Top 8 Instagram Dinner Photos

From "Table to Social": Instagram lights up #F2V

We love social media. It is a tremendous way for us to show and tell the story of America’s flower farmers. If you follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, we post a lot from the farms and of their flowers.

However, what we’ve loved about the Field to Vase Dinner tour is seeing what our guests find beautiful about the farm, the flowers, the food; their experience.

Whether we dine amongst the flora in a beautiful greenhouse or in the middle of a gorgeous American Grown Flower farm, it is our guests who capture some of the most amazing images of the evening and inspire us to continue this effort.

Behold, our Top 8 Instagram photos from our Field to Vase Dinner in The Flower Fields of Carlsbad! Enjoy!

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Re-living Carlsbad

Our guests enjoyed beautiful scenery, great food and wonderful people

Last week’s dinner at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad did not disappoint. Our floral designers, Flower Duet created an ombre tablescape with color variations that complemented the amazing rows of colors that surrounded the table at The Flower Fields.

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The beautiful Carlsbad tablescape designed by Flower Duet.

Floral design team and sisters, Kit and Casey of Flower Duet not only provided our guests with gorgeous flowers for dinner, but our guests enjoyed a lively flower crown demonstration during the reception.

Flower farmer Mike Mellano gave tours to guests prior to the start of dinner.  Avid gardeners in attendance were thrilled to get advice from Mike Mellano and the gracious Flower Duet team.
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Wonderful #F2V dinner goers enjoying blooming table conversation in celebration of American Grown flowers.

The food was met with rave reviews from the diners who enjoyed multiple passed appetizers from Terra Catering, served with delicious Mattucci Wine and stunning Bagby Beer.  And dessert course was served with locally grown organic coffee from Good Land Organics, a first for the Field to Vase Dinner series as it is rare to find an American coffee farmer. Guests heard from Jay Ruskey, the coffee farmer, as he explained how the “berry” on the coffee bean effects the flavor of the coffee.
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Our favorite moment of the night; having dinner in the middle of a gorgeous American Grown flower farm with the sunset as the most perfect backdrop.

 

Click to watch the beautiful sunset over the Pacific from The Flower Fields.

Click to watch the beautiful sunset over the Pacific from The Flower Fields.

Meet Our Carlsbad Chef: Jeff Rossman of Terra Catering

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Let us introduce to you our chef for the night! We are so honored to have one of San Diego’s best, Chef Jeff Rossman of Terra Catering to fancy our taste buds in Carlsbad, CA.

Jeff Rossman, a skilled, self-taught Chef of nearly 30 years, helped pioneer San Diego’s thriving farm-to-table movement by purchasing fresh, organic produce from local growers before it was en vogue. Rossman traveled to farmer’s markets before farmer’s markets were cool.

Rossman is a strong advocate for his city and his passion for culinary. He constantly donates time, energy and product to help the local farm to school movement assisting the Oceanside, Lemon grove and most currently the San Ysidro School Food Services Directors teaching skills to workers and developing recipes.

He serves on the board of directors for the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association as well as vice president of the board for Chef Celebration Foundation of San Diego, a nonprofit which raises scholarship money for aspiring chefs.

In 2011, Rossman published his first cookbook showcasing local farms and school gardens. His award-winning book, “From Terra’s Table”, focuses on the love story of the hardworking local growers and artisans he supports. He has released his second book “BYOB (Build Your Own Burger)” which features thousands of burger combinations as well as condiments, sides, and farm to bar beverage creations.

He has been selected by the California Avocado Commission to represent them in cooking demonstrations with recipe creations for their website.

Rocking the taste buds of our guest, Chef Rossman will prepare a regionally inspired menu, which will include the best of springs harvest and the freshest culinary ingredients California has to offer!

Join us for dinner, we promise your taste buds will thank you! #F2V #AmericanGrown #OriginMatters

The Intersection of Food, Flowers and Wine

Guest post by: Bill Prescott, Sun Valley Floral Farms

“You know that bees they go for honey. And the grapes they go for wine.” – John Gorka

A Field to Vase Dinner has a sensory appeal, which is easy to appreciate, yet very hard to describe.  These unique events create a space both physically and mentally that highlights the intersection of our food, our flora and our drinks. It amazes me that nearly the same plot of soil can produce grapes for wine, stargazer lilies, and vegetation from which both humans and animals can receive their necessary sustenance.

The Dinner Tour wordlessly lets your explore the origin of all the delights you will experience, and if you are moved to words, then the person who farmed your flowers or perhaps vinted your wine is within earshot.

