WINTER CITRUS WORKSHOP AT CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN

Join us Saturday, January 28, 2017 for a Winter Citrus experience at the Chicago Botanic Garden. You'll make and take home a floral arrangement featuring California citrus and ranunculus, a grapefruit moisturizing hand scrub and we'll sip lemon tea and listen to Bossa Nova. 

Let's make winter feel good. 

Click here for more information and registration. 

FALL 2016 INTERNSHIPS

Field & Florist provides cut flowers to Chicago’s leading florists and wholesalers. Join our small and fierce team as we begin spring flower production at our new site in Three Oaks, MI, just an hour and a half from Chicago. 

Requirements:

Our new farm is 8x larger than our former growing site, and the spring production schedule will be rigorous.

Applicants must be over 21, able to lift 50 lbs., and able to work outdoors in all weather conditions. A positive, hard-working attitude is more important than extensive flower or farming knowledge, however, two years farming experience preferred. A passion for flowers, farming, and teamwork are a must.

To Apply:

Send resume/CV with pertinent experience and a cover letter to Heidi@fieldandflorist.com using the subject line "Fall 2016 Internship."


FALL 2016

August 1-September 30 (9 weeks)

Stipend: $650/month

5 days/week

Housing provided

 

Tasks include (but not limited to):

Harvest and process flowers for wholesale customers

Deliver flowers to Chicago, driving to various flower shops in F&F vehicle

Maintenance of plants including: weeding, watering, pest management

Maintenance of equipment and tools

Assisting with record keeping in farm log

 

 

 

Notes:

No drama

BYO La Croix

 

 

 

Dose Market - Sunday, November 15

This Sunday, November 15, you can find us at Dose Market from 11am -3pm at Soho House where we will be taking Thanksgiving centerpiece and holiday wreath pre-orders. We will be joined along with 18 other vendors for a festive kick off to the holiday season.

Visit dosemarket.com for more info and tickets. Hope to see you there! 

Dose Market

FARM UPDATE

We're very happy to announce that we are moving our farm to Three Oaks, MI. It's been in the works for a long time and there's so much to say, but here's the quick and dirty: we're scaling our growing operation significantly. 


Our new farm will continue to serve Chicago and will include experimental greenhouse production heated by external wood-burning furnaces (ranunculus, Icelandic poppies and more in early spring), a large increase in acreage for field production (peonies, garden roses, and of course, more dahlias) and some other wild things that we'll share after this massive heap of peonies is in the ground. 


It's a little hard to entertain the long road ahead when we haven't even recovered from this season, but suffice it to say, we're thrilled and wouldn't have it any other way.

Sweet Paul Magazine Feature - Fall 2015

Field & Florist is featured in the fall issue of Sweet Paul magazine! We're really happy the issue of locality is getting more of the attention that it deserves. We certainly can't claim to be the only ones "setting out to change America's perspective on cut flowers" since there are leaders we've learned from and continue to look to all over the country. 

We'd like to make mention that in the second paragraph, the "local" operations referred to are the wholesale markets, not the farmers markets. Chicago's farmers markets feature a wonderful selection of flower farmers who grow 100% of what they sell.

Toward the end of the article the "20 blooms into 65" refers to the number of varieties of flowers we grow, and "5 into 35 customers" refers to the number of wholesale accounts we service. 

Chicago Tribune Field & Florist Feature

Earlier this month a feature story on Field & Florist debuted in the Spring Issue of Chicago Tribune Magazine. We shot the story last year just before frost out at the farm one early September morning. We honestly couldn't have imagined a more beautifully written and photographed piece. Many thanks to Cindy Dampier and Brain Cassella of the Tribune for capturing Field & Florist just as we are.

You can read the entire story here

How do you start something? You start it.

