Wilmette Flower Shop News
Plant, nurture, eat: Wilmette Community Nursery School plans edible garden learning experience - Chicago TribuneTuesday, October 25, 2016
The six discrete gardens that sit in raised beds next to the playground at Wilmette Community Nursery School, 1125 Wilmette Ave. in Wilmette, may look bare right now, but when next spring rolls around, they will be growing a small cornucopia of fruits, vegetables and edible flowers, sown by more than 100 preschoolers.As spring 2017 warms into summer and matures into fall, those tiny crops will become tasty food for WCNS youngsters, just as the growing process itself will have provided them with learning fodder, program planners said this week.The experience of planting, growing and nurturing – and then eating what they harvest – is another way that students can learn about their world, school director Ellen McCue said this week, as she and organic gardening specialist Jeanne Nolan talked about the school's new "edible garden" program.The program hews to Wilmette Community Nursery School's educational philosophy, which focuses on the power of play, McCue said."We believe that when children experience things directly, when they work with their hands, they becom... http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/wilmette/news/ct-wml-community-nursery-edible-garden-tl-1027-20161025-story.html
John Cleese delivers for Random Acts of Flowers - Chicago TribuneMonday, July 11, 2016
Modesto Tico Valle is the CEO of the Center on Halsted welcomed Cleese and his flowers, along with Joanie Bayhack of Wilmette, executive director of RAF and Brooke MacLean of Lake Forest, RAF Chicago's Board chairman.More information at rafchicago.org or call 847-430-4751.Recommended article from FiveFilters.org: Most Labour MPs in the UK Are Revolting. http://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-lfr-trend-webcleese-tl-0721-20160711-story.html
New Hire at Random Acts of Flowers - DailyNorthShore.comTuesday, December 15, 2015
Flowers (RAF) Chicago, a non-profit organization that repurposes donated flowers and engages volunteers to deliver beautiful bouquets to individuals in healthcare facilities nationwide, has named Wilmette resident Joanie Bayhack, a executive director of its Evanston-based branch, according to founder and CEO Larsen Jay.Bayhack comes to RAF Chicago after serving for 16 years as senior vice president of communications & corporate partnerships at WTTW & WFMT, one of the Midwest’s premier public media organizations. Prior to that, she served in a variety of communications, marketing and community engagement roles at Aaron Cushman & Associates, Hyatt Hotels and more recently served as director of development & communications for CASA Lake County and director of development at Lambs Farm in Libertyville.“I feel so blessed to join Random Acts of Flowers at a time when the seeds have been planted by a talented, enthusiastic team to grow an organization dedicated to what we need now more than ever: random acts of kindness, compassion and hope. Few things surprise and delight us more than flowers,” said Bayhack.Bayhack is resident of Wilmette and she has three daughters.Random Acts of Flowers was founded in ... http://dailynorthshore.com/2015/12/15/new-hire-at-random-acts-of-flowers/
Random Acts of Flowers brings smiles to hospitals, senior centers - San Angelo Standard TimesWednesday, November 04, 2015
Covenant Home of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Waterford Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Centre and Sunrise of Wilmette.“It’s so simple and so tangible,” said Natalie Berg, executive director of Random Acts of Flowers-Chicago. “You walk into a room of someone who is often down and depressed. They aren’t smiling when you walk in, but they sure are when you walk out.”The Chicago branch is overseen by Brooke MacLean, a former engineer turned mom turned flower aficionado. MacLean’s brother-in-law, Larsen Jay, started Random Acts of Flowers six years ago.In July 2007, Jay tumbled off a ladder while working on his garage and fell nearly two stories, slamming into the concrete below. The fall fractured his skull in 10 places and broke his nose, right femur, right elbow, left arm and both wrists. He was hospitalized for 22 days near his home in Knoxville, Tenn.“He is the bionic man,” MacLean said. “They literally pieced him back together. He should have died.”Jay received about 50 bouquets during his stay in the trauma unit. Later, fending off cabin fever, he took a spin around the hospital floor in a wheelchair, noting that many of the rooms were stark and bleak. Few patients had flowers.Jay returned to his room, ripped the cards off the flower bouquets and delivered flowers to his neighbors. An idea was born.Six years later, Random Acts of Flowers, which is based in Knoxville, has delivered nearly 60,000 bouquets. The organization also has locations in Greeneville, Tenn.; Pinellas County, Fla. A location in Silicon Valley in California is slated to open later this spring.“We have watched it grow from this little seed of an idea,” MacLean said. “It was a very gradual process. It’s therapeutic to give a smile and receive a smile. It’s really just a simple, good thing to do. It’s amazing we were able to start in Chicago.”On a recent overcast Thursday, Palivos and six other volunteers hustled to create 75 bouquets for residents at Chalet Living and Rehab in Chicago.The volunteers work out of a small studio behind Nature’s Perspective Landscaping in Evanston. Bins of bright yellow daisies and fuchsia tulips, pale orange lilies and tendrils of green ferns line the walls. The air is saturated with the scent of flowers.Nearly 80 volunteers rot... http://www.gosanangelo.com/lifestyle/random-acts-of-flowers-brings-smiles-to-hospitals-senior-centers_92537966
