Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Experimenting with Flowers: The November 2015 Maryland Cut Flower Growers Meeting

butterbee-butterbee-0032by Carling Adele Wyncoll Elder

Brrr! It’s really getting cold here in Maryland (and everywhere else in the USA), which means that flower-growing season is starting to slow down for many of our flower growers. Or, at least it’s slowed down enough for them to get together and start strategizing for next year!

This morning, I had the pleasure of attending the meeting of the Maryland Cut Flower Growers. Walker Marsh, a brand new flower grower and friend, accompanied me from Baltimore, and I loved hearing about his Van Selfieplans for his farm The Flower Factory that he’ll start this coming year as we drove. I was also excited for Walker to meet many of the seasoned growers at the meeting and for him to pick their brains! The pool of flower farming knowledge that these Maryland flower growers possess is wide and deep, and an amazing resource for anyone who wants to learn about flowers. These growers are also friendly and extremely giving of their expertise, so I knew Walker was in for a treat!

As Walker commented on the ride home, the meeting was very “chill” and “actually useful”, a statement that I completely agree with! During the course of the meeting, we went around the room, and each flower grower shared useful tips and techniques that had worked, or hadn’t worked for them during 2014. LB (1)Dave Dowling of Ednie Flower Bulbs explained how to use Limelight Hydrangea stems instead of Rebar to stake down a hoop house cover (they won’t destroy your tiller!). Eileen Stoner of Stoney Acres, demonstrated how to soak and split Norway spruce pinecones in half for use in Christmas wreaths.

Laura Beth Resnick of Butterbee Farm told of her success using a solar powered fence baited with peanut butter to keep deer out of her flowerbeds. All this information, and much more, was shared via a relaxed and natural conversation, with many interruptions for questions and comments, and of course laughter!

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As Leon Carrier of Plant Masters stated, “we are constantly experimenting with cut flowers.” As all these flower growers have experienced, and I myself as a designer have experienced, there’s always more to learn about flowers, and more ways to improve growing, or designing with them. That’s why there is such a value in these meetings where we all get together, and help each other out by sharing what we know. Because when your life revolves around “experimenting with flowers” it’s nice to know there’s a bunch of smart and awesome flower growers out there who’ve got your back!

Makers Alley 2015!

In just 17 days, Makers Alley will be here again! Local Color Flowers is so excited to be hosting Makers Alley for the second year in a row, and can’t wait for a wonderful day of local Makers and their products, community building, and holiday cheer!

Makers Alley will be held on Saturday, December 6th, from 9AM-1PM at Local Color Flowers’ studio located at 3100 Brentwood Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218. At the same time (7AM-12PM), the 32nd Street Farmer Farmers Market  will be happening at the end of our same alley, as well as Holiday Heap (10AM-5PM)  located nearby at 2640 St. Paul Street. So, Dec. 6th will be a great day to knock out some holiday shopping at numerous vendors, all while staying in the same Charles Village neighborhood!

The four hours of Makers Alley will be packed with fun! This year, we are thrilled to have 11 local Baltimore vendors participating! Makers Alley 2014 vendors include Woot Granola, Baltimore Rat Czar, Sparkle Designs, Pure Chocolate by Jinji, Two Back Flats, Kinderhook Snacks, Red Door Studio, Haute Mess Kitchen, Rebcycle, Happy Heat, and Local Color Flowers.

From 10:30AM-11: 30AM, Makers Alley will also have live music from the talented duo of local musicians Nadia and Kristina! They’ll be playing their lively interpretations of folk tunes, and bringing some serious festive spirit to the party! What could be more fun than listening to live music while you shop?

Mark your calendars! Bring a friend (or two, or three) and meet us at Makers Alley! For updates and further information, visit https://www.facebook.com/makersalleybaltimore or #makersalley. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bookclub 2015 at Local Color Flowers

As we look head to the new year, we’ve got our next line-up of books for our Bookclub. If you haven’t been to the Bookclub before, you should come! It’s a great group of folks interested in flowers, nature, gardening, conservation and reading. It’s a drop-in group so no pressure to attend every meeting. We usually have some light snacks and drinks (contributions are welcome) and we meet from 7pm-9pm on the given dates.  There is great discussion and lots of laughter. What could be better!

2015’s books include:

If you’re interested, check out what we’ve read in 2014! We have one more meeting left this year. For our December 15 meeting, we’re reading Gaining Ground by local farmer/entrepreneur Forrest Pritchard. Join us!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

2014 CSA AWESOMENESS!

This year’s local flower CSA at Local Color Flowers was seriously awesome! If you aren’t familiar with our CSA, here’s how it worked. Over the course of 5 months (June through October) CSA members came over to our studio twice a month to pick up a wrapped bouquet of locally grown flowers and foliage.  Each bouquet included a tag telling members what is included in the bouquet and what farms the flowers came from. Most weeks, members were also treated to snacks incorporating locally grown flowers and produce.

