Assemblywoman Monique Limón takes the trophy from California Cut Flower Commission CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist, winning this year’s Floral Design Challenge. Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

Battling it out with her fellow members in California’s State Assembly, Assemblymember Monique Limón showed off her floral design prowess, winning this year’s Floral Design Challenge hosted by the California Cut Flower Commission.

Members of California’s state assembly participated in the annual Floral Design Challenge hosted by the California Cut Flower Commission. Pictured left to right; Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, Assemblymember Jim Cooper, Assemblymember Monique Limon and Assemblymember Anna Caberello.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

First held in 2016, the friendly design competition between legislators was created to help raise awareness for June as “California Grown Flowers Month,” and the value California’s flower-farming families bring to their communities and the economy.

[Read: “State Senators, Farmers Gather on Senate Floor For ‘California Grown Flowers Month’ Declaration”]

Contestants had just five minutes to create their designs and members of the audience voted for their favorites by placing a marble in the jar after designs were complete.

Guests used marbles to vote for their favorite floral design.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

This year’s competition was held in conjunction with the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, which hosted over 150 people for a farm-to-fork style dinner on the lawn of the state Capitol.

Assembly members had five minutes to complete their designs prior to judging.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

“I was prepared,” shared Limón, “Representing the largest flower-farming region in the United States, I was careful to listen to my constituents on what it would take to win.”

Assemblymember Jim Cooper, the previous floral design champion, with this year’s winner, Assemblymember Monique Limón.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

As the winner, Limón took home the coveted crystal vase. The vase will be displayed in Limón’s office and filled each month with flowers representing the Golden State.

The winner of the last Floral Design Challenge was Assemblymember Cooper.

This year’s contestants show off their designs at the end of the competition.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

 

California flower farmers join with this year’s contestants after this year’s competition.  Photo by Eye Connoisseur Photography.

On Monday, the California Senate officially declared June to be “California Grown Flowers Month.” The resolution was put forth by Sen. Mike McGuire who represents the state’s 2nd Senate District.

Members of the state Senate acknowledge California’s flower farmers for the value they bring to their communities and the state’s economy. Pictured left to right: Sen. Bill Monning, Sen. Henry Stern, California flower farmer Anthony Vollering (back), Sen.Hannah-Beth Jackson, Sen. John Moorlach, California Cut Flower Commission CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Sen. Kevin de Leon and Sen. Mike McGuire.
Members of the Senate arrived on the Senate floor to find a beautiful bouquet of CA Grown Flowers on their desk.

 

In honor of the declaration and accompanying resolution, senators, flower farmers and California Cut Flower Commission CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist gathered on the Senate floor – California Grown Flowers in hand.

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 Oregon.

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 taxes.

It was a proud day, and we’re thrilled to celebrate California Grown Flowers Month throughout June. Join us!

California’s flower farmers celebrating the declaration of California Grown Flowers Month on the steps of the state’s capitol.

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

es.

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.

Kale growing in a CamFlor high tunnel.

 

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.”

Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea speaking to Congressman Jimmy Panetta (right) during a reception in Washington, D.C. Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

“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.

Kieth White leads the California Grown design effort for FTD and the Tournament of Roses Parade vehicles.

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!

This year, the annual report includes more flowers from Certified American Grown farms, more designers, more voices, more photos and, of course, an in-depth look into (more…)

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 was the featured designer at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Scenic Place Peonies in July last year. She taught a class prior to the event, encouraging the use and support for Certified Ameican Grown Flowers.

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  

Past CCFC Chair Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, passes the gavel to June VanWingerden of Ocean Breeze Farms who was elected chair of the board for 2018.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

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…)

CalPoly’s Rose Parade Float was Certified California Grown on December 31 and received the Past President award from the Tournament of Roses for most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials on January 1.

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.

An interactive map highlighting the proximity of the fire to the flower farms in Carpinteria Valley was included in our number one blog post of the year.

Here’s a look at our most-read posts of 2017 (more…)

To view the full press release, click here.

California Flowers Front and Center

on Tournament of Roses Parade ® Entries

CA GROWN certification ceremony kicks off Rose Parade festivities

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 27, 2017— Entries from Cal Poly Universities, FTD Companies Inc., Mane Attraction Drill Team and the Tournament of Roses Police Department’s motorcycle unit will all be adorned with California Grown flowers when they take to the parade route in Pasadena Jan. 1, 2018, for the annual Rose Parade.

 In an appropriate nod to the origin of the parade – created to showcase the bounty of what’s growing in California when the rest of the country is snowbound – the floral-adorned motorcycle unit will be the first entry in the parade, leading off the entire event.
“The Tournament of Roses takes pride in supporting California Grown agricultural products showcased in the Rose Parade. The founding members of the Tournament of Roses began the parade to tell the world about our paradise. Now, 129 years later, we’re still making California proud,” said David Eads, executive director and CEO, Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
CDFA Secretary Karen Ross officiated the CA Grown certification ceremonies
for the 2017 Tournament of Roses and will do so again this year.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The four parade entries will receive their official California Grown certification at a ceremony officiated by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Dec. 31 in Pasadena. The California Grown Certification Program recognizes parade floats and entries decorated with more than 85 percent of cut flowers and greens from the Golden State.

The ceremony will recognize Cal Poly Universities for the seventh year in a row and FTD for the fourth year. The motorcycle unit and the equestrian unit will be Certified California Grown for the first time.

The eight Tournament of Roses Police Department motorcycles are expected to feature roses, iris and chamomile.

FTD, the Official Floral Partner of the Tournament of Roses, has a 60-year history of participating in the Rose Parade. The storied floral and gifting company will use a variety of California Grown flowers to decorate its five VIP parade vehicles.
Beautiful CA Grown flowers will adorn FTD parade vehicles for the fourth year in a row.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The float from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona is titled “Dreams Take Flight” and will feature baby animals flying airplanes amid a whimsical landscape.

The float will showcase more California Grown flower varieties than ever before thanks to a deck design that allows for large mixed arrangements in addition to the chrysanthemums and gerberas that cover the float’s characters. More than 97 percent of the float will be covered in California Grown flowers that were donated by many of the state’s flower farmers. Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grew and dried the statice and straw flower used on the float.

Secretary Ross joined Cal Poly students as they celebrated
the certification of their 2017 float entry, “Dreams Take Flight”.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The Tournament of Roses Parade® is a New Year’s tradition where nearly a million visitors line Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena to view the beautiful floats first hand, and millions more watch from their homes across the country. The California floral industry has a $12.2 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. California’s flower farmers represent over 4,500 jobs and contribute $1.7 million to California’s economy every day.

# # #

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.

(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

Flames could be seen on the hillsides from the nurseries in Carpinteria Valley on Monday morning. Photo by Ivan Van Wingerden of Everbloom, Inc.

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. 

powered by crowdcast

December 7: Fire Update with California Flower Farmers Ivan Van Wingerden of Everbloom and David Van Wingerden of Westland Orchid in Carpinteria, CA. 

powered by crowdcast

# # #

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.

Media Contact:

Kasey Cronquist

CEO & Ambassador

916-441-1701

kcronquist@ccfc.org