Local Florals | Glastonbury, CT

What is Farm To Vase?

The Beauty and Sustainability of Collaborations between Floral Designers and Local Flower Farms

As a passionate New England floral designer, I’ve always believed in the power of connections– not only with the flowers I arrange or with my clients but also with the people who cultivate them. 

My commitment to nurturing relationships with local flower farmers isn’t just a professional choice, it’s a source of immense joy, pride, and inspiration.

By building genuine friendships with these dedicated farmers, I’ve gained an invaluable insight into the world of floriculture. This bond allows me to be closely involved in selecting the best flower varieties – blooms that don’t just look beautiful but also thrive in our local environment, ensuring both quality and suitability for my designs.

My participation in the Connecticut Flower Collective is a testament to this commitment. I have been a supporter of this collective right from its inception, initially as a buyer from the farm that laid its groundwork.

It’s here that I collaborate closely with growers, chatting about new varieties and sharing ideas that help us all. This collaboration ensures that the flowers in my arrangements are not only locally sourced but are also the freshest and most unique for my clients.

Real-time communication with farmers is crucial, especially for event-specific floral needs. Whether it’s a wedding, a corporate event, or a simple gathering, having direct contact with the growers lets me fulfill specific color palettes and looks, rather than being constrained by specific flower types. This approach ensures that every arrangement is not only stunning but also perfectly tailored to the occasion.

So, why is building these relationships so important? Join me as we dive deeper into the world of farm-to-vase, exploring the benefits and joys of connecting with local flower farms.


What is Farm to Vase?

You might have heard about farm-to-table, a concept that’s almost everywhere these days. Well, let me introduce you to Farm to Vase – it’s like the floral world’s answer to that, but with a twist that’s all its own.

Farm-to-vase isn’t just a trendy phrase. It’s a commitment to bringing the freshest, most vibrant pieces of our local landscape directly into your event. Every bloom, every green sprig comes with a unique story – stories that begin in the hands of the farmers I collaborate with. 

Our relationships enable me to offer you something genuinely unique and personal. 

When you come to me with a specific style or theme in mind, I think about the local farms, the rhythm of the seasons, and what nature is offering at the moment. It’s like having a direct line to Mother Nature, working together to bring your floral vision to life.

When you wonder, “What is Farm to Vase?” it’s really all about a promise. A promise to always use fresh, New England local blooms in my arrangements, to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us, and to maintain genuine connections with the local farmers who grow these flowers.


Sustainability and Local Collaboration

Working with the farmers is like having a neighbor who’s also your go-to garden expert. We share tips and support each other. If I’m wondering about new seed varieties, the vase life of hybrid varieties, or stem length for wedding bouquets, they’re ready with all the answers. 

And it’s not just about getting advice. It’s about giving back too. When I collaborate with the local farmers, it’s like we’re a team. Together, we grow and learn, each of us supporting the other’s business. It’s a partnership where we both benefit, helping each other thrive. There’s a lot of mutual respect and collaboration to bring each floral design to life.

Adapting to what’s in season is a big part of what I do. 

And I couldn’t do it without the flower farmers I rely on!

Unlike some florists who may rely on non-local sources and stick rigidly to specific flower varieties, I embrace the ebb and flow of local availability. While I do use traditional wholesalers to compliment designs as needed, the value of locally grown products is a priority during growing seasons.

Farm-to-vase is like cooking a meal with whatever’s fresh and available that day. More often than not, I go in with a plan, but then I see these amazing sweet peas that were just harvested, and I think, “Okay, we’re going with these today!” 

Shopping the local market floor is what often offers a “wow” moment in the bouquet design. It keeps things exciting and fresh, and it’s a fun challenge to match the trends with what nature gives us at that moment.

Sometimes, a flower that a client requests might not have fared well that season or could be difficult to source. This is why I never promise a certain bloom variety! By focusing on what’s locally available, I not only uphold sustainability but also bring a unique, authentic touch to each arrangement.

In this world of farm-to-vase, it’s all about being connected – to the earth, to each other, and to the community. 

And honestly, that’s what makes each bouquet so much more than just a bunch of flowers.

Experience Farm-to-Vase For Yourself

There’s something really special about working with local flower farms. It’s like going on a treasure hunt every time I step into the fields. As a wedding floral designer, being out among the blooms is honestly one of the best parts of my job.

I love the surprise of what I’ll find each visit. 

One week, the fields might be full of soft pink peonies, and the next, I could be greeted by bold sunflowers. Some days I even use locally grown branches and foliage or spring buds that I forage. There’s always a reason to keep a pair of clippers handy!

It’s this mix of the unexpected and the beautiful that keeps me coming back. Just like a chef gets excited about farm-to-table, I get that same buzz from farm-to-vase.

Being there, in the middle of all these flowers, is more than just picking out the prettiest ones for my designs. It’s about feeling connected to where they come from. Every flower has its own story – how it grew, how the weather treated it, and how it was cared for by the farmers. 

And when I use these flowers in a wedding, it’s like each one adds its own special touch to the couple’s big day.

So, why not come and see for yourself? 

The fields are a world of color and life, and there’s a real joy in being part of it all. Plus, who knows what beautiful blooms you’ll find?


The Dahlia Experience

Now, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in this vibrant world through the upcoming “Dahlia Experience” event. This unique adventure at Willow View Farm is a celebration of beauty, learning, and community.

Here’s what the 2.5-hour Dahlia Experience includes:

  • A walking tour of the Dahlia farm. Witness the stunning variety and vibrancy of these flowers.
  • Educational sessions led by the farm owner, Julie Harrison the “Garden Fairy.” She’ll share her deep-rooted wisdom on how Dahlias are cultivated and cared for.
  • A hands-on al fresco design workshop with me, Jennifer Haffner, owner of Barn Door Blooms. Amidst the fields, with sprawling tables set as your canvas, I will teach you how to transform your buckets of farm-fresh Dahlias into your own floral masterpiece. All materials, supplies, and tools will be provided!
  • Countless photo opportunities. Pose with a quaint flower truck, ‘Sweet Pea,’, your new floral creation in hand, against a backdrop of blooming fields.
  • Cap it off with a brunch that tastes like sunshine – light catering will be offered throughout the event plus local bakery treats, fruits, and sparkling mimosas.

The Dahlia Experience is more than just a day out – it’s a chance to connect with nature, learn from experts, and unleash your creativity in a picturesque setting. It’s an embodiment of what Farm to Vase truly means.

So, come join us in this celebration of nature, creativity, and community. Let’s weave stories together, one flower at a time. 

You can sign up for the workshop here!

I hope to see you at The Dahlia Experience on Sunday, September 8th from 10 am to 12:30 pm at Willow View Farm in West Suffield, CT!

Barn Door Blooms is a floral business in Glastonbury, CT specializing in wedding flowers and floral workshops.

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