The ULTIMATE Valentine’s Day “Date-Night of a Lifetime” Giveaway

We’re giving away the date-night of a lifetime… admission for 2 at a romantic 2020 ‘Field to Vase Dinner tour’ evening of your choosing!

Our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, presented by the California Cut Flower Commission, is in full swing… and we are inviting YOU and a date to dine among the exquisite fields of America’s most stunning flower and foliage farms as our guests.

In our sixth season, this cross-country series of elegant pop-up gatherings features seasonal, sustainable blooms on beautifully designed tablescapes elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while multi-course artisan meals are prepared by well-known farm-to-table chefs. 

At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tours and design demonstrations, you’ll experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served seasonal and locally grown fare accompanied by wine, craft beers and floral-inspired cocktails.

THE RULES:

  1. Share a Valentine’s Day pic of you or a loved one (or both together), showcasing Certified American Grown flowers on social media.
  2. Tag us on Instagram (@americangrownflowers) or share it to our Facebook page.
  3. We’ll randomly choose a one very lucky winner.
  4. All photos must be shared by midnight on Sunday (2/16 for consideration).

For more info on our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, presented by the California Cut Flower Commission, visit fieldtovasedinner.com.

*Field to Vase Dinner Events based on availability.

Here We Go! Our 2020 Certified American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is NOW LIVE.

4 Breathtaking Destinations Announced, with surprises still to come!

Our American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, presented by the California Cut Flower Commission, announces the 2020 season, and we invite YOU to dine among the exquisite fields of America’s most stunning flower and foliage farms.

In our sixth season, this cross-country series of elegant pop-up gatherings features seasonal, sustainable blooms on beautifully designed tablescapes elegantly dressed by top U.S. floral designers, while multi-course artisan meals are prepared by well-known farm-to-table chefs. 

At each unique meal and through the accompanying farm tours and design demonstrations, you’ll experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while being served seasonal and locally grown fare accompanied by wine, craft beers and floral-inspired cocktails.

Grab your calendar and check out these destinations!

You ‘ll be surrounded by flowers with a view of the Pacific Ocean during our dinner at The Flower Fields of Carlsbad. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

We’re thrilled to launch our 2020 tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on April 16th. The American Grown Field To Vase Dinner Tour returns to this postcard of an experience each year. Guests at this dinner get exclusive access and enjoy dining among acres and acres of colorful ranunculus while looking out over the Pacific Ocean. This is a very popular tour stop that sells out faster and faster each year, so don’t wait to get your tickets.

We want to see your name on the guest list during this year’s tour. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Next, we’ll head North along the California coastline to Arroyo Grande and one of the Golden State’s crown jewels, Ocean Breeze Farm. On June 20th, guests will be introduced to rows and rows of colorful greenhouse-grown Gerberas and will be surrounded by the farm’s avocado tree orchard.

On July 18th, the tour heads East to Virginia where you have a chance to experience the beauty of family-owned and operated Harmony Harvest Farm. As their team is fond of saying, “When in doubt, flowers.” Virginia may be for lovers, but this stunning location tucked just outside Shenandoah National Park in Weyers Cave, Virginia, is for those who love flowers in all of their colors, textures and rich varieties.  

Next, we travel back to the West for two surprise Field to Vase Dinner experiences!

Our first surprise location of 2020 will be one for the record books, and guaranteed to sell out quickly. We can’t reveal too must just yet, but we will say it’s Western Washington in August and truly one of our more adventurous locations yet.

In September we head South to a beautiful farm reaping the benefits of fall in Northern California. Pumpkin spice is everywhere as reds and golds claim the landscape. Far from shedding leaves and heading into dormancy, the seasonal change is vibrant and flourishing – and you’re invited to participate in this tangible burst of happiness.

2020 will be full of surprises… and these are just a few of them!

 

Mark your calendar for October 24, 2020, as we make our final stop in the 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour to join Texas Specialty Cut Flowers farmers Frank and Pamela Arnosky in the great state of Texas among fields of blooming and fragrant marigolds.

Located just outside San Antonio, in late October, these flower fields come alive as Texans celebrate Dia De Los Muertos – Day of the Dead – featuring the ceremony’s traditional marigolds. It’s a reverent yet joyful experience that leaves your soul singing with bright memories.

You will find beautifully designed centerpieces by amazing floral designers at each one of our tour stops in 2020. Photo by Liraz Photography.

There’s so much more we could share and explain, but for now, visit the landing pages we’ve created for each one of these locations; find the complete list here. You’ll discover even more information and details about each stop, but make sure you book your tickets right away. Each year, we have dinners selling out months in advance!

Plus, early birds benefit from special “Tour Launch” pricing. For the first 60 days, with the price for each ticket increasing after this introductory offer!