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What separates a Field to Vase Dinner from say a fancy gala with amazing food and wine,  or a wonderful county wedding with a locavore chef and a talented floral designer, is that at these events the ”who “ “what” and “where” are highlighted. The cause, the couple or the business takes center stage.

A Field to Vase Dinner pulls back the curtain to see the mechanics of the “how” and the “why” and the celebration is in its very existence.

Why would a person dedicate their time to growing flowers for their community?

Why would someone quit their job as a professor at a prestigious college to make small batch artisanal wine?

How did the chef come to the realization that sourcing local ingredients was better for her customers and for her community?

How was this tulip bulb rooted, then grown?

Wendell Berry famously wrote, “Eating is an agricultural act.” And this prophetic statement could not be realized more clearly than this dinner, held in a greenhouse brimming with tulips.

The kinetic energy of row upon row of growing tulips, will affect you on a physiological level; “Physis” from the ancient Greek “nature, origin” and “logia” meaning “to study.”

The experience is at once ethereal and visceral.

The sparkling company of like-minded souls who attend these dinners, is what makes the gathering complete. Since crafts people, makers, growers, and designers must have an audience. A group of devotees who appreciate the artist’s aspiration to work with the purest ingredients and tap into nature itself, to create a meal, a drink or even a flower so inspired in its simplicity and that it achieves the divine.

Be a part of this sensory delight and let nature take a dance with your senses.

A Salute to 10 American Grown Florists

Meet our Field to Vase designers & their beautiful American-grown style

Over the course of this past year, as guests took their seats at Field to Vase Dinners across the U.S., one powerful message was communicated:

That the flowers at the center of your table should be as LOCAL, FRESH and SUSTAINABLE as the food on your plate.
We salute the 10 featured floral designers who created the all-American floral tablescapes at each very special dinner.
Their artistry enriched and beautified the intimate, farm-to-table dining experiences for all who attended:
Margaret Lloyd of Margaret Joan Florals, our Carpinteria F2V Dinner Designer

Margaret Lloyd of Margaret Joan Florals, our Carpinteria F2V Dinner Designer

Bess Wyrick of Celadon & Celery, our Carlsbad F2V Dinner Designer

Bess Wyrick of Celadon & Celery, our Carlsbad F2V Dinner Designer

Teresa Sabankaya of Bonny Doon Garden Co., our Monterey Bay F2V Dinner Designer

Teresa Sabankaya of Bonny Doon Garden Co., our Monterey Bay F2V Dinner Designer

Lisa Weddel of L. Weddel Design, our Boulder F2V Dinner Designer

Lisa Weddel of L. Weddel Design, our Boulder F2V Dinner Designer

Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers, our Brooklyn F2V Dinner Designer

Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers, our Brooklyn F2V Dinner Designer

Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios, our Washington, D.C. F2V Dinner Designer

Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios, our Washington, D.C. F2V Dinner Designer

Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers, our Seattle F2V Dinner Designer

Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers, our Seattle F2V Dinner Designer

Elizabeth Artis of Espe Flowers + Foliage, our Portland F2V Dinner Designer

Elizabeth Artis of Espe Flowers + Foliage, our Portland F2V Dinner Designer

Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers, our Fallbrook F2V Dinner Designer

Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers, our Fallbrook F2V Dinner Designer

Susan McLeary of Passionflower Design, our Detroit F2V Dinner Designer

Susan McLeary of Passionflower Design, our Detroit F2V Dinner Designer

Want to join the 2016 Field to Vase Dinner Tour Excitement?
 
The effort is underway to develop our 2016 Field to Vase Dinner Tour schedule. If you would like to be a part of the F2V Dinner tour next year, we’d love to hear from you. We are currently looking at farms and locations from throughout the country and our Farmer, Florist and Chef Applications have just been posted.

Susan McLeary’s Passion for American Grown Flowers

Meet the lead designer for Detroit's Field to Vase Dinner, Susan McLeary of Passionflower

The Flower House is the backdrop to our beautiful and delicious al fresco dinner on October 16th, with the hand-crafted designs created by dozens of floral artists around the country. But when we sit at the farm tables in the garden just outside The Flower House we will be treated to tabletop floral decor designed by Susan McLeary of Passionflower.

Susan’s design studio is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she specializes in flowers for weddings and events, floral jewelry commissions and floral workshops. She is one of the first florists to join Lisa Waud’s dream of The Flower House. Attendees will tour the entire house, including Susan’s botanically-transformed kitchen on the first floor of The Flower House.