Here is the latest blog post we wrote for Field to Vase

IntheField.jpg

How Do You Start Something? You Start It.
by Heidi Joynt of Field & Florist

So, you want to start a flower farm. I get it, so did we. As the slow flower movement picks up speed a host of eager emailers enter our inbox every week wanting to learn more about flower farming and design. The number and depth of these messages surprises us, because—although we’ve been fortunate to have success with our operation—we’re a very young farm compared to other bigger (sometimes multi-generational) growers. I can’t imagine how many requests they receive. I’m mentioning all of this not to sound like a crank that hates correspondence—we’re flattered and honored to be a part of this field-to-vase movement and the community that surrounds it. I mention it as a way to cut quickly to our most valuable advice: How do you start something? You just start it.

Reading books and blogs can only get you so far. While research and relationships with other farmers are invaluable, nothing will teach you as much as the work itself. The truth is that as a beginner, you don’t even know what information you really need until you’re in the middle of troubleshooting a problem. Start small and accept that your garden will not be ideal in the first year and you have to start somewhere. Some crops will fail and you will waste some money. You will also have unimaginable surprises and successes that will teach you a great deal and keep you going. Nothing about farming can be learned overnight. The beauty of the process is that it’s so highly specific to things like region, soil quality, drainage, and topography. It’s kind of like being married to the land. The way you learn about it is by spending more time with it, paying attention to it, and becoming more in tune with it. Even then, it will change! The most seasoned farmers will tell you, you’ll always be in the process of becoming a better grower.

From the outside, flower farming seems glamorous if you don’t have experience working in agriculture. Stuffing your car with flowers you grew, pumping up the Genesis jams while you whisk away on a day of deliveries, doing a slow fist pump while stuffing a sandwich in your face. Who doesn’t want that life? But in all honesty, it’s not always what the Instagram postsPinterest pins, and blog musings would lead you to believe—unless, of course, you read farmer blogs about things like best practices for using rubber bands to keep your pants rolled up in wet grass, or how you can be so exhausted that you nearly fall asleep during dinner, or find yourself frequently lusting after walk-behind tillers. My point is that farmers are a weird and intense breed, so it’s better to start small with lower stakes while you figure out if you’re really passionate about the work. Unless you’re independently wealthy or have some other source of income, that passion is sometimes the only thing that will sustain you. Even with nearly 10 years of experience as growers (5 years in vegetables and 3 years in flowers), I feel like we are just barely on the brink of figuring out how to thrive efficiently on the farm with our lean two person operation. Reaching out to other growers and designers who have more experience is a natural thing to do. What is important in the equation is that those growers/designers be compensated for their hard earned knowledge and the years of lessons they have learned on the job. While the workshops being given by many farmer florists may seem prohibitively expensive, they are worth every single penny. You might have to save money to attend one, but it will definitely be worth it. Insight from their experience is not (and should not be) free.

We look to those who have been growing and designing for much longer than we have and marvel at their knowledge and endurance. We pay to be a part of professional organizations such as ASCFG(Association of Specialty Cut Flowers) and enjoy the benefits by accessing the online forum, attending their conferences, and getting connected with other growers. We have a short list of growers and designers whose workshops we are determined to attend one day in order to expand our skills and knowledge. Until we are able to do that however, we will keep learning on the job.

Martha Stewart's Wedding Party - March 22, 2015

Hone your flower crown crafting skills with us this Sunday at Martha Stewart's Wedding Party!

In addition to over 100 of Chicago's top wedding vendors, designer Lauren Conrad with speak with Martha Stewart Weddings Editorial Director Darcy Miller about her latest Paper Crown bridesmaid dress collection.

We will be hosting several demos throughout the day so be sure to sign up for a time slot upon arrival.  Details and ticket info below. 

Martha Stewart Weddings - 62 Top Floral Designers

This week we found out that Field & Florist was named one of the 62 Top Floral Designers in the country by Martha Stewart Weddings. Woah. 

We are so honored to be listed among so many of our peers whose work we've long admired. We are also thrilled to see so many of our farmer/florist friends mentioned as well.  This is a great sign for the slow flower movement, that the top in the industry are growing their own and seeking out locally grown flowers. Better for our economies, the environment, and our designs!

