Rallying Around Alaska’s Peony Farmers

Celebrating American Grown Flowers In Alaska

A beautiful tablescape by floral designer Kelly Shore paid tribute to the culture and beauty of Alaska during the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska.

It could not have been a more fitting conclusion to American Grown Flowers Month.

Overlooking Kachemak Bay on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, the Homer Spit, with at least 5 different glaciers shimmering in the sunlight from across the bay, guests of our most recent American Grown Field to Vase Dinner enjoyed a floral filled evening of hope and grandeur.

The peony fields of Scenic Place Peonies overlooking Kachemak Bay.

Known for its towering mountain peaks, supersized salmon and incredible vistas, agriculture production doesn’t really hit the radar screen of industries Alaska’s known for. In fact, Alaska currently ranks #50 in U.S. agriculture production.

However, what we found in Alaska was a dedicated and hard working group of Alaskan peony farmers who are looking to change all of that and the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour’s stop in Homer, Alaska at Scenic Place Peonies provided a perfect opportunity to celebrate the work underway and tell their story.

Flower farmer Beth Van Sandt gives guests a personalized tour through her peony fields.

Our dinner guests enjoyed a tour through the peony fields with flower farmer Beth Van Sandt and her husband Kurt Weichhand. Beth and Kurt were gracious hosts, giving our dinner attendees full reign of their property to enjoy, explore and experience.

Beth VanSandt and Kurt Weichhand of Scenic Place Peonies.

 

Each guest was greeted at their seat with a huge Alaskan Grown peony to go along with a beautifully designed tablescape by Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore.

Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore did an outstanding job featuring not only the flowers grown on the farm, but developed her creative vision to ensure that her design paid tribute to what Alaska is known for; incorporating authentic fish nets, shells and glass fishing floats.

It was beautiful.

Kelly Shore of Petals By the Shore was the featured designer at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in Homer, Alaska.

 

So many of our guests captured the excitement of the evening via social media.

The evening’s menu also stayed true to Alaska’s fishing and seafood heritage. Jakolof Oyster Company gave guests a real treat, providing a live shucking demonstration and what seemed to be an unlimited supply of fresh oysters for the evening’s reception. Chef Dave Thorne of Delicious Dave was responsible for the perfectly prepared King and Sockeye Salmon. The King Salmon was a late addition and a special treat added to the menu, caught the day before by Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist. Cronquist quipped during his remarks that this Field to Vase Dinner was essentially, “river to table.” Chef Dave also treated everyone to a live fish filet demonstration prior to the beginning of dinner.

Dave Thorne of Delicious Dave’s with Certified American Grown Administrator and dinner emcee Kasey Cronquist.

This tour stop proved to be a true Alaskan adventure. The American Grown Field to Vase spotlight highlighted a vibrancy and a beauty in Alaska that really symbolizes the growing momentum, opportunity and movement for more American Grown Flowers.

Even in Alaska.

Check out more photos from the evening’s festivities found on our Flickr page.

If you attended our dinner in Alaska, please leave a comment and share your experience from the evening with our readers.

Cheers!

More photos can be found on our Flickr page. Click to view.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Rallying Around Alaska’s Peony Farmers

  1. We were very honored to host this incredible event. Kelly Shore did an amazing job as lead designer with an outstanding cast of volunteer characters. The food was delicious, wine flowed freely, and the enthusiasm level of all the attendees was invigorating. Kacey Conquist was a great MC and the weather was perfect. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this happen and to all the participants who traveled from far and near to make this a truly magical evening of food, flowers and fun.

    Cheers, Kurt Weichhand
    Scenic Place Peonies

    • Three cheers for the hosts! Thank you to you and Beth for inviting all of us to one of the most beautiful flower farms in the United States. Truly Scenic. Looking forward to seeing you in September on another coast! ~ KC

  2. Thank you for a fabulous evening – so beautiful and inspiring. The only thing more impressive than the peonies in Homer are the women who farm them! Stunning, resilient and supportive – much like their flowers. See you next year. Cheers, Lucy (San Fran)

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