Floral artist Susan McLeary of Passionflower Photo (c) Amanda Dumouchelle

Floral artist Susan McLeary of Passionflower Photo (c) Amanda Dumouchelle

MSAMFbadgeWe’re so thrilled that Susan’s creativity will adorn the table for the Field to Vase Dinner Tour.

Just this week, Susan learned that Passionflower is the only design finalist in the floral category of Martha Stewart’s 2015 American Made contest! Check out the details and cast your vote for Passionflower!

Here’s a bit more about our guest floral designer:

Before I was a florist, I made jewelry for friends. When one such friend got married, she asked me to design her wedding flowers in addition to her jewelry. As I had her flowers in my hands, I knew I’d found my medium. One wedding turned into many more, and before I knew it I was working as an event florist. I still adore designing for weddings, but have found that I enjoy creating floral wearables and (not surprisingly) floral jewelry even more. I’ve recently added a line of living succulent jewelry that I sell locally and on my Etsy shop, Passionflower Made. I source my plants from a local family-owned greenhouse called Graye’s, and my jewelry bases are handmade in Arizona. I’m also passionate about teaching, and have been teaching one-on-one professional florist sessions and group sessions for last last 3 years. I see more of this in my future, and plan to create a teaching program specifically for flower farmers eager to learn floral design.”

We had a few more questions for Susan, which she graciously answered:

A Susan McLeary floral headpiece.

A Susan McLeary floral headpiece.

F2V: What are your plans for The Flower House kitchen?

SM: I chose the kitchen because I love food almost as much as I love flowers. I envision creating a beautiful green table that almost looks alive with the foliage — a still-life with herbs, fruit on the vine. It will be a sensory explosion. I’m hoping to use a lot of berries, fruited branches, pods, herbs and foliage. From a local farm, I’ll be using ornamental peppers, cabbages and other amazingly beautiful produce. Imagine it spilling out of the cupboards. We want a dreamy still-life of textural farm goodies.

F2V: You will have volunteer helpers, right?

SM: Yes, and my main collaborator will be Francoise Weeks of Portland. Francoise will be in Detroit to teach one of her famous workshops on October 12 and 13, so I’ve asked her to create the kitchen with me. She will be designing our living chandelier over the kitchen table, with little goodies spilling down from above.

F2V: As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll create more than 100 linear feet of floral tablescape for the Field to Vase Dinner guests to enjoy! What plans are in the works?

SM: We are planning an American Grown garland down the center of the table, something simple and beautiful representing foliages and ferns. Into that garland we plan on inserting vases donated by Syndicate Sales. The vases will provide color and texture and they will be filled with all local, seasonal flowers grown by Cornman Farms of Dexter, Michigan. Cornman Farms is owned by the famous Zingerman’s specialty food company and their latest venture is a food and flower farm and event venue. We’re excited to highlight a local farm with the American grown greenery and garlands.

Meet Chef Jaret Foster of Foster’s Craft Cooking

Portland's Field to Vase Guest Chef is Preparing a Mouth-Watering Feast

Jaret Foster is a Montana native who will be feeding us on October 3rd at the Field to Vase Dinner at Oregon Flowers. He is a gifted chef who has worked in the culinary world since he was in high school. He graduated from the Western Culinary Institute in Portland and honed his craft by cooking in professional kitchens on both coasts for more than 10 years, all the while researching nutrition and working on small farms.

Mona Johnson and Jaret Foster of Foster's Craft Cooking

Mona Johnson and Jaret Foster of Foster’s Craft Cooking

Jaret and his partner Mona Johnson have a deep appreciation of food and farming that eventually led them to Portland Farmers Market, where Jaret served as operations director for nearly a decade and Mona served as communications manager.

In 2013, Jaret and Mona started offering a series of “Oyster Socials” in partnership with local breweries.

The popularity of these events prompted the couple to turn to catering fulltime and Foster’s Craft Catering was launched.

Their longstanding relationships with the region’s growers, ranchers, fishermen and producers provide them with direct access to the finest and freshest ingredients and a strong connection to Portland’s vibrant food community.

We recently caught up with Jaret to learn more about his culinary philosophy:

Jaret Foster preparing a feast over the open fire.

Jaret Foster preparing a feast over the open fire.

F2V:   Why oysters?

JF:       Eating oysters is a communal act. I cook oysters and mussels over an open fire, which creates a memorable and tactile experience for everyone involved. When you eat with your hands you are literally breaking bread with people. It’s lively. It’s beautiful. It creates connections.

F2V:   What are you planning for our Field to Vase Dinner menu?

JF:       We will grill salmon on a large plank of cedar over fresh leeks with crumbled smoked salmon – it will be a double-whammy in deliciousness.

