Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for acquiring flowers. When you get that bouquet home, “how long are they likely to last?” you may ask yourself.
Chances are those flowers are old by the time they are arranged in a vase, especially given that a vast majority of cut flowers purchased in the US and in the UK are imported.
The UK spends more than £2bn on cut flowers per year, of which 90% are imported. Foreign imports also dominate the USA’s flower market, accounting for more than 80% of flowers sold in the country.
That wasn’t always the case, as just like fruit and veggies grown locally, so too were cut flowers.
As consumers begin to become more clued up about where clothes and food comes from, that same question needs to be asked of that beautiful bouquet of cut flowers at the grocery store.
The short film (below) by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers illustrates the movement back to locally-grown cut flowers now gaining strength across the US.
If fresh flowers are what you truly want, the best way to go about acquiring them is to support your local farmer or flower grower. There are a number of benefits to buying flowers from a local grower including:
- The flowers will be seasonal – Locally grown flowers are seasonal and sustainable. When you buy from a local grower, you’ll experience varieties of flowers you cannot find elsewhere. You’ll get a sense of what is growing in your locale and when.
- The flowers will be fresh – Imported flowers can be cut a week or more before they arrive in your hands. During this time, quality and vase life decline. Local flowers can last up to three times longer than imported flowers. Locally-grown flowers are cut just days before (sometimes even the same day) as they arrive in the customer’s hands. As well as extended shelf life, locally grown fresh flowers also tend to have brighter colours, stronger scents, and are in better form.
- Supports local wildlife – Locally grown flowers mean more fields of blooms in your locality, which is beneficial for bees, birds, and other wildlife.
- Supports local business – By purchasing from a local grower, you’ll be supporting your local economy, businesses and community.
If you live in the UK, check out Flowers From The Farm to find flowers in your area. And if you live in the US, check out the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers for local flower farmers. For any other country, do a search online for local flower farmers in your area.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. I write about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and I offer content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com