Episode 426: Ponderosa & Thymes Katie Davis; plus, our state focus: Tennessee


Hello again and welcome back to the slow flowers. podcasts Deborah Printing episode four hundred and twenty. Six this is the weekly podcast about American flowers and the people who grow and assigned with them. It's all about making a conscious choice and I invite you to join the conversation and the creative community as we discuss the vital topics of saving our domestic flower farms and supporting a floral industry. That relies on a safe seasonal and local supply of flowers and foliage. This podcast is brought to you by slow. FLOWERS DOT com the free nationwide on my directory. To florus shops is studios who designed with American grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It's it's the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers and thank you to our lead sponsor Flores Review magazine. I'm delighted to serve as contributing editor for slow flowers. Journal found in the pages of Florus Review. It's the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail. Tell Wholesale and supplier market take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the slow flowers community at Deborah printing dot com where you can also also find the show notes for today's episode four hundred and Twenty Six and now through the end of the year you can take part in the buy one give one subscription program and I'll have a special link to that to our first sponsor thanks goes to farmers Web Farmers Web software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. Here's by lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency farmers web helps your farm save time reduce errors and work with more buyers overall. Tom Learn more at farmers web dot com. Today we're continuing our theme for two thousand Nineteen Fifty states of slow flowers with Laura. The big be fought of Whites Creek. Flower Farm in Whites Creek Tennessee. Listen for my conversation with Laura in the second portion of this episode but I I I'm delighted to introduce you to Katy Davis of Ponderosa and time. Katie and I first met in the spring of two thousand fourteen while attending a little flower school workshop. At shriners Iris Gardens in Salem Oregon I was there to produce an article about the class for Country Gardens magazine and Katie. A hometown Gal was one of the many talented designers attended a few years. Later would may ash wholesale florist plan. It's Portland Oregon Branch Grand Opening Katie. And and I were invited to present designed demonstrations during the party. It was such a thrill to share that experience with her for me. Gave me a new appreciation for Katie's artistry extre- and affinity for designing with color texture and nature as her Muse Ponderosa and time. Join slow flowers in two thousand eighteen and I've been wanting to interview Katie and share her amazing story with you ever since as I stay in our conversation it's silly that Katie and I live in adjacent states and yet have waited this long to record our episode. Let's blame the slaps in part to our mutual busy travel schedules. Katie has been a nomadic floral design educator for the past several ears and well you know I'm always on the road myself to be fair though. She's not a nomad but an artist whose desire is to develop and lead experiences and opportunities opportunities centered around creativity. Authenticity and personal growth florist is the artistic medium. Katie uses to facilitate these experiences. This Katie is known for nurturing supportive and inspiring learning environments that are immersive intimate beautiful warm she values environments where people can be truly early present and connect honestly with themselves and others in their pursuit of artistic expression and a sustainable life. Katy Davis is an internationally acclaimed named florist based in Salem Oregon the heart of the Willamette valley since founding Ponderosa and time in two thousand eleven Katie has become known for her textual designs lines inspired by nature. Her floral designs use the most luxurious and beautiful flowers available while incorporating locally foraged unique and sensory plants into into each arrangement the result is a visually breathtaking experience. Katie's design aesthetic could be best described as playful romantic irby and fragrant in addition to creating florals for intimate weddings. Katie and her team host incredible workshops worldwide for floors and other creatives to explore the Arctic. Arta Floral Design Ponderosa and time continues to offer wedding and event services specializing in intimate and heartfelt experiences with a heart for education. Katie has been teaching floral design since two thousand fourteen serving clients across the globe. Flowers are a language of their own while teaching English. Katie is able to cross cultures offers with her thoughtful and emotional approach just as comfortable teaching the basics as she is pushing experienced professionals to expand their creative boundaries. Katie loves to help people. People grow discover and connect the Ponderosa Workshop Retreats Have Taken Katie to Italy Scotland France. Australia and New York. She's also been invited. Vital to teach in Korea Mexico and across the US with the advent of twenty twenty the ponderosa classroom in Salem Oregon is gearing up for a full series of workshops including one day and two day intensive sessions that focus on specific skills techniques and designs to facilitate artistic expression in floral design. Inner Dr Conversation. You'll hear Katy discuss decision in two thousand eighteen to lease a brick and mortar location in her beautiful hometown. I'm thrilled to share our chat with you and I invite Vite you to visit. Today's show notes for Episode Four Hundred Twenty Six at tepper prison dot com to see images of Katie her workshops her new classroom space and her floral art. We'll also share links to her social places so you can find and follow Condor Osa and time. Let's get started Welcome back to the slow flowers. PODCAST with Deborah Printing. And I'm so delighted today to have someone on as a guest who have been trying to link up with for a long time. Welcome Katy Davis of Ponderosa and time. Hi I'm so thrilled to be here. Finally with you has been a long time coming. I know it's pathetic that were once stayed away from each other but it's very difficult not to connect so Thanks for saying. I'm so glad I've something I've been wanting to do Thanks for happy. You bet well Katie and I met originally really I think about four years ago maybe at a workshop at shriners irises right totally. Yep I forgot that's where we first met our no true you and it was a wonderful little flower school workshop and then we teamed up. Did a little demo together which I feel so embarrassed that I was sharing the stage to automate Yash. Were vent all my word. I had this. I had a similar feeling about you know like I was feeling like I'm sitting standing next to greatness at me. I felt totally out of my league designing next year. It was really an honor. Oh usually a the moment that I look much affection and feeling like I was growing up the designing Thank you that's released at least kind of you. It was really a fun. Event and I've I've followed. I followed your amazing career and with just complete of