Culinary Artist is Chef for Field to Vase Dinner at Ocean View Flowers

He’s been called a culinary “artist” and his passion for sourcing fresh ingredients from small farms and ranches is widely known. Also well known is his popular restaurant, Full of Life Flatbread, in Los Alamos. 

Introducing Clark Staub, chef for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour stop at Ocean View Flowers on September 7 in Lompoc, California.

Chef Clark Staub in front of his hearth at Full of Life Flatbread. Photo by Steve Collins.

Staub has distinguished himself as an expert at destination dinners, having been the chef for more than a dozen events by organizations like Outstanding in the Field. 

Under Staub’s leadership, Full of Life Flatbread has earned a reputation for its farm-to-table approach and outside kiln pizza oven. 

For over 16 years, the Staub and his team have handcrafted seasonal flatbreads, baked fast in a scorching hot oak-fired stone oven, and served to the throngs of locals and in-the-know out-of-town foodies who line up for supper at the restaurant. 

Staub also creates and sells thousands of certified organic frozen pizzas nationwide at grocery stores nationwide, including Whole Foods. 

Which is all to say that guests at the upcoming American Grown Field to Vase Dinner should prepare to be wowed – and arrive hungry!  

One look at the menu should seal the deal.

Staub plans to serve chilled melon soup, end-of-summer sweet corn ribs, nasturtium and marigold salad, grilled grass-fed strip steak braised in stonefruits, Moroccan vegetarian b’stilla, heirloom tomatoes with grilled summer squash and herbs, and a roasted strawberry tart – all created with ingredients from local growers including Rancho San Julian, Tutti Frutti Farms and Babe Farms.

Local wines and craft beer will complement the artisan menu, including selections from Foley Wines, Montemar Wines, Alma Rose Wines, Kessler Hawk Wines, Sweetzer Cellars and Solvang Brewery.

 

Guests at the Lompoc Field to Vase Dinner, will experience a culinary delight as they take in the beauty of American Grown Flowers and enjoy the company of those who love them.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.Want to enjoy this mouthwatering menu, dine in a field of blooming stock and sip wine, craft brews and floral-inspired cocktails?

Then save your seat for this upcoming dinner!

Every guest goes home with an armful of beautiful blooms and a Field to Vase swag bag.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

You’ll leave with a swag bag chock-full of floral-themed goodies and armfuls of homegrown blooms from Ocean View Flowers!

This dinner is close to sold out, so reserve your seat soon. 

 

 

 

Flower-Lovers’ Dreams Come True at Alaskan Field to Vase Dinner

Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe it!

They’re flowers with a cult following thanks to their limited growing season, enormous ruffled blooms and amazing scent. 

 

They’re peonies! 

A gorgeous setting awaited guests of the Homer Field to Vase Dinner complete with a table overflowing with peonies and a view of Kachemuk Bay.  Photo by Rachel Tweggs Photography.

 

And 175 guests at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Joslyn Peony & Wedding Farm in Homer, Alaska, on Aug. 3 dined at tables overflowing (literally) with these incredible peonies as they gazed at the Kachemuk Bay.

 

Featured designer Christ Lopez created a stunning cascade of peonies and foraged fern.  Photo by Rachel Tweggs Photography.

 

The tablescape, created by Christi Lopez, AIFD EMC of Bergerons Flowers and Events, featured a garland of over 2,000 peonies in shades of pink and white (Duchess, Sarah Bernhardt, Mon Jules and Festiva Maxima varieties) paired with foraged fern from farmer Betty Joslyn’s farm. The petal-heavy design cascaded off the end of the table in a sweeping floral waterfall! 

 

The floral wall was a beautiful backdrop for guest photos. Photo by Rachel Tweggs Photography.

 

Throughout the evening, guests gathered at a circular floral wall “selfie station” featuring red Felix Supreme peonies to capture their experience and the beauty of homegrown peonies. 

 

Farmer Betty Joslyn and Sen. Lisa Murkowski.  Photo by Rachel Tweggs Photography.

