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Win a bouquet from an American Rose Farm – and keep Valentine’s Day local

This bouquet features three types of Oregon-grown roses: ‘Prestige’ red roses, ‘Black Baccara’ wine-red roses, and ‘Gracia’ pink spray roses. Plus, some multiflora rose hips and rosemary foliage for a truly American Valentine’s Day bouquet.

by Debra Prinzing 

Read on to WIN ONE DOZEN AMERICAN ROSES

Post a comment here about why American-grown flowers are important to you! You might just win one dozen gorgeous roses from Oregon or California! We have rose donations from Eufloria Flowers and Peterkort Roses. Two winners will be selected by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, February 11th. Both will win roses as well as a signed copy of Slow Flowers, my new book.

Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets, from the Garden, Meadow and Farm (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013)

I created the bouquet you see here for my new book, Slow Flowers, a 52-week personal floral design project in which I used only what I could cut in my own yard or source from a local flower farmer. This Valentine’s Day arrangement features three types of gorgeous Oregon-grown roses, which I’ve paired with sprigs of rosemary from my garden and delicate hips. It may not be that 36-inch-long box of imported roses with over-large flower heads and thick, rigid stems, but my bouquet is sweeter, more feminine, lightly fragrant – and it has a home-grown story to tell.

I hope these roses help illustrate why you should care about supporting America’s small but awesome rose farms rather than caving into the marketing onslaught of cheap, imported roses.

The 50 Mile Bouquet features a third-generation rose farm called Peterkort Roses in a chapter entitled “The Last Rose Grower in Oregon.” How tragic that there is only one rose farm left in Portland, which is also known as “The City of Roses.” Peterkort supplies Northwest floral designers with a polychromatic spectrum of beautiful, sustainably-grown, hybrid tea roses and spray roses.

One state to the south, in California, there are several established rose farmers working hard to keep America’s cut roses alive and well. That should come as no surprise, since California, after all, gave us the Pasadena Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl. But I’ll save my commentary on those events for another post.

WAR OF THE ROSES

When it comes to battling for the heart and wallet of the American consumer, I would argue that the floral playing field is anything but level. Television commercials by Teleflora were surprisingly absent from last Sunday’s Super Bowl. Maybe they got priced out by the competition, but in past years, those floral wire service operations have spent millions to advertise during the annual football extravaganza.

I used to feel sorry for unlucky husbands and boyfriends who spent hours in their recliners trying to enjoy what is arguably the biggest professional sports event of the year, while also being assaulted by endless rose commercials.

Roses-for-Valentine’s-Day ads are evident in my local newspaper; they pop up every time I log onto the Web — and interrupt my cable viewing. We can’t seem to avoid from those dial-a-florist marketers who have one message: True love can only be attained if you order one (or more) dozen, perfectly red, long-stemmed roses to send your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day.

But sadly, those roses are going to be imported (less than 3% of roses sold are grown domestically) . . . from a very long distance. They were most likely flown in by a dedicated cargo plane from South America. In fact, retailers like Whole Foods have the audacity to boast that they are importing “fair trade” roses from Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica.

For a company that spends so much time promoting the idea of locally-sourced food, this is truly upsetting.

On a positive note, I have met and interviewed numerous Whole Foods floral buyers who do source locally from growers in their area (and I have also visited those talented flower growers who produce and sell tens of thousands of stems to Whole Foods in their own communities each year).

But when it comes to roses, I believe Whole Foods is missing a huge opportunity to invest in American family rose farms and I know I’m not alone. Just look at all the consumers responding to this recent Valentine’s Day blog post promotion by Whole Foods for Whole Trade Roses. It may be too late for Whole Foods to make a change this Valentine’s Day, but there is still time for you to make your voice heard on this issue, just leave a comment!

ASK FOR AMERICAN

Peterkort’s just-picked hybrid teas – American grown and totally beautiful.

What if retailers instead put their dollars into developing ties (and buying relationships) with American rose farmers?

Why isn’t this happening? Why can’t we find domestic cut roses at the supermarket, at the big-boxes, and in our hometown flower shops? I’ll tell you what I think. Those sellers claim that there isn’t enough supply of American roses to satisfy demand. But actually I think there is too much cynicism and apathy surrounding the economics of flowers. We’ve been conditioned to want things “cheap” at all costs. In doing so, we have driven down the price of everything. We have practically driven farmers out of the U.S.

