Farm to Vase Workshop

Learning all about the Slow Flower Movement!

farm to vase workshop

Last week, the very talented Morgan Anderson of The Flori.culture hosted her Farm to Vase Workshop at the Austin Community College floral lab.

This was a two-part workshop exploring the slow flower movement and an in-depth look at the many benefits to sourcing locally grown flowers and containers.

slow flowers arrangement 10

What is Slow Flowers? Slow Flowers is a movement to help people find the best U.S. floral designers who are committed to sourcing from American flower farms.  Local Flower Movement Champion and author, Debra Prinzing, joined the class via Skype to talk about the slow flower movement and her work as an advocate for a more sustainable flower industry.  She is a true inspiration!  You can read more about her here.  And be sure to check out her two beautiful books on this topic - The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers.

And in the spirit of sourcing locally - Austin basket artist, Karen Hobbs of Maggie Lane Studio, hand crafted the most lovely little baskets for each student.  She presented her baskets and shared her weaving wisdom to the class.  

Austin based organic farmer, Erin Flynn of Green Gate Farms, provided the delicious florals to design with during week one of the workshop.  She also came to the class to present her sustainable farm practices and share her passion with us.

Texas Hill Country Arnosky Flower Farms provided the colorful flowers for week two.

Additionally, a new non toxic flower foam alternative called Floral Soil was also introduced to the class.  Morgan was able to obtain a few samples of this product, which is still in Beta testing, so it was extra exciting to try it out.

basket with wire

This photo displays the hand woven basket made by local artist, Karen Hobbs, and shows the water-with-chicken-wire method that was used.  A small plastic cup of water is place inside of the basket.  Then a ball of chicken wire is placed inside of the plastic cup.  A piece of floral tape is then secured over the top to hold the "mechanics" in place.  Once the flower arrangement is finished, the flowers hide all of these mechanics.

Then flower stems are placed through the chicken wire.  This holds your stems in place and there is no need for wet floral foam.

floral soil
(photo from Floral Soil Solutions)

However, if wet floral foam is needed or desired in your arrangement, there is a new natural product in the works called Floral Soil.  Floral Soil™ is a foam composite derived from renewable coconut husk waste.  There are no added colorants, preservatives, or fossil fuel based chemical additives.  It is highly absorbent and allows for easy stem insertion.  You can read more about it here.

slow flowers 4

The Floral Soil held the flowers perfectly in place.  And outside of it being a completely natural product (which we LOVED), we also liked how natural it looked when you peeked through the flowers.

Here is Debra Prinzing joining the class via Skype.  She shared such a wealth of information to the class about the slow flower movement and her passion for the work.  You can listen to her slow flowers podcast here. Thanks Debra for shining the light on all the amazing american grown flower farmers out there!

And a big thank you to Erin of Green Gate Farms and Karen of Maggie Lane Studio for bringing their expertise live into the classroom, and inspiring us all!

Thank you to everyone for sharing your passion for flowers....and making the world a more beautiful place.

By |2019-05-22T13:38:54-05:00August 17th, 2015|Arrangement Examples, Flower Power|

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Lori. I love flowers, spaces with soul and people with heart. My blog Flowers For The People was created to encourage YOU - "the people" to live a more beautiful life through floral design and styling. So come join the movement and let's make something beautiful together.


  1. Lori Friedman August 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    LOVED this workshop!

  2. Lori Friedman August 23, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Feeling so inspired that I cleaned out my garden yesterday to fill it only with flowers this year!

  3. Cassidy August 23, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I have been wanting to try alternatives to green floral foam. Really like the idea of using floral soil or chicken wire. Thanks for the sharing these ideas.

  4. Kim August 23, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Wow-I love this! I don’t think many people connect the Slow Food Movement and the Local Food Movement into flowers. It’s so very important. Thanks for this post. I really had no idea what was going on out there and so pleased to see this getting traction. And your photos are beautiful! Keep up the great work.

    • Lori Friedman August 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Yes, the slow flower movement is brewing right behind the slow food movement. These are exciting times.

  5. Betty August 23, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Lori, thank you for sharing the farm to vase workshop with us. I enjoyed learning about new techniques and natural substainable products for beautiful floral design. The vivid colors in your photos are so motivating.You have a gift of bringing worthwhile information to your blog with clarity in your writing that is accentuated with beautiful photos for the novice and experienced designer to understand. I want to share your blog with others so they can get these positive motivating vibes you generate. Great job.

    • Lori Friedman August 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks for the great feedback! Much appreciated.

  6. Karen August 25, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I learned a lot from this class. Initially, I only wanted to learn how to arrange flowers cut flowers. I have gained valuable information about a movement that I intend to support.

Comments are closed.