America in Bloom judges coming to Mansfield - Mansfield News JournalTuesday, July 23, 2019
Awards will be announced Oct. 3-5 at AIB’s National Symposium & Awards Celebration, this year in St. Charles, Illinois. America in Bloom 2018: Judges see flowers, historic sites, more firstname.lastname@example.org 419-521-7223 Twitter: @LWhitmir... https://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/2019/07/22/america-bloom-judges-coming-downtown-mansfield/1793243001/
Capital - Why are flowers so expensive? - BBC NewsTuesday, May 21, 2019
Jeanie McKewan, who has been growing flowers for 13 years in the US states of Illinois and Wisconsin, points to insect damage as a big challenge, saying there’s a “zero tolerance” policy: “It is through constant vigilance and the use of integrated pest management that we keep the little buggers from getting the best of our crops,” she says.Then the flowers have to bloom on schedule. In the case of Mother’s Day tulips planted in January or February, they have to bloom by early May in time to be picked and shipped.Labour costs are already high – according to the 2012 US Agricultural Census, contract and hired labour accounted for 10% of total agricultural operating expenses in the US, but that number soared to 40% for greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production because of a tighter farm labour market and rising wages. Then you add extra costs for peaks.McKewan hires extra hands during peak periods but says cutting flowers “requires experience and cannot be done by just any part-time employee”. Chris Drummond, a Philadelphia-based florist, says wages average around $13.25 (£10.16) per hour in the US. “In order to ramp up production to meet holiday demand, growers are required to pay far above that average,” he says.In developed countries like the Netherlands or Germany, Stewart says that there are greenhouses with automated technology like sophisticated watering machines or robot transplanters and harvesters, where fewer workers are needed. But in poorer nations with cheaper labour, there’s less use of technology. Then it’s time for shipping. While flowers are waiting on the runway or in the back of a lorry, temperatures can’t be too cold (for Valentine’s Day) or too hot (for Mother’s Day). When they arrive at the wholesaler, they must look perfect. That means no bug bites, no missing petals, no dead buds. Otherwise, they get thrown away. “It has to be flawless,” Stewart says.Complicated logisticsChris Drummond, the florist, estimates that the holiday volume “is usually nearly 20 times the everyday volume”. He says many farmers nurture flowers all year long to ensure enough blooms for the handful of holidays. During the other months on the farm, he says, flowers are sold at cost, below cost or discarded and turned into mulch.“So, of course farm price increases as demand increases,” he says. “Consumers are paying a premium to make sure that grower is compensated for their expense and effort to maintain the plants year-round, thus ensuring the wide variety of flowers is available at each holiday.”He highlights costs across the supply chain, saying industry participants must “rent temporary space, pay fuel surcharges, find space on airlines, hire independent drivers, find more refrigerated trucks, pay overtime to staff” and more. Roses flown from Bogota to Miami are hit with a 15-cent (£0.12) importer’s fee to clear customs and inspection. Domestic refrigerated shipping can vary, but that’s another eight cents (£0.06) per rose.It also depends on what kind of flower you’re shipping – Drummond says 300 carnations can fit into the same box as 150 roses, so the transport price per stem is halved. Transit time from field to florist can be up to a week (though it can wildly vary depending on where the flowers are coming from), and the blooms must be carefully handled every step of the way.Hans Larsen is a cut flower grower in the US s... http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190507-why-are-flowers-so-expensive
Brighton florist achieves title of certified designer - AdVantageNEWS.comThursday, May 02, 2019
Leanne Muenstermann, owner of Leanne’s Pretty Petals in Brighton, has earned the title of Illinois certified designer during the Illinois State Floral Association’s annual floral design show March 14-18 in Champaign, Ill.
