Living in a foodie town like Charleston, you’ve most certainly heard of “slow food,” but have you heard of “slow flowers”? Debra Prinzing, the “Queen of the Slow Flower Movement” and one of my mentors, describes the practice: “At its simplest, it means enjoying flowers grown with sustainable farming practices harvested in their natural season of bloom, sourced as close to you as possible, and produced by florists who are using green, chemical-free design techniques.”
So how can you become a more conscientious flower consumer? Here’s a list organized in terms of impact.
Buy flowers directly from a flower farmer. We have quite a few amazing local flower farmers that set up at markets. Some that will even deliver to your door.
Support flower shops who use American-grown flowers. If you don’t know, ask. If shops aren’t currently making the effort to use American- and locally-grown flowers, hearing from customers will show shops that there is a demand. It’s not that hard to make the sourcing switch. Roadside Blooms has done this since 2012 and our prices are competitive. There’s no excuse for shops not to do this even if they divert just a fraction of their spending to American farmers.
How to send flowers to someone out of town. Avoid 1-800 type services. Not only do they pigeonhole florists who choose to use their services into cheesy designs with imported flowers, they take a huge percentage of the profit. Instead, find a local florist, and ask them whether they can use American-grown flowers. Pro tip: Ask for the designer’s choice. When you let a floral artist run with a design, it’s always much prettier. Also, you can easily search for a florist who aligns with the slow flowers movement by going to www.slowflowers.com.
Read labels. If you are shopping for flowers at a grocery store, read the labels just like you would on meat or vegetables! Look for labels such as “Certified American Grown”, “California Grown” for domestic products. For imports with better standards, look for “Veriflora”, “Fair Trade” and “Rainforest Alliance Certified.
The next time you are holding a beautiful bundle of American-grown blooms or a certified imported product, know that you’ve made the conscious choice to not support the international abuse of workers (primarily women) and the pillaging of the environment for short-term profits.
Peace, Love, and Flowers,