Locally grown flowers require a bucket, fresh water and some careful attention to growing and harvest methods. 'Slow Flowers', a term coined by Debra Prinzing who wrote a book by the same name, is an "anti mass marketing approach to celebrations, festivities and floral gifts of love." Slow Flowers come from local farms and they reflect the seasons.
But, if you need more reason to love buying local flowers...
Fresh, fresh, fresh. Imported flowers are harvested and can take 5 to 7 days before they reach their destination. Slow Flowers are often picked and delivered the same day. Our flowers can last for over two weeks in water...sometimes longer. To get fresher flowers than ours you'd have to grow them yourself!
Beautiful varieties. Do you know that there are over 50 varieties of sunflowers? You may only see one or two varieties in you local grocery store. We grow 6 varieties of sunflowers and they are always changing. Local growers have lovely and interesting varieties and carry many native choices, too.
Bees, insects and wildlife live around our flowers. While the neighborhood armadillo and I are enemies, we fight fairly. I don't poison him, and he has to learn to get by the cayenne pepper I put in his path to direct him to an area of the yard where he's more welcome. Bees and insects are welcome in our yard, and when we need to get tough we do it in an environmentally friendly way.
The seasons guide us. You won't find the same flowers growing year round. In the winter we grow zinnias, ornamental kale, Texas bluebonnets, ranunculus, fennel fern and sunflowers. In the spring we have zinnias, sunflowers, and gomphrena. In the summer, coleus and green tail amaranthus, sunflowers, celosia because they survive the heat and rain. Just as the Slow Food movement is about eating food that's in season and locally grown, the same is true for the Slow Flower movement. We enjoy bouquets that express the cycle of the seasons.
Local, local, local. Did you know that Colombia accounts for 70% of the flowers imported to the US each day? Countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Thailand and Kenya grow almost all the flowers offered for sale through your local florist, online and in your grocery store. The use of many chemicals and the lack of environmental concerns is a hallmark of the flower business in these parts of the world. Flower farm workers from these locals are exposed to toxins on a daily basis and work for little wages. Buying local flowers grows our local economy and doesn't support the vast, distant farms with harmful practices.
Just a few miles. Everyone love a short commute, and flowers are no different. The transportation and energy costs of producing locally grown flower and is minimal. Most of the flowers sold at the grocery store, florist shop and online are grown thousands of miles away. After processing, they are boxed, and loaded for a flight to Miami. Locally grown flowers have a tiny footprint and that's something we are very proud of.