local flowers

by Elaine Walker

Flowers help to create a diversified and ecologically sound farm system. Our flowers are grown in rows of their own and interspersed with other vegetable crops to add biodiversity and natural pest control. Flowers like sweet alyssum, sunflowers, calendula and marigolds attract and feed beneficial insects that battle pests.

Not only are local flowers important to the health and beauty of our farm they are also important to the health of our local economy. Most flowers in your grocery stores today are from abroad, mainly Ecuador and Columbia. Those of us concerned about our carbon footprints and the miles our food travels often don’t even think about it in terms of flowers. About 75% of flowers found in the U.S. are imported from Latin America.

Free trade agreements and the first world’s thirst for cheap flowers have destroyed food sovereignty and communities in what are now flower producing countries. Due to these trade agreements and the subsequent opportunity for massive profits by concentrating a labor intensive industry where labor can be most effectively exploited, historically subsistence farmers are often forced to grow cheap flowers reliant on pesticides, monoculture practices, and child and slave labor. The pesticides used on most imported flowers have been known to cause an array of life threatening diseases and ailments for the workers who handle them. They are literally dunked in liquid preservatives to allow for their long journeys around the world.

Supporting Vibrant Valley Farm and other community growers who bring you locally and sustainably grown flowers guarantees that you are not supporting this often overlooked and corrupt industry. The beauty flowers provide, the sense of place they can help foster, and all the loving sentiment they can convey can all be had without thousands of miles of transport or a literal bevy of chemical preservers. We are excited to bring you ecologically and responsibly grown flowers.