On June 11, the California Senate will officially declared June “California Grown Flowers Month.” The resolution is being put forth by Sen. Mike McGuire who represents the state’s 2nd Senate District.
The resolution notes that the designation is designed “to recognize and honor the men and women of the California grown flower industry for their dedication and productivity,” and describes that statewide, flowers are grown across 701 million square feet, spanning the distance from San Diego through the Inland Empire to Carpinteria and north all the way to the Oregon border.
The resolution also recognizes the flower industry’s impact on the state’s economy: creating 145,665 jobs, generating $12.2 billion in business activity and creating $1.1 billion in additional tax
The California Cut Flower Commission will be on the Senate floor with California Grown Flowers on June 11 for the formal presentation of the resolution declaring June as “California Grown Flowers Month.”
California Grown’s mission is to connect Californians with the people who grow and produce their food. Soon, they’ll be doing so via a new marketing campaign that’s described as a love letter to California.
The project will celebrate California agriculture through a digital media effort that includes live action and animated videos, and social media, among other approaches. The goal is to pay homage to the folks that produce all of the state’s crops in a lighthearted and fun way, explains Nick Matteis, executive director for the Buy California Marketing Agreement.
“We’ve taken the story of California agriculture to another level to send a love letter from our California producers and their fine products through a digital media effort we think will be a fabulous story to share with our audience,” Matteis says. “We’ll approach it from the idea that these crops are a gift from our farmers and farm workers for all to enjoy, and we’ll connect to where the product starts and where it ends up.”
That will be achieved with video and images provided by ag organizations – including Certified American Grown and the California Cut Flower Commission – that will show the growing process from planting to growing season to harvest to distribution.
“We’re excited about that fact that this campaign is a love letter from our farmers to the folks that enjoy the products. It’s a positive vibe on so many different levels,” Matteis says.
Be sure to watch for glimpses of amazing California Grown Flowers when the campaign launches!
Carlos Cardoza has an enviable problem. He can hardly keep up with demand for the novelty flowers grown at CamFlor in Watsonville where he’s the sales manager.
Since 2012, CamFlor has been growing at a steady rate of 10 to 12 percent a year. Some months it’s closer to 30 percent.
Something had to give.
In addition to recently renewing a 50-acre lease for flower-growing land, CamFlor is adding another (more…)
Take Inspiration From Them, Then Promote Women’s Day March 8!
Neighbors used to call Diana Roy “Flower Girl.”
“I never seemed to have quite enough flowers in my own yard, so I was always asking neighbors if I could cut some of theirs,” she says.
Now the business manager of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, Roy has all the blooms she could possibly want. She’s combined her passion for flowers with her background in public relations to help make the farm one of California’s largest suppliers of (more…)
Rene Van Rems, Debi Lilly to Design Tablescapes at California Dinners
We’re always excited when things really start coming together for each of the American Grown Field to Vase dinners, but this year, the excitement is through the roof as we announce that two renowned floral designers have joined the tour.
Meet Rene Van Rems and Debi Lilly!
Rene Van Rems
Designing tablescapes at the April 7 Field to Vase Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, is Rene Van Rems, a renowned ambassador to the floral industry. Van Rems is a leading speaker, educator and demonstrator who has led workshops and design shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He’s also frequently featured at art museum events, including “Art Alive” in San Diego. (more…)
It’s not just floats that glide down Colorado Boulevard during the annual Rose Parade. There’s also an incredible group of vintage and contemporary cars – and for the last 5 years, all were adorned in California Grown flowers.
The floral designs for the VIP parade vehicles are the handiwork of Keith White, AIFD, lead designer for FTD, and breathtaking doesn’t begin to describe them.
Since 2006, White has arrived in Pasadena on Christmas Day; he begins working on the cars on Dec. 26, using “trade secrets” to be sure the vintage cars are protected as the flowers and foliage are added. Each car takes a full day to adorn, and this year there were two Honda pace cars and five vintage cars, each receiving unique floral designs.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s FTD California Grown car fleet: (more…)
Check out the 2018-19 American Floral Trends Forecast
Wrapped inside the pages of the January 2018 issue of Florist’s Review is the 2018-19 American Floral Trends Forecast.
And it’s glorious!
5 Breathtaking Stops Announced for the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour
The fourth season of the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is underway, and Certified American Grown wants you to grab all of your flower-loving friends and head to a flower farm for an award-winning experience you’ll never forget.
Click the video above and imagine yourself at one of this year’s American Grown Field to Vase Dinners.