 

 

Those attending the pre-dinner reception, sponsored by Ball Horticultural Company, enjoyed a full oyster bar hosted by Jakolof Bay Oysters, and heard from longtime Alaska flower supporter Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Rachel Tweggs Photography.

 

 

 

 

The artisan meal prepared by Chef Susie Von Willer Linford of Alaska Coastal Catering featured wild-caught Alaskan crab claws, organic greens with feta and local berries, Alaskan Copper River salmon, couscous with gorgonzola, carrots roasted in thyme and butter, and a dessert featuring two kinds of truffles and organic berries. 

 

 

 

The band Burnt Down House played for guests throughout the evening, and craft beer was provided by Homer Brewing Company and Broken Tooth Brewing.  

 

We love to see our guests smiling as they leave with armfuls of American Grown goodies.  Photo by Rachel Tweggs Photography.

 

Guests left with amazing memories, a new appreciation for homegrown blooms, armfuls of American Grown Flowers and a swag bag packed with floral goodies. 

To see more beautiful photos from the dinner at Joslyn Peonies, visit our Flickr page.

If an evening like this sounds like something you’d enjoy, join us Sept. 7 at Ocean View Flowers in Lompoc, California, for the next American Grown Field to Vase Dinner! 

 

 

Solving the Summer Slump Is Focus of Fun ‘N Sun Session

Experts Shared How Origin-Based Campaigns Can Drive Consumer Demand

It’s an industry-wide problem. Flower sales drop in the summer just as flower production is at its peak. 

What to do?

A panel of floral industry experts shared tips and resources to address the slump as part of a panel session at Fun ‘N Sun, held July 26 in Santa Barbara, California.

The session, “Solving the Summer Slump – A Plan to Drive Sales Beyond Mother’s Day,” featured Crystal Hedgpeth, floral sales manager for Safeway’s Northern California division, John Burk, digital marketing manager for Certified American Grown wholesaler DVFlora and Kelly Shore, owner and lead designer of Petals by the Shore in Maryland. The session was guided by the California Cut Flower Commission’s (CCFC) Anna Kalins. 

Left to right: Fun ‘N Sun panelist John Burk, CCFC’s Anna Kalins and Interim CEO Dave Pruitt, along with panelists Crystal Hedgpeth and Kelly Shore.

During the session, the panelists explained how they were growing sales and consumer awareness for homegrown flowers by featuring American Grown Flowers and Greens throughout July (declared American Grown Flowers Month by Congress). They also discussed the incredible success they’ve witnessed with marketing campaigns focused on American Grown flowers and from the American Grown Flowers Month Merchandising Contest – think sales increases as large as 17.5%!  

Hedgpeth, Burk and Shore also shared the tactics they and their companies are leveraging to gain customers when “America is in season” and all year long. 

CCFC’s Anna Kalins moderated the panel discussion about how to drive sales beyond Mother’s Day.

Hedgpeth described Nor Cal Safeway’s wildly successful blue bucket campaign that promotes American Grown Flowers in dozens of stores. Burk shared DVFlora’s multi-pronged efforts, including free marketing materials for its customers, special pricing on American Grown Flowers, DV Crush boxes sent to high-profile florists and special website pages featuring American Grown product. Shore shared her story of committing to sourcing American Grown Flowers for her floral business all year long. She also talked about the many ways she’s spreading the word that origin matters, like farm tours, a 12-month project featuring American Grown bridal bouquets and volunteering to lead design efforts for Certified American Grown events.  

Attendees left with the knowledge of how to plug into future American Grown Flowers Month campaigns and contests, and a better understanding of why the origin matters message is resonating with consumers.

The big news – tips from the session will help everyone say “so long” to the summer slump! 

 

Celebrity Designer Debi Lilly Will Delight Lompoc Dinner Guests

You Can Design Alongside a Floral Luminary

Celebrity florist and party planner Debi Lilly will bring her amazing design skills to the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Ocean View Flowers in Lompoc, California, on September 7. 

