Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Local Flowers....When is a flower farmer a farmer?
I met with a gentleman yesterday as we chatted about my flower business I felt challenged to a point to prove I am a farmer. The fact that I also design seemed to throw him out of his comfort zone of soybeans. corn, sugar beets etc... type of farming.
In the herb bouquet above I have grown each plant, bloom, leaf from seed or propagation. I gathered them by cutting, placed them in water to condition them and then arranged them, then sold them to a customer who loved the scent and the fact they were grown without chemicals, using all natural sustainable methods.
I weed, hoe, till, mulch, I sweat. I plan. I plant. I harvest, on 2.5 acres in size and location its considered an Urban Farm. Although I am surrounded by conventional farm land with fields of corn and soybeans.
I do not own a tractor, yet many of blooms are provided despite that fact, for designing weddings and all occasion farm fresh flower arrangements.
Flower Farmers don't sell their products by the bushel or peck. They sell by the stem, bunch or arrangement. usually with a passion for beauty, fragrance and nature's creatures such as honey bees and butterflies that seem to go deeper than the conventional farmer or so it appears these days.
There's a local flower movement happening here in the USA. More and more folks who love the sustainable ag lifestyle are planting flowers to be sold at local farmers markets, farm stands and local florists. Many grow utilizing organic or natural methods.
Local flowers do not have to travel but a few miles vs thousands of miles out of country, last longer up to two weeks for some blooms. Often the varieties are quite different from your typical florist fare of carnations and pomps.
So am I a farmer? Yes I am and I love having my hands in the soil. Watching the miracle of plants go from seed to bouquet is no less than amazing with each creation. For me, its a passion that has grown over the years, working with Brides or designing a Sympathy arrangement from the farm gardens... my business is a place of beauty and soul depth fulfillment , it is what drives my passion for growing specialty cut flowers and designing with them.
Out west a florist is expected to have local flowers on hand due to their location and weather. Out east a shop called Local Color Flowers is making headway for the local flower movement because of the owner, Ellen Frost's devotion to using in seasonal local product from local growers.
I am so grateful for my loyal customers who appreciate my hard work farming and designing. Each floral occasion is a celebration of life for all of us; from a single stem, a simple bouquet, to a wedding party, to a garden style arrangement.
Here's to the local flower movement. HERE! HERE!!!! Maybe someday the rose growers will return to the Thumb of Michigan.
I hope you'll stay tuned in. I'll be sharing here each Tuesdays for more on the local flower movement.
Wishing you all a day filled blooms and blessings. Teemie