Guests gathered together from near and far at The Fresh Herb Company in Longmont, where organic flower farm owners Chet and Kristy Anderson hosted a lush Field to Vase dinner over the summer. Attendees relished a communal-style dining experience, sat at farm tables amid rows of flowers and soaked in the gorgeous summer evening as the sun set slowly behind the mountains. The night was just one of a 10-city dinner tour for Certified American Grown farmers.
The Fresh Herb Company, a certified American Grown Flowers Farm, was the perfect setting for the Field to Vase dinner, a newly launched pop-up series that plants a floral twist on the farm-to-fork concept.
“The Field to Vase Dinner Tour puts a face on the flowers, introducing the farmers and highlighting why it is so important that flowers at the center of the table be as fresh, local and sustainable as the food on your plate. That’s a powerful experience,” says Kasey Cronquist, administrator of the Certified American Grown brand.
The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the dinner tour as #44 on their list of Top 50 things to do this summer and Food & Wine magazine called these dinners the “ultimate al fresco dinner party.”
The evening is intended to spark conversation of the slow flowers movement, a crusade to give consumers more of a choice to buy locally grown, domestic flowers, similar to how the slow food movement advances toward a greater use of locally grown, sustainable food. Did you know that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 80 percent of flowers sold are imported to the U.S.?
To lead into the discussion, guests experienced a private tour of The Fresh Herb Company and were treated to a beautiful custom floral installation with flowers grown in Boulder, created by guest floral designer Lisa Weddel, AIFD of L. Weddel Design of Highlands Ranch. Attendees then savored local fare, served à la family style, at a table decorated with picturesque American Grown flowers. Guest chef Lyle Davis of Pastures of Plenty of Longmont delighted the palates of diners with a menu fit for the evening’s emphasis on local agriculture, while Boulder-based pastry chef Miche Bacher of Niche Confections and author of the acclaimed “Cooking with Flowers,” helped craft the evening’s dessert by using organic herbs from The Fresh Herb Company’s farm.
The Field to Vase Dinner Tour continues throughout the fall, taking place across the country at flower farms in both urban and rural environments and introducing guests to the art and science of flower farming. It’s a luxurious dining experience for both locavores and flower enthusiasts with a hearty portion of local, seasonal flowers at the center of it.
Dinner on a flower farm truly drives the slow flower movement home. When you buy flowers locally—say at Boulder Farmers Market, Whole Foods or Lucky’s in Boulder—you’re helping support local jobs and the economy. Local flowers create a smaller transportation footprint and help to preserve farmland. You’re also doing the important work of promoting more sustainable and environmentally-sound practices.