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October 16th 2016

2017 Floret Workshop Scholarship Winners

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floret_flower_farm-6The team and I are filled with so much excited and nervous energy to make this announcement. I know the anticipation among Floret followers has also been building and we so appreciate everyone’s patience while we took some extra time to review the entries.

The massive storm front pounding the Pacific Northwest thankfully wasn’t nearly as bad as they predicted, which was a welcome relief. The farm is fine, but the high winds did leave us without power for eight hours over the weekend, which forced us to get creative about how to review the record number (1032!) of entries we received this year. In a moment of panic (on my part) Chris pulled our camper alongside the house, fired up the generator and ran extension cords through the windows to power our computers.  While I’m sure it looked a little funny to the neighbors, it sure did the trick!

floret_flower_farm-5We received applications from a record 49 of 50 U.S. states (where are all you flower lovers in Nevada?), and 8 of the 10 Canadian provinces, plus the Yukon territory.  The scholarship opportunity also reached a global audience, with applications from 23 other countries, from Bulgaria to Barbados and from South Africa to Singapore. A huge thanks to each and every person who submitted an application!

The Floret team worked around the clock to finish reviewing the essays, narrowing the list down to 60, then 35, before handing me the finalists to make the difficult decision. This was by far the best bunch of finalists we’ve ever had, making the decision that much harder. Thankfully, I was able to choose not two, but three awardees, thanks to the extremely kind and generous soul and past workshop attendee who offered to sponsor a scholarship. I shared this before, but I think it is worth sharing again that she described the workshop as “life changing and life affirming, and I want to give that opportunity to someone who also needs to be there.”

The process of reviewing your submissions is always such a treat for me and the team. Some of the essays made us laugh. Some left us a little misty-eyed. We were humbled by the candor and honesty shared in your stories. The confessions of anxiety and self doubt, of leaving the stability of deeply unsatisfying jobs to pursue your passions….the need to carve out more space in your lives for the things that bring you joy and make your souls sing….the yearning for the freedom to take risks to pursue dreams.

floret_flower_farm-2As we read through the submissions, there were a few key themes that surfaced. For example, we noted that conventional career paths have left far, far too many people feeling emotionally and creatively empty.

One applicant described her office job as climbing “this paved mountain of expectations…only to find feelings of emptiness and confusion.” Another confessed, “My biggest fear is doing something I don’t love for the rest of my life.”

There is an intense internal tug of war between what you feel you “should” do and what your heart calls you to do. You are looking for ways of “making” a job instead of “taking” a job. The garden beckons you.

“Growing flowers feels like finding home.”

“I am ready to reclaim some of the very parts of my heart that make me ME.”

I want “to live my passion and truth.”

floret_flower_farm-3Many confessed they lack the confidence to go out on a limb and pursue their dreams. Others yearn for the camaraderie of fellow flower lovers and kindred spirits who face similar struggles and share similar dreams.

“I’m so ready to join my tribe coaxing beautiful things from the earth, using sustainable growing practices, and sharing the gorgeous bounty with others.”

Growing flowers and digging in the dirt is therapeutic. For some, gardening has been vital to fighting cancer, healing from trauma and overcoming addiction.  Complicated lives find quiet peace in the garden.  There, you find calm amid the chaos of the world.

“Farming allowed my heart to heal and gave my life a new purpose and fulfillment.”

“I have experienced how flowers can heal, how they can unlock hearts, and how they can transform.”

Many scholarship seekers shared that, similar to my story they had very special memories of flowers from their childhoods, shared with parents, grandparents, and other loved ones.  Flowers help fill you up and connect you with the natural world, loved ones lost and the little people in our lives.

Thank you, again, to everyone who completed a scholarship application. I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, the many pledges to pay it forward and the enthusiastic interest in seasonal flowers.

Please join me in congratulating our three 2017 winners:


  1. susan murray on

    These stories are so inspiring. I’d love to take one of your workshops but I see the April session is full. I’ve just retired and spent over 40 years working with high school students who have dropped out of school. As therapy for myself, I’ve gardened. Now I am ready to garden for real and start a little farm I’ve just purchased. If there are any people who can’t attend your workshop, I’d love to be on a waiting list. If not, can I take the next session. I would truly appreciate more information on your workshops so I can get on the next list. I am so motivated by your website and the stories of your work. Susan Murray [email protected]

    • Susan King on

      Hi Susan– congrats on your retirement! Floret 2017 Workshops are sold out, but be sure to join our mailing list to learn about events in the future.

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