We talk a lot about food miles, organics, and sustainable practices with food choices, our homes, and our gardens… what about the flowers we put on the table next to the meal? And the ones we send to loved ones in times of celebration, congratulations, or condolences? How were they grown, what were they sprayed with, and how far have they traveled?
Generally speaking, the floral industry is notoriously UN-eco-friendly, often grown with chemical insecticides, bloom-boosting chemical fertilizers, then shipped from other continents to arrive in your local floral case for your bouquet. Nowhere do you find long-stemmed roses budding in Ohio in January, yet there they are in the florist’s case. While this is an amazing example of worldwide trade, it’s not a great way to live greener or reduce our commerce miles.
The good news is, some florists are now working with local growers, which cuts down on travel miles right off the bat. Next, smaller local farms can carry a larger selection of truly interesting varieties, including heirlooms and regional cultivars quite different from the standards, bringing back the incredible fragrance which has been bred out of floral offerings in exchange for the ability to survive international travel. Finally, organic and sustainable practices can be utilized to fulfill a new demand for precisely that, and as you know this welcomes wildlife back into the floral farm.
Organic floral designers want you to know that you can still have elegant, sophisticated arrangements – a seasonal, organic bouquet doesn’t just mean a mason jar of prairie flowers. (Unless, of course, that’s what you want!) There is something lovely to us about anything encouraging seasonality to bouquets. Not just seasonally-themed, but actually made from the flowers, leaves, seedpods, and twigs that celebrate the best of what is happening outdoors, right here, right now!
We visit several florists and farmers making big strides in creating a beautiful, sustainable floral system together with their communities of customers, designers, and event planners.
Links for this episode:
- Jello Mold Farm, Seattle
- Lila B Floral Design, San Francisco (also featured in Ep 214: Small Space Gardening)
- The Secrets Behind Your Flowers – Smithsonian Magazine
- Joe’s blog post on this episode
Bjorn Button says
Great Show. I love the flower variety. I think it is neat what you can do with organic and bio media. I agree with the comment above that we need to return to a more healthy diet. Cancer rates would drop if we weren’t exposed to harmful ingredients and chemicals. My family is relatively healthy because we have try to go more natural and cut out all fast food. Anyways, look forward to the next segment.
Michelle I can’t speak for the show itself but I can add my guess as to why.
To begin, most if not all ingredients used on the show are organic and/or raised in a human
way. Which is directly inline with the shows philosophy. Taking it one step further, as a whole there is no one “diet” which everyone can agree on. Even within the vegetarian arena there is conflict: raw vs vegan vs lacto-ovo, etc etc, Add Paleo, and others like it to the mix and it would be nearly impossible for the show to keep everyone happy.
Personally I think they do a good job of hitting the main points.
1. Making people aware of where their food comes from.
2. Making people aware that no matter what our current, overly large, chemical riddled system says, organic (sustainable methods for raising ALL types of foods) can in fact feed us.
If the show accomplishes only those two things, our country’s health would skyrocket. Keep in mind the current food system which the US “employs” did not occur overnight. It slowly changed over decades. Getting back to where we were will take even longer given the profits many of these mass producers are obtaining. Going from fast food to vegan/paleo will not happen over night. If Joe and Crew help begin our move back to real foods, his show will be an overwhelming success. I hope you agree.
Michelle itkowitz says
Why doesn’t chef Nathan cook with vegan ingredients? Butter, eggs, meat, cheese, white flower… Blech. Seems so out of wack with the otherwise wonderful show. He’s a delightful chef but why not use ingredients that are better for our bodies, better for the planet.
Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand says
Wonderful segment! Did you know that you can naturally extend the life of cut flowers with my Moo Poo Tea <|;-) @RedneckRosarian tested cut roses with a few table spoons of Moo Poo Tea in his vase water and after 10 days his cut roses were looking wonderful! It also extends the life of Cut Christmas Trees just another way to use this wonderful sustainable garden product!