awe. Aw and I'm so happy that you joined slow flowers. I know you are an advocate for sourcing locally and seasonally when you can and you're you're based in Salem Oregon right yeah yes I am. I have a classroom in downtown. Salem and the historic area building is Mac DAB right there exa capital beautiful. I love that and you are kind of in the you know the the part of Oregon that is agriculturally rich with with farms and yet wineries but also flower firms. So let's start by. Just I'd like to ask you to just give us a snapshot of Ponderosa and time as it looks today and then we'll we'll backed up a little bit in a while and get the get your journey. How do you describe Ponderosa Time Today? I like that Right now okay right now I'm sitting in my In my classroom and right now it's empty so it's a little equity but when there's the people in here it's a really warm and beautiful We've got windows. That are that. Wrap the side of the building that we're on and so we just have incredible Window Light Let's face Light airy beautiful we have natural wood floors that have been you know not restored restored but kind of lovingly. They're very distressed and we just we just made them. We lead into that so there are these beautiful distressed floors. There's and we're just feel really lucky to be in a in a historic part of Salem And really right down in the middle of where everything is happening in Salem. So Yeah I feel like I I kinda lucked out with the space that we have And and we teach classes and here is it's my dream. It was always my dream to have a place to teach I never imagined that it would be in my hometown. I kinda thought it would take me. You know going somewhere else. And so when the space became available in my in my home town the place that I grew up You know and it seemed like the city. He was ready for what we're doing so we just leaned in to see and it's and it's been really successful. It's been really wonderful. Teach classes you know. People come in from all over the world to learn about about flowers and experience the beauty of the Willamette valley and I feel really honored to be able to be apart right in the middle of it. All all right in the middle of all this amazing agricultural amazing flowers Yeah it's really special and I feel like I get to introduce these people to it. I love you know and I used to take it for granted where we live but really everything grows hair. It's really incredible. And I know it's not normal to to be surrounded by amazing so I thought well let's make Salema destination for Florida's. Let's make it a place where people want to come and learn about this incredible environment. Then you know neat then you open to kind of our goal. Yeah and you open the classroom within the last year right. Yes Ah we've been in our face now sending year in October. Oh Wow okay well happy other exactly. Yeah and a roughly. How big is it in square footage twice? Oh Gosh I'm horrible at square footage We like to have classes of eight people. Definitely perfect call people at our classes and everybody has a table so you know not set up and it's cozy but it's not too tight and you know that's that's about the size I right listen. Katie share some photos. And we'll put them on the show notes for today's episode. Then people can see it. Okay I'll never and just being being a pacific North Westerner. I have to say Salem Elim if for anyone who's listening in does not know where Salem is. It's just a very short less than one hour. Drive from Portland Oregon International Airport. So you really are in Anna like a relatively accessible hub from major airport really really close. Yeah so in addition to your classes classes that people can go take account. Come to Salem and take with you. You have a really active online presence. icy you go live almost every day with some very spontaneous. I don't think it's scripted. It's just you going live on. Meteorite that true. Yes so how did how did how did that. Become part of your brand so it was a natural sort of need of that. I saw I. I experimented with instagram. Live almost as soon as it came out and I thought you know this seems like something that will help people to be able to understand who I camas human and not just Beautiful photos on a screen and so It was really important to me. Is The people connected with me as a as a person and not just a brand um from the beginning and so as soon as you know that tool became accessible for me I realized that that was something that I could use to really help people. We'll get to know me and be able to reach the people that I want to reach and it and it really has done that for me. I it's not scripted. I usually don't plan it very well. And sometimes that shows shows You know but I do have a really amazing group of people that I get to connect with online on instagram daily. And it's it's it's pretty special. Wow and Katie I. I'm just curious about your personality. Do you consider yourself an extrovert or like how do you. It's your you just seem so natural and yet. I don't think you're extremely I don't know I don't think you're somebody who brags about herself or who has to kind of be the in the spotlight. It's more authentic and kind of personal the way you approach communication. I really appreciate those words because I it's weird to say those words that yourself but it's nice to hear them I you know I don't. I don't consider myself an an extrovert. I technically when I took the test X. number introverted I actually showed up as an ambivert. Which is somebody who's right in the middle middle of extroverted and introverted technically? I'm a little bit more. Introverted than extroverted but indifference can be great performers and they're good on a stage And so even though. I leaned toward the introverted side. I do you need a lot of alone time to recharge. I also love being with people I need to be with the people. I love people why I do what I do. people are my passion and Yeah I'm passionate about people but I need a lot at low time to recharge so got. I've got to figure that that one out yet that falls under balance right so Italy. Yeah totally while I like it. It's really fun and it's also I it's unexpected like if I'm on if I'm scrolling through instagram and you up I just jump in for a little bit but it's not like it's not like you're scheduled super scheduled like nine. AM every day okay. Now that's fun. No that's not my personality. I wish I was. I wish I the more scheduled person but no are you. Are you not good at that. But that's okay I think we all I like the spontaneity of it seems to be authentic as as well like I kind of wanted you to comment a little bit on. What do you want to share with people? Are you in almost always in your studio or on location somewhere or or are you shopping for flowers. What all of the above? Yeah I mean I I try to just take people behind the scenes to moments that I find find really beautiful That's usually when I'll go behind the scenes for stuff is like usually when I'm experiencing something just really really beautiful and I think you know this might really encourage somebody or this might really Really speak to a large group of people on instagram right now. I just want to share this with them and I don't do that. was everything like yesterday I was experiencing sending