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!
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!
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!)
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…
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!
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!
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!
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!
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- 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.
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…
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”