I recently read the book "The 50 Mile Bouquet" by Debra Prinzing. She writes about individuals who grow and sell fresh flowers in the United States. She shares their struggles in competing with foreign countries in selling fresh flowers and their creativity and joy in producing flowers and selling them locally.
There was a lot to learn about the $40 billion worldwide industry of selling flowers that are fill with chemicals, or buying flowers grown in the United States that are fresher, chemical free and longer lasting. The lives and stories of these dedicated farmers were fascinating.
There were many tips throughout the stories such as how to postpone the bud's opening of a peony for up to a month, and keeping daffodils in a separate water-filled plastic bag when part of an arrangement When the stems of daffodils are cut, a sap-like substance seeps out and shortens the life of other flowers in the vase.
Years ago my sister-in-law, Bobbie, put up a green house in her backyard and sold flowers in her front yard. Then she went on to sell at farmer's markets and craft fairs. I not only enjoy photographing her bounteous supply, but also enjoy the flowers I buy from her (when she lets me). Knowing someone labored lovingly over their work and enjoys supplying others with their gift of creations, makes me want to purchase from them. The below snap is one of my favorite from her garden.
No, I'm not considering becoming a farmer and growing fields and fields of beautiful flowers. My two small gardens are more than enough for me to handle. But I am more discerning about where I purchase flowers, asking if they are locally grown. All it takes is a little research in your area to find where these determined and happy farmers ply their trade. You can find many at your farmer's market.
In March, I pulled up a website from the book that sells gorgeous dahlias only to find they were already sold out for 2013. It was Corralitos Gardens, on the California coast, and they are best known for their mail-order business selling dahlia plants to gardeners and growers. Customers in 42 states gobble up 15,000 plus plants each spring. I'm now on their email list.
I enjoyed reading about folks living their dream of growing and selling fresh, chemical free and beautiful flowers. The next time you need a bouquet of flowers, try avoiding the cellophane wrapped bundles and finding some fresh flowers locally.
Flower farming. Right here in the USA. Unfussy, chemical-free, natural flowers. My eyes have been opened!
Another snap from Bobbies garden that I love!