Checking in with Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers; plus, kicking off our Tales of Resilience sequence with Celeste Monke of Free Vary Flowers


March 25th, 2020

Melissa Feveyear of Seattle’s Terra Bella Flowers (left) together with her “Persephone” creation for Fleurs de Villes on the NW Flower & Backyard Pageant

This week, we’re welcoming again Melissa Feveyear, founder and inventive director of Seattle-based Terra Bella Flowers>, a previous visitor of the Gradual Flowers Podcast. You first heard from Melissa when she appeared as our visitor in 2015> — it’s been practically 5 years since she and I recorded that episode. A few of you could know Melissa from the pages of The 50 Mile Bouquet >as a pioneering chief in sustainable floral design. Lately, Melissa expanded her retail store in Seattle’s Greenwood/Phinney Ridge neighborhood and I visited her there to file as we speak’s episode.

Celeste Monke of Free Vary Flowers (c) Caylie Mash Images

However first, this week marks the launch of a brand new bonus sequence on the Podcast referred to as Tales of Resilience.  Now, greater than ever, the message of sustainability and seasonal and locally-available flowers is prime of thoughts — amongst customers, flower farmers and florists.

But, because of the unprecedented pandemic and well being disaster, many people are hunkered down at dwelling. Our enterprise plans are in limbo and we’re all attempting to get a grasp on what the long run — brief and long-term — seems like. My coronary heart breaks for us all and so I hope that the Gradual Flowers Podcast can proceed to be a companion to these of you in isolation, away out of your bodily neighborhood of friends, neighbors, clients and pals. I don’t have many solutions, however I do need to maintain the strains of communication open and accessible.

Celeste Monke of Free Vary Flowers> is our first Tales of Resilience visitor. I’m so happy that she joined me for a recorded dialog final week. I had spent a lot of the prior ten days envisioning methods to assist our neighborhood by means of numerous channels within the Gradual Flowers platform. Bringing you the Tales of Resilience sequence is one low-tech method to help you as we start adjusting to the brand new regular — we’ve got at all times used the Gradual Flowers Podcast as a discussion board for dialog and now, this Podcast will deliver you voices of flower farmers and floral designers as we talk about concepts, methods and assets that can assist you keep grounded in your function and calling by means of your personal floral enterprise. Sustaining your floral enterprise is as necessary as your sustainable practices.

Harvesting subject crops at Free Vary Flowers

Right here’s a bit extra about Free Vary Flowers and its farmers. Free Vary Flowers is an eight-acre flower farm in Whatcom Nation, positioned simply ten miles from downtown Bellingham, Washington, at a ranch based by Jay Roelof. Jay is described as a dreamer at coronary heart. His long-term imaginative and prescient pulls all the things on the farm into order. He’s the farm’s anchor. He’s additionally a real grower. Having studied horticulture at Montana State and managed subject operations for a big native plant nursery, he has an intuitive sense for what vegetation want and an agile understanding of mechanics and farm techniques.

Celeste and Jay, Free Vary Flowers (c) Caylie Mash hotography

Jay’s accomplice, Celeste Monke is the farm’s full-time farmer and florist. Apart from being a grower, she’s a dreamer, a lover, a feeler, an optimist and a little bit of a insurgent.  Celeste made her roundabout method from Arizona to Bellingham, in looking for a method to dwell a lifetime of optimistic manufacturing. In spending time as a seed collector and propagator, she discovered a accomplice, Jay, with whom she began a minimize flower farm. She and Jay function Free Vary Flowers with an emphasis on sustainable practices, wildflowers and native vegetation. When not outside working, she tries to search out time to be outside enjoying, speaking philosophy, writing poetry and attempting to make this world extra simply.

Free Vary Flowers (c) Caylie Mash Images

Celeste is an at-large board member of WA Younger Farmers Coalition,> which helps Washington’s younger and starting farmers and farmworkers of their pursuit of agrarian revival by providing distinctive social and academic occasions, enabling entry to vital assets, and fostering a powerful neighborhood of allies.

WA Younger Farmers Coalition: COVID-19 Assets for Farmers>

Free Vary Flowers on Fb>

Free Vary Flowers on Instagram>

Free Vary Love (Weddings)>

Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers — photographed within the doorway of her store on Seattle’s Phinney Ridge

Subsequent up, my go to to Terra Bella Flowers and a sit-down with Melissa Feveyear. The event for our dialog was to debate the attractive floral couture gown Melissa designed for the Fleurs de Villes >show, held in Seattle February 26-March 1 on the Northwest Flower & Backyard Pageant> and at Seattle’s Pacific Place>.

