February’s issue of Sunset Magazine includes a great article by Debra Prinzing titled, “The 5-Mile Bouquet.” A writer based out of both Seattle and Los Angeles, I have enjoyed each of the opportunities I’ve had to get to know Debra during our discussions on California flowers and their farmers. As a Master Gardener and a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Debra has a personal passion for the garden, flowers and farming that makes her writing and coverage of our flower farms all the more meaningful and authentic.
Debra is also responsible for the December 31st Rose Parade article on the front page of the LA Times Home section titled, “Two floats bring California flowers back to Rose Parade.” That may have been last year’s news, but we are still enjoying the impact that her article has had on those who have had the opportunity to read it.
However, this more recent piece in Sunset Magazine addresses three things that I believe the California Cut Flower Commission is hoping to help educate consumers about when buying their flowers:
- “Know Your Food, Know Your Flowers.”
Debra rightly points out that there is currently a trend afoot when it comes to people sourcing their food, but where your flowers come from should matter to you too. She goes onto describe the popularity and freshness of CSA boxes. Yet for all the reasons people care about where their food is coming from, those same reasons should also be driving one’s flower purchasing. Whether its for quality, variety, environmental or economic reasons, people should be looking for local when buying their flowers.
- Be aware of the “Transportation Footprint” of your flowers
Debra talks about the idea of “minimizing your carbon footprint” when sourcing your flowers. To help address her point, the Commission recently commissioned a study by SureHarvest on the sustainability of California’s flowers that found California’s flowers’ transportation footprint was 3-16 times less into the major cities throughout the US, when compared against product flown in from South America. It’s also important to note that currently none of the consumer facing sustainability or organic certification labels on flowers account for this important fact.
- “California’s Flowers are America’s Flowers”
While I do like her title, “The 5-Mile Bouquet,” the reality is that people will still want year-round access to flowers. So, the Commission is working hard to help people know that they do have options. California offer’s year-round access to “local” flowers for consumers nationwide. When almost 80% of all flowers sold in the United States now come from South America, for all of the reasons Debra describes, California is that local choice. California Flowers are America’s Flowers!
Did you know that almost 80% of all flowers sold in the U.S. were imported from South America? Look for the “CA Grown” label when you buy your flowers. If you don’t see it…ASK!
You can meet our California Flower Farmers on our YouTube Channel: The GrowTube