She was assessed in theoretical knowledge of advanced design styles and techniques. She was required to create three “advanced design” arrangements during a timed test.
Internationally recognized floral industry professionals evaluated these advanced designs. Muenstermann is one of only five florists in Illinois to earn this accreditation.
She earned her title of Illinois certified professional florist during last year’s annual floral design show. She is one of 58 florists in the state to earn this distinction. She is working toward her national certified floral designer accreditation through the internationally recognized American Institute of Floral Designers.
To maintain the Illinois certified designer accreditation, the designer must continue to accumulate continuing education credits each year and maintain his or her membership in the ISFA and ICP... https://advantagenews.com/news/business/brighton-florist-achieves-title-of-certified-designer/
Food flowers - Illinois TimesThursday, May 02, 2019
Do not eat any plant if you’re not totally sure what it is, and ask an expert like the folks at University of Illinois Extension Service if you have any questions. Some flowers, like daylily (which are in a different plant family than the toxic true lilies) can act as a diuretic and should be eaten in moderation. Make sure that the flowers you eat or cook with have not been sprayed or treated, and never eat roadside flowers or those purchased from a florist. Flower jelly 2-3 cups loosely packed flower petals, such as violet, rose, sunflower, dandelion or nasturtium. (Be sure to pinch off only the petals and discard the base of the flower, as it can give the jelly a bitter taste.) Juice of one lemon2 ½ cups boiling water 1 package of Sure-Jell pectin (you can certainly use a different kind of pectin, but you may need to adjust the recipe method according to the package directions) 3 ½ cups sugar Sort through the flower petals and rinse them gently under running water to remove any dirt or bugs. Place the flower petals in a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let the flower “tea” steep for at least two hours or overnight. Prepare a water bath canner and have ready six half-pint jars with new lids and bands. After the mixture has steeped, strain it through a fine meshed sieve into a nonreactive saucepan and discard the flower solids. Add the lemon juice (this may cause the color of your tea to brighten or change hue). Slowly stir in the pectin and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for one minute, then add all the sugar at once. Stirring continuously, return to a boil and cook for one minute. Ladle the hot mixture into the clean, hot jars. Wipe the rim of the jars, then place a lid on top and gently screw on the band (do not put it on super tight). Process in the water bath for five minutes, then remove from the water and set out onto a towel to cool overnight. As the jars cool you should hear an occasional “pop” coming from the jars, indicating a good seal has been achieved. *for rose jelly, add a tablespoon of rose water to the rose petal tea to enhance flavor **add a ½ tablespoon or so of crushed red pepper flakes to nasturtium jelly for savory kick Ashley Meyer is a Springfield-based food writer, cook and avid gardener. https://illinoistimes.com/article-21169-food-flowers.html