They have an exciting lineup of farms involved with this year’s floral-infused dinner tour. Known for stopping at America’s most beautiful flower farms, this year’s tour includes amazing destinations, and they’ve also made some notable tweaks to (more…)
Kelly Shore’s Doing Her Homework
A week spent in Alaska with flower farmers was the tipping point for Kelly Shore, owner and lead designer at Petals by the Shore in Maryland.
Shore was in Alaska to design the tablescapes for an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner being held at Scenic Peonies last summer. She went there with a job to do, but when she left Alaska 10 days later, her gut told her that her next job would be to consider an awesome possibility: Sourcing 100 percent of the flowers and foliage she uses in her designs from American flower farms.
“When I went to Alaska and I saw what the farmers there face, it sparked something in me. I had some really good conversations with the flower farmers on the host farm and with other farmers in attendance, and I thought (more…)
Co-Owner of Ocean Breeze Farms Has Long History of Service, Advocacy
June Van Wingerden has been a constant force in the ag community, advocating for California cut flowers and water and labor issues for decades. The California State Senate recognized her dedication when they named her California’s Woman of the Year in 2005. Now, she’s bringing her heart for (more…)
Customers who visit The Bouqs Company website might be surprised to see some smiling faces posted alongside the flowers and custom bouquets sold on the site.
Just who are they? They’re the American flower farmers who grow a variety of blooms sold at the popular site. And in addition to getting a glimpse of the farmers and their locations, customers can also click to see a one- to two-minute documentary video about the farmer and their flower operation and read a brief bio of each farmer. (more…)
PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 1, 2018 — The Certified California Grown 2018 Rose Parade® entry from Cal Poly Universities has earned the Past President’s Trophy, an award that recognizes outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials. The float, designed, constructed and decorated by students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, included nearly 97 percent of cut flower and greens from California.
The float earned California Grown Certification at a ceremony Dec. 31 led by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross. Certified floats must be decorated with more than (more…)
It’s a year-end tradition that helps us both remember where we’ve been and chart a successful path into the new year – the top 10 list, that is.
And so as 2017 winds down, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) is pleased to share our top 10 blog posts of the year. As you’ll see, the past year brought the flower industry growth, optimism, consumer awareness and a bit of anxiety toward to the end thanks to a round of wildfires.
Here’s a look at our most-read posts of 2017 (more…)
Andrea Grist, business manager for Florasource KC in Overland Park, Kansas, was preparing for a customer open house when she had a bright idea. Why not have some issues of Florists’ Review available to hand out at the event?
When the magazines arrived, Grist was happy to find the publication included copies of the new Certified American Grown Farm & Flower Guide as an added bonus. What she didn’t foresee was how that bonus publication would (more…)
Get a Sense of What Farmers Experienced
The threat to California’s flower farms from several Southern California wildfires is almost over. (Insert collective sigh of relief here). That said, flower farmers and others in the ag community can tell you it was an experience like no other – and something they hope to never experience again.
While fire officials are now focused on “mop up” activities in the Carpinteria area, the Thomas Fire appears to have left flower farms largely unscathed. Mandatory evacuation orders have made accessing farms and the daily harvesting flowers challenging, but those evacuation orders are anticipated to (more…)
While the wildfires in Southern California approached some of the nation’s largest flower farms and hampered the ability for some employees to work, the Golden State’s farms are open and operating.
“We haven’t received any reports of production loss or farms lost due to the fires in Southern California,” explained California Cut Flower Commission CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “We’re in close contact with our farms in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Diego Counties and so far our farms are checking in as safe and continuing to operate.”
The Thomas Fire
The Thomas Fire near Carpinteria, known as the nation’s flower basket, appeared to get dangerously close to (more…)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2017
Nation’s Flower Basket Threatened by California’s Thomas Fire
CCFC Creates Interactive Map to Track Fires Near Flower Farms
The nation’s flower basket is being threatened by the Thomas Fire in Southern California, a fire that has already consumed 96,000 acres and is rapidly expanding due to winds and dry conditions.
The fire is burning close to nearly two dozen flower farms in the Carpinteria Valley, known as “the flower basket of the United States.” Smaller fires have also been reported near flower farms in San Diego and Lompoc.
To help track the fires and their potential impact on flower farms, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) has created an interactive online map that shows which of the state’s flower farms are near fire locations. View the map, which is being regularly updated, at ccfc.org/fires.
To add to the conversation and provide additional updates, several Southern California flower farmers will be using Facebook Live to provide updates and video of the fires.
“The map shows the fires statewide and will help answer the question we’re currently hearing a lot, like ‘How are these farms that I’ve bought my flowers for decades from doing?’” said Kasey Cronquist, CCFC CEO and ambassador.
