It’s one of life’s little pleasures–fresh, beautiful flowers pretty much on-demand. They’re at the grocery stores, the drug stores, the local warehouse stores, and often, even on the corners in buckets. Have you ever thought about where those flowers come from and why you may want to consider local flowers for your wedding?
Where Do Cut Flowers Come From?
You may not know this, but many of those cut flowers you find in the floral department of your local grocery store come from other countries. Think of the traditional Valentine’s Day rose–roses don’t bloom outside year-round, and that means that they come from places they are blooming and in-season. That’s typically a place like Bogotá, Colombia. At about 8,500 feet elevation or higher. In 12 full hours of sun.
The same goes for many cut flowers that are not locally in season. They’re brought in from whatever place they’re growing (typically not North America but for a few short months), and that is a huge carbon imprint. Not to mention, in many of those countries, the workers planting and harvesting/processing those flowers for shipment are not always treated with fair labor and wage practices. That whole process is what makes them more expensive (particularly when they’re very out-of-season), and that’s led more consumers to look for local, in-season florals.
There are several reasons you’d want to consider local, in-season flowers for your floral needs. Some are for your benefit, others for the benefit of the earth. All are good reasons to think about where you’re running to grab that bouquet for your child’s teacher or the new mom or your entire wedding.
Out-of-season flowers cost money—a lot of it. As we said, the process to bring an out-of-season flower into our country is one that people pay premium dollars for because they want what they want, and foreign industry supply will cater to that. But it means you’ll pay more for a tulip in November than you would in April every day of the week and twice on Sunday. A good bit more. Choosing local, in-season flowers means you’re going to have an abundance of what the earth around you is offering, and that’ll be better for your pocketbook for sure.
Local = Fresh
When you are choosing flowers for your wedding or your tabletop, you want them to be fresh and last as long as possible. When you purchase local flowers, they have less travel time, less warehousing, and they are farm to the arrangement in a short period. When you order flowers from an online or big box store, they come dry. It takes appropriate resources to rehydrate and revive what has been riding around in a box. Also, remember that FedEx and UPS aren’t air-conditioned, so if you are getting married in the summer, that can affect your blooms while they are en route to you.
The Local Farmer Disappears
It’s estimated that about 80% or so of the flowers sold in America’s grocery stores, gas stations, and traditional retailers are imports from other countries. Fairtrade and pesticide use aren’t even issues. But more, local farmers looking to make living wages are becoming a thing of the past. Sadly, global trade and cheaper overseas wages make it hard for those of us trying to take care of the earth and slow-grow seasonal flowers. Growing heirloom flowers is a passion of ours, and we believe there is much to be gained when you can share in that communal beauty. When you support local florists and floral farmers, you’re supporting your community and helping your community’s circle of life thrive. Choosing local, in-season flowers means that you can be sure you’re getting the most beautiful, thoughtfully planned arrangements without fear of them being crushed in delivery or taking a toll on the earth.
More, though, you’re helping support the local economy and preserve our beautiful land.
It costs a lot of money to have a rose in the middle of December, but it’s also a toll on the environment when the demand for out-of-season flowers trumps all. Many of the most popular flowers (think rose, carnation, lilies) are the ones that take their toll on the ground, water, and people growing them. Not to mention the carbon footprint left when shipping all over the world. Buying local, in-season flowers means that you’re helping reduce the carbon footprint on our earth and ensuring that you’re not adding to a more significant problem in other countries.
We understand that there are special occasions where the flower of your dreams needs to be found for your perfect day, and we’re thankful that there are options to do so. But we also know there is so much beauty to be found in local, in-season goodness. That’s why we offer our Garden Club Memberships for individuals and businesses. You can have local, in-season heirloom flowers to bring you joy, and you know that you’re supporting your local economy simultaneously.
If you are planning a wedding and want local florals then we have you covered. We grow most of our own flowers and when we have to source, we look locally first!