Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Notes From the ‘Field to Vase’ Dinner Tour (Coming to a City Near You!)

There are dreamy meals, and then there are dreamy meals served in a field of full of flowers. That’s the very attractive USP of the first annual American Grown “Field to Vase” Dinner Tour, nationwide events that celebrate (and raise awareness of) sustainably and locally grown flowers. At these dinners, the food, beer and wine are similarly raised, served family style in the middle of flower farms.

Settings, of course, that become even more spectacular around sunset. Kicked off in March, this series of ten dinners runs through October; Ryan and I attended the Carlsbad event last month in the Flower Fields, 50 acres of ranunculus-filled hills facing the Pacific. We broke bread in the middle of one of these hills, and fed all the senses: in the dishes of Marissa Gerlach, exec chef of Vista Valley Country Club, cultivation tips from head farmer Mike Mellano of Mellano & Company, and the floral design of Bess Wyrick of Celadon & Celery, based in LA and NY. The ranunculus centerpieces — bunches of three or so in slim vases — ran in a rainbow gradients down the length of the table.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Dinner was quite a spectacle. Photo by Linda Blue for American Grown Flowers.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Flower arrangements were designed by Celadon and Celery. The flowers transitioned to pink and purple further down the table. Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

From left: euh, moi; Debra Prinzing, founder of Slow Flowers; and Christina Stembel, founder of Farmgirl Flowers.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

The co-Horts! Photo by Linda Blue.

“The series was inspired by the ‘Farm-to-Fork’ movement that celebrates locally grown food,” Kasey Cronquist, CEO/ambassador of the California Cut Flower Commission, tells us by email. We sat next to him at the dinner, which he was supporting in conjunction with the “CA Grown” program. He adds, “The ‘Field to Vase’ dinner series was developed to be a less-than-subtle spin off of the popularity of ‘Farm to Fork,’ designed to encourage people to ensure that the flowers at the center of the table are as local, fresh and sustainable as the food on their plate.”

Yes, the optics that evening were unbelievable. We’re grateful to the luminous Debra Prinzing for inviting us; Debra is the Seattle-based force behind the “slow flowers” movement (check out her book, podcast and online directory of floral designers who use domestically grown stems) and also a writer and lecturer. At dinner she was in social butterfly mode, introducing the likeminded and making everyone feel at home in a sea of crinkly blooms. After taking her Garden Tribe course, we were starstruck to meet Debra in person.

Monterey Bay, Boulder, Brooklyn and Detroit are just a few of the upcoming stops. Click here to see all the cities and to get your tickets before they’re all gone.

—TH

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Just drinking wine in a sea of ranunculus, nbd.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

The menu by chef Marissa Gerlach of Vista Valley Country Club and Stehly Farm Produce. Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Incoming: the blackberry beet salad. Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Grilled carrots with green garlic puree.

Family-style main courses were plated in the middle of the flower fields. Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Mike Mellano (of Mellano and Company), head farmer at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, discusses this year’s ranunculus crop.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Bess Wyrick of Celadon and Celery.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Jess Williams, grower at the Flower Fields.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Kasey Cronquist of the California Cut Flower Commission.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

From left, Kasey Cronquist and Tara Kolla, founder and grower of Silver Lake Farms. Seriously, check out her gorgeous, organic, LA-grown flowers and CSA. Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Jess Williams and Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers. Photo by Linda Blue.

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

Field to Vase Dinner - The Flower Fields - Carlsbad, CA

 

 

  • This is such a beautiful post!

    Thank you for attending this dinner in Carlsbad and joining us on this special flower focused tour. It was a pleasure to meet you and I really enjoyed sitting next to you.

    Your support for America’s flower farmers makes a difference. Thank you.

    @kaseycronquist