really really beautiful at my house and I thought Oh gosh maybe I should go live and I thought no no no. I'M GONNA stay president here with my fam- right now. So I don't I don't go live all the time But there are moments that I feel like our special share with people. A Lotta Times like if we're doing a photo shoot for workshop or something and I think Oh this is really beautiful and I feel like I've been present enough then I'll I'll do something like uncle life maybe in those was in but The other reason is usually just because I have an idea Then I wanNA share with the group and I just WanNa try something something out and I want to share it with them maybe the process of it Or I feel like I have kind of a message for our community that I wanNA share message of connection action or hope usually It just kinda depends on a lot of times. I feel like sharing that message through the medium of flowers whether I'm doing a far meditation meditation or doing a tutorial is a great way to kind of reach people heart I feel like you know the social media world is really full of a lot out of comparison and a lot of anxiety and I kind of just WanNa be a moment of peace in the middle of it all. That's my hope. When you get online that people could interact with my feet per minute and they'd walk away feeling better about themselves afterward? I love that well the Ponderosa in time time business name has a story. I'm sure and I'm curious in a war. When when did you start the business and what was your original? Maybe you original version of ponderous. Rousson time I know it's evolved to hear about that it totally has PADRAS and time started seven seven years ago. I think. Gosh I'm really bad at my time. I but Before that I was Katy Davis flowers and events. I used to coordinate weddings and events and do the flowers for them I'm really good at coordinating weddings. I realized pretty soon that you know I really wanted to coordinate. My own events They turn that energy. So you know of doing things for other people and turned it into energy for my business and I started. Coordinating my own. workshops and retreats and stuff like that and started focusing more on flowers instead of that work Like coordinating stuff Realizing that I needed to put my energy into one thing and I was definitely more passionate about the flower process so I just focused on flowers and got better at them and really you know I've been doing it. I've been where I worked in a flower shop when I was sixteen I've been doing flower sense. I'm thirty you who got Sheldon I. I'm thirty seven to two thirds of your life. Yeah two thirds of your life doing this. Wow Yep it's my my passion it's my life feels like a like a another win on my body you know Yeah so I feel like it's always been there but I think you know when I decided to make the leap from you know trying to do everything to really focusing in on flowers and and perfecting my art form around that I really fell in love with it with artistry of it And and I'm a natural teacher. I've also had teaching jobs throughout my life and different aspects And I started wondering if you know maybe the things that I learned in the past teaching different kinds of things maybe that would you know translate into flowers and so I tried it out in my front living room for Christmas centerpiece class and You know the rest is history discovered that I love teaching flowers as much as I love teaching other things things and that was really good at it and so that was pretty early on in honor of time I knew that I was going to teach probably within the first year or and a half Yeah so I was. I've been duly my business to get to a point where I could just teach. Because that's that is my passion. I love flowers I consider forestry my art form But teaching is my passion. Wow so when you talk about teaching through Ponderosa and time have pre sounds like pretty early on you. Stop pursuing wedding bookings for four weddings. Yes I took a lot of weddings. You know for the income for sure but there was also an element of it that I really wanted to learn as much as I could so that I can have the conversations about weddings. You know with people that are doing them. I wanted to be able to teach out of a place of knowing So I still take events and weddings. I learn a lot from them every I am. I do them so I always have something to talk about This last year though I only took I think three three events right right but your that I really respect that because there is that that that added those who can't teach or some stupid thing like that and you're you're you're defying defying and. It's usually about academics. Not Not Florida. But you're right here though. Yeah your your current enough in knowing that demands of wedding forestry but when you do teach those questions inevitably come up from your students. You're able to give them real life advice from from your experience and I worked in the wedding industry doing wedding for three years. Yeah I mean I I know it in. I know the industry in-and-out out I I. I decided pretty pretty soon into my career that I didn't think I wanNA big weddings You Know I. I had the opportunity to work on a few really really large weddings with large budgets. And I realized that world isn't for me. There's there's a lot of reasons why which is really big conversations but for me. Big Weddings are are not the kind of celebration that I that I would normally want to take on. And so that meant that my the budget for in general going to be a lot smaller And that's primarily. The world that I know is smaller wedding budget industry because I chose like I said pretty early on to not really try to pursue really really big event. But that's hard you know to to not do big events. You I mean your budget's going to be you know you're the budgets that you're working with are going to be a lot smaller which means you're gonNA have to do a lot more and for me. I knew that doing weddings wasn't my passion and so I had to pretty quickly make the decision to just dive into teaching. If I wasn't GonNa do for weddings and a weekend we'll from met first workshop in your living room. Teaching Christmas Design A to international teaching workshops shop slash retreats. I feel like they're really experiences that you're leading How did that I mean what was the first big FREAKING scary. We risk. You took to put one of those. Those destination workshops together well. I think that you use the term perfectly freaking scary. That's exactly what it was and I don't recommend to anyone do what we did You know we. We put our personal finances on the line for that workshop shop We we Faith or rented a space that was incredible very expensive All all of the Richard Star because the locations. Go to our incredible. And that's part of it but you know the very first one. I had only done one. Retreat leap before I did it as a test. Run to make sure I could to pull one off and afterwards I knew. Oh Yeah. I've got this this is going to be great And I I was in Ireland Kind of Last minute ship to Ireland. I'd never actually gone on a solo trip before I'd never been to Europe and I got asked to do flowers or a Sotogrande workshops in Ireland and I got my plane tickets a long story but the plane ticket or the plane ticket and my passport came. You know the day before