I was encouraged recently when Kasey Cronquist, CEO and Ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission, and a fellow advocate for domestic flowers, shared results from a Boston Consulting Group report. According to the recent study, “over 80% of Americans are willing to pay more for Made-in-USA products, 93% of whom say it’s because they want to keep jobs in the USA.”

If this is true, I hope Whole Foods is listening. Heck, even Walmart recently announced plans to spend $50 billion on American-made products over the next decade. Will that commitment involve supporting our American flower farmers? It should, but we’ll see. When more and more consumers ask for American flowers, retailers have to take notice and respond.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Enlightened rose-givers, lend me your ears. We Americans associate February 14th and true love with roses, right? Make it real; make it authentic.

Can we show our love by giving our sweetheart a bouquet of American-grown roses? There are some wonderful domestic rose sources — greenhouses and growing fields — in Oregon and California. So yes, even in February, when our own gardens are unlikely to produce roses, we can ask our florist to order American-grown ones.

It is possible to send eco-conscious love (in the form of American roses).

Here are links to American-grown flowers you can order for Valentine’s Day gift-giving:

California Blooms is an online retailer that exclusively sells only Eufloria’s roses (no imports). California Organic Flowers is an online retailer that sells beautiful organic flowers. For Valentine’s Day, they are offering a mixed bouquet of anemones, a mixed bouquet of Tazetta narcissus and several other cool field-grown bouquets.

Eco-Conscious Floral Designers

In San Francisco, order from Farm Girl Flowers or Lila B. Floral & Events.

In New York, order from NYC Farm Chic Flowers.

In Seattle, order from TerraBella Flowers or Marigold and Mint.

Post other suggestions here! We need to share our best sources with other fans of locally-grown & designed flowers. 

P.S.: If your local florist says, “I can’t find American-grown roses,” then give him/her this list of growers:

Rose Hips:

Fresh, yummy, fragrant and grown on an American rose farm!

 

 

Posted by on February 7, 2013 at 5:34 am, in the category Books, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening.
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90 Responses to “Win a bouquet from an American Rose Farm – and keep Valentine’s Day local”

  1. Rachel says:

    When I was in high school I worked at a flower shop that regularly received roses from south america. While unpacking these flowers the skin on my hands would become red and itchy due to what ever they sprayed on them to keep them fresh. I would love some home grown flowers!

  2. Voorhees says:

    Thank you for this article. I had not really thought about where my flowers come from when I am purchasing them at my local store. I will certainly keep this in mind when I am shopping for flowers.

  3. Karen says:

    American-grown flowers are just as important as American-grown vegetables. I opt for US produce when I shop. I would gladly pay a little more to know my flowers were produced in the States and that I am supporting local agriculture/small business. It is my dream to own a cut-flower farm. One day!

    I really LOVE the idea of that book!

  4. jude says:

    Locally grown means less pollution for transport and more open space safe from developers.

    Thank you for such a well-researched article. A true labor of love.

  5. Amanda says:

    Beautiful! American grown flowers are important to me because I want Americans to grow flowers. Gardening for feeding the body and soul used to be an integral part of our culture, and it should be again.

    I also want flowers grown in America so that I may have an easy chance to visit the flower farms!

  6. Amanda Paige says:

    American grown flowers are important to me because I love to buy local. Why waste fuel shipping in from overseas when we can grow locally here!!. I am adding these to my list to buy from!

  7. Deborah Heckert says:

    I love in the summertime to hit the local farm stands and grab a bunch of locally-grown flowers. The farmers around here really produce some beautiful things! Combined with odds and ends scavenged from the garden and the woods, it is easy to come up with something pretty, if quirky!

  8. Lizabeth says:

    Will be requesting my library to get your book – the photo of the arrangement is gorgeous! And will be researching a place that uses American grown flowers for my mom’s 80th birthday. And yes, I’d be willing to pay more for them :)

  9. Susan says:

    To me, part of what’s so wonderful about homegrown flowers is the creativity that they engender. I volunteer locally at an historic home and gardens as a floral designer, and since they’re generally cash-strapped, our department has no budget. While we occasionally get flowers left over from weddings and events to work with, we do some of our best work when we go out foraging around the gardens there, or in our own gardens. It’s amazing what’s right under our noses that gets used in ways you might ordinarily not think of – and we always manage to wow the public with our bits and bobs. The guest book is always full of appreciative comments concerning the flowers, and the one that never fails to gratify us is “It looks as if Mrs. Thompson (the owner who died in 1923) just went out this morning, cut the flowers and brought them in”! Local is definitely best.

