Field and Florist creates floral arrangements for freshness and sustainability | Shopping | Chicago Reader

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Field and Florist creates floral arrangements for freshness and sustainability

Farm-to-table isn't just for restaurants anymore.

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Field & florist, which opened in 2017 in a charming basement in Wicker Park on Division just east of Damen, grows its flowers on a 30-acre farm in southwest Michigan. Owners Heidi Joynt, 36, and Molly Kobelt, 32, say this land—surrounded by woods, vineyards, and blueberry fields—is the beating heart of their business. "Farm-to­-table" isn't just for restaurants anymore.

Joynt says she wanted customers to interact with regional growers who are also designers. "In today's economy of Amazon-available-anything, I think it's increasingly important to make these connections to gain a little insight into everything from the labor required to produce something to the necessary seasonality of flower varieties," Joynt says. "It's important to see the world as a complex web of interconnected systems."

Field & Florist uses organic fertilizer made from cow manure, mushroom compost, and a mixture of fish emulsion and kelp spray, and avoids pesticides. "While the environment is idyllic, I would say that the farm itself probably doesn't look like what people imagine when they think of a flower farm," says Joynt. "It's a wild and largely unmanicured place. It's a place that's about serious production for us, not creating an aesthetic experience for image­making. I think there's a different kind of beauty in that."

Aside from floral arrangements and a unique selection of home goods and gifts, Field & Florist sells local products. - JACLYN SIMPSON
  • Jaclyn Simpson
  • Aside from floral arrangements and a unique selection of home goods and gifts, Field & Florist sells local products.

After briefly closing for the winter, Field & Florist reopens April 3, 2019. - JACLYN SIMPSON
  • Jaclyn Simpson
  • After briefly closing for the winter, Field & Florist reopens April 3, 2019.
Aside from floral arrangements and a unique selection of home goods and gifts, Field & Florist sells local products like mobiles handmade by Curio Curio, ceramics by Angela Vernachik (including the popular "convertible vases," which adapt to shrinking bouquets), and postcards and book bags designed by the Normal Studio. The shop celebrates the high and low: from Italian hand-blown glass to run-of-the-mill garden pruners. "We carry luxury candles and fragrances from Regime des Fleurs but will get our hands dirty and pot up an inexpensive house plant for you," Joynt says. "It's a place that reflects who we are."

Field & Florist offers wedding and event floral design, special deliveries ($75-$100), and a subscription service, which sends weekly floral arrangements to homes, restaurants, and cafes. The shop also hosts gardening workshops, such as April's ranunculus-focused "spring centerpiece" or September's dahlia-intensive course at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

After briefly closing for the winter, Field & Florist reopens April 3. For the upcoming season, Kobelt raves about their greenhouse full of ranunculus—in colors like chocolate, pale peach, and mauve—and anemones coming into full bloom between April and May. The store will also launch a Web shop for floral deliveries. "Through flowers, we are allowed to be present in people's lives during some of the most significant times of celebration as well as the hardest times of grief," says Joynt. "It is a privilege."  v

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