I had to get on a plane I've been raised by the seat of my pants sense Ireland was definitely a whirlwind trip for me. I learned a lot about sourcing. Flowers and other places It was a it was a trial by fire but I but I made it in on that trip. I met the people who introduced me to the idea of even taking a workshop to England I met Sarah from wedding sparrow and she helped me and connected me with some people And the next April I think that was is in July and the next April. I had my first workshop in England and it was it was a magical experience. Definitely the biggest financial risk I've ever taken for my business or myself personally And it was definitely scary. We didn't know if we'd sell the tickets it. It was a huge risk but I believed in in the what I felt like it was the calling is a teacher. I believe that I might. People are all over the world and I needed to go to them Because I knew that if I just started something here in Salem they might not find me but if I went to England. It's pretty central and sure enough. You know we had twelve all students from eight different countries And it was humbling. I mean I cried every night when I went to bed so I was so overwhelmed by it And I still feel that way. Every time I teach a retreat and it sells and people come I you know I just cry when a workshop south out. 'cause I can't believe it GonNa Lucky And I'm crying on the phone. I know I'M GONNA tear up to. I mean it's just it's there's nothing better than doing what you love love and knowing that you're enriching the lives of others and that's what teaching in its purest. Form is true so in a in addition to England Ireland whether countries have you led workshops in Oh man well actually haven't led a workshop in Ireland. Oh Me Oh okay. Yeah but that was my first trip. My first trip to Europe was I was doing flowers for workshop right. Okay Yeah but We Ireland's come in. I'm hoping for it. We've done workshops in England. We've done them Spain We were in Italy you this year and last year We've been in France twice Gosh I'm trying to think of anywhere else we've been I have taught ought in Mexico. I didn't leave the workshop there but I got I was. I got to do some guest teaching there that Super Special and I know I'm cricketing Oh Okay I put on the spot with that well and then in addition to teaching Kind of closer to home. And which is you've done workshops shops similar to your international ones in Oregon. Haven't you yeah. I'll tell ya one in Oregon. We've done we've done some On on on the East Coast as well in the south Just kind of we've kind of spread out and I've done a lot of guests teaching to Sometimes they kind of overlap so it just it just sorta depends on you know a lot of times. They'll come in as a guest teacher for like a multi teacher conference always really really fun kind of like Lower Stockley. We're talking about right right so tell me if if someone was ask you your aesthetic. How would you describe it? I mean it's I don't Wanna I know what I would think but I want to hear what you have to so I'm like I want to know what you think I don't know I always think of it as being fragrant and Irby and textural I love lots of textures. I don't know I always think about the way it smells when I look at my mother's so what I want you to sign that Pantai Bouquet When we were doing that may ship and a couple of years ago? Oh Yeah I just was enthralled by the anonymous minimalist minimalists at all. You are but Lou. But you're able to take what might to some seem like a complete. You know ECLECTIC pile. Hi of flowers and integrate them by using balance in line and color and form repetition and color echoes goes and all all the things that artists would do on a pallet on canvas. The whole the end result is so surprising. In extreme compared to the you know the starting point of just a bunch of stems on the table it was lovely to walk. Oh that's fun. Thank you and your so well obviously inspired by the material. The the stems the botanical As you're you know kind of your Muse when you probably it does sign. It's it's fair doesn't strike me as something. That's very recipe driven. No I do create recipes. You know if I have have a have an event or something create a recipe first centerpieces for instance or whatever. But if I'm if I had the opportunity to just create something on one off that's always the best. I love that Super Fun and I'm definitely driven by what is in the bucket in front of me. I think that's life for me. Working with local flowers is the best thing ever. Because you're just never going to get you know these perfect dabs. They're always going to have special movement Dan toward different kinds of coloring. That you would not normally see and so I find you. Know any kind of abnormality that or different kinds of shapes. That's something Eh for me is absolutely going to dictate the shape that I read in the end. Well your mentioning local flowers. And we've kind of alluded to the fact that you live in in a region where there are a lot of great power farmers. I remember seeing you at the Pacific Northwest Cut. Flower growers meet up a couple years ago. And I my first reaction was what is she doing now is is there going to be a ponderous and time farm. I mean were you. Are you growing at all. Or was that more for education I'm fascinated by growing. I'm not great at growing yes I have a property at a beautiful new property that I It's a blank canvas and I'm I'M GONNA attempt to make a garden in it Awesome really excited about it. So I'm learning a lot about soil right now. That's my big focus is learning about slow because that's obviously foundational And then I'm hoping to just get my soil to a really good spot this next year and then hopefully put some flowers in this spray. We'll not oh my goodness that is exciting. Well you're highly aware of The flowers in your region and we talked. I'd love to talk a little bit about your so sourcing practices I I also interested in The challenges that you faced when you do teach internationally because obviously you just fly in and you have have to make things happen long distance before you get there. There are two different completely different Game plans whether you're doing something in your own backyard in your hometown. Yeah Oh yeah totally. I mean that's part of what we're super excited about this next year. We're doing a lot more at home. And and part of what. I'm I'm really excited about out of the very you know besides just being near home that's GonNa be great but also we're going to be able to use local flowers like for almost every every single class we do And that for me is is really really wonderful I can call you know five or six people people that I live within twenty or thirty minutes of me and I have buckets the local flowers within a few hours. If I need them I either have to go pick them up or sometimes sometimes they drop them off but I mean I just I have everything I need really really close to me. And that's it's not. That isn't like a normal situation and So I feel really lucky for that but I you know when I'm traveling. It's a completely different thing. I have to plan way in advance and if I try to use is local flowers Honestly every single trip I've taken and tried to depend on local hours. It's been something that's happened where You