  10. Sandra Knauf says:

    That is a gorgeous homemade bouquet! I would chose it over the sterile-looking bouquets from most florists ANY day.

    I read your first book (and reviewed it in Greenwoman Magazine) and it not only educated me, but inspired me to grow more flowers for bouquets in my own garden. I experimented with wonderful dahlia starts from Corralitos Gardens in California (featured in The 50 Mile Bouquet) and had ten huge, prolific plants by September (I live in Colorado). I donated every single blossom from my community garden plot and my home garden to a community dinner (celebrating local food). I had enough flowers to donate 20 bouquets and additional bouquets (I also had a lot of zinnias and sunflowers) for a good part of the summer for friends and colleagues. It was SO MUCH FUN.

    There is no down side to American-grown flowers–and I would add beauty, joy, and pride in our country’s products as other upsides! There is much on the other side that is negative–from the fuel that it takes to ship flowers from South America, the horrible pesticides, and the loss of American jobs.

    I’ll do what I can to help educate the public and I’d love to review this book too. I don’t need to be in the drawing as I already know the joys of American-grown flowers and would like others to experience them!

  11. Liza says:

    “Made in America” is so important in every other facet of life – why not roses? It just makes sense. Thank you for this article – although I grow typical American wildflowers like coneflower or aster, and I have a couple rosebushes in my yard (Republic of Texas and Dortmund from the Antique Rose Emporium in Luckenbach, TX) store-bought roses are traditionally a go-to for purchases for others and it would certainly be nice if they were American grown. It makes gifts that much more special!

  12. Susan INPH says:

    It would be interesting to visit the greenhouses in California and Oregon. I would bet most locals don’t even know about them. People always talk about growing local veg. Good point that we should start talking about the flowers, too.

  13. Sophia says:

    Great post Debra! I believe education is key to changing the mind set of American consumers. And, I agree that wholesalers need to do a better job about educating their respective community. There is this longstanding tradition that commercial greenhouses have always been off limits, and they must change their ways in order to help educate the general population. The process won’t work if everyone doesn’t participate. Studio tours, open houses, and behind-the-scene visits have already proven successful for other segments of business and there is no reason why greenhouses can’t do the same. In today’s competitive marketplace, I think it’s essential to generate new business and engage the casual consumer. The extra effort and money spent on holding monthly or quarterly events might not be immediately felt, but will be down the road if everyone is on board with the same goal of changing the way consumers shop for flowers.

  14. Dona Crawford says:

    American grown roses=American grown LOVE. When my love gets me roses from our local florist, (her roses are USA) they last for weeks, not hours.

  15. Lisa Huff says:

    American grown roses support the American economy. It’s also puts a smaller carbon footprint when your flowers are delivered from within the states and not flown in from other countries. American grown flowers are good for our economy and our environment.

  16. Andrea Clemens says:

    This article is a breath of fresh air for me! Thank you :) It is our time to start educating the public about the earth conscious choices that we do have. You can purchase domestically grown flowers on several websites from growers in Oregon and California. Folks still don’t realize or even want to think about all of the chemicals that are enveloping the beautiful stems in over 80% of the flowers in the fresh market. An act of love is really shown when you give your valentine fresh, pesticide-free blooms! I can’t wait to see how our revolution unfolds…

  17. Debra,
    What a wonderful story! I’m sure most people don’t even think about it at all. I appreciate your links and as always, your narrative that pulls us right in with you. What I really want is for you to come to my house and design a bouquet like that. Oh my!

  18. Becky Homan says:

    I had the chance to visit a family-owned rosé-growing operation near St. Louis a decade or so ago. The roses were phenomenal — tall, well-cared-for hybrid teas in a riot of red, pink, and yellow. Employees carefully cut stems, stripped bottom leaves and bundled them by the dozen. You could tell that each medium-sized blossom would last for days, if not a week or more. And the stems were so sturdy that they’d never need wiring. So fresh. So locally grown. A year later? The whole operation closed down, unable to keep up with cheap, fat Ecuadorian roses sold at area grocery stores. It was a great loss to local florists. And it was a huge loss to former rose-growing employees. I had a chance to purchase a dozen of those beauties only once, but they are roses that I will never forget.