Seating is limited and every dinner will sell out, so don’t wait to save your seat. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Please consider helping us share this year’s locations and special launch pricing with your flower-loving friends. If you’re planning to attend a dinner, invite them to join you. If you’ve gone before, help us share this magical experience with others on social networks like Instagram and Facebook.

We can’t wait to welcome you to the flower farm. Photo by Liraz Photography.

We look forward to seeing you on a flower farm in 2020!

 

Passionate Floral Pros Hear the Origin Matters Message

Over 300 floral designers gathered for the Team Flower Conference the first week of January in Southern California to learn, grow and build bridges between the various sectors of the floral industry. 

The event, the third of its kind, included a presentation by Certified American Grown’s own Anna Kalins. She took to the stage to share the hundreds of varieties of domestically grown flowers and foliage available 365 days a year from American flower farmers. She also shared the #originmatters message, explaining how florists, wholesalers and others connected to the flower industry can meet consumer demand – and spread the word – about the freshness, diversity and value of buying American Grown flowers. 

 

During the multiple-day event, several educational topics in the areas of design, business and flower farming were also spotlighted by speakers, including floral installations, centerpiece and bouquet design, marketing and testimonials, and growing dahlias and roses.

The annual event is scheduled for March 3-5, 2021 in Albany, New York.

Create Alongside America’s Most Talented Floral Designers

Volunteer for 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team

Certified American Grown Flowers is seeking volunteer floral designers and support team members for the 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon.

As a volunteer, you’ll work side by side with some of America’s most talented floral designers to create hundreds of arrangements and a floral selfie wall – all from American Grown Flowers and Greens – to wow guests at this historic bipartisan luncheon that’s been an annual tradition since 1912.

This is your chance to give back and make a difference, all while honing your floral design chops for a prestigious audience!

First Lady’s Luncheon 2020 designer Christi Lopez of Bergeron’s Flowers.


This year, the Certified American Grown First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team is being co-led by Christi Lopez AIFD EMC of
Bergerons Flowers and Carrie Wilcox of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design

With over 30 years of experience in the floral industry, Lopez’s Bergerons Flowers specializes in weddings and event design for clients in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area.

Big on giving back, Lopez also helps florists who are just starting out confidently unleash their design creativity and run a profitable business through professional coaching, floral design intensives and her Business of Flowers Facebook Group.

Carrie Wilcox of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design will serve as co-designer for the 2020 First Lady’s Luncheon.

Carrie Wilcox Floral Design is a full-service floral event studio that works with East Coast clients in Fairfield County, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, Coastal Connecticut, Massachusetts and beyond. Weddings and special celebrations are Wilcox’s only focus, so she’ll perfectly on task at the luncheon. 

Check out these photos from last year’s effort on our Flickr page. Then let us know that you’d like to volunteer!

It’s the floral design opportunity of a lifetime! 

 

2020 Field to Vase Dinner Tour Launch Coming Soon!

Join Us On a Flower Farm Next Year

Planning for the 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is in the final stages, with stops planned for Certified American Grown Flower farms across the U.S. that grow a gorgeous variety of flowers and foliage. 

Next year’s tour will introduce guests to some never-before-visited farms and some longtime favorites. And the locations will be spread out across the U.S., so be sure to watch for stops near you! 

It all starts in the spring, when this award-winning dinner tour begins crisscrossing the country – all the way through October. 

Join us for one of our 2020 dinners and celebrate an evening of American Grown Flowers and Greens with a table full of flower-loving friends. Photo by Danielle Honea Photography.

You don’t want to miss your chance to meet a passionate flower farmer, dine in a flower field at a community table adorned with American Grown Flowers and connect with fellow flower-lovers. You’ll be treated to a multi-course artisan meal; wine, craft brews and floral-themed cocktails; and live local music. 

Get a glimpse at a genuine Field to Vase Dinner experience in this video from our 2019 dinner in Alaska!

Each dinner also includes the renowned boutonniere bar where guests craft their own floral flair and the popular Field to Vase swag bags packed with flower-related goodies.  

Every guest leaves with armfuls of flowers and swag and smiles on their faces. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the entire 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour map, coming soon! And if you haven’t signed up to be the first to know, make sure you do so here!

 

Join Us In Washington, D.C., For Annual Fly-In

Mark Your Calendar for Feb. 25-27

Year after year, we encourage flower farmers to join us in Washington, D.C., for our annual fly-in. 

Why?

Because meeting face to face with policymakers, telling flower farmers’ stories and sharing pain points works. It impacts policy. It leads to change. It creates understanding. 

American Grown flower farmers in Washington D.C., February 2019. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

That’s why we’re encouraging you to mark your calendar for this year’s fly-in, set for Feb. 25-27. 