know whether happened or season happened and the flowers that I was expecting weren't there weren't available and it's happened so many times times now that I've primarily have to depend on flowers that are that are not local and harder for me. It's just a hard you know. It's just a reality As you know and I do source ethically as much as I. Can you know do the research that can I work with companies that I know are ethically but I ask a lot of questions questions I you know if I'm going to try to go to places that I know I can get some local flowers like when I'm going to London for instance I know so When I go to flower market there growers there are there are wholesalers? They bring in lots and lots of local. So I asked that okay. Point me in the direction When I go to places that are a little bit more remote where we have to have stuff shipped in you know? Luckily there are companies that can work with that will ship mayflower sure Sure figured great. Yeah when I need it but it does. It does have a different aesthetic. It seems In some cases I'm sure you can make gorgeous stuff with all imported flowers. It's it's just a slightly different. Look than wouldn't you've got some wacky crooked stem Kim that you're grooving on. Yeah but that's really interesting and I think it's I'm impressed that you are Decision to open your classroom in Salem and perhaps have more Training and teaching in that region is because the availability. Well probably for a lot of reasons. Because you don't have to travel as much but but also the availability of resources that you can use for your workshops ups from local farms. This really cool. Well I just I feel like it's a responsibility thing and a lot of ways like me really leading into what I have here and being thankful for it a and saying hey tom experiencing experience the abundance what we have come experience. This like people shouldn't should be able to experience this you know and sometime in their lifetime because it's beautiful if they don't have it in their backyard problems come to a place where it exists you know and see it the And learn about it because I think the limit values a really great place to learn about About well the kinds of flowers that can grow together. I'm always surprised what I see right right and you know the thing that you mentioned them. We'll we'll valley. I have to say it's pretty temperate and in terms of the climate being temperate. So you probably can go almost to Thanksgiving and start up again. Maybe march or April. It's a little bit winters shorter. It seems yeah and not as a fierce. It's pretty mild usually watch now. This will be the worst winter ever on record or knock on wood. Yeah Yeah I mean we have similar climates here so you have winter pal. Your your Winter Palette though is more muted and more quiet and but I think you design beautiful items with that absolutely absolutely. Well I'm just excited to see what happens to your with your school. Can you talk a little bit about what you have coming up in the in the twenty twenty season. I mean we're almost choosers. Well three-quarters yeah Yeah I ah. We're announcing our dates this weekend. So I guess by the time this airs they'll still have just been announced And we are yeah. We're are releasing winter date soon and I am hoping that they sell out quickly. I'm that's always the hope isn't it but yeah We're GONNA efficiency doing after classes. It's here in the classroom Here in Salem and I'm not going to be doing any international retreats next year because I really want to focus on building building this classroom and making it making it everything I want it to be They don't already is what I want. But it's really you know. Having more people in Harris the more people we have in here at home I feel so yeah. That's our goal is less wonderful classroom and we'll have lots of masterclasses is that we're teaching out of this space Most of them will be one or two days so people can kind of you know take a class and then get back to their normal life. it won't be as much of a retreat setting. I don't know I think for me. Taking a break from the chiefs is important Just because I have to. I'm going to be focusing. Hang on like I said creating this atmosphere here in Salem and also I'm starting a book so I'm going to start writing that this year. Oh my gosh. That is so exciting. I can't believe that are you What can you tell us about it? Will it be designed book or that's a good question it well it's it's in cross us so It will be about color. I believe that going to be about color. Lovely and obviously flowers will be a part of it. Yeah I guess you will be in creating all the visuals for the book and design spy you will be featured in it you. Well that will have to put. Okay I tell you what Katie when the book comes out. We'll do another. We'll do another conversation. That sound bud and then you also are continuing you in your online presence with education there right. Yeah Yep it's really important to me to stay active in Instagram So I will continue. Did you do the live videos. But we've also launched a live video platform I'm kind of calling it the net flicks for Flores Because that's essentially how it's operating I'm Developing videos every month and releasing them on there and then People can access them anytime. I'm an growing library of the to`real and meditation they do far meditations at how to's and conversations and and I don't know it's really good resource Really proud of it and we're GONNA be working really really hard this next coming year to really grow grow that that presence Grow that community. Because it's it's pretty beautiful already any proud of it and people can access that at your website right. Yeah they can't and find out info on my website. Gosh this is really nice. Thanks for letting me take time to talk about that yet. I want to ask you just before we wrap up describe. What a flower meditation Asian is? I'm so intrigued. Son's yeah well you know I am not a person that can just sort of sit and try to think. Think about nothing I that has never worked for me So when or to think about to empty my mind like that's not something that works for me. So every because I'm an imitation practice I find my my mind wandering and not able to payment down but what I discovered with working with powers is that when I'm working with lower my mind is empty of everything else Usually usually the kind of intense thoughts intense feelings that I've been experiencing throughout the they kind of go away or go out as I'm processing to my to my hours or even the good feelings that I'm having I call is that when I'm designing with flowers more than any other time and so I was doing it. Just as a kind of a natural practice for myself and recognizing. This is my way way of meditating. This is how I do it and I always come out of those sessions just invigorated and with answers and feeling like I process this information really well and so then I started doing them without telling anybody what it was on instagram. Live and people responses does too. It was just huge. People loved that And they were really like. They were getting similar experiences that I was getting. That's wonderful. Yeah Yeah so then. I just decided that something. I'm GONNA continue do on it but it's nice when it could be somewhere