  19. Jeanie says:

    I am so excited to be a part of a movement. A teenager of the ’60′s I missed Woodstock, never marched on Washington, loved burning my bra, but the American made and locally grown I am a part of and love it. I am a local flower grower, a grower of herb and vegetable plants, a supplier to Whole Foods, and I am doing my best to make them listen to this conversation. The mass merchandisers need to make a change to buying from local producers to make it possible for small farmers to succeed in this economy . Whole Foods or Walmart, it really doesn’t matter who makes the first change over, others follow suit. We have to win back our share of the market place. Thanks Debra for being so eloquent.

  20. Susan Carter says:

    Great article Debra! I was sold on locally grown flowers after my first visit to Seattle Wholesale Growers Market last summer to buy flowers for a friends wedding. Thanks for the introduction to this local treasure and your commitment to educate others about buying from American growers. http://seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com/about/contact-us/

  21. jonquil says:

    Locally-grown flowers are the only ones I want in my house. That way my three young grandchildren will grow up *assuming* that there is no reason not to have local blooms at hand.

  22. anne says:

    I hope you inspire a movement!

    Back in the 70′s I worked in a small flower shop in CA, that sourced it’s flowers locally (including roses). The ownwer would get up in the wee hours 3 or 4 times a week, and drive to a number of small flower growers within a 100 mile radius of the shop. His bouquets were cheap– $5 would get you a big mixed bouquet–and we sold to a lot of spontaneous buyers, of all ages and incomes. Would love to see more places like that cheering up our towns!

  23. Dottie Simmons says:

    While I realized exotic flowers we’re from other countries, the true impact of floral imports didn’t hit me until I read Amy Stewart’s “Flower Confidential” some years back.
    Not just because of my sensitivities to the chemical needed to grow & ship plants without a bunch of hitchhiking invasive bugs, I can’t believe it makes sense to transport a perisable luxury like cut flowers that we can grow domestically, if not locally.
    Luckily I can get flowers & greenery year round locally & from my own garden & forest.
    Thanks for the great article.

  24. Fred Karp says:

    Violets are blue
    Roses are red
    Let’s keep our rose-growing farmers un-dead.

  25. Erin Walrath says:

    Local (and United States) grown flowers are lovely but most important it supports our economy and environment… why ship them thousands of miles?

    Plus my mom is a rose grower and I could not imagine supporting any other community!

  26. Andrew Grover says:

    I grow hundreds of roses. I could not imagine life without them. I’m 41 years old and have been growing them heavily since my early 20′s. Rose breeders like Ralph Moore are an absolute treasure. The California-based breeder of more than 500 roses, is known as ‘the father of Modern Miniatures’ and was a hugely influential figure in the development of commercial approaches to rose hybridization. I grow one of the largest private collections of his roses in the world!

    Paul Barden, Kim Rupert, David L. Armstrong, Tom Carruth, all produce top of the line roses in the United States of America. Buying florist roses from areas like Ecuador really wreak havoc on the environment. It Does matter that a bouquet of roses travels halfway around the world before it arrives at your supermarket or florist. I’d suggest reading http://www.amystewart.com/books/flower-confidential/

    Flower Confidential
    The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers
    Algonquin Books • 2007

    A New York Times Bestseller! Flower Confidential is an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry.

    George Washington bred roses at his home. How much more American can you get!

  27. Hi Debra!

    Thanks for bringing continued awareness to this subject! So happy to see all the positive comments!

    Best,
    Debbie

  28. Kathy says:

    Local grown flowers are the BEST! It really makes my day!!

  29. Claire Splan says:

    Supporting locally grown floriculture means not only keeping jobs here but keeping better controls over the flowers (and the chemicals used on them) that we bring into our homes.

  30. BooksInGarden says:

    Ah roses – scented roses.

    I used to have about 60 roses in my previous garden. I now have only Lady Banks (Rosa Banksia), Cecile Brunner (she is a lady as she was named for a lady), and Rosa Californica. If I win, I would give these roses to an ex-neighbor who is now in a retirement home; she would love them.

    Having really enjoyed “Flower Confidential” by Amy, I imagine that “Slow Flowers” will also be a delight.

  31. Thad says:

    Locally grown flowers are just like locally grown food, it is easier to know the person that grew them and how they were grown … especially when they come from just outside my door.

