Episode 202- From Farm to Plate & Vase

Episode 202- From Farm to Plate & Vase

Host J Schwanke explores the Farmers Market and all it has to offer. Visit a “Happy” farm, and learn how to incorporate the bounty of local, organic, or home grown flowers and produce into your menu, crafts, and entertaining.

In this show- we explore all the wonderful finds at the Local Farmers Market- whether it’s at home here in West Michigan or on the central coast of California. Food and Flowers abound- at the farmers market- and it’s one of my favorite places to visit… this gave me the opportunity to share some of my favorite food, friends and flowers that help us all create a Life in Bloom!

Jill and Mary from Crane Dance Farm- enjoy the Flower Crowns- from J's Visit to their Wonderful Farm!

Jill and Mary from Crane Dance Farm- enjoy the Flower Crowns- from J’s Visit to their Wonderful Farm!

You’ll catch my Friend Craig from Z’s Farm- in the introduction- where I’m buying my weekly supply of Zinnias- one of my favorite flowers- and one that makes several appearances in today’s show. Craig and I have become great friends- and I asked him several years ago to grow Zinnias for me… and I come every week and buy them all… I just love Zinnias!

You also see John from Full Hollow Farm- and you’ll learn more about Full Hollow in another show this season! You’ll see me stopping by to see my Friend Kristen- at Hope Dahlias- you’ll learn more about Hope Dahlias- and Kristen and her Mom Barb in Next week’s Show… So stay tuned- for more flower fun- with these friends!

Taking time to talk about Eufloria Flowers- with my Flower Friend Lily Garcia- at the Farmers Market in California!

Taking time to talk about Eufloria Flowers- with my Flower Friend Lily Garcia- at the Farmers Market in California!

Eufloria Farmer’s Market

I’m excited for you to meet more friends from Eufloria- (I visited Eufloria Flowers and learned about their garden roses in Episode 103- The Romance of Flowers- Watch it here) and today we learn more about their Farmer’s Market Bunches- with owner Sharon Koch. I’ve had the pleasure of riding all over Amsterdam with Sharon- in the back of a station wagon- and also had her teach me about quilting- and seeing her amazing quilt creations and collection in Nipomo CA… today I learn a bit more about the buying patterns and personal connection they make each week at the Farmer’s Markets. Eufloria has booths in many markets along the coast of California- and their Roses – are even more popular today- than they were when we filmed this. I also talk to my friend Lily Garcia (she’s one of my Favorite Flowers Friends- and appears in my Book- Fun with Flowers- You can pick up a copy of my award winning book here!)

Nothing better than getting some of the Prettiest Roses on the Planet from Eufloria at the Farmers Market

Nothing better than getting some of the Prettiest Roses on the Planet from Eufloria at the Farmers Market

We talk about the Roses Eufloria sells- and Lily also mentions her daughter Lori that- sells Roses to the Stars in Hollywood- that seems like a great idea for a show in the future… Don’t you think? There’s Bonus Footage – and a complete 17 minute Video about Eufloria’s Farmers Market Flowers- in our CA Grown Documentary -on uBloom- Watch this whole show at the Link for Free!

There’s nothing quite like picking up a few flowers- when you’re shopping at the Farmers Market- whether it’s Roses, or Zinnias, or Dahlias… there’s always something new different and exciting waiting for you at your local Farmers Market…

Learn to make simple bouquets with a few flowers from the Garden on Life in Bloom!

Learn to make simple bouquets with a few flowers from the Garden on Life in Bloom!

Dahlia and Zinnia Bouquets- this is a fun project- and a great way to share the love- with Flowers! Learn more about this Fun Flower Project with Local Flowers here!

I think Mary likes her Flower Crown- Join us as we visit this Organic Sustainable Farm in West Michigan on Life in Bloom!

I think Mary likes her Flower Crown- Join us as we visit this Organic Sustainable Farm in West Michigan on Life in Bloom!

Crane Dance Farm

Being from Nebraska- I have some pretty tough standards when it comes to farm raised meat… and I will attest- that Crane Dance Farm has the Most Incredible Pork I have ever tasted- and it’s not only one of my Favorites- it’s a local favorite- at the Fulton Farmers Market- Go Behind the scenes as we meet the Animals- and the Two Amazing Ladies: Jill and Mary that run this local livestock farm! Learn more about my wonderful Farmer Friends here!

Lavender Rub for this Pork Loin from Crane Dance- is a Favorite - for Life in Bloom!