Celebrity florist and party planner Debi Lilly will be our featured designer for the Lompoc Field to Vase Dinner. Photo courtesy of A Perfect Event.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve seen Lilly on TV, in magazines, in stores nationwide, and you’ve likely even seen photos of her floral and event creations for designer brands.

Photo courtesy of A Perfect Event.

Known as Oprah’s “favorite pro,” Lilly was part of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for more than 10 years and has made it her mission to inspire, educate and share her 20 years of party planning expertise, stylist tips and DIY designs with fans worldwide.

With her impressive client list that includes brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Lamborghini, Lilly is a highly sought-after designer. Oh, and she’s also the creator of a unique American Grown bouquet available at Safeway stores, along with her Debi Lilly branded floral containers! 

 

Lilly has twice been a featured designer for stops on the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour. Each time, she delighted guests with her creations and the easy-to-follow design tips she provides during her F2V-related workshops.

Lilly brought her design expertise to the Carlsbad Field to Vase Dinner in 2018. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

That’s right, you can design alongside Lilly at a floral workshop, also on Sept. 7, at 8:30 a.m. Just add the $40 workshop when you save your seat for the dinner. 

Join Debi Lilly at her Sept. 7 workshop where she will share her tips for fall and holiday floral design and party planning. Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

 

During the workshop, Lilly will cover fall design trends, creative vessels for unique arrangements and perfect floral designs for the holidays.  

Debi Lilly loves to inspire and connect with her workshop guests and they in turn, love the personal interaction with her. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Don’t miss you chance to see Lilly’s breathtaking tablescapes at the dinner and design alongside her at the workshop. After all, she’s floral royalty! 

 

 

Culinary Artist Will Wow at Alaskan Dinner Tour Stop

When you visit Alaska Coastal Catering’s website, the photos are both mouthwatering and breathtaking, making it easy to see why the chefs there refer to themselves as “culinary artists.”

Now for the big news: Guests at the Aug. 3 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Joslyn Peonies in Homer, Alaska, will get to experience multiple courses of Alaska Coastal Catering’s artistic creations. 

And the menu will feature the best Alaska has to offer. Think salmon, stripe shrimp, homegrown carrots, local oysters and sauces from Alaska blueberries. And the bounty of seafood to be served is being sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), ensuring incredible quality and freshness. 

Chef Susie Von Willer Linford has an impressive Alaska-inspired menu prepared for guests of the Homer Field to Vase Dinner.  Photo Courtesy of Alaska Coastal Catering, LLC.

Alaska Coastal Catering’s Corporate Chef and Managing Member Susie Von Willer Linford’s wealth of experience includes catering for the executive chefs of Disney Corporation, Warner Brothers, Prudential Commercial and Safeco in Southern California. Since coming to Alaska in 1993, she’s continued her culinary adventure by creating memorable events featuring the best seafood, meat, fruits and vegetables Alaska has to offer! 

Photo Courtesy of Alaska Coastal Catering, LLC.

It’s that approach that has earned her Best of Alaska recognition from Alaska Business Monthly Magazine from 2016-2018. And Linford was also a 2018 nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef” in the Northwest. 

And per Field to Vase Dinner tradition, Linford’s multi-course artisan meal will be paired with local wines and craft beers, and a floral-themed cocktail.

You can enjoy this delightful Alaskan meal while surrounded by gorgeous peonies and flower-loving friends when you reserve your seat at the table today. Photo by Joshua Veldstra Photography

Guests will also enjoy an oyster bar, and will leave with armfuls of flowers and a swag bag packed with floral-themed treats.

With food and goodies like this, seats are going fast. Save your seat today and taste all Alaska has to offer! 

 

It’s American Grown Flowers Month!

We’re Celebrating All Month Long and So Can You!

For the third year in a row, Congress has designated July American Grown Flowers Month, recognizing the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers. It’s an amazing form of recognition right at the height of flower season! 

