Local flowers have global impact?
We started Old Stone House Farm a few years in to a burgeoning ‘local flower’ movement. We learned early on about the excellent Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), the members of which have incredible passion for sharing and learning together. It was at an ASCFG annual meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan that we were lucky enough (or was it plucky enough?) to hook up with a group of fabulous pioneer Wisconsin growers who took us in as newbies for two seasons of on-the-job tutelage. If I must say so myself, we’ve been quick studies in grasping the incredible opportunity, and at the same time, recognizing the equally-incredible challenge it is to grow and sell beautiful specialty cut flowers.
But wait — these flowers we grow are having a global impact, too? The concept that’s turned into a movement, Slow Flowers, is a close cousin to the Slow Food movement. It is not only helping wannabe growers such as us get a start, it’s influencing the global flower industry. In How Slow Flowers movement influences global flower trade the locally grown flower movement is described as both an ethic (reducing the carbon footprint of flowers shipped to the U.S. from Columbia and Ecuador, for example), as well as an aesthetic (such as offering highly diverse seasonal selections and use of the same plant at different stages of its life) that is influencing the whole industry.
Now, you can “know your grower” not only for the vegetables you eat, but even when it comes to the flowers you purchase to decorate your home or special event.
Across the board, consumers today are showing more interest in supply-chain transparency. Transparency is important—but even more important, in the case of flowers, is the feeling of connection to nature, which feeds the human passion for flowers and plants. That is precisely the aim of the Slow Flowers movement….“to reconnect people with the source of their flowers.”
We will be newbies for a while yet, but we are humbled every day that we have this opportunity to grow, harvest, design and hand over to an appreciative customer one of our beautiful locally grown market bouquets. Thank you for your part in that! — Gina