  32. Stephanie Miller says:

    I have fond memories of picking my own fowers from a local farmer’s field for my wedding day. I got armfuls and armfuls, and she loved the business! The flowers I buy from my local farmer’s market and veggie stands are always fresher, more vibrant, more fragrant, and last for days longer than any I have gotten from a supermarket.

  33. Deirdre says:

    Not only would I like to see people buying local flowers, I would like to see people buying seasonal flowers. Roses year round is like asparagus year round. They stop being quite so special.

  34. Michelle W says:

    I’m a very small-scale organic cut flower grower. I know the value of a locally-grown flower. Fresh!

  35. Jennifer says:

    What a gorgeous bouquet. I was not aware that so many roses were imported- thanks for enlightening me! I will definitely ask for American grown at my local florists.

  36. Laura Ralston says:

    I love to support the businesses where I live, as it helps the local economy. I know a few small-scale flower growers, and really appreciate the hard work that they put into their business.

  37. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the article. I can remember walking through my Grandmother’s flower gardens and just smelling the beautiful roses. It always did put a smile on my face. Still does. Why import roses when we can grow them right here?!

  38. Fantastic post, Debra! I think this contest is the perfect foil to the Whole Foods campaign. And while we’re at it, let’s encourage everyone to seek out other locally-grown blooms for Valentine’s Day. A red rose is not the only bloom that says “love”. Here in the Northeast, you can find locally grown tulips, anemones, and ranunculus in shades of red, pink, and white. All stunning AND sustainable!

  39. Becky Newton says:

    I am from what was once known as the City of Roses in Pana, IL. Most of my family has been involved with the flower industry in some way. Sadly, the green houses that supported our small town are now gone from the landscape. I look forward to someday helping to make flowers local once again.

  40. Brittany says:

    Hi Debra,

    Thank you for this article. I love knowing where my bouquets have been sourced from and that the values behind them match my own. This summer I’m marrying a wonderful man. Our flowers will be a combination of flowers grown in my mom’s garden, potted herbs and flowers, and flowers that we buy from a local, sustainable source. I knew of a few of the growers mentioned in your article, but am glad to learn about more. Thank you!

    Cheers,
    Brittany

  41. Linnea Borealis says:

    I’d love both local and seasonally appropriate flowers. Somehow it makes even less sense to me to ship flowers than veggies from afar. They’re for beauty! Which we have plenty of here, year round!

  42. Sally says:

    10 years ago, I had the only organically-grown flower farm in the Portland area. I competed with “growers” at the farmers markets who bought most of their stock at the wholesale markets, they did NOT grow it themselves. They often sold imported product. Of course, most of the consumers didn’t know any better, they were too dazzled by the variety and perfect petals of exotic things they couldn’t grow themselves. I complained to the market managers that these other “growers” were not following the rules of the FARMERS market, mainly “be a farmer and grow it yourself.” They claimed to not know enough about flowers to know the difference, plus the more variety of flowers at the market, the more customers they could attract to buy the vegetables, so they chose to ignore it. I went out of business because I couldn’t compete with these other “farmers.” I’m not bitter, I had a lot of loyal customers and loved what I did. I was just disappointed that the markets were not more supportive of the actual real flower farmers of their community. Ironically, Peterkort Roses was the only other flower grower at the market that truly sold what they grew themselves. I am very loyal to local growers. I know how hard it is to be a farmer. They deserve every penny they charge and more!!

  43. I usually only buy flowers in the spring and summer- from our local farmers market. We have a large community of CSA farmers here- some of them offer a floral share! Gladiolas and zinnias are my favorites! I also buy my hanging baskets from a local grower! Nothing is more beautiful than local- plus the flowers are really fresh!

  44. Karlyn says:

    Buying local for anything, from roses, nursery stock or produce is vital if we want farmers to succeed. The book would be a great help to show me what to do with the flowers from my own garden.

  45. Erin says:

    What a generous giveaway!

    American-grown flowers are important to me because I value local goods over anything else. It’s the easiest way I know of to support the local economy and the people doing great things in my community, and to cut down on the use of fossil fuels and the profits going to huge corporations.

  46. Flora says:

    I live in Pacific Northwest & we have so many beautiful flowers around here I see no need to buy flowers from a shop that gets them imported from other countries if there not grown here in the US there not for me. I always look forward to our road trips in the spring & summer down the coast hyw from Wa. to Cali to stop by local stands to get our fresh local flowers to have a bouquet in are trailer while we are out sometimes we have like 5 or 6 different bouquets as there are so many stands to choose from & I like to support the local growers.

