Most likely you have heard of the Slow Food Movement or the 100 Mile Diet but have you heard of a similar concept applied to fresh flowers?
Author, Debra Prinzing has created the www.slowflowers.com website, a database of national flower growers, suppliers and florist dedicated to using American Flowers. Recently the website has grown to included Canadians who follow the same idea of supporting the industry in their own country. We were the first Canadians to join after meeting Debra and members of Slow Flowers at an event at the Seattle Growers Market Cooperative.
Debra explains her motivation about creating the Slow Flowers website, "It became apparent to me that people want locally-grown, domestic flowers. But it isn't easy to find American-grown flowers in the sea of unlabeled imported ones. It's also hard to discover those very special, dedicated designers committed to using flowers from their local farmers or event flowers grown in nearby states, such as during the off season" and "You should be able to know the origins of the flowers you order to send to a loved one. You should be assured that the bouquet you carry down the aisle was grown by an American flower farmer. You should know that jobs are being created and nurtured in your community. It's all about making a conscious choice."
Before visiting Seattle I had been taking a hard look at how to make the company more mindful about the products we were consuming and how we served our customers. The company had been operating in a retail setting for over 60 years and was located in a busy shopping centre in the downtown core of Chillliwack, BC. Busy, fast paced with high volume.
The opportunity presented itself for us to create a design studio on our farm in Rosedale, BC. So we moved the store and planted some flower seeds, bulbs and trees to supplement purchases from our wonderful local growers.
Since moving the store my personal connection to working with flowers, plants and the environment has developed. I appreciate the flowers more and the colours seem to have more depth and richer colors. I get excited about going to the farms and connecting with the grower and seeing what new little blooms have sprung. My connection with nature has developed so that I am more aware of what what new buds look like and the cycle of a plants life. I actually see and enjoy little garden critters like the frogs, newts and mason bees.
For me the Slow Flowers Movement is about being present, in the moment and connecting with the world around me. Pardon the cliche but the journey has become about slowing down to smell the flowers.