F2V:   Will we enjoy your signature oysters?

JF:       Yes! We’ll have an “oyster social” reception with ginger-shallot mignonette, crudités and aioli. I’m working with a micro farm that specializes in garlic to include in the menu.

F2V:   How do you feel about dining at a flower farm?

JF:       I love it! We will be eating at a lily farm. I’m creating a menu based on onions and garlic – onions are in the lily family, after all. Each course will have a pretty significant onion component. Our dinner will be farm-direct and farmer-focused.

An Oregon Grown Dinner Among Oregon-Grown & Designed Flowers

On Saturday, October 3rd, fans of local flowers will gather in Aurora, Oregon, at Oregon Flowers Inc., where we’ll celebrate seasonal flowers and delicious regional food and beverages.

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Martin, Helene and Tyler Meskers, our gracious hosts - and flower farmers.

Martin, Helene and Tyler Meskers, our gracious hosts – and flower farmers.

The Field to Vase Dinner Tour and the Meskers Family welcome you to Oregon Flowers Inc., a Certified American Grown Farm located just outside Portland.

Situated in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Oregon Flowers Inc. opened its greenhouse doors in 1985 with a focus on producing top quality, consistent, and reliable cut flowers. Today, Oregon Flowers continues this practice, growing lilies, tulips, calla lilies, and numerous seasonal cut flowers for wholesalers across North America.

Our hosts, Martin and Helene Meskers, and son Tyler Meskers, pursued the American dream of grown cut flowers when they settled in the small agricultural town of Aurora, not far from Oregon’s prolific wine-producing region.

They selected this region for its excellent soil quality and favorable climate for flower farming. Learn more about the Meskers family and their flowers in this recent article by Janet Eastman of The Oregonian.

Meet our Floral Designer Elizabeth Artis

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Elizabeth Artis of Espe Floral + Foliage, Portland

Elizabeth Artis has an extensive background working in both San Francisco and Portland. She operates Espe Floral + Foliage from Northwest Portland, where she is committed to using local and sustainably grown flowers from farms in the Pacific Northwest and down the coast into California.

Elizabeth is the creative director of Espe Floral + Foliage’s design studio based in Northwest Portland.

There, her 500-square-foot space is ideal for meeting with wedding clients and for producing lush, wild and amazing creations.

Elizabeth also manages the floral department at Food Front Co-op Grocery on NW Thurman St. in Portland, a shop-within-a-shop with everything from single stems and bunches to voluptuous bouquets, available seven days-a-week during store hours.

We love what Elizabeth writes on her web site: 

“Our many friendships with small flower farms guarantee quality from season to season. The selection, like the weather, changes from week to week so watch closely and see the next season on its way.”

You can connect with and follow Elizabeth at these social places:

Espe Floral + Foliage on Facebook

Espe Floral + Foliage on Instagram

Learn more about Elizabeth in her recent interview on the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Meet Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers

Our guest floral designer for Seattle-Mt. Vernon Field to Vase Dinner

When I opened my own flower shop, I couldn’t do it in the conventional way. I needed to make sure my flowers were sourced sustainably and that they were supporting the community. ” — Melissa Feveyear, Terra Bella Flowers, Seattle

Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers

Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers

Only 10 designers in the country have been invited to create floral installations for the Field to Vase Dinner series, a very special pop-up, floral-centric dining experience pairing local flowers and local food.

It is fitting that Melissa Fevear is the featured designer for the September 12th dinner at Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington, because she is one of the farm’s longest and most loyal customers.

Melissa sources from the entire floral community of farms that comprise the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, one of the first cooperative marketplaces that connect local flower farmers with local florists.

On a recent visit to Jello Mold Farm, Melissa conferred with flower farmer Diane Szukovathy about her floral designs for the Field to Vase Dinner.

On a recent visit to Jello Mold Farm, Melissa conferred with flower farmer Diane Szukovathy about her floral designs for the Field to Vase Dinner.

Terra_Bella_Logo_plain_hiresThe visionary of Terra Bella Flowers, Melissa combines her obsession with all things rooting with a background in Environmental Studies and Hazardous Waste Management.

After working in the field and becoming aware of the amount of pesticides and other chemicals used in the production of cut flowers, she realized she couldn’t consciously support the conventional side of the floral industry. Melissa created Terra Bella Flowers nearly 10 years ago to prove that the business of flowers can be a beautiful thing, from the time the seed is planted, until her bouquet arrive at your door.

From the garden and farm, a beautiful Terra Bella floral design.

From the garden and farm, a beautiful Terra Bella floral design.