  47. Megan says:

    This is a great post, such an important topic. One of the reasons American grown flowers are so important to me is because I am a flower farmer myself. My customers appreciate the fact that my locally grown fresh flowers last longer and are chemical free!

  48. Andrea says:

    As a flower grower I heartily support locally-grown and American grown flowers for all of the above reasons and then some. Each year we invest not only in flowers but in our community. We hire local high school students, college interns, stay at home parents, garden enthusiasts and designers. Most of crew has worked with us for 8+ years, has “grown-up” with us, has learned a hard-work ethic that is all but vanishing amongst teens. As they head into the work force upon college graduation each has “owned” manager-level experience, has been rewarded for their work (no free internships here) and exudes confidence well beyond their years (and peers). Supporting a local farm may seem like an investment in a product or a place, I would add it is also an investment in our whole collective future, growing responsible, capable, confident, problem-solving Americans!

  49. Marsha says:

    What a wonderful idea! The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society publishes a magazine, Green Scene. They featured an article about Slow Flowers last year, and I was smitten. I sought out our local guru, LovenFreshFlowers, Jennie Love, and bought an amazing Thanksgiving centerpiece. So unique, I had never seen anything like it. Read The Flower Farmer and the 50 Mile Bouquet and was hooked. Starting a trial season of being a flower farmer right in my suburban back yard this year. The folks who grow and market local and organic blooms are amazing. The more you know about the flowers that are imported, the more you want to buy local. It is a privilege to interact and learn from American flower farmers.

  50. janet smith says:

    As a recently certified master gardener, we need to spread the word that growing any plant in our homes, yards, businesses and public spaces enriches all of us

  51. Val Schirmer says:

    Nothing beats the feeling I get when the flowers we grow, just a few miles away in the heart of the Bluegrass, stops someone dead on their tracks at the farmers market. We planted the bulb or seed with our hands, nourished it as it grew, harvested it at the right time into a bucket of water with flower food, kept it in our cooler in maintain its perfection. They’re not sprayed with chemicals or stressed by being transported from a far away country, jammed together in shipping crates. Locally grown and American grown — it simply doesn’t get any better.

  52. Hooray for local, sustainable flowers. I used to buy cheap bouquets, but even in summer they feel so sterile and weird and lifeless. I am so glad local flowers are finally getting some of the recognition that local produce is enjoying.

  53. Judith says:

    My American-grown flowers come from my garden. Because I live and garden in Maryland that means six, at most seven months, of the year I have fresh flowers of some kind for my own home and as gifts for others’ homes. The remaining five to six months I would be happy to have American-grown from somewhere close but, obviously, warm enough to grow flowers through the year.

  54. Vicki says:

    I LOVE things local and that is what I always look for when I am shopping. Now, I have one more item to be aware of – thank you. I am willing to pay more for American made items, although it seems odd- less shipping, less time on the road or in the air!
    Your flower arrangement is beautiful. If I have live flowers in my house, it is almost always from my backyard. I place them so they are the first thing I see when I enter a room, I find them so captivating, they do make me stop and smell and enjoy.
    Thank you for the article.

  55. Rhea says:

    I had no idea. Thank you. We seem to be better educated about the foods that we purchase being local, but the flowers. Thank you again!

    Stunning!

  56. Barb Zaksek says:

    Thank you for posting this article! I have always been a fan of perennial arrangements, especially if they come from my garden! As a home- based floral designer, I love providing brides with locally grown bouquets and centerpieces. I can choose the flowers myself from vendors in my neighborhood, which ensures a fresh product and great price!

  57. Diane says:

    Ok Open mouth -insert foot. First of all I am writing while the winter storm Nemo is bearing down on my garden. Probably more than a foot will fall here in the next day or two.
    Guess what? I am not picking anything from my garden til late April.
    I know from working at the local florist that the roses come from Ecuador.
    But here is something we should realize about Ecuadoran product: for the most part these flowers from Ecuador are grown on mountains and hills that are accessible only by foot. I have seen these plots in Chiapas, Mexico where daisies/chrysanthemums are grown. The flowers are picked up by ancient pickup trucks and taken to where ever they are processed for shipping. If these roses are grown in green houses in Ecuador – I am not sure of that- they are still cared for and harvested by people who live very close to the bone. Nothing like an American grower lives.
    In other words, the Ecuadoraneconomy is a local economy in another part of the world that is different in scale from what I think most people are aware of.
    My point is I do love being able to pick my flowers from my garden. I love going to my farmers market. I know them all by their first names.
    Just before we turn away from the South American market, consider the first people who care for those flowers are in a very depressed economy, more depressed than anyone in the states.
    Buying flowers from anywhere on this snowy day in February is about dreams of summer, hope for the future and not just our local economy, but for local economies everywhere.
    And that’s my rant.