This is your opportunity to advocate for the work you do and its impact on the economy. It’s your chance to explain how policies from D.C. affect real farmers and their families. And it’s your opening to help make something big happen for flower farmers. 

Delegate Benno Dobbe pleased to share his passion for American Grown Flowers and Greens. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

Perhaps it will be something related to trade policies, labor requirements, or sustainability or a host of other potential bills on critical topics that require the voices of real flower farmers who are affected. 

Great things happen when farmers are able to share their challenges and concerns with policymakers. Photo by Ken Pak Photography.

You don’t have to be an expert. We’ll provide the background you need and tips for speaking to policymakers. But we do need your voice. Your experience. Your time. 

Let us know you’d like to join the delegation signing up today!  Together, we can advocate for the industry we love.

 

Cal Poly, Farms, Wholesalers Share the Floral Love

Petal It Forward Garners Nationwide Attention


Petal It Forward, an annual event from the Society of American Florists, encourages florists, flower farmers and flower lovers to surprise people with a double floral treat – two fresh flower bouquets, one to keep and one to share. 

For the second year in a row, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) partnered with the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Rose Parade float team to bring Petal It Forward to the campus on Oct. 23. 

The Cal Poly Rose Parade Float Team handed out hundreds of bouquets on campus in San Luis Obispo, California.

The Rose Parade Float team, which is also working with Cal Poly Pomona on its certified California Grown Rose Parade float, handed out about 160 bouquets across the campus and in campus offices. The flowers were donated by Mellano & Company, Kitayama Brothers, Ocean Breeze Farms and Glad-A-Way Gardens. 

Representatives from Ocean View Flowers, a Certified American Grown Farm, also participated in the event, taking to the streets of Lompoc to hand out over 400 bouquets and 1,000 bunches of stock. “Spreading smiles in petal form around the Valley of the Flowers turned out even better than we hoped,” Ocean View noted on social media. 

Bouquets waiting to surprise and delight recipients who were given on bouquet to keep, one bouquet to give away.

And Certified American Grown wholesaler DV Flora got in on the fun, spreading smiles in Media, Pennsylvania. “We had the chance to meet, interact and put a smile on so many faces around town by offering two free bouquets … one for them to keep and another to pass along to a neighbor or stranger. It truly was an incredible day and you could feel a positive vibe in the air,” DV Flora shared on Facebook. 

The Ocean View Flowers team also handed out bouquets for Petal it Forward in downtown Lompoc, California.

Other flower farms that took part in Petal It Forward include Kitayama Brothers, MOBIS and Maximum Flowers.  

All in all, an amazing day full of surprise and delight for folks nationwide! 

 

Certified American Grown, 6 Certified Farms Shine at Fresh Summit Booth

Certified American Grown staff members were joined by six certified farms in a large booth at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California, last week. 

Within the 20×50 booth space, each farm had dedicated space to put their American Grown Flowers and Greens front and center. A sign over the booth ensured that no one on the show floor could miss us! And a huge Certified American Grown logo heart created with Certified American Grown Flowers attracted lots of attention. 

B Fresh Floral, Bloomia USA, FernTrust, Inc., Kitayama Brothers, Mellano & Company and Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers joined the Certified American Grown booth space at the 2019 PMA Fresh Summit.

We’re so grateful to B Fresh Floral, Bloomia USA, FernTrust, Inc., Kitayama Brothers, Mellano & Company and Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers for participating! We appreciate the grant funding that covered the booth space (this year and next) that came through an Agricultural Trade Promotion grant. And we’re beyond excited that Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Josh Eddy, executive director of CDFA, stopped by the booth. 

Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) visited with Dave Pruitt, Interim Administrator of Certified American Grown showing her support once again for flower farmers.

Finally, we’re grateful for the opportunity to talk to those who stopped by the booth (which may have been the most beautiful at the entire event) about American Grown Flowers Month in July and California Grown Flowers Month in June; becoming BloomCheck certified; becoming a Certified American Grown Farm; and the award-winning American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour. 

The large, circular Certified American Grown signage, was a clear beacon to those on the trade show floor, drawing attention to the beautiful flowers and greens that American Grown farmers provide.

Sure, it was a whirlwind. But being at Fresh Summit was also an amazing opportunity to showcase the flowers and greens American farmers are producing 365 days a year and share all of Certified American Grown’s efforts to support them. 

A win-win in every way! 

 

American Flower Farmers Participate in Trade Mission to South Korea, Vietnam

A delegation of Certified American Grown flower farmers, accompanied by interim Certified American Grown Administrator Dave Pruitt, recently participated in a trade mission to South Korea and Vietnam. 

