Let's talk about transparency in the flower marketing world! As in many industries, marketing terms that are used by floral professionals are not regulated. It can be so misleading as a consumer to seek out and wade through all of these terms to figure out who is ACTUALLY selling local, sustainable flowers! Let's talk about some of the misleading terms I see the most: 🌸”Farm to vase" The companies using this term are still usually sourcing from farms 5,000 miles away. Yes, technically, they came from the farm to your vase. But it doesn’t mean they are sourcing from local farms. 🌸”Seasonal" There is no definition when it comes to the term "seasonal." Roses that are imported in February from Ecuador are technically seasonal--in Ecuador. 🌸"Farm fresh" The companies using this term like to have the word "farm" in the name to make customers feel good about their purchases, but the majority of the time, they are still purchasing imported, pesticide-covered flowers. 🌸”Natural" Just as in food, the term "natural" does not mean that the product is grown without toxic chemicals and pesticides. There is zero regulation on the use of the word "natural" in marketing. 🌸"We support farmers!" Technically, every company growing flowers is a flower farmer. This one is very misleading, as it implies that they are supporting local farmers. In reality, these are the same flowers that are being flown and trucked to your grocery store at an enormous environmental cost.
So, how do you ensure you're getting local flowers? 1️⃣Don't shop from online order aggregators (these are the big, nationwide guys). 2️⃣Buy flowers from someone you know--a local florist who you can call and talk to about wanting to buy locally grown flowers, or your local flower farmer 3️⃣Push companies who are using these terms on social media--ask them what they mean by "farm to vase," or "sustainable," or "farm fresh." The more we let these companies know that we want to support local, sustainable flowers, the more likely they are to listen!
What terms have you seen that you find misleading?
Hey, farmer/gardener/soil curator! Been looking for an inexpensive way to increase the level of beneficial microbes, slow release nitrogen and minerals? Have you heard of mesophyllic fertilizer? No? Neither had we, until we stumbled across this recipe...
Here's a shocking statistic: in the three weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, roughly 60 cargo planes per day take off from Columbia and Ecuador, full of pesticide-covered flowers. This herculean effort to meet the consumer demand of the holiday contributes to an incredible carbon emissions footprint, and the travel of your typical imported cut flower doesn't end at the airport:
You might have read our recent post about the excessive use of damaging pesticides in imported cut flowers, but of almost equal concern is fungicide usage. You see, Ecuador, where many of the roses sold in the US are grown, has high amounts of rainfall and the greenhouses where these flowers are grown are notorious for holding in humidity and creating fungus issues like Botrytis.