Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 KB Cup “Iron Designer” Is…

The ONLY details provided and 10 entered.

Here's the KB Cup behind-the-scene story.

Two months of brainstorming, behind the scenes work to marketing and promoting of the 2015 KB Cup Floral Design Competition resulted in an exciting and fun event at this year’s KB Open House. A blog on our KB Open House coming soon(KB is a part of the annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House Tour)

I love and believe in the KB Cup Floral Design Competition because it benefits everyone: giving back to our community (all of KB proceeds are donated to Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks), supporting our floral industry by educating and entertaining the general public, recognizing the amazing talents of designers and of course, an opportunity to showcase KB grown flowers.

In order to truly appreciate the KB Cup "Iron Chef" Challenge, let me share all the details behind the final results. Typically, I do not post anything this long and lengthy, but in this case, I believe it's a journey worth reading for 10 minutes. Like and share if you agree.  

In the Blind - Judges & Competitors

On Tuesday 6/16, 
our judges: Steven Brown AIFD (City College of San Francisco
Environmental Horticulture/Floristry Department Chair), Jenny Tabarracci AIFD, CFD
(Instructor/Designer - City College of San Francisco Environmental Horticulture/Floristry) and Susan Ishkanian, AIFD (Freelance Designer) received the final details.

Yes, we also kept the "secrets" from our judges! 

On Friday, the day before the competition, our competitors found out the KB Cup will not be a two-level divisional competition, instead it will be one competition for all. SURPRISE! 

During the random table selections, I discovered an empty table. Talk about being spontaneous, 5 minutes before the competition, Lily Lum-Chan was cheered on (some would say peer pressured) to compete. It was meant to be, Greg Lum had some extra tools for her! 

Creativity under Pressure

No glue. No tape. No wires. No prep-work. Oh My! No clue until the day of the competition and per round surprises. The only allowed tools were scissor, plier, pruner, stemwrap and knife.  

The competition theme was Designing for Men ~ Happy Father's Day. Our designers were given only one foam to use for the entire competition. 

Round 1 - Designer's Freestyle - 15 minutes to select 15 stems and design (9" dish)
Round 2 - Top 7 were given a Mystery Box - 10 minutes to think, be creative and design (6" container and 1 stem aspidistra, 1 stem KB mini calla lily, 1 stem KB gerrondo, 1 stem KB stock and 1 stem KB lisianthus)

At this point, the pressure definitely went up a notch or two...5 stems?! 10 minutes?!

Final round - the top 5 received the 2 secret stems (1 KB mini calla lily, 1 KB gerbera) and the 1 secret small prop was a golf ball with holes! They had 15 minutes total to select 8 more stems using all 3 secret items to create a design for a golfer's dinner party. (1/3" cage w/foam)

A few of the competition designs here. 
We'll be posting many more pictures throughout the week.

 3rd Place ~ So-Yeon Kim (Student – City College of SF Floristry Dept)

2nd Place ~ Lily Lum-Chan, AIFD

People's Choice Award ~ Greg Lum, AIFD, EMC (Flowers Indeed!)

The 2015 KB Cup Winner ~ Hee Joo

She defeated 9 other talented designers among them... 
the 3 years in a row KB Cup Floral Design Competition Winner,
Greg Lum.

Adding to the final moments of excitement, Greg was in the final round...
Robert announced 3rd and 2nd places, a pause to retrieve the KB Cup trophy.

And the KB Cup winner is...TABLE 10!
(Silence followed by screams was what I remembered) 

Thanks everyone, let's do it again next year!

(Left to right) Judges: Susan Ishkanian, Steven Brown and Jenny Tabarracci. 2015 KB Cup Winner Hee Joo (table 10), 2nd Place Lily Chan, 5 minutes before competition entry! (table 8), 3rd Place So-Yeon Kim (table 4) and the People's Choice Greg Lum.

Linda Nguyen

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yoshimi Shibata: 100 Years of Flower Growing

Shimi Shibata celebrates his 100th

Two weekends ago, I accompanied my mother, Uncle Ted, Auntie Heidi and Cousin Barbara to celebrate Shimi Shibata’s 100th birthday celebration in Palo Alto. 