The raging Thomas Fire, which is now edging closer to Ojai and Carpinteria on two fronts and forced the closure of Highway 101 and Highway 150 for hours Thursday as flames burned on both sides of the freeway, started Monday night in Santa Paula and quickly tore through Ventura toward the Pacific Ocean.
The wildfire has 5 percent containment and is burning its way into the Los Padres National Forest.
Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said if the wind continues, and rain doesn’t touch the region, the Thomas fire could continue for a few more weeks.
Visit CCFC.org/fires and follow the California Cut Flower Commission on social media for ongoing updates.
December 8: Facebook Live Update withCalifornia Flower Farmers David Van Wingerden of Westland Orchid in Carpinteria, CA and Bruce Brady of Mellano & Co. in Santa Ana, CA.
December 7: Fire Update with California Flower Farmers Ivan Van Wingerden of Everbloom and David Van Wingerden of Westland Orchid in Carpinteria, CA.
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About the California Cut Flower Commission
The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.
CEO & Ambassador
Out of an abundance of caution, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) announced that it was suspending its annual year end meetings scheduled for December 7-8 in Santa Barbara due to the Thomas Fire burning just south of Carpinteria.
In a letter to California’s flower farmers, CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist wrote, “The uncertainty of the fire’s path, potential road closures and the need for hotel rooms for evacuees were all factors that were considered in making this decision.”
The Thomas Fire continues to grow and remains at 0% containment with high winds expected to continue through Friday.
“Currently, none of our Santa Barbara or Ventura County flower farmers are facing any immediate threat to their farms or flower production,” Cronquist explained. “However, mandatory evacuations have affected many employees, friends and family members, including CCFC’s Anna Kalins whose family was evacuated from their home in Ventura on Monday night and has not been able to return.”
Current information on the Thomas Fire can be found at ReadyVenturaCounty.org and a map outlining the fire’s path can also be found at nwcg.gov.
Our deepest thanks and appreciation go out to all of the firefighters and first responders who are doing their best to protect people and property while battling these fires, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected and displaced by the wildfires in Southern California.
CCFC’s Annual Meetings and Awards Dinner will be rescheduled.
The CCFC’s official announcement to farms can be found here.
The motorcycles used during the Tournament of Roses parade by the Pasadena Police Department will be joining Cal Poly Universities and FTD as another certified CA Grown parade entry in 2018.
Certification requires that over 85 percent of the flowers and foliage used in the parade entries are grown in California.
“Each year these special motorcycles kick off this iconic parade leading the pack of floats, cars, bands and equestrian entries,” says CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “It just seems fitting that those motorcycles, ridden by Pasadena’s finest, be decorated in all-California Grown Flowers.”
The last stop on the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour was not only the perfect finale, it was among the tour’s most unique destinations.
After all, how many people can say they’ve dined on a fern and foliage farm in the middle of the “Fern Capital of the World?” A sold-out crowd did just that Nov. 18 when the Field to Vase Dinner Tour came to FernTrust Inc. in Seville, Florida.
FernTrust, a farm cooperative, is one of the most trusted foliage producers in the country. Guests learned all about the 126 varieties of best-in-class foliage and ferns grown by FernTrust during a tour with farmer David Register. Jana Register provided a tour of FernTrust’s packing house where she shared FernTrust’s many product lines including their patented ColorFresh program that extends vase life of foliage and greens through a unique color sealing process.
Following the farm tour, guests then dined at tables adorned with hundreds of feet of lush fern garland and topiaries created by floral designer J Schwanke. Tour sponsor Syndicate Sales provided all of the hard goods and vases that were incorporated into J’s beautiful tablescape design. Nearby, an all-foliage American Flag added to the evening’s wow factor, as did old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and vistas that provided views of the beautiful ferns and an incredible sunset over the lake.
Chef Justin Timineri of Fresh From Florida created a wonderful Floridian themed menu and Joe Hearn and his team from Joe Hearn Events did an outstanding job managing all of the event’s special touches for this floral filled event.
“This Field to Vase dinner was such a fun event. Getting to meet the farmers and families that have worked the land and listen to the stories was a great experience,” shared former chef Dennis Littley of AskChefDennis.com. “The setting at the farm was picture perfect and the tables were magazine worthy, looking like something out of Martha Stewart.”
Microbrewery Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. shared its craft beers, Geyser Peak Winery served up wine varietals and Copper Bottom Craft Distillery provided signature citrus cocktails featuring names with a nod to local ferns.
Find out where the tour is going in 2018, and then plan to attend one of these one-in-a-lifetime dinners at americangrownflowers.com/fieldtovase