  58. Monish says:

    Roses imported from south America are raised using chemicals that were banned here over 50 yrs ago!! Very toxic to handlers and the poor people who work in the fields. Many of the pesticides are applied with no directions for use, without protective clothing and proper gear to apply them (perhaps an old rag soaked and flung around) and the workers are not warned and given information about the many dangers of these chemicals that were banned here many years ago for good reason! Really sad way to get our beauty.
    Also; The roses coming from South America are “American” grown- don’t forget the America’s are North & South!

  59. Amy says:

    I find myself detesting the roses in the grocery store…to the point that if someone asks me if I like flowers I say “NO” (thinking of the roses and carnation horrors at most places). However, your article reminded me that I really DO like flowers – IF – and only if – they are grown ‘well’ and are truly unique and beautiful. (No dyed carnations please. Ever.) Local is better as well! I will be putting it on the list to buy or grow myself more flowers when the season for them returns.
    Thanks for the pretty pictures and wonderful information!

  60. Susy says:

    Oh how I love roses!!! As I admire their beauty, I’m hesitant to enjoy their fragrance, because I’m scared of inhaling toxic chemicals that they’re sprayed with. How I’m saddened by the small amount of roses that are grown locally here in the United States. I do hope that companies like Walmart, that vow to buy more American-made products, will invest in American flower farms. I would love to receive a bouquet of roses grown in the United States for Valentine’s day!! I’d admire the beauty of my roses and definitely enjoy the fragrance without concerns for my health. Happy Valentine’s Day, American Rose farms!!!

  61. I write a blog about bringing sustainable happiness to life. I’ll be sharing this with my readers. http://sustainablehappiness.ca/sh-extra/

    I love the idea of slow flowers!

  62. Jeanne says:

    Add roses without scent to the growing list of crimes committed. I remember also when carnations had that wonderful something – spicy, tangy frangrance.

  63. Karen S. says:

    Woo Hoo! MADE IN AMERICA! That is just a wonderful thing to see. Let’s get more products made here; which means more jobs! Great Article.
    Beautiful Rose Bouquet! I would love to display these on my table and post a picture of them on facebook pointing out that these were grown right here in US and with a link to your site. Oh, how I love roses. I can smell them now, which puts such a “BIG” smile on my face.

  64. Claire Jones says:

    Rose hybridizers are all-American! I love and use the Peace Rose, which is a standard which all other roses are measured.

  65. Autumn says:

    I don’t buy cut flowers for exactly the reasons brought up in this rant: I know they aren’t locally sourced and I don’t need or want the chemicals that they use to ship them. Maybe if stores/florists near me promoted that they use local growers, I’d become a more regular consumer! Hint, hint.

  66. Michele says:

    Debra, perfectly timed article. Now we have one more way to feature local or at least US grown products for Valentine’s and lots of other celebrations!

    I love growing flowers and arranging them, and confess I was unaware how many US sources there are for commercial flowers. I will share this information with my fellow Master Gardener interns too.

    Thanks again for educating us and I wish you great sales success with your book!

  67. Janet Walrath says:

    This is so amazing! Flower farmers are a wonderful bunch. I hope one day soon to be that local flower grower with the great smelling bouquets. We all need to follow you in educating everyone about seasonal, local and slow flowers.

  68. American grown roses, what a wonderful thing! As a person who gardens and will soon be enrolled in a master gardener’s class how exciting to use this information to give to other’s when I volunteer my time and knowledge. We can all be better educated on good garden practices and sustainability in our own yards and community gardens. Thank you for the list of U.S. sources. I am always thrilled when I can find anything that is made in America and always purchase it over things from elsewhere.

  69. Anne says:

    I buy organic produce and garden is organic. Somehow, flowers from the florist slipped my mind. Thanks for the article.