Yoshimi Shibata, Uncle Ted and Grace Shibata

For those who don’t know Shimi, he was the President of Mt Eden Nursery and Mt Eden Wholesale Florist

Shimi has accomplishments that are too long to list, but it is not an exaggeration to say that the Northern California flower business flourished because of his support of immigrant flower growers, and developing the technology to ship flowers across the country.  

Rob and Alex Shibata (Shimi's son and grandson)

Andy, Mrs. Matsui, Uncle Ted and Jun Uchida

Much of the Kitayama Brothers’ success was the result of their relationship with Shimi and his family.  My father Ray came to Northern California after WW II ended because he heard the Shibatas were hiring Japanese-Americans, not everybody was so willing after WWII.  Shimi shared his knowledge and wisdom with my father and uncles who used this experience to open their own nursery.

Over the years, we may have been competitors but there was always the respect and knowledge of how much Shimi helped our family.  

On his 100th we all offer Shimi our thanks and continued health.

Mike Suyeuyasu and Brad Beck

George Nishimura and Jack and Mrs. Van Namenlin

The Garcia Family came all the way from Atlanta!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Meet the 2015 KB Cup Judges

KB Cup Floral Design Competition
during KB Open House,
a benefit event for 
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks!
(KB is part of the Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Tour)


Steven W. Brown AIFD
City College of San Francisco
Environmental Horticulture/Floristry Department Chair

Mr. Brown has been teaching at CCSF for the past 29 years. And has been serving as faculty elected Chair for the Environmental Horticulture/Floristry Department for fifteen years. Steven's goal is to provide students with the best possible learning experience and environment possible in Horticulture and Floral Design.

Steven represents City College's Horticulture program in/at many related groups and organizations including: the American Institute of Floral Designers, California State Florists Association (Board Member), Master Florists Association (Board Member), Ikebana International (Lifetime member), the San Francisco Conservatory Advisory Board, Specialty Cut Flowers Growers Association, Teleflora's Northern California/Nevada Unit (Board Member), and is an Honorary member of the San Francisco Garden Club and San Francisco Gardener Apprenticeship Advisory. He is a founding co-president of the Organization of Floral Art Designers, a Board Member of Master Florists Association. Steven is a Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and a California Certified Florist. 

He has been published in the Florist Review: "Care and Handling of Cut Flowers" and Super Floral Retail: "Cut Flower of the Month" and "Blooming Plant of the Month". Steven is co-author of Teleflora's: "Green and Blooming Plants".

Part of the annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House
KB Open House part of the Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Tour

Jenny Tabarracci AIFD, CFD, CFJ
City College of San Francisco
Environmental Horticulture/Floristry

Jenny Tabarracci is an Instructor in the Environmental Horticulture and Floristry department at City College of San Francisco with over 20 years of experience in the floral industry.  She is the lead advisor/coach for the college’s national champion floral design team.

Jenny graduated with honors from California State University, Sacramento, earning a BA in Fine Arts. .  She has a Certificate of Retail Floristry from City College of San Francisco, where she was an award winning student.

Jenny began her career as a retail flower shop owner in San Anselmo, CA.  She has freelanced for many floral design companies, such as West Portal Floral Company, Michael Daigian Floral Design and Julie Stevens Floral and Event Design.

Jenny is actively involved in the industry and a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) where she is recognized as a Certified Evaluator and Judge.  She has served on the AIFD Northwest Regional board of directors and presented in programs at AIFD National Symposiums.

Benefit Event for Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Susan Ishkanian is a freelance designer from the Bay Area  

She is a graduate of San Mateo Floristry and Horticulture programs.  During the past 12 years, she has focused on high end weddings and corporate events.  She is currently a board member of AIFD's Northwestern Region.  

Earlier this year, Susan was a committee member responsible in coordinating the AIFD floral exhibit at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show in San Mateo.   She was one of the judges three years ago at the Kitayama Brothers Floral Design Competition for the student level division.  She has worked with float designs for Fiesta Parade Floats for the Tournament Rose Bowl parade for the past three years.

Deadline to Enter: June 12th