permanent tooth so that the part of online line crosser that we've added. I think you've put a name or description to something that is so universal and that many people have as you said experience whether they're you're in nature or gardening or signing with flowers. I know I've had that same experience myself. When I worked on the slow flowers book it was literally the only time time every week that I was away from electronics and quiet by myself and I just got a little shiver listening to you? Because I know that feeling you're describing I and I'm so glad you're making it accessible and available to people who are seeking a way to kind of connect better with themselves and their feeling ailing so sounds beautiful. Yeah we we all do have access to it you know. I think we all know where that that space of creativity exists and when we can access that just for ourselves as flowers of the medium. It's especially good But I you know I think that for me. That's part part of what I feel like. I'm called to do is help people to be able to connect with himself and their creative voice and for me far meditation or that idea of creating and feed of prophecy. You know that that for me is the way that I get there I it differs for everybody but find that space is really. It's really powerful. It's really beautiful and definitely my passions interview people that IBS. I love it. Wow okay this has been such a fun conversation. Thank you so much for for making the time in your schedule and just bringing me up to speed on all the amazing racing things that you're involved in and of it a lot. Well we'll you. Oh I I'm so grateful to and I'm serious about when the book comes out. We'll have a part of this conversation. How does that? That'd be amazing I'd love it Thanks again Katie. This has been a beautiful moment in my day. And I'm so glad we can share the listeners. It's great to talk to you Catholic. Take your Thank you so much for joining my conversation today with Katy Davis of Ponderosa and time time my heart is filled with admiration and affection for Katy. And I'm delighted. You joined us be sure to check out the ponderosa classroom online. A new project that Katy created as a response to requests for affordably priced in depth online education monthly floral meditations to inspire your creativity recipes for arrangements Prince Information and online discussions on relevant business and creative topics access to music playlists access to full length. Instagram live video replays from Ponderosa and time high quality content accessible twenty four seven connection and community with like hearted. Flower France and more monthly memberships are just ninety ninety nine per month. Annual memberships are only ninety nine dollars. US per year. You can find more details in our links in today's show notes at Deborah for Printing Dot Com our next sponsored thank you goes to syndicate sales an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American flag icon to find syndicates. USA Made Products and showing the Syndicate Stars Loyalty Program at Let's syndicates. SALES DOT COM. Now let's visit. Laura biggby fought of whites creek flower farm as part of our Tennessee spotlight in two two thousand and nineteen fifty states of slow for our series established on earth. Day In two thousand twelve whites creek. Flower farm is an artisanal permaculture. Flower our farm. Just outside of Nashville Tennessee whites creek is a stork rural area. And you'll hear Laura describe how beautiful it is there. Her flowers lovingly lovingly grown and organically managed. She grows many unusual varieties specializing in an English country. Garden Aesthetic Laura's bouquets are elegant and imbued with with a sense of whimsy and they are raised with profound respect for the ecosystem of which they are apart. Let's be Laura AM So excited today to be visiting the State of Tennessee as part of our fifty states of slow flowers series this this year. And I'm delighted to introduce Laura big be fought of whites creek flower farm. Hi Laura Hi Deborah. Thanks for jumping on the line with me. Happy to do it. Actually we've never met in person but we've been pen pals for awhile. Well give give me a snapshot of where you're located and a little bit about whites creek flower farm because you're more than a farm. You're also floral design studio right right. uh-huh we are in a little municipality In Davidson County Tennessee That is actually called Whites Creek. It's quite historic. It was settled back in early. Seventeen hundred And but we are within the Nashville city limits. So we're this wonderful little the rural pocket Just northwest of Nashville. In fact we're twenty minutes from downtown. That's great for you because that's probably a lot of your customers are yes they absolutely are. Yes so it's it's perfect. It's a wonderful location. What kind of acreage do have we personally own? Three and a half acres But I also grow. I'm very fortunate that my next door neighbor is a gardner. At our local Botanic Gardens teakwood gardens and she she has a big wonderful backfield about two acres that she also lets me grow on. She's just thrilled to have flowers. Grown back there and So far has not allowed me to pay her rent. It's it's been a wonderful setup and it's completely it's it's adjacent to my high tunnel so it's it's great that's crazy. I mean it's think that you have that much. Access to land in. Basically the shadows of an urban market is a dream. That's wonderful so give us a sense of what you're growing Laura And you mentioned a high tunnel so you're doing field grown as well as undercover yes. Yes in the high tunnel. I'm growing tweedy a- and and Snap Dragons Louisiana this renunciation CALOS have a row of Eucalyptus down the center. Thanks Dave dowling. That's what he recommends what I've done I'm going to grow some both perennial and Annual sweet peas in there as well so So that's all the high tunnel I look for unusual varieties of things to grow Because I'm kind of a plant NERD. Hudson Great Yeah I do I do a lot of Do a lot of unusual perennials and things and I start so far. I've I started everything from seed except the bulbs informs I bring those in but everything else I I start from because that's just such a magical process for me. What is your season? I know Tennessee. I mean it's technically the south. I don't know what your zone is. But it seems like you maybe have a longer growing period than people mighty my suspect. Yeah we're considered mid south here. We're not the deep south right we're mid south and We get crazy easy wild swings in temperature so we can be below zero in winter but we can be over a hundred in the summer so We're in zone seven. Kevin Sound seven a and Yeah we have for farmers who do row crops. We have three growing three. You can get three planting I and the season so it's pretty long starting with the like hell wars and tulips undercover and things like that February we we can start having things in February and then we also undercover. We can have Mums and Dallas and and even some flowers late into November. Wow so you're still. We're here talking on actually on Halloween. And you're still you're still running around harvesting it. Sounds he's like yes. We'll take absolutely I've got MOMS and Since sunflowers and not a whole lot else