And there are so many ways you can participate in the celebration and help spread the word that origin matters! 

First place winner at King Soopers Store 112 in Bennett, CO. during our 2018 American Grown Flowers Month contest.

First, you can look for the amazing American Grown Flowers displays from retailers participating in the second annual American Grown Flowers Month Merchandising Contest. You’ll find special presentations and supporting collateral in many Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres, Big Y, Whole Foods, Reasor’s, Grocery Outlet and Ovallarta Supermarket stores. 

Look for the Certified American Grown label when you reach for a bouquet at your local store, this month and every month.

Grab some American Grown Flowers and Greens when you see them and encourage your family and friends to do the same. With 7 stores participating, it’s easy! 

Florists, you can also look to DVFlora for its celebration of American Grown Flowers Month that includes downloadable marketing materials and eight weeks of specials on flowers and greens from Certified American Grown farms throughout July and August.

Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore is one designer that is committed to using American Grown Flowers and supporting the farms that grow them.  Photo provided by Petals by the Shore.

And florists who are committed to spreading the #originmatters message and designing with homegrown flowers can use DVFlora’s dedicated online directory to quickly and conveniently purchase Certified American Grown Flowers and Greens. 

Finally, you can have a conversation about homegrown flowers with all of your connections. That might be in person, in an email or by sharing about American Grown Flowers Month on social media. 

Now’s the time to spread the word about the bounty and beauty of American Grown Flowers and Greens that are at their peak in July! 

 

[Press Release] Alaska Peony Farmer Rita Jo Shoultz Appointed First Chair of Certified American Grown Council

Flower Farmer Rita Jo Shoultz of Alaska Perfect Peony has been appointed the first-ever volunteer chair of the Certified American Grown Council.

Rita Jo Shoultz of Alaska Perfect Peony has been a staunch advocate for American flower farms, taking the lead on vital issues in Washington, D.C., during the annual fly-ins. Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

Shoultz was previously the District 1 (Alaska) representative on the council.

The Certified American Grown brand is led by a council of American flower farmers and industry advisers. The members of the council are flower and greens farmers from throughout the United States who are committed to a unified promotional and advocacy effort that establishes an identifiable and iconic brand that communicates to the public the domestic origins as well as the high quality, freshness and consistency of American Grown Flowers.

Shoultz was a 2014 nominee for Champions of Change for the Future of Agriculture and was named a winner of the 2018 Small Business Championship by SCORE, a network of volunteer expert business mentors.

Photo Courtesy of The Homer News

She also worked to have Homer, Alaska, declared the “City of Peonies,” and started Main Street Homer, a task force working to revitalize downtown Homer through economic and cultural development, historic preservation and advancement of the arts.

In another change to the Certified American Grown Council, Diana Roy, business manager for Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, has been appointed to represent District 2 (California). Roy was selected to replace Bruce Brady who recently left the floral industry to pursue other efforts.

Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea speaking to Congressman Jimmy Panetta (right) during a reception in Washington, D.C., has been a consistent voice for American flower farms. Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

Roy has combined her passion for flowers with her background in public relations to help make Resendiz Brothers one of California’s largest suppliers of South African and Australian flowers – not to mention an international leader in protea farming. She has worked tirelessly to increase consumer awareness and influence floral trends to drive sales of protea flowers and foliage.

Photo courtesy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Flowers

Roy is a past chair of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) and a frequent educator on protea growing worldwide.

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About Certified American Grown Flowers

Launched on July 1, 2014, Certified American Grown Flowers represents a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms, including small and large entities in multiple states across the country. Certified American grown flower farms participate in an independent, third-party supply- chain audit to verify both origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown Flowers logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and assures them that the flowers they purchase come from a domestic American flower farm. For more information about Certified American Grown Flowers, visit www.americangrownflowers.com.

Get Your Hands On Some Amazing Alaskan Peonies!

Join a Design Workshop at Joslyn Peonies in Homer, Alaska

If you’re still pondering attending the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in Homer, Alaska, on Aug. 3, we’re making your decision even easier! 