Persephone, Melissa’s all-domestic-adorned creation for Fleurs de Villes on the Northwest Flower & Backyard Pageant

Greater than a dozen Gradual Flowers designers and groups participated as Fleurs de Villes artists to create floral couture that adorned lifesize mannequins. Melissa designed a legendary garment for our Gradual Flowers-sponsored model that includes all native and home botanicals and I need to share extra about that undertaking, in addition to hear Melissa’s replace on her retail floral enterprise.

Right here’s Melissa’s artist assertion about
her Fleurs de Villes design:

Persephone, Goddess of Spring, emerges from the underworld and with every step, backyard roses, blooming branches and spring blooms awaken and burst right into a vibrant show of coloration. Impressed by Artwork Nouveau painter Alphonese Mucha, our Persephone is adorned solely with American-grown blooms and botanicals.

Terra Bella founder and inventive director Melissa Feveyear is a founding member of the Gradual Flowers Motion, a marketing campaign designed to encourage the floral trade and its customers to embrace native, seasonal and sustainable flowers.

Learn extra about Terra Bella and Melissa’s story right here

Terra Bella Flowers

We sat collectively in two velvet-upholstered classic chairs and recorded this interview on March 11th. My, a lot has occurred within the two weeks since. I hope you discover the identical inspiration as I’ve from this intrepid and intentional artist.

I do know you’ll be impressed by this stunning, light-filled store the place vegetation flourish in a conservatory-like environment and the perfume of flowers greets those that enter

I don’t know what the
future holds, however I do know that the silver lining of the enforced quarrantine
in world a minimum of has led to walks on the seashore at Saltwater State Park and my
lastly ending my rose pruning and fertilizing undertaking. Or vegetation, seeds and
bulbs are oblivious to the insanity and for that I take consolation. I ship
blessings and a want you could be grounded on this time.

Thank You to Our Sponsors:

First, this podcast is dropped at you by>, the free, nationwide on-line listing to florists, retailers, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that develop these blooms.  It’s the aware selection for getting and sending flowers.

Florists’ Assessment> journal. I’m delighted to function Contributing Editor for Gradual Flowers Journal, discovered within the pages of Florists’ Assessment. It’s the main commerce journal within the floral trade and the one impartial periodical for the retail, wholesale and provider market. Benefit from the particular subscription provide for members of the Gradual Flowers Group>.

Affiliation of Specialty Reduce Flower Growers. Shaped in 1988, ASCFG was created to teach, unite, and help business minimize flower growers. It mission is to assist growers produce high-quality floral materials, and to foster and promote the native availability of that product. Study extra at>.

Longfield Gardens, which offers dwelling gardeners with prime quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their on-line retailer presents vegetation for each area and each season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Take a look at the complete catalog at Longfield Gardens at>.

FarmersWeb software program makes it easy for flower farms to streamline working with their consumers. By lessening the executive load and growing effectivity, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, scale back errors, and work with extra consumers general. Study extra at>.

Minnesota-grown roses from Len Busch Roses — featured on the Gradual Flowers Summit 2019

The fourth annual Gradual Flowers Summit> takes place in late June, however I need to make just a few feedback for these of you who’ve registered or who’re planning on doing so. I need to handle considerations relating to COVID-19 and coronavirus, considerations which can be affecting all of us in our day by day lives.

assured we’re working in partnership with the Summit venue, Filoli, to observe the
choices accessible to reschedule the Summit. We’ll have an announcement on these
plans quickly, and I’m as keen as you’re to expertise a superb convention
that’s offered in a secure atmosphere.

You may contact us anytime with questions:

Debra Prinzing>

Karen Thornton>

You may also comply with the Filoli VISIT Web page> and Gradual Flowers Summit Web page> for extra updates.

Be a part of me! Gradual Flowers Podcast (c) Missy Palacol Images

The Gradual Flowers Podcast has been downloaded greater than 590,000 instances by listeners such as you. Thanks for listening, commenting and sharing – it means a lot.

As our motion features extra supporters and extra passionate members who consider within the significance of the American minimize flower trade, the momentum is contagious. I do know you are feeling it, too. I worth your help and invite you to indicate your thanks and with a donation to help my ongoing advocacy, training and outreach actions. You’ll find the donate button> within the column to the proper.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Gradual Flowers Podcast. Subsequent week, you’re invited to hitch me in placing extra American grown flowers on the desk, one vase at a time. And When you like what you hear, please contemplate logging onto iTunes and posting a listener overview.>

The content material and opinions expressed listed here are both mine alone or these of my visitors alone, impartial of any podcast sponsor or different particular person, firm or group.

The Gradual Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Study extra about his work at>

Music Credit:

One Little Triumph; Heartland Flyer; Gaena
by Blue Dot Classes>

Pretty by Tryad>>

In The Area>

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