It’s American Flowers Week! June 28-July 4 marks the floral holiday that celebrates American grown flowers. (Visit americangrownflowers.com to learn more.)
Three of the main reasons I believe in supporting local flowers are uniqueness, sustainability, and economics.
- Not all flowers ship well. When you buy from a local farmer, you can often get something unique, as well as extremely fresh!
- Buying local is more sustainable because the reduction in shipping reduces environmental impact and because flowers imported into the US are usually sprayed with chemicals so that foreign insects are not brought into the country.
- Spending money at local businesses has a greater effect on our local economy.
I have always enjoyed gardening and have found myself more and more drawn to flower farming. I will admit that I have questioned my decision this year with the torrential rain and now the intense summer heat, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of seeing your hard work pay off with something beautiful. I feel fortunate to be farming at Farm 57.
This spring has been one of the wettest on a record. I planted later than I had planned because of flooding. After planting, there was more rain which washed out many of my seeds and transplants. When I thought we were safe from the rain, I planted another succession of seeds. Those were met with 5 inches of rain a few days later. Unfortunately, I have lost a large percentage of the crops I had planned.
Luckily, there are many flowers in bloom just in time for American Flowers Week! There are 8 varieties of zinnias, 4 varieties of sunflowers, 3 varieties of gomphrena, verbena, statice, cosmos, 3 varieties of lilies, and 4 types of foliage. Plus, I have many things in my home cutting garden that I can add to bouquets and arrangements. I also have a new, better plan for next year.
The first true harvest was yesterday. Posy bouquets and two sizes of vase arrangements are available at Farm 57. As the summer goes on and I harvest more, I may add another size bouquet and a flower bar will be available for you to make your own creation. Let me know what you want and I will try to make that happen! Flowers will be available through the first frost, usually mid-October.
I’m looking forward to growing–literally and figuratively–this flower journey.