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Flowers

Video: Build a Bouquet of Local Flowers

Diane Szukovathy from Jello Mold Farm in Washington state’s Skagit Valley puts together a bouquet of locally-grown flowers and offers tips to gardeners on building their own bouquet of blooms. Diane and her husband Dennis Westphall grow cut flowers. They have teamed up with Washington State University researchers Bev Gerdeman and Lynell Tanigoshi to build a community of local, seasonal flower growers in the Pacific Northwest. The growers sell at markets, directly to farmers, florists, grocery stores, and local businesses. Read more in “Business is Blooming.”

Summer 2011

Business is blooming

On a sunny weekend in early spring, 40 farmers and would-be cut flower growers fill the second floor of the barn at Jello Mold Farm in the Skagit Valley. Bundled in their coats against the cool morning, they eagerly listen to more experienced farmers, a florist, a grocery store buyer, and a floral designer talk about ways to grow and sell their peonies, ranunculus, and dahlias.

As new subjects come up, notebooks and pens sprout in their hands. They note that hydrangeas, roses, and lilies could be the “workhorses” in their bouquets. They learn that the demand is growing for local and seasonal flowers. … » More …

Spring 2004

On the origin of species—again

Everyone calls them genius awards, except the foundation that gives them. When describing recipients of its annual $500,000 grants, the MacArthur Foundation avoids “genius”-rather, says the Foundation, MacArthur Fellows are people who transcend boundaries, take risks, and synthesize disparate ideas and approaches. That’s a dead-on definition of Loren Rieseberg (’87 Ph.D. Botany), an evolutionary biologist at Indiana University Bloomington who received a MacArthur Fellowship in October 2003.

When Rieseberg arrived at Washington State University in 1984 to pursue his doctorate, he was a model student, energetic and eager, recalls his advisor and former WSU professor, Douglas Soltis, now at University of Florida. Soltis handed him … » More …

Summer 2008

Dahlias

When Dan Pearson was eight years old, his father brought a batch of brown tubers home and planted them in the yard. Intrigued, Dan helped tend the vigorous plants that sprang from them and watched them bloom into flashy, brightly hued flowers, some as big as a dinner plate. He memorized the names of all 30 varieties.

The next spring, tickled by his son’s interest, Chester Pearson ’59 planted even more. Their yard was so full of color that cars would slow as they drove by. One day when a car stopped, Dan offered to sell some blooms for a dollar. Pretty soon it was … » More …