A few weeks ago I took a trip to Washington State to study with Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers. Erin is blazing the path in the quickly growing movement of “farmer-florist” popping up around the nation. Floret is producing the most beautiful, sustainably grown flowers on a small scale, high intensity production providing designers and specialty groceries with seasonally and locally grown flowers through out the Pacific Northwest. Erin is also a very talented floral designer known for her natural, lush and bountiful floral designs using unique varieties including some of the old fashioned and delicate flowers we dream of from our grandmothers gardens. She is not only a highly skilled farmer, she is also an author, teacher and most recently winner of the Martha Stewart American Made award for Floral and Event Design. Erin is humble and gracious and excited to share what she has learned along her flower path. She shared a lot about her process, growing techniques, and how she has learned to hone in on her dreams and really get moving on making those dreams come to fruition. I could go on and on about the accolades of this inspiring woman (she is pretty kick ass), but instead I will say this- I believe I have the uncanny ability to find some of the best teachers in the world, not just on my flower path, but in my life. This gift has given me some of the most rewarding experiences. There are many layers to learning and sometimes the unraveling takes days, months, and years to realize the wisdom, knowledge and lessons we have gained. I do know that my time at Floret with Erin and her team was a crossroads in my flower path. I am grateful I invested in myself with this Farmer-Florist Workshop and I am really excited to share all the new and exciting things that are cultivating since deciding to expand my cutting garden to include many other varieties and share my flowers in other ways with my community. There is something so gratifying about using flowers grown locally in a way that eating food that is grown near to you is more vibrant, satisfying, and full of life.
Will you follow along on this path with me? It is exciting and new, and full of surprises.