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the farmer florist: masters workshop

the art of growing & sustaining an American grown flower farm

LynnVale Studios & Farm, Gainesville, Virginia

August  7th & 8th

8am ~ 5pm

7 students minimum

Join us in August for an intimate flower farming & design experience.  We’ll examine, in detail, what it takes to build a successful flower farm & farmer florist business. Our workshop is designed to provide you with an in-depth,  hands-on design experience coupled with an intensive & introspective look into our perceptions and practical strategies of growing “big” as a farmer florist.

Our success is rooted in the ability to remain flexible by recognizing, responding to and driving industry trends.  Flower farming for over sixteen years has taught us that the  secret to profitability does not necessarily translate into simply growing more & more flowers for more & more customers.  We learned we had to farm smarter and find a system for evaluating where to focus our energy.   We developed the habit of stepping back & asking questions, a lot of questions.  Answers to these questions formed the foundation of our first masters workshop in 2016 and the systems and strategies continue to evolve every year as we find new ways to help others create their own systems.

Andrea & Lou Gagnon started their flower farm and art studio in 2002 by growing & selling at local markets.  Andrea used her professional design education to expand her artistry into wedding & event florals. As the demand for her flowers grew, Andrea began serving a curated list of the country’s top designers.  A leader in the American Grown Flowers movement, Andrea has also served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Treasurer of the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers and has lectured on cut flower growing on a local, regional and national level.

Designed with new, aspiring & evolving farmer florists in mind – this workshop offers students the opportunity to explore the many paths toward growing a successful farmer florist farm & studio.

day one

color & design


This year Lou & Andrea are happy to welcome expert floral designer & educator Amy Balsters of Amy Nicole Floral.

Amy Balsters is an acclaimed floral designer and educator with vast industry experience spanning two decades in retail floristry and special events.  Amy received her professional training at the accredited Golden West College Floral Design and Shop Management program. Over the past two decades she has built a successful freelance career working alongside many industry giants, launched her own special events studio, Amy Nicole Floral, and currently teaches and trains floral designers across the country through private and group workshops as well as  speaking and presenting at conferences nationwide.

Featured on Design Sponge as one of the “20 Florists to Follow on Instagram,”Amy has won multiple design awards including “Mastery in Principles of Design” chosen by the Senior Style Editor of Martha Stewart. In 2018 Team Flower named her “Designer of the Year” and her work has been featured and published in major international and national wedding blogs, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Once Wed, Hochzeitsguide and more. Amy’s biweekly Youtube channel offers succinct, valuable design tips, product reviews and floral hacks along with her active engagement, demo’s and conversations on Instagram @amynicolefloral.

~ Welcome ~

Amy Balsters

Amy Nicole Floral









flowers by Amy Nicole Floral, photos by Jeremy Chou

“How Color Works”

lou gagnon

wednesday, one hour session



Understanding how we see color empowers us as designers & as growers.  We spend days defining & refining color palettes with our brides, hours coordinating orders to match our designer’s needs, weeks & weeks of research and development coordinating & forecasting color “trends” for our retail markets.


In this session, artist Lou Gagnon will lead us through a series of empirical exercises that will clarify the misconceptions and fill in the voids surrounding color theory.  You’ve “seen” all your life. After this you’ll see what you’ve been missing.

As a professional artist, art educator, architect, and former Disney Imagineer, Lou has received regional, national and international awards for architecture, entertainment design and fine art.

You’ve “seen” all your life.

After this you’ll see

what you’ve been missing.

day two

growing concerns


Running a diverse flower farm requires a farmer florist to wear many hats. Once successful, it  is virtually impossible for any one person to “do it all.”  As your business grows, so too will your need to improve efficiency in every aspect of your operation.  Andrea will share our systems and strategies for successful communication with our designer clients, discerning brides, contractors and within our own team.  Expect to take home copies of our floral contracts, availability lists and demos of current favorite programs, services &/or apps that make chaos more manageable and keep you out of the office and in the studio & field.

What crops we would invest in if we had to
do it all over again?
How do we choose what to invest in now?
How do we “flower on” during
the off-season?
What are our goals for the future?

No matter the size of your farm, understanding the most efficient & profitable use of your land is a weeklong workshop in itself.  For us, this means continuously evaluating and re-evaluating our crop selection from year to year.  Less a primer on “how” to grow any particular flower, we’ll share our  expertise and systems  for choosing “what” to grow, “how much” & “why.”

*We invite ALL interested students to arrive early on Thursday (from 7am on) to observe, participate in our daily harvest and/or explore our farm at their own pace.

We are excited to announce acclaimed photographer, passionate conservationist & motivational speaker  Kristi Odom will be joining us this year to share her professional expertise, photograph student work & inspire us in the field.

2018 marks the year that Kristi joined the elite Nikon Ambassador program.  Kristi has spent the last couple years as a motivational speaker presenting on stage for Nikon, WPPI, Fearless, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and others. Kristi’s accolades include my Master’s accreditation from WPPI and over 60 international photography awards including 2 Nature’s Best Photographyawards and 26 Fearless awards. Kristi’s work has been on exhibit in many different places which include the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fearless, Rangefinder, Rollingstone.com, Outside Magazine, and even on a billboard in Times Square.

~ Welcome  ~

Kristi Odom

Kristi Odom Photography









Kristi | Kristi Odom Photography

flowers by LynnVale Studios, photos by Kristi Odom

collaboration & exploration



During our “open studio” session, each student will have the opportunity to design, independently or collaboratively, to delve deeper into any design, process, or farming related conundrums with expert guidance from Andrea & her LynnVale Design team.

Our goal is for each attendee to receive personal attention & enjoy an immersive, explorative & challenging experience.

Each student’s work will be professionally photographed with digital images of their work available for their own portfolio use – professional photographer to be announced.

we’re excited to


you artistically and equip you with fundamentals of floral design principles & mechanics.


your assumptions about visual perception, how it relates to your designs and how it influences & informs your growing choices


you to think critically & reflectively about your successes and failures  to inform the decisions you make moving forward.

Join us in 2019!

LynnVale Studios & Farm, Gainesville, Virginia

August  7th & 8th

8am ~ 5pm

7 students minimum

$1,495 full price

$1,595 with payment plan, expired

per person


coupon code


for $300 off

expires 1/31/19

farmer florist Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios, photo by Kate Headley

Payment schedule

Payment 1 of 3: $595 due to reserve | register

Payment 2 of 3: $500 due April 1, 2019

Payment 3 of 3: $500 due June 1, 2019


ALL class registrations are non-refundable, workshop will be held rain or shine, students wishing to transfer their registration accept full responsibility for any/all arrangements to do so.


All floral materials, supplies, and clippers included.  Floral material  will consist of LynnVale grown &/or foraged foliage and blooms along with select flowers from some of our favorite local, regional and national American flower farms.


Farm-to-table lunches will be provided each day – chef to be announced.  All refreshments included.


Students are responsible for their own lodging. List of recommended hotels/ accommodations available on request.  Closest airport is Washington DULLES (IAD).

photos by LynnVale Studios, Kate Headley, Jeremy Chou, Linda Blue Photography & Kristi Odom Photography

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