Slow flowers that truly commemorate our love for one another and the earth (interview with Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers)
This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast exploring environmental regeneration and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. The preview highlighted has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.
Debra Prinzing (@dkprinzing) is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, including SlowFlowers.com (@myslowflowers), Slow Flowers Podcast, and American Flowers Week, she's convened a national conversation that stimulates consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases.
On this podcast episode, Debra sheds light on why we need a slow flowers movement; how our collective loss of knowledge on seasonality helped drive agrobiodiversity loss; the environmental impacts of growing flowers with an artisan mindset versus a commodity mindset; the vital role of flowers in our food production; and more.
To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Debra and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kaméa Chayne.
On the vital role flowers play in our food system:
"After 911, in the gardening world, there was a huge rejection of ornamental gardening… It was all about food security and growing your own food—you were completely irresponsible if you were not growing vegetables…
The pendulum started swinging back, I think, when food growers realized how important insects and pollinators are to their success.
So flowers became acceptable if only to provide a nectar source. Now, thankfully, we're seeing this renewed love of flowers for the more emotional and sensory benefits they provide."
On telling positive stories to social-engineer change:
"What I find is effective is shining the light on positive stories about change agents who are growing beautiful, seasonal flowers in a sustainable way, enhancing their land rather than depleting their land, and being engaged in their community.
The more I tell positive stories, I feel like it's social-engineering in my own little way, trying to demonstrate the successes and the reasons why people are aligning their brand with the slow flowers movement—they're seeing it more as a community-minded, mutually-beneficial way of doing business."
On extending our care for how food is grown to flowers:
"I often get the comment from people, 'Well, why should I care how my flowers are grown if I'm not eating them?'
Of course, there are edible flowers—there's kind of a renaissance going on with edible flowers in the culinary world, which is wonderful, because if you want edible flowers, then you want organically grown flowers, completely running counter to that comment: 'I don't eat them.'
But why wouldn't you want your flowers to be grown in a sustainable way to ensure that the humans who are growing those flowers, the land on which those flowers are grown, the streams and waterways that the runoff from those farms receives, or the animals in and around that farm are all safe and not being treated with toxic chemicals?"
Debra’s final words of wisdom:
"Own your story and tell it. No one can take your story away from you; it's one-hundred percent yours."
Green Dreamer is supported by our listener patrons and podcast partner Buffy, which makes comforters that are better for you and the earth, using lyocell, a skin-friendly eucalyptus fabric as the cover and fluffy fill made from 100% BPA-free recycled water bottles.