Stem by Stem

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.

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A little over a year ago when I started working at the Sun Valley Floral Farm, I was out walking the farm with Lane and the other growers.  I was likely asking the team all sorts of rookie questions about flower farming,

Sun Valley Floral Farms’ CEO and head flower farmer Lane DeVries proudly display’s his farm’s commitment to promoting their “CA Grown” flowers.

“Where do we get the water? Where do we get the bulbs? How much does a single bulb cost?”

Lane and the growers patiently answered my questions as we walked at Lane’s unusually fast pace.  My eyes were wide open as row upon row of lilies, tulips and irises were discussed and inspected.  I noticed many flowers left in the fields, ones that hadn’t bloomed yet, it seemed to me that these would just be left to bloom out.

I asked Lane, “So are you just going to leave all those other flowers out there?”

He replied,“The crew will come back and pick them when they are ready…”

Lane walked a few steps, quietly in thought, then added, “stem by stem.”

Over the last year, this idea of stem by stem has been a reoccurring theme in my education in the flower farming business.  Looking out at countless thousands of iris or tulips, and realizing that each stem is special, each stem is an opportunity, each stem has a kinetic energy to delight and amaze.

Sun Valley’s Lily handles a fresh bunch of Sun Valley tulips for a special delivery.

In the last year, I have been involved with the CCFC Twitter Team, a loose configuration of social media enthusiast all involved with the California Grown flower movement and the American Grown flower movement.  With Kasey’s support, we have been honing our skills, building our followings and creating awareness of this amazing American Grown ground swell in our industry…stem by stem.

Every customer that goes into a supermarket or a florist and asks for American grown flowers is a stem.  Every customer that pushes all the bouquets aside until she finds the CA Grown license plate is a stem.  Every one of us, who tells the story of American Grown flowers at a dinner party or at a Rotary meeting is a stem.

Stem by stem, Sun Valley’s tulips display the important “CA Grown” brand that is designed to help consumers identify and purchase locally grown – American Grown -flowers.

Stem by stem we are moving the needle, creating awareness and explaining that the American Grown flower movement is about every consumer in the land requesting domestically grown flowers.  Their attributes are numerous; quality, greener environmental footprint, keeping your dollars in our country. Trust me I could go on, but I would be preaching to the choir.

What I feel strongly about, is that each person we take a moment to educate about our business is one more stem in a giant field of American Grown flowers.  This field is growing bigger and bigger, from the Farmers Markets to the Wholesale Houses to Safeway and Kroger. We are gaining momentum every single day, every time a consumer does a double take to make sure their bouquet is grown in the United States, we win. Every time a consumer has a high quality CA Grown bunch of lilies that lasts for two weeks, we win.   Every time a consumer considers the fact that by buying American grown flowers, they are investing in our economy and ultimately our future, we win.

We are winning by converting and educating our customers, one at a time, person by person, interaction by interaction, stem by stem.

 Question: What “stem by stem” opportunities do you see for spreading the good news about locally grown, CA Grown, American Grown Flowers?

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

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