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American sourced flowers are the centerpiece of Field to Vase Dinner at Sunset Magazine’s gardens in Sonoma

Locally sourced food and wine is more than just a buzzword these days, it’s a practice in Napa Valley. But American-sourced flowers for vase arrangements, wedding bouquets and funeral wreaths is not quite as well known.

An event, “Field to Vase Dinner,” being held Sunday at Sunset Magazine’s new test garden in Sonoma hopes to bring attention to the movement to buy American grown flowers.

“Bringing the Field to Vase Dinner to the home of Sunset, an iconic, trendsetting brand with values that parallel those of the American Grown brand, is a dream come true,” said Kasey Cronquist, administrator for Certified American Grown Flowers. “The dinner tour puts a focus on blooms and greens grown right here in the U.S., while Sunset Magazine encourages readers to enjoy the bounty of local farms. By partnering, our message regarding the value and importance of sustainable, American-grown flowers is amplified.”

 Tina Chiotti-Stewart of Calistoga In Bloom flower arrangements said a lot of the growers from whom she buys flowers grow them in the United States, and added, “I also grow some in my yard as well as my parents’. It is important to me that a portion of every arrangement be locally grown,” she said.

Sunset Magazine will host an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in a charming barn surround by its new test garden at Cornerstone in Sonoma at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16.

Hosted by Sunset Garden Editor Johanna Silver, the dinner will feature a locally sourced meal served in family style at tables adorned with arrangements filled with flowers grown on site in Sunset’s own gardens, the Cornerstone property where Sunset’s gardens are now located, and from Certified American Grown flower farms to create floral designs.

Silver will take guests on a guided tour through the 11,000-square-foot garden that includes the “flower room” that was designed by San Francisco florist Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective who will also create the flower arrangements for the event. Harampolis is also co-founder of Studio Choo Florists in San Francisco.

Silver will talk about why the American grown flower movement is so important to consumers and floral designers.

 “As the garden editor of Sunset, I relish meeting all of the wonderful flower farmers and growers in the West,” Silver said in a statement. “They grow amazing things and I want to support them any way I can.”

The Certified American Grown program launched the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour in 2015 to start a conversation about the origins of most of the flowers that are sold in the U.S.

“Today, roughly three out of four flowers in the marketplace are imported from other countries,” Cronquist said. “However, this national dinner tour is helping us tell the story of America’s flower farmers, highlighting the sustainable methods they use to grow hundreds of varieties of flowers right here at home. By sharing these stories, we’re responding to consumers’ growing demand for products that are grown locally, sustainably and with an eye on the environment.”

Sunset moved its test garden last year from its Menlo Park location and its headquarters from the same city to Oakland. The garden is typically open free to the public, but on occasion is closed for private events.

Sunday’s dinner starts with appetizers and a signature cocktail from Prohibition Spirits, also located at Cornerstone and produces small batch, hand crafted spirits such as whiskeys, rums, vodkas and infused libations such as Limoncello. A four-course family style dinner follows with discussions led by Silver, Harampolis and a chef and vintner.

Guests will also be able to create their own wearable floral design and will leave with a handcrafted bouquet of flowers and a Field to Vase tote filled with floral treasures.

Tickets are $235 and available on

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