right now and I will have until tonight because my values are in the field so tonight we're supposed to get a heart brost so they will be. They will be gone tomorrow Well thanks for taking a pause to talk with me. I really wanted to get you into our our a rotation and next week is Tennessee so aubrey so who are you selling to. And how do you sell I. I'm really curious knowing your proximity to Nashville. That you're you're you're probably have a lot of different channels. Yes yes there are quite a few different channels. I started out selling to Selling to the public and farmers market and I just felt I'm a one woman show so I kind of felt like that. That was the best option for me. The and when I started my son was still An elementary school. So he's still pretty young and I didn't want to be on the road with a with a bucket route trying to go out several days a week because I wanted to be available to him so I did a Saturday morning market and that at at one point I was doing at once by myself. Oh my goodness yes other people's staffing the booth or how are you doing that now with me and my little son and my husband of course would help out in the boots you know he would help load and unload and shirt you know help with the tables and stuff like that but Yeah so that I WanNa say it got old really quick but I did love it because I'm an extrovert and I love love meeting the public and working with them but that quickly led to weddings because people would stop by my booth and they go. Oh this is just just what I want my wedding to look like. Do you do weddings. So I started doing wedding design and then that became so profitable that I finally had to let the markets go because because they were really keeping me from doing the weddings and the weddings. What were were what with really paying the bills? So the I've heard similar narratives tips from others in the Cell Towers Community who had that. That's stair step approach with initially at farmers markets and then that led to requests for a wedding design. Do you find the people. See your aesthetic and especially at the farmer's market. They don't really know what to call it. They think it's like a wildflower look which is clearly not but the air there's something that is capturing their Emotional connection to those flowers and I'm just wondering yeah look. How do you describe describe? Your aesthetic does a designer I typically call mine. I even have this verbiage on my website an an English country garden. Look that freshly gathered. It's like you just walked into an English country garden and although I grow an awful lot if natives but that that also really resonates with people especially here in Tennessee because a lot of A lot of our original Citizens since here Trace their ancestry back to England and the Scottish Isles show that really resonates with them to say English Country Garden freshly gathered third So I tend to use that although when people say wildflower They also they'll think about their grandmother's garden here. We are in the somewhat. Were World South and they think back to simpler time when their grandmothers had beautiful flowers and they could just walk out the back kitchen door and cut the flowers and put them on the table. And I think that's why it resonate so deeply with people instead of romance of the handpicked bouquet and fact that they know you. And you're the grower so love that Ryan so how. How long have you had whites creek flow or farming in what led to it? I'm just I don't think I know your story well Initially chilly I was a singer actor. Dancer both my husband and I were and lived in New York City. Just push pests us. The singer actor dancer isn't it considered a triple threat dance. He was the least of the three definitely a Singing actor Oh my goodness with forced to dance. Sometimes you performed in in In New York in the theater world I did did we. We neither one of us. We'd been there several years. And and we were both getting seen for Broadway shows but not getting booking them and I I have off Broadway away credits. And he sang at Carnegie Hall. And you know we we. We just weren't making that step up and we were in our mid thirties and We wanted to have a child so so we left New York and We had a child we moved to Orlando Afford and had a child and Are Wonderful Son Burton and then Various circumstances brought us to to Nashville. Okay and my hus-. My husband is now primarily filmmaker and animator. He still does some acting and voice work and puppet tearing he's he's really cool guy But my son had reached the age where you know. He was a lot more independent and I was like. Oh what am I going to do. It's now community theater didn't cut it for you now. You know I just know I. Yeah I was ready to move on and do something else. I was out planting roses and we had bought this property and we were just you know spending all this time mowing it. And what can we we do with this. Property is crazy and I my husband came out and I was planning roses and he said you look so happy. Why don't you do something like this? And I came inside and googled flower farmer. And that's how I found your book the fifty mile. Okay Oh my goodness wow history so that was probably around seven or eight years ago or let's see that book out two thousand twelve. Yeah Twenty Yeah Twenty Eleven two thousand twelve. Yeah right in there. Wow what a great story. I you know that. Thank you for sharing that. That's isn't that funny. What how did we ever learn anything before the Internet for one thing and look? What's happened for you? I mean I can't quite believe you're a one woman show with access to five acres curse of farming area. I mean that's intended. That's not five acres broken out. I have about a an acre broken out. Okay but the across five acres the large Garden but oh my gosh I had five acres. I just I'd never sleep. Yeah you'd have invaded Laura one of the things that I feel like since I met you and I I I remember reaching out to you when you first joined slow flowers just because I had a A an aunt in Nashville who wanted to send flowers to but of course it was January or something and it didn't work out but that's how we first connected connected personally and I remember thinking there weren't a lot of people doing what you're doing at the time in Nashville but look uh what the explosion of the local flower seen Including people who create yeah including people joining flowers in in Tennessee. I mean what what has happened. And and how. How have you witnessed? That sounds like people probably contact you when they google flower farms in Tennessee. And you pop up. Yeah they absolutely do. And I've really enjoyed. I wouldn't say mentoring but kind of meeting encouraging A lot of the young growers so any time some younger has contacted me and said Hey. Can I come look at your farm. Yup come on over because there. Is You know automate so many mistakes. You May as well learn well and under two floors contact to Erlich. How're you? How are you seeing being things? Change on the on the customer side with Flora's I don't do too much with floors I've had a few contact me But pretty pretty much all my flowers were going to. My design started just growing specifically for things that I like to design the design with So but I like talk about the collective here about