The full link to the article can be found here

 

Field to Vase - The Farmer Florist Conundrum

A while back Heidi wrote this piece for Field to Vase, where she'll be contributing regularly to an online resource with the goal of bringing like-minded people in the local flower movement together to share their expertise. 

Photo by Jaclyn Simpson Photography

Photo by Jaclyn Simpson Photography

The Farmer Florist Conundrum
by Heidi Joynt of Field & Florist

I am convinced there are two distinctly different parts of our brain that are exercised during farming and floral design. As someone who is striving to be a successful grower and designer, I really didn’t anticipate how incredibly different these two activities could be.

Something strange happens to your sensibilities when you spend hours each day, all season, on the task of setting up and managing a flower farm.  The brute activities of bending metal poles for stakes, hauling heavy rolls of landscape fabric, and rock picking so that you can sow seed into something that resembles soil are par for the course. You start to walk differently, like something is permanently wrong with your back, or like it is just too much effort to appear feminine…whatever that even means.

Making the switch from this type of work to the thoughtful work of designing can be a tricky one. That transition from thinking about a crop in bulk, handling it by the bucket full, and then pulling out a single stem to decide which way it will be situated in a vase.

When you’re working by yourself, or part of a lean team – as most of us are, every action is assessed. How much energy are we willing to expend for the tasks of the day, and what must fall to the bottom of the list if we run out of time? Very quickly, efficiency takes over and slowly the poetry and unimaginable beauty of design work can start to slowly get squeezed out of the process.  Of course, this is not the desired goal.

This is how we get accustomed to thinking about every move on the flower farm. How will all of the tasks get done today given our limited resources of time and labor? Determined to work smarter not harder, I let that part of my brain have free reign.  One day I knew however, that it had gone too far when upon entering the grocery store I hatched a thoroughly detailed plan with my husband about who was going to get which items in the grocery store using the shortest route of least resistance…and I’ll meet you at the register in 5 minutes.

This is not to say beauty is not noticed; there are some days when we walk the field in the morning with a camera before hauling anything out. Or find it incredibly necessary to drop everything when the perfect bloom is noticed and run it over to Molly, my business partner, to exclaim 3 or 4 times in 10 minutes, “How amazing this one is!” Taking those moments whenever they happen and living in them, I believe, is teaching us about design.

Noticing the natural lean of a flower and letting it be designed with that way, not tossing out the twisted or oddly shaped blooms but celebrating their uniqueness in the design. This is the luxury of the farmer/florist: the flexibility to use flowers in their many stages and forms, depending on what the design calls for.  The ability to work with a client and plant just the right shade of dahlia for their event, and experience the satisfaction of seeing it all come together from field to vase.

Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing

Last month we were honored to show off the flower field to our dear friend and champion of the slow flower movement, Debra Prinzing. We sat down with Debra and chatted about how and why we started flower farming and design, the struggles of the midwestern growing season, as well as how we run our business. We encourage you to follow her work at Slow Flowers, an online directory to help you find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers who are committed to using American grown flowers.

 

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Pasture Raised Field Trip

We are very excited to announce Field & Florist will participate in Field Trip Cocktails ultimate summertime cookout on Sunday, July 13 (at an undisclosed farm - it's all about the adventure).

This summer the Field Trip crew will bring the table to the farm, for an afternoon of culinary exploration with chefs Charlie Eure (Revolution Brewing), Nathan Sears (The Radler), Sarah McDonnell (Trellis) Nick Stewart (Glazed and Infused), Chad Little and Leonard Hollander (Field Trip Founding Chefs). 

Click the photo below for more information and to purchase tickets. 

Recipe video for Rabbit Hole Magazine

We had so much fun last week working with Potluck Creative on this flower recipe video for Rabbit Hole Magazine. Our video was part of a series of recipe videos promoting their first "Down the Rabbit Hole" dinner on April 22nd at Ampersand, where we'll be creating arrangements with fragrance notes that are paired with items from the menu prepared by Nick Bajal and David Fingerman from Atwood, and Ian Van Veen from Letherbee Distillers.