Field to Vase is a dinner series that highlights American-grown flowers throughout the United States.
Beautiful flowers can brighten up any occasion, and each year. But do you know where your flowers come from? A recent statistic shows that 74% of American consumers have no idea where their flowers come from.
Living in the Land of Local, where we care deeply about where our food comes from and where we try to support local businesses as much as possible, it only makes sense to try to support local flower growers as well.
Enter the Certified American Grown Program and the Field to Vase Tour.
Field to Vase Tour
To increase awareness of American grown flowers and to lend additional support to growers who are part of the program, the organization launched the Field to Vase Dinner Tour.
These are similar to farm-to-table dinners in that each dinner features a local chef to cater the event, focusing on local farms and ingredients, a local winery to provide the wine pairings, and local breweries and distilleries to provide the beer and cocktails. The additional local twist to these Field to Vase dinners is that each is hosted at a Certified American Grown flower grower's farm; the stars of the night are the locally grown flowers.
I was invited to attend the last Field to Vase Dinner Tour of 2016 in Woodland, Washington. It's about an hour and a half from where I live outside of Portland, Oregon. It was held at the Holland America Flowers on Sunday November 7th from 3 to 6pm.
Cocktails and Appetizers
Upon entering the event, we were greeted almost immediately with cocktailset
The Tulip Burnside Bourbon Cocktail had bourbon from Eastside Distillery. A refreshing and light start to the afternoon's event!
There was also a make-your-own boutonniere bar, which was a beautiful and creative touch - a very fun interactive way to ease into the event!
While mingling during the VIP hour, we enjoyed three different passed crostini trays. The entire evening's menu was designed and prepared by Chef Michael Borges of Mill Creek Pub.
While all three were delicious, the crostini that I really enjoyed the most was the Burnside Bourbon Maple Bourbon-glazed pork bellow with arugula and apple chutney.
My second favorite crostini appetizer the prosciutto, goat cheese, fig jam, arugula and balsamic glaze.
During the VIP hour, we had the opportunity to tour a section of the Holland America Flowers property and see millions of tulips starting to break through and bloom in a greenhouse. Tulips, in November, in the Pacific Northwest!!
After the brief tour and a presentation by Benno Dobbe, CEO of Holland America Flowers, it was time to find our seats for dinner.
Field to Vase Dinner
More than 125 guests filled the dining area. Many guests worked in the flower industry in some way or were guests of folks who worked in the industry, and some were simply flower lovers and customers who were there to lend their support of the local homegrown flower industry. The traditional farm-to-table arrangement made it natural for guests to get to know one another well over dinner, and I truly enjoyed the layout of the event.
The tables were beautifully set and the room was filled with gorgeous flower arrangements by Hilary Holmes of Emerald Petals.
Once seated, we enjoyed a beautiful salad of peppery arugula, golden organic beets, Yakima pears, candied walnuts, and goat cheese. I enjoyed the textures and balance of bright and earthy flavors in this salad.
While we were enjoying the salads, we were also served delicious rosemary balsamic marinated lamb pops.
The salad was paired with Confluence Chardonnay. Confluence is a winery located in nearby Ridgefield, Washington, and provided all of the wines to be paired with the meal.
The main course was a ginormous cut of prime rib with rosemary au jus and peppercorn horseradish cream. The side of roasted root vegetables was a nice complement to the prime rib.
With our salad, we enjoyed lamp pops paired with the Confluence Syrah. The prime rib was meant to be paired with the Confluence Equilibrium.
Pears are one of the many fall Pacific Northwest stars of the season. Chef Borges and his team created a dessert of Syrah poached pears with chocolate ganache drizzle. I've enjoyed poached pears many times in my life, but never paired with Syrah. The Syrah added a nice richness, making it feel like a more decadent dessert. Delicious!
At the end we each walks away with a Field to Vase swag bag and lots of great memories. I've always had a great appreciation for locally grown everything. It's a great reminder to become more aware of where the flowers we buy come from. Thanks so much for a lovely dinner event, American Grown Flowers and Holland America Flowers!
Attend a Field to Vase Dinner Tour
If you love supporting local products and farms, this is a fantastic event for you! You'll enjoy a nice evening out to celebrate and support your local flower growers, chefs, wineries, and more; you will love this dinner series. If you're in Alaska, check out the next dinner slated for Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska on July 29th, 2017. Visit AmericanGrownFlowers.org to learn more about the 2017 dinner series and to find the next dinner near you!