While we often think of hunger during the holiday season, it’s a year-round problem.
“Many people in central Pennsylvania think of summer as a time of harvest and a time of plenty, and while that is true at least somewhat, it’s also a time of great need, especially for children,” said Brad Peterson, director of communications and marketing for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
“Children who rely on school lunches and breakfasts during the school year, don’t have that opportunity during the summer. So those children are coming to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for more of their nutritional needs.”
Our annual food drive, Royer’s Stems Hunger, is June 21-29 and will benefit the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Greater Berks Food Bank.
In this video, Peterson describes some of the items on the food banks’ wish lists:
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts is the florist of choice for the readers of Susquehanna Style magazine.
The glossy monthly publication dubbed June its “Best of Harrisburg Edition,” featuring the best local businesses as voted by its readers.
Royer’s has two Harrisburg-area stores and one in Camp Hill among its 17 stores in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties.
Brad Peterson, director of communications and marketing for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, said there is a misperception that most of the people it serves are homeless. In fact, he said, they account for less than 3 percent of the people accessing food.
“Roughly a third of all the people who receive food from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank are children,” Peterson said. “About 10 to 12 percent of them are seniors and well more than half are working families. Families with at least one working adult who are struggling to put food on the table.”
You can see more of the interview in this video:
A little while back, a customer purchased cut hydrangeas from one of our stores. A brunch was being held in honor of her mother-in-law, and the customer was making hydrangea centerpieces for the occasion.
We placed a special order for the South America-grown flowers, so we knew they were as fresh as could be. Yet the customer was back in our store within 24 hours, her hydrangeas having wilted.
We replaced them so that her needs were met, but in the meantime we recut the original flowers and put them in water with cut-flower food. Within hours, they looked gorgeous again.
The moral to this story? If you’re going to work with cut hydrangeas – lots and lots of consumers are these days, and with good reasons – then don’t skimp on flower food.
Hydrangea flowers have big heads – a single one can be 4 to 8 inches wide – and make a bold statement with great ease. Just plop them in any kind of water-holding container (canning jars are popular) and they look terrific, bringing a garden feel indoors.
Clearly, hydrangeas are popular these days: You’ll find lots of evidence on Pinterest, the online bulletin board. In fact, we incorporated them into a number of our arrangements and deliver loose hydrangeas to our stores a couple of times each week.
Once you get the flowers home, make certain that they have plenty of water that has been mixed with flower food. You can purchase packets of food from your local florist; mix one packet per quart of water.
Hydrangeas represent a great value because you don’t need many of them to make a big impression and, with proper care, they last a long time.
Many of us decorate porches and patios with hardy mums in the fall. But a little bit of loving and some attention to the calendar can help you get the most out of your mums and even keep them blooming in a garden for years to come.
If you planted mums in the ground back in the fall, then the summer months are important in their growth cycle.
Feeding: From spring through July, nourish your mums twice a month with an all-purpose garden fertilizer mixed in water. Stop feeding in August.
Controlling pests: Aphids are the most common pests that afflict garden mums. These are small soft-bodied insects about the size of a pinhead. They range in color from green to yellow to black. They make their livings by sucking the sap out of tender new growth. To control them, spray an all-purpose insecticide or insecticidal soap on the plants once a week for a couple of weeks. Take care not to spray plants in direct sun or when the temperature is above 90 degrees.
Now, if you are thinking about planting your potted mum for the first time, here are some steps to take:
• Be sure to water your potted mums daily as warm days will make them thirsty. At the same time, too much water can damage the roots; provide drainage in decorative pots or baskets.
• It’s best to plant the mums in October so their roots have time to grow before cold weather sets in.
• Once the mums are planted, water them thoroughly a couple of times each week through mid-November. This will encourage the roots to grow deeply. The deeper the roots, the stronger the plants will be.
• In late spring, cut the plants down 6 to 8 inches above the ground. This will give you bushy, compact plants with lots of flowers. As spring gives way to summer, follow the instructions above relative to feeding and pinching.
After participating in their local March of Dimes walk in 2012, employees at Royer’s in Carlisle decided to get more involved this year.
Not only did four of them join the April 28 walk, but in the three weeks leading up to it they set up a collection box for March of Dimes on the store’s counter.
Every customer who made a monetary donation was eligible to enter a drawing for a silk arrangement.
“No donation was too small,” said Liz Mohler, manager of the store at 100 York Road. “And every donation was greatly appreciated.”
Thanks to customers and employees alike, the store collected $270 for March of Dimes.
Royer’s also donated 25 carnations that were handed out to families that were walking in memory of a loved one.
The Royer’s Kids Clubs event on June 22 will help kick off the annual Royer’s Stems Hunger food drive.
Children ages 5 to 12 are asked to donate a non-perishable food item as the price of admission and to bring an empty food can to fill with flowers.
Participants also will have an opportunity to enter the kids club’s birthday card design contest for a chance to win a flower delivery.
Time slots are available at 10 a.m., 2p.m. and 3 p.m. at each of Royer’s 17 stores in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties. Registration is required by calling your nearest Royer’s store.
Royer’s Stems Hunger is June 21-29. Food will be collected at all Royer’s stores to benefit the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Greater Berks Food Bank.
Royer’s Stems Hunger will return June 21-29 to collect non-perishable food items for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Greater Berks Food Bank.
Customers are asked to bring food items to any Royer’s Flowers & Gifts store and place them in a collection barrel. For each food item, they will receive a free carnation, up to a maximum of six carnations per family per visit.
In its first two years, Royer’s Stems Hunger has collected nearly 2,500 pounds of food for the two food banks.
M is for the many (so many) floral arrangements that we’re busy making for Mother’s Day.
Royer’s team members will handcraft nearly 14,000 arrangements May 1-7 (off May 5) in our central design department at 810 S. 12th St., Lebanon. You can get a glimpse of the activity in the slideshow below.
We have some exciting news to share with you about our wedding plans.
Not a specific wedding, mind you, but rather the new wedding styles and flowers that we’re working to offer brides and grooms.
If you’ve followed this blog, you know about the extra effort – namely, regular trips to South America – we make to ensure the highest-quality flowers for our customers.
Similarly, earlier this year we sent several Royer’s representatives to a wedding design conference offered by floral wholesaler Florabundance Inc. The event, called “Inspirational Design Days,” took place on Dos Pueblos Ranch, overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara, Calif.
Cheryl Brill, Royer’s vice president of retail operations, was joined on the trip by Holly Newpower and Jennifer Stout, Royer’s store managers at Camp Hill and Shillington, respectively.
The experience gave them an opportunity to work with beautiful product that they typically don’t handle, Cheryl said, and to design in a natural, unconstructed way without concern for budgets, costs or recipes.
The participants designed wedding bouquets; beachside ceremony decorations; and a 30-foot-long centerpiece comprising mossy birch branches, strands of ivy gathered in the adjoining woods, and small vintage vases filled with groupings of garden roses, tulips, cut hyacinths, clematis, accented with candelabra and votive candles.
It was akin to a spa day for florists – or what Cheryl called a “guiltless playground.”
As a next step, we’re training our wedding consultants on the flowers and styles exhibited at the Florabundance seminar. We’re also redesigning the wedding content on royers.com.
Our intent is to provide more options for our wedding-planning customers.
“We must serve our more traditional customers as we always have,” Cheryl said, “while still keeping abreast of the newest trends in the industry. Inspirational Design Days was a great opportunity to do just that.”