Steve H. seen here with his CSA bouquet!

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Sweet William Shortbread and Basil Limeade made by LoCoFlo designer Carling Elder

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Loved these little friends who were always interested in learning about flowers!

We always envisioned creating a space for people to come together to chit chat, laugh, eat and learn. This season felt like we had accomplished that.

If you’d like to see more photos from the CSA, check out our Facebook page.

We’re looking ahead to 2015 already! If you’re interested in signing up for the CSA, check out the registration page on our website. This year we’re offering a HALF share for $150 and a FULL share for $300.  This is a great holiday gift for anyone who loves flowers (and who doesn’t love flowers!!)

Hope to see you next year at Local Color Flowers!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Locally Grown Flowers for Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Chrissie Hynde!

As many of you already know, Local Color Flowers loves WTMD! We are proud to support our local radio station as sustaining members and super enthusiastic listeners! (check out who our FAVE WTMD DJ’s are on our About Us Page!)

When WTMD reached out to us this week to see if we would be interested in bringing flowers over to the station for this week’s Live Lunch with Chrissie Hynde…we jumped at the chance!

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Our growers were equally excited!

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The show was AMAZING! Lots of old Pretenders songs sung acoustically and lots of new songs that sounded sooooo good. Seeing Chrissie Hynde in real life and hearing her voice in real life, was pretty incredible! To see some photos from the show (there was a NO PHOTO policy) check out WTMD’s photos! (the photographer was sitting right next to me!)

Thanks WTMD!! You are definitely one of our favorite things in Baltimore!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Flower Factory is Becoming a Reality!

There are some crazy exciting things happening in Baltimore right now! Since we started LoCoFlo 7 years ago, we always day dreamed about flower farms in and around Baltimore City.  How cool would it be to support farms in over very own neighborhoods? Well, it’s happening. It’s really happening!

You already know our friends at Butterbee Farm and the Hillen Homestead. Now, get ready for the Flower Factory!

Our friend Walker and the team at Real Food Farm entered the Baltimore Growing Green competition back in August. Sponsored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore City, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the goal of the competition was for community groups and designers to come together and develop creative greening projects for vacant land in their communities as well as reduce and treat stormwater runoff.

Real Food’s design was for a production flower farm in East Baltimore just north of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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Guess what! They WON 1st PLACE! They won $63,000 to get an urban flower farm started in East Baltimore!!! AMAZING!!

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this new venture. There is so much to be joyful about. More green space in a community that desperately needs it, more flowers growing and available for sale in our community, an amazing entrepreneurial opportunity for a bright, excited young man…what could be better.

After winning and receiving the prize from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake,  Walker said:

I honestly still can't believe it! This is just the beginning! Look out for The Flower Factory! Thank you again to everyone… this has been one of the greatest things that has happened for me.

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Stay tuned for updates on the future of the Flower Factory!

Monday, September 8, 2014

You Deserve A Bouquet Today: #For3oMore

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Cystic Fibrosis. If you asked me a month ago what this disease was all about, I wouldn’t be able to tell you too much. I didn’t know anyone with CF…until I met Katherine. Katherine was introduced to me by a past client and now friend, Renee Beck. Katherine is a beautiful young woman with a passion for life. She is committed to making a difference in the life of people living with CF. Her story inspired me and reminded me that each of us has the power to make a positive impact on our community. She was a perfect recipient for our You Deserve a Bouquet Today bouquet.

In Katherine’s own words:

“At 16 I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.Even 13 years later I’m still a long way from fully dealing with what it means to have this disease and the implications it has on my future.

Right now, my life looks like many other 29 year olds?. I have a wonderful husband, fabulous family and friends, and a job that I love. But unlike most people my age, I have to do time-consuming daily treatments, spend countless hours at the hospital, and worry about what my future looks like.

When I was born in 1984, the life expectancy of someone with CF was just 25 – on September 26th I’ll turn 30! And I can’t wait to celebrate the many things this wonderful life has allowed me to do.”

10623938_833622901146_3083142440515038437_oIn celebration of her upcoming 30th birthday, Katherine and her friends set out to raise $15,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation over 30 days in September.  #for3omore  has raised $8310 to date and there are still 18 days to go! The way it works: great prizes are donated by local businesses. You bid on the prizes like in a regular auction and try to win.  All the bids are donations to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Local Color Flowers was thrilled to donate a $50 gift certificate for the first day of the auction. Check the site for new prizes this week!

There are still 18 days left. If you’d like to make a donation to Katherine’s fundraiser, check out the auction site. There are amazing prizes to win and you’ll be making a difference in the lives of people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.

Keep up the amazing work Katherine!! We’re behind you all the way!