Monday, November 18, 2013

Buy American Grown Flowers

I'm a newbie to floral design and one of the reasons for this blog is for me to journal my work so that I can see my progression and to see what I would change.  As a freshman floral designer, I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can about all the parts of the floral industry.  Upon all my reading and searching, I discovered Debra Prinzing.  She reinforced what I was already thinking and feeling and also changed the way I view flowers.  For those who don't know, Debra is a writer and an advocate for American grown flowers.  She has written many books including, The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers, both of which I need to add to my reading list.  Debra's website and podcast has completely enlightened me on how necessary and important it is buy American grown flowers.  According to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, almost 80% of flowers sold in the U.S. are grown elsewhere.  I was astounded by this statistic and now I'm driven to design with more American grown flowers.  

I didn't post last week because after being educated on the American flower market, what I had created no longer was up to my standards.  The post was going to be on how I transformed a grocery store bouquet and of course then I realized that the flowers that had been purchased were most likely imported.  If you've been following my blog, you notice that most of my work always has some locally grown blooms in them already along with some store bought flowers.  I started buying flowers from local growers because I like to support local farmers and I found that what they were offering was more interesting and fresher than what I could find at the grocery stores or area florist shops, but I was and am limited with growers to source from.  I wished I had more local ingredients available to me to work with.  Wishing doesn't change anything.  I know that I have to make it happen.  I have to buy more from farmers in order for them to want to grow more and I have to put the work into finding more growers to source from.  I'm very excited to tell you that I took the beginning steps to make things happen.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.   
So, this is what I've learned and this is what I will change.  I will source as much as I can from local growers and what I can't, I'll be sure that it's American grown.  Not only does this support our economy, but it's also a more sustainable way to enjoy fresh flowers.  We all love that, right?  I have included an image of the grocery store inspired arrangement I created because, although I'm not proud of the purchase, for me it represents an awakening to take some action into my own hands.  I did include some foliage and lavender from my yard, dahlias from my sister-in-law's garden and the pumpkin was grown by a local farmer.  I could go on and on about the benefits of buying locally grown flowers, but to find out more information for yourself, you can head over to Debra Prinzing's site or to the ASCFG's site.  

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