Only four months have passed since the first Slow Flowers Summit took place during American Flowers Week, but the feedback continues to remind us that our “Ted Talk for Flower Lovers” was a success.

We invited Lennie Larkin of B-Side Farm in Sonoma County, California, to attend as a media guest.

She recently reported on the Summit and shared her impressions in her column in Cut Flower Quarterly, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers’ member publication. Lennie is the West and Northwest regional director for ASCFG, so she regularly dispatches her point of view with the members in our region.

That article has just been posted and I’m excited to share it with you today. I’m so impressed with the highlights Lennie shared, including her personal insights.

Her summary featured takeaways from Amy Stewart’s presentation on the 10-year retrospective of “Flower Confidential” and our Panel Discussion with Chantal Aida Gordon, Leslie Bennett, Riz Reyes and Nicole Cordier Wahlquist on diversity, inclusion and representation in floriculture and horticulture.

Lennie makes a point during the panel Q&A

Read the full Lennie Larkin Column (PDF) here.

Keynote speaker Amy Stewart

One thing Amy really wanted to impress upon us during her talk was that her takeaways on the international flower industry are actually more nuanced than they may seem at first glance. Namely, as we navigate the ins and outs of the domestic vs. imported flower industries, it can be easy to forget the jobs and the people behind all this commerce and the full dialogue around it. Things become a lot less black and white and yes, more nuanced, when we’re able to remember this.

Panelists, from left, including moderator Chantal Aida Gordon, Leslie Bennett, Riz Reyes and Nichole Cordier Wahlquist.

According to Lennie, the panel led by Chantal “felt like a discussion that was long time coming for our industry.” She felt motivated to respond to many of the points covered by the panel, and offered this encouragement:

I think it’s important for us to take a look at ourselves and remember that we’re not just passive actors out in the world, that we all in fact play huge roles in setting industry norms and standards. Who else can we get to that table?

Thanks for your support, Lennie — and for endorsing the Summit! We’d love you to attend our 2018 Summit, details of which will be announced soon!

Photo credits: Hannah Brenlan and Luke Holtgeerts