The Industry 2/18/22

The Industry 2/18/22

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on


  We had a wild week getting our first real blooms of the season out to all you lovers and we really appreciate all the enthusiasm for our sustainable flowers grown here in the U.S.  We wish we could get flowers out to everybody, but are pleased to have gotten the early blooms we did. Thankfully, we are seeing more and more signs of life from the tunnels and fields and will be able to send out more abundant beauty as each week carries us out of winter and into spring.  Soon, we’ll be swimming in a sea of flowers that we can send in all directions.

Meanwhile, here’s a few fun facts about the flower industry:  

  •  The U.S. used to grow most of its own flowers, but in the 90’s, our government subsidized imports from Colombia and Ecuador (something to do with cocaine) and all but killed our domestic flower farming industry which could no longer compete.  Farms everywhere shut down and long-stemmed roses and carnations became the blah default for everything that they are today.
  • In 2021, imports hit a record $1.75 billion, $730 million of that was just roses
  • Miami International Airport handled 300,000+ flowers daily in the build-up to Valentine’s Day 2022. 
  • Supply chain issues have driven prices up 20-30% this valentines.
  • This year, a dozen roses fetched as high as $100 at flower shops in the U.S.
  • Import flowers can generate serious carbon emissions because of refrigeration and long-haul transport. 
  • Stems from international origins may be transported up to 6,000 miles in refrigerated airplane holds. 
  • In 2018, Valentine’s Day flowers grown in Colombia and flown to US airports produced some 360,000 metric tons of CO2. That’s roughly equivalent to 78,000 cars driven for one year.

  So, that’s the economic and environmental reality of the flower industry.   The silver lining is that this reality has produced a small (and hopeful) backlash that rides on the momentum of the clean food movement.  People that value organic and locally grown foods, which support the local economy, have started to connect those same dots to their flower purchases too.  So, there has been an upsurge in small flower farms in the last 6 years or so and people all over the country are growing beautiful flowers once again. It’s a beautiful trend we hope continues.  The larger trend towards increased imports still continues though….despite the impact on availability from fragile and overextended supply chains we have all experienced in recent years.

  We firmly believe that your best flower purchase is always with your local, professional, sustainable grower.  Farmers markets are always a great place to start.  But if you need to ship a gift, we are the next best thing.  100% compostable packaging, carbon offsets for every mile, solar powered, bio-fueled, organically and domestically grown, workers paid a living wage, all the antique and heirloom varieties, etc..

   The beauty about our flowers and local flowers in general is that you get a snapshot of the season.  You get varieties that can’t be grown in Colombia and have all but disappeared from traditional flower shops.  You get fragrance and longevity.  You get connection to place and to grower.  You get the knowledge that the beauty you are sniffing hasn’t been dipped in poisons often so hazardous they are illegal in the U.S.

   So, y’all are the choir and I’m just singing a song some of you may already know, but it's worth saying that your support of our farm and other local flower farms is meaningful and does have a significant environmental impact and we are grateful that you “get it”.

   Thanks for all that you do to support all that we do.  Have a great weekend!