Now, before you dine among peonies, you can design with them! 

Make your American Grown Field to Vase Dinner experience complete by participating in our exclusive floral workshop with renowned designer Christi Lopez, AIFD EMC, on Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon on the farm at Joslyn Peonies. 

Imagine learning to design a beautiful arrangement for your home from Christi Lopez, this year’s co-lead of the First Lady’s Luncheon Design Team. Photo by Kirstin Smith Photography.

You’ll work with gorgeous blooms and learn all the techniques you need to create a stunning centerpiece for your home that will engage your guests and be a conversation-starter. You’ll be able to use what you learn again and again, and you’ll be working in person with one of America’s most talented floral designers! 

Photo by Joshua Veldstra Photography.

All materials, including an awesome pair of Corona clippers, are included in the $75 fee. Sign up when you save your seat at dinner! Just add the workshop at checkout. 

You’ve just got to join us in Alaska! 


 

Join Us in Supporting America’s Flower Farmers

Hardworking American flower farmers who grow some of the highest quality and most beautiful flowers and foliage need your support.  Pssst … helping takes just a few seconds!

 

The American Grown Act, a new act introduced in Congress, would require that all flowers and greens purchased by the federal government for events, memorials, displays at national cemeteries and day-to-day flowers at the White House come from American flower farms.

Makes sense, right?

That’s why we’re asking all floral designers, wholesalers and retailers (and taxpayers!) to add their names to our growing list of supporters of H.R. 3019 American Grown Act.

Alaska peony farmer and Certified American Grown Council member Rita Jo Shoultz with Congressman Don Young in Washington, D.C., last February.  Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

The act, introduced by Alaska Congressman Don Young, also a member of the Congressional Cut Flowers Caucus, enforces something we think the entire floral community can get behind – requiring the federal government buy American Grown Flowers for use in its facilities.

Bottom line: It’s the right thing to do.

If you agree, we’d appreciate you adding your name to our growing list of supporters.

Just sign on and start spreading the word to your colleagues and friends!

America’s flower and foliage farmers matter. Origin matters. Your voice matters.

Help us ensure that the flowers at the center of our government’s events are as American as the dollars that fund them. Photo by Susie & Becky Photography.

Oyster Bar Is Part of Alaskan F2V Experience!

We’re always looking for ways to make the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour even more special. And when it comes to the Aug. 3 dinner tour stop at Joslyn Peonies in Homer, Alaska, that means an oyster bar! 

Photo by Joshua Veldstra Photography.

Guests at this tour stop will have the extra-special add-on of a full oyster bar hosted by Jakolof Bay Oysters as part of the pre-dinner reception. 

Jakolof Bay Oysters are renowned for their prime condition – plump, clean and firm – a benefit of slow, pristine, cold-water growth. 

Photo courtesy of Jakolof Bay Oysters.

And because the flavor of oysters changes with the seasons, the weather, their age, their reproductive cycles and even their very placement within a small bay, a single Jakolof oyster can provide a kaleidoscope of flavors.

There’s the salty taste of the liquor when it first hits the tongue, gliding into a sweet burst as the silky fatty lipids are released, then a smooth sea tang lingers And if you add lemon, shallot mignonette or Tabasco, that extra kick will give you a thirst for a sip of Muscadet or a local beer. A bite of buttered French bread will clear the palate for another round.

In addition to the oyster bar, guests can also create wearable floral flair at the dinner’s popular bout bar before sitting down for a multi-course artisan meal at a community table overflowing with amazing Alaskan peonies! 

A stunning table will be set with the beauty of Alaskan grown peonies and a break-taking view of the Kachemak Bay. Photo by Joshua Veldstra.

Oh, and it all takes place smack dab in the middle of fields of peonies in full bloom.

Opportunities like this don’t last long, and just a few seats for this dinner tour stop remain!

Save your seat and then start planning your Alaskan adventure that might also include sightseeing, tours of more Certified American Grown peony farms and fishing excursions.