10 Ways to Make the Most of a Flower Farm Dinner

The Field to Vase Dinner Tour is a series of intimate, must-attend gatherings that place seasonal, local and sustainable flowers at the c...


The Field to Vase Dinner, situated in the heart of The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Calif., on April 15th. (c) Jodee Debes photography

The Field to Vase Dinner Tour is a series of intimate, must-attend gatherings that place seasonal, local and sustainable flowers at the center of the table where platters laden with locally grown food are served by a farm-to-table chef.

Along with dining companions new and old, guests enjoy lively conversation, share delicious, seasonal and local food, and meet others who are passionate about preserving American grown flowers, farmland, and our country’s floriculture roots. The attention is on flowers, our farmers and their farms, and on the floral designs they inspire.

Produced by the Certified American Grown Flowers program, this year’s artisan dinners are being held at ten thoroughly unique venues — American flower farms — including seven in the West (California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington).

At each, participants are invited to experience the age-old art and science of flower farming while savoring delicious local food and beverages.

Nothing beats making a personal connection between flowers and agriculture, all part of our country’s farm landscape.

The next Field to Vase Dinner takes place on Friday, June 19th, at California Pajarosa Flowers in Watsonville, Calif.

Click here for details on how you can join this flower-centric dinner party (and don’t worry, the menu will be delicious, too!)

Here are my tips for make the most of your experience:(all photos below by Linda Blue for California Cut Flower Commission)

1. Don’t Come Alone!

Date Night with Chantal Aida Gordon and Ryan Benoit of The Horticult, an award-winning lifestyle blog, at the Field to Vase Dinner in Carlsbad, Calif.

Girls’ night out at Field to Vase in Carpinteria, Calif.

Family time at Field to Vase in Carlsbad, Calif.

2. Accessorize with Flowers

Laura Cogan added flowers to her hair at the Field to Vase in Carpinteria.

An orchid behind the ear looks perfect!

San Diego lifestyle blogger Bonnie Manion (right) and I wore crowns of California-grown roses to the Field to Vase Dinner in Carlsbad, Calif.

3. Sip distinctly local wine

At Field to Vase Dinners, the wine and beer is as local as the flowers and the food.

4. Meet the Flower Farmer

Come prepared to walk through fields and greenhouses with farmers like Michael A. Mellano, a third-generation California ranunculus farmer.

Field to Vase guests at Westland Orchids in Carpinteria, Calif., heard all about orchid cultivation from flower farmer Jerry Van Wingerden.

5. Dress for the Outdoors

Just like being on a garden tour, hats, sunglasses and comfortable shoes make touring the flower farm more enjoyable!

No heels here!

6. Eat Family Style

Family style seating and service encourages you to meet new kindred spirits, fellow foodies and flower lovers.

Dining amidst the flowers is guaranteed to make you smile!

7. Bring Your Camera (or Smart Phone)

Capture the vivid beauty of American grown blooms on a thriving American flower farm (selfies with flowers are encouraged!)

Guest Sarah Hinton took advantage of Instagram moments in the orchid greenhouse.

8. Read the Menu

You won’t want to miss any of the delicious local ingredients used by our guest chef.

Tasty and Local!

9. Meet the Chef

You’ll hear details about the ingredients and preparation, not to mention each chef’s local sourcing practices.

We’ve invited some amazing up-and-coming culinary talents like Marissa Gerlach, executive chef of Vista Valley Country Club in Vista, Calif., to prepare the Field to Vase menu.

10. Enjoy the scenery!

It’s impossible to ignore the beauty around you when you dine on an American flower farm!

Absorb the stunning rows of flowers that surround you.

Join the Field to Vase Dinner Tour. You’ll feel excitement for being part of something big, something to celebrate, something to love: American Grown flowers.