  70. DreamWeaver says:

    With ingeniuty, creativity, and a little research Americans can find ways to buy and support locally grown goods. Food and flowers should be grown or sourced locally.

    The component that is missing when we use goods shipped hundreds of miles is Community. In Guilford, Connecticut there is a place called Roses For Autism. The roses are grown and sold by individuals who are on the Autism Spectrum. http://www.rosesforautism.com

  71. Jennifer says:

    I live in California and hadn’t really thought about where the florist’s flowers came from. No excuse now!
    My parents came from a little town in central Illinois that had greenhouses full of roses. This was years and years ago, but I remember stories about color in the middle of winter.

  72. Jessica says:

    I wanted local flowers for the bouquets for my wedding and contacted US flower growers. I was overwhelmed by their help and generosity. For the cake, I wanted olive branches as decoration and multiple farms offered to ship them overnight for free since they wouldn’t hold long. It is nice to have a relationship with the people growing your flowers instead of having them shipped from thousands of miles away.

  73. Sheila says:

    Buying local is always important not onlt environmentally but to help small businesses flourish! I love flowers and beautifying my yard every summer…but i also love having flowers on my table as a center piece! They are so beautiful and smell wonderful! They can also brighten someones day when they are down, or help make an event gorgeous! There are so many things and purposes for flowers! I love helping other and thats y i am a volunteer fireman and as a woman u always have to prove yourself! But i also find gardening relaxing and i enjoy looking at them everyday!

    • debra says:

      Sheila, you are our 2nd winner of American roses and a copy of my book Slow Flowers! Congratulations! Please email me offline with your mailing address and provide your full name, thanks…
      Debra Prinzing
      dkprinzing@aol.com

  74. Donna Lane says:

    Up with locally grown flowers and produce! Up with supporting small business. Up with Debra for continuing to remind us!!

  75. Angelique says:

    I grow most of our family’s food, and try to buy local when I can. I can’t grow roses in February in Indiana, and they are my favorite flower.

  76. Jim Roberts says:

    I have been visiting flower farms in Colombia and Ecuador for many years and have only witnessed positive work conditions. They DO NOT use banned chemicals and workers are required to use protective gear when using the same chemicals we use in the US. I am an ex US rose grower who has experienced the changes in our industry. Does anyone realize the amount of fuel it takes to grow roses in the US? It takes zero in Colombia and Ecuador! Also, thousands of deserving people receive above average wages and benefits growing flowers in Colombia and Ecuador and thousands of people in the US have jobs because of the importation and distribution of flowers from offshore. There is room for both domestic and foreign grown flowers.! Please do not spread false rumors about a business that benefits so many people.

  77. Rachael says:

    American grown flowers are important! Why you ask? because it is important to show our children where things come from- not just the local grocery store. Growing your own gardens- flowers, fruits and vegetables always taste, look and feel better! These are beauties by the way!

  78. Val says:

    This is simply what drove me to become a flower farmer, doing my best to grow flowers that just might stop people in their tracks at the farmer’s market. It’s pure pleasure to be able to hand someone a flower that we planted with our own hands — one that we nutured, harvested at the right time into a bucket of fresh water and flower food, kept in our cooler to help it build its reserves and then taken 15 miles down the road to customers who (we’ve found) truly appreciate them. How can flowers that are grown in factories in countries far away, plunged in pesticides and fungicides, packed tightly together in crates and shipped by plane and truck compete with locally-grown beauties? Thank you for what you are doing to raise awareness, understanding and desire for locally grown American flowers!

  79. Alex says:

    Realizing that our soil is a valuable commodity and we should not be seeking to use the land of others, at their expense, is the most important underlying reason for growing locally.

    Once we take responsibility for our direct impacts and change our lifestyle changes will begin to take place and matter. Keep it local!

  80. Catherine says:

    Thank you for this informative post – as others have commented, I was unaware of this! I will absolutely seek out American roses now that I’m enlightened. Thank you!

  81. debra says:

    It’s 5 p.m. Pacific….thanks for all the posts and I will announce our 2 ROSE WINNERS momentarily!

    Debra Prinzing

  82. Jim Roberts says:

    For everyone who is against foreign produced flowers….do you also feel just as negative about these products….. cell phones, computers, televisions, clothes, jewelry, fabrics, shoes, etc, etc? Do you also spread false information about these products? I think the answer is no. Again, there is room for foreign and domestic production of flowers.

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