Curiosity and intentionality are two of her design tools; she selects foliage, blooms, and other fresh-from-the-field elements with the same care as if she personally grew each ephemeral blossom or stem in her own backyard. That connection with nature is vitally important to her artistic philosophy.

Inspired by the seasonal selection of flowers and foliage from Northwest farms, Melissa plans a “Northwest Gothic” themed tablescape for the Field to Vase Dinner this Saturday. “I’m planning an ombre of jewel tones — chocolates, wines, oranges, ambers, purples, magentas . . . plus all those yummy Northwest elements like mosses, ferns and a couple other little treats that I’m not going to give away,” she says.

Why is Melissa so committed to a field-to-vase philosophy in her own business?

“I feel so strongly about locally-sourced flowers,” she explains. “I grew up in a farming community. I’m old-fashioned. I love supporting farmers – young and old. It just feels good to support our farmers, our community, and to watch that trickle down effect of also supporting the environment and watersheds around us.

“Plus, the fact that these flowers are so pretty and they smell so good — what’s not to love about any of that?”

If you’re in the Northwest and you want to experience the magic of Melissa’s Northwest Gothic floral installation at the September 12th Field to Vase Dinner, there’s still time. Tickets are still available and we can’t wait for you to be part of the evening on a flower farm.

Meet Chef Erik Jackson of Capitol Cider

Guests in Mt. Vernon will love Erik's unique style of fresh & local fare

On Saturday, September 12th, diners will be seated at a seemingly endless table stretching through the dahlia fields at Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington. If that beautiful spectacle isn’t enough to stimulate the senses (and we promise it is!), their tastebuds will be alive with excitment, as well. That’s because Chef Erik Jackson of Seattle’s Capitol Cider will serve up an unforgettable meal fitting for the season and place.

Erik Jackson, Chef de Cuisine at Seattle's Capitol Cider.

Erik Jackson, Chef de Cuisine at Seattle’s Capitol Cider.

From the first savory bite to the final spoonful of sweetness, Chef Erik Jackson’s menus and plates spring from his rich experience in Pacific Northwest restaurants, celebrating the seasonal bounty of the region.

He has worked at Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie, Dahlia Lounge and Cuoco as well Spur Gastropub and later as Chef de Cuisine at The Coterie Room under rising stars Dana Tough and Brian McCracken.

An enthusiastic collaborator, he developed the pop-up restaurant A Square Meal at The Volunteer Park Café and developed Capitol Cider’s signature quarterly series, “Apples Get Paired.”

Capitol Cider Logo 700x400 - BlackErik is passionate about sourcing food locally and takes pride in supporting small, local farmers especially those who grow different or unusual produce.

His gluten-free Capitol Cider menus and ingredients reflect the seasonality of our region and spring directly from products that are fresh and sourced locally.

Recently, we caught up with Erik to learn more about his culinary philosophy:

F2V: Describe your style of cooking, Erik.

EJ: It’s very ‘of the moment,’ driven by the market, whether it be fresh seasonal fruit or just-harvested vegetables.

F2V: What type of ingredients get you excited as a chef?

EJ: I seek out things that other people aren’t using in their kitchens, such as a cool pepper that I’ve never tasted before.

F2V: How do you source your ingredients?

EJ: It requires a lot of research. I look for “farm obscurities” and start a relationship with that farm.

F2V: We know Capitol Cider has one of the deepest selections of hard cider in the Pacific Northwest. Why is hard cider so popular these days?

EJ: Cider is so versatile in how it pairs with food, due to its lightness and effervescence. Its range is vast. At the restaurant, for example, we have 20 rotating taps and more than 100 different bottled ciders.

logo_finnriver_farm_cideryF2V: Will you feature a cider with our Field to Vase Menu?

EJ: Yes! We are planning on pairing at least one course with cider from Finnriver Cidery. Finnriver sources organic apples from across Washington State and grows its own organic orchard of over 3,000 trees, with 20 varieties of heirloom and traditional cider apple varieties.

F2V: Capitol Cider is also known for serving a gluten-free menu. How do you work with that culinary goal as a chef?

EJ: I feel as a creative person, it makes you think outside the box. You have to be more creative to develop a menu with no wheat products or with ingredients that may have been processed in a wheat facility. But believe me, there is plenty of delicious food without wheat in it! We create all sorts of amazing gluten-free desserts and pastries.

Tickets are going fast for the Field to Vase Dinner on September 12th, where Chef Erik Jackson of Capitol Cider will bring his flavorful, soulful food to the dahlia fields at Jello Mold Farm!

Reserve your seat now!