Lavender Rub for this Pork Loin from Crane Dance- is a Favorite – for Life in Bloom!

Lavender Pork Loin- Recipe

As stated- I love the Pork Jill and Mary produce at Crane Dance Farms!- and this is a long-standing Flower-ful recipe- that Kelly and enjoy often.
Check out the Recipe at the Link above- give it a try- and you can Thank me Later! hehehe!

J shares his recipe for a Cucumber Infused Vodka- Gimlet- on Life in Bloom!

J shares his recipe for a Cucumber Infused Vodka- Gimlet- on Life in Bloom!

Cucumber infused Vodka Gimlet

When it comes to favorites- the Cucumber Gimlet is one of our Favorite Drinks- and it pairs nicely with the Lavender Pork Loin… among other things- it’s a constant- and crowd favorite when it comes to Flower Cocktail Hour.  Check out the recipe at the link provided!

Hollowed out Goose Eggs- are transformed into simple vases for a few garden flowers!

Hollowed out Goose Eggs- are transformed into simple vases for a few garden flowers!

Goose Egg Flower Vases

This is a fun project- and it gave me a much deeper appreciation for the delicious Goose Egg contents… they are rich and delicious. I just kept thinking that the eggs shells should be repurposed- so I offer this creative flower craft- and also suggest a few inspired alterations- that make this an ideal Flower Craft for Kids… Learn More at the Link provided!

Zinnias are the Featured Flower on this week's show- here's a few- of the Bright Colors and Cinderella Varieties from Z's Farm!

Zinnias are the Featured Flower on this week’s show- here’s a few- of the Bright Colors and Cinderella Varieties from Z’s Farm!

Zinnias- Featured Flower

I love Zinnias- we grew them in all the flower beds around the greenhouses and flower shop when I was a kid- and it was one of my first jobs to care for them… watering and weeding- and as an adult- and flower designer- I loved to harvest them and add them to the arrangements for my customers.

The Bright Colors are so vibrant and intense- and today there are antique varieties- that look magical! As I mentioned before – my friend Craig Z- grows Zinnias for me on an annual basis. Several years ago- Craig noticed that I love to buy Zinnias at the farmers market- and he asked me- what were my favorite colors? (BTW- I love the Green and Antique Cinderella Varieties- and I’m not fond of the white ones… I just think they are distracting… call it “my personal preference”)… Craig asked if I would like him to grow some Green and Cinderella – for me!  We agreed- that I would buy them all each week- and if I was out of town I would let him know the week before- so that he could choose to : Not Harvest – or sell the to someone else… and that’s been our plan every since.

My friend Craig at Z's Farm- grows these antique Zinnias- they make my heart go pitter-pat!

My friend Craig at Z’s Farm- grows these antique Zinnias- they make my heart go pitter-pat!

I come early to market- (because it’s hard to have a glorious bucket of Amazing Zinnias sitting in your booth- and tell people- they are not for sale… hahaha)… I bring my bucket of COLD Water- filled with Flower Food- ( Learn more about my flower food secrets and more in my FREE Flowers 101 Section of the website) and do a quick hand off- bucket to bucket and head home to the design table.

There’s nothing more relaxing- almost meditative about arranging flowers- and I make a “date” with myself- to put on my favorite music- (I listen to the Dav Koz Show on Watercolors- Sirius XM- and make bouquets for the house, my friends and relatives- and have a cup of coffee in my favorite mug-… it’s a thing… and I enjoy every second…

Look closely- and you'll see the flowers inside the flower- at the center of the Zinnia... Magical!

Look closely- and you’ll see the flowers inside the flower- at the center of the Zinnia… Magical!

One of the things I love the most about Zinnias- is that they have flowers inside the flower! If you take note- like Georgia O’Keefe- is often quoted- “It takes to see a flower”… she uses this reference a lot in many of her quotes about taking the time to see a flower- or forcing people to look at a flowers… check out Georgia O’Keefe’s 25 best quotes here! 

Look Closely at the center of the Zinnia- it actually has little tiny flowers- that erupt from the center of the flower- it’s fascinating and worth the few moments it takes to notice them… I literally have 100′s of pictures of zinnias… Many of the Flowers inside the flower… but also of the arrangements I make each week- I have an entire collection of the flowers I create- I’m not sure what I will ever do with them… but they are there!

I’m fascinated by the memories those arrangements have… the combinations I chose- and when I look at each arrangement- I can almost always recall the “feels” I had that day… that’s the magic and powerful force of flowers. It’s yet another reason to create your very own “Life in Bloom”