our collection. Just share your news. Yeah this is exciting okay. Great we've got so many wonderful talented new growers and designers a ton of new designers. Oh and that was another revenue stream it is it while I didn't sell to Florida to brick and mortars I had a lot of designers who would come to me and it was really it. It was really a cool thing because we could share design tips. There was no like Rival rear like that. You know I mean if they got a Gig that was great because they could come by flowers. If I got a Gig you know. I'm sure they would like to have had it but you know they knew that I grew my own flowers. So it's been a really. It's a really nice community of designers and growers here so I did sell to To the designers contact me but now the demand has grown so much with all the designers and all the brick and mortar that Several growers in Middle Tennessee have banded together together and we formed a COUPLA collective while we can pool our resources and sell directly Both retail and wholesale sale. And so what what is it called. Tennessee cut flower collective. Okay Great. We'll we'll I'd like to try to get uh-huh more information on that to share with people but you currently have a website and a presence on social media and that okay good. We'll share those links than did this happen about. I remember you emailing emailing me about this when it first started within the last year right. Yeah well it I think it officially we're doing our grand opening Next next I in twenty twenty we had kind of a soft trial period. Soft opening This year and I must say it would not have happened. Happened at all if it hadn't been for misty moment from Twin rose farms down in Murfreesboro. Which is south of Nashville Right For several years Six or seven of US had kind of tried every year to get it going but all of us were pretty much one woman one woman show upright and missy and her husband are husband and wife team and in fact. There are three person team because Her brother-in-law is is also involved in the farm so she felt like she could pull away a little bit. She saw the necessity for having you know for selling collectively because we were buying hanging selling even from each other when we needed things for events and actually that was our first line of defense. We will grow to go to the growers. I I you know the local growers. If we didn't have it we go to the local growers and only as a very last resort. We contact a wholesaler but she saw that need and so she stepped away from the farm a little bit. Let her husband and brother-in-law kind of You know have more autonomy with the farm. I guess although she still the events coordinator and does all their business somehow she is an amazing wonder woman ask busy wheeling and yeah no no kidding so it sounds like you all are like that well I hope so for special so so we may think yeah. Can you introduce Michigan me by email and we're gonna try to do something to follow up on this story because I truly believe that. Excuse me that regional it kind of flower focused regional sourcing and marketing and selling is really blowing up. I mean I'm seeing it happened on the country and the The community aspect and the collaborative aspect is really appealing and Maybe you could talk a little bit about how you actually intend to. The cell is at a at a physical location or is it online. Or How's that working. We last year we tried to do an online online plus Physical location there were a lot of complications with that This year We're going to sell L.. We'll be selling for three days a week. Friday Saturday and Sunday at the downtown farmers market which is a fabulous facility that has kind of been underutilized. ICED Me By really the community at large. But it's it's a wonderful facility and they have a fantastic executive director Tasha Canard and she's wanted to get flowers there forever. I sold their one season. And then it was at the end of that season that I stopped and decided to go to you Strictly wedding event design But yes so. We're going to be there three days a week and I. I don't know everything that misty is working on right now but I do believe there will eventually be a An online component where Where designers can place in order does the it is in a way? It sounds like the the farmer's market is kind of this collective may because they have a ample amount of space or using their how. How is that all going to work Eventually we're going to be able to have our own like a a florist store the storefront kind of Cooler right in that location. Yeah we're we're looking at having having one of those there To store just on a weekly basis you know just when people bring things in there will also be a lot of mixed bouquets out to tell the public So those will. I'm not go in the cooler so I think pretty much. Just the the orders for designers will go in the cooler and the Knicks bouquets will be out fortunately It is undercover. They have these wonderful market sheds and there has also been some discussion of us being in the market house which is air conditioned like mcadoo idea. Yeah Yeah especially given the climate issues in Tennessee. Yeah well that can't we can't sell At at market like a syringe just will completely once it hits the hits the outdoor air. You bring it back inside and it fluffs up again so we'll it is key. Yeah and you have that experience base base in probably working in the wedding industry. That's probably why you're busier in the spring and fall with weddings rather other than summer right. Oh absolutely yeah congratulations. It's very exciting. And it's all get whatever links you have now so people people can follow at least on social media and Watch what's happening with the launch of this and then we'll circle back and do another episode to learn more but I'm I'm just. I'm just appreciative of the snapshot of Tennessee. I need to come visit you. We keep talking about it and we'll figure it out maybe in twenty twenty but I I'm murder have you okay Laura. We'll also Love to share photos of you and your flowers and what's going on at whites creek flower farm in today's show shown us or an initial nuts for today's episode so we'll make sure people can find that at reprinting dot com right all right. Thanks so much okay. Thank you You'll want to check out photos. Laura has shared and find links to whites creek flower farms social places in today's patients at Deborah Printing Dot Com. Thank you so much for joining me today. The slow flowers podcast has been downloaded more than five hundred thirty seven thousand times despite listeners. Like you thank you for listening commenting and sharing. It means so much in fact for the month of October which we just wrapped up more than thirteen thousand. This is seven hundred episodes of the sloth. podcast were downloaded by listeners. And that's an all time record. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry. The momentum is contagious. I know you feel it too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy education and outreach activities you can find the donate button in the column to the right at Deborah Printing Dot Com our final sponsored this week goes to Arctic Alaska Panties a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to to grow

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