About 80% of the flowers sold through grocery stores, floral shops, and FTD are grown overseas, where sustainable farming is not common. Fewer (if any) restrictions are placed on the types of chemicals used during farming in many countries (compared to the U.S.). Many of the chemicals used in the fields destroy the soil, leach into the surrounding water system, and are harmful to workers.
When these flowers are ready to harvest, they are boxed without water. The boxed flowers are then flown thousands of miles, go through a customs inspection, sent to a broker, and finally delivered to a florist or supermarket. The transit chain requires a great deal of refrigeration, burning fossil fuel all along the way, and takes a week from start to finish, sometimes more! That's a week without water! That said, how fresh are those "Fresh Cut Flowers" you just purchased from the store? Because of the long distance sourcing, the vase life of the flowers have diminished, sometimes only two days and they have to be thrown out.
There is a better way to spend your hard earned money on "fresh" flowers. Small local flower farmers are members of your community. Farming is not easy work, so these people typically have a passion for what they are growing, unusually have large hearts and faith in the future. They wouldn't endure a perpetual backache and sore hands, or the freezing cold and blistering heat, if they didn't love the land they are stewarding and the flowers they are growing. Flower farming in particular is a science and an art in patience, hope, planning, and intention. Notice how these farmers smile at you when you show interest in their product. They're proud to be handing you that bouquet. They put their heart and soul into growing their flowers.
Locally grown flowers usually never leave water. They are usually grown with very minimal chemicals if not organically. They grow in a field where the natural rain and sun support their growth. Locally grown flowers have a huge array of diversity; countless varieties to choose from in a rainbow of colors. The bees, butterflies and birds in the fields enjoy the diversity too. They go on to pollinate nearby food crops, keeping our ecosystem healthy and our tables full. Locally grown flowers are usually picked the same day or just the day before you buy them. They last a lot longer in the vase – at least a week, sometimes two depending on the variety of flower and the care they are given.
Experience a bouquet of truly "fresh cut flowers". Contact a local flower farmer or visit one at your closest Farmer's Market. Ask your neighborhood floral shop if they buy any of their flower stock from local growers. Many do support local growers and are proud to say so. Some are not interested in buying local, until they hear that their customers would prefer to purchase fresher, locally grown flowers.
See more images "flowering" on our Photo Gallery page!