During the trip, the delegation hosted an industry seminar in Seoul to introduce U.S. cut flower and foliage varieties, and to provide handling, shipping and display techniques to preserve shelf life and maximize profitability. 

U.S. Delegation – Asia Trade Mission. From Left: Kristie Park, Jim Omoto, Rita Jo Shoultz, Misty Welborn, David Pruitt, Betty Joslyn, Ken Yang, and Min Lee. Photo courtesy of Korea Business Services Inc.

Five U.S. cut flower and foliage farmers spoke and presented to the group of approximately 16 South Korean import companies and Pruitt gave a keynote address. 

The delegation then traveled to Vietnam, an emerging market for American Grown Flowers and Greens, where they met with cut flower and foliage import companies and toured the domestic growing region. They also met with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) to discuss market opportunities and challenges.

U.S. Cut Flower and Foliage Seminar in Seoul, South Korea. Photo courtesy of Korea Business Services.

The trade mission delegation included: 

  • Betty Joslyn of Joslyn Peonies
  • Jim Omoto of Kendall Farms
  • Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
  • Rita Jo Shoultz of Alaska Perfect Peony
  • Misty Welborn of Mellano & Company 

Stops during the trip included the Yangjae Flower Market and a number of floral industry businesses, including Flower Box,  Hoa Yeu Thuong, Dung Khoa Flower, Hoa 38 do Company, CASALANA and The Flower Market VN Company. 

The delegation visited the Yangjae Flower Market in South Korea. Photo courtesy of Korea Business Services.

Certified American Grown has prioritized markets in North and Southeast Asia that represent the most promising emerging markets based on export volume and value over the past five years. Certified American Grown has used federal grant funds to establish in-country representation in each market to begin building relationships with local importers and retailers, lead outbound trade missions for industry delegations, and conduct promotions at retail to move more volume during peak supply periods.

Certified American Grown led trade missions to China in 2017 and 2018 for similar market development purposes. 

 

It Was a Glorious Fall Evening at Red Twig Farms

Last Stop on 2019 Field To Vase Tour Doesn’t Disappoint!

The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour made its final stop of the 2019 season at Red Twig Farms in New Albany, Ohio, and all we can say is, “Wow, what a ride!”  

It was a perfect evening to be on a flower farm, enjoying the hospitality and beauty of Red Twig Farms.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography.

This spectacular evening was an amazing way to wrap up the tour, thanks to flower farmers Josh and Lindsey McCullough who shared the art and science of flower growing with guests and floral designer Mindy Staton of Two Little Buds.

Josh and Lindsey McCullough took great pleasure in hosting the first Ohio Field to Vase Dinner.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography.

On a perfect early-fall evening, 150 guests gathered on the flower farm to dine on a multi-course dinner created by chef Amanda Stuart of Cameron Mitchell Premier Events that featured an Arcadian greens salad, salmon with tomato and olive relish, flat iron steak with chimichurri, roasted seasonal vegetables and herb-roasted red potatoes. 

Cameron Mitchell Premier Events created a mouth-watering menu for guests of the New Albany dinner.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography.

The meal was accompanied by wines from Glass Mountain, thanks to Heidelberg Distributing Company; craft beer from North High Brewing Company; and a specialty cocktail from Watershed Distillery. Guests were serenaded throughout the evening by musicians Wild Ohio Duo. 

The wine flowed freely throughout the event thanks to sponsor Heidelberg Distributing Company.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography

Flowers from American farms, many of them Certified American Grown, dazzled in mixed fall bouquets at the center of the community table. And winning the evening’s biggest oooh’s and ahhh’s was a vintage truck packed with F2V swag bags and overflowing with autumn blooms and foliage. 

American Grown Flowers spilled out of this vintage truck in a display that caught everyone’s attention.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography

The evening simply could not have been a more perfect representation of all the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has to offer – American flower farmers, local food and drink, renowned floral designers and flower lovers from near and far gathered to connect and share their love of homegrown blooms and greens. 

The Field to Vase Dinner Tour ended its 2019 season as it ends every dinner, with a bounty of American Grown Flowers and swag for every guest and lots of smiles.  Photo by Red Gallery Photography

As we wrap up, we offer our sincere thanks to the many flower farmers who donated flowers: 

Bluegreen Gardens Farm and Florals

California Pajarosa

Camflor

Continental Floral Greens

Cut Flowers by Clear Ridge

Eufloria

Fern Trust Inc.

Green Valley Floral

Kitayama Brothers

Maximum Flowers

Mellano & Co.

Myriad Flowers

North Pole Peonies

Ocean View Flowers

S & R Farms

Sun Valley Floral Farms 

Photo by Red Gallery Photography

If spending an evening on an American flower farm appeals to you, stay tuned for our 2020 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour dates, coming in January!