and our economy.  If Debra’s successful, if she can help American’s make this connection with the flowers they are buying, maybe – just maybe – those flowers that you buy for that special someone on Valentine’s Day next year will be as local as the food on your plate.

You are taking her to dinner right?

Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.  I would love to hear your thoughts on Debra’s efforts and the movement toward American Grown Flowers.

      • How has Debra’s campaign inspired you?
      • How have you chosen to support American Grown flowers this Valentine’s Day?
      • Have you shared your support for American Grown flowers with others?
      • Are you seeing or experiencing the movement towards American Grown flowers in your city, community or business?

Previous Valentine’s Day Posts on Field Position:

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Sarah Kinbar

    This is really exciting. I’m eager to see what this does for flower farmers here in Florida.

    • fieldposition

      Thank you for your support and interest in #AmericanGrown flowers and the farmers that grow them. Are you a designer? What farms in Florida are you referring to? What do they grow?

  • Kathy Donchak

    Exciting news – we have been working with local farms for our floral design classes for weddings and events. We are so grateful to our local Texas flower farms! BloomingLessons.com

    • fieldposition

      Hey Kathy, thank you for your support for #AmericanGrown. The CCFC is in talks with the Texas State Florists Association on hosting one of our “Field to Vase” dinner events in March. Should be fun! Maybe we’ll get Debra to join us!

  • Lori Eschler Frystak

    I’m so inspired by Debra’s work. I’ve always tried to use local flowers as much as possible. This year I used only locally (southern California) grown flowers for my Valentine orders. People were very receptive and I had a great time opening the conversation about local and sustainable flower farming. We are lucky in southern California to have local flowers available year round and I hope the increased awareness and support for American flowers will allow more indie flower farmers to start up, experiment, and keep growing!. Thanks for the great post! Lori http://www.blossomalliance.com

  • http://prcontentagency.com Sarah Ristorcelli

    I provide social media support and web content for a flower shop in Orlando. I’ve researched local sources for fresh flowers and they’ve been hard to find. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!