Whole Story

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Celebrate the Earth with Organic Flowers

By Carol Medeiros, April 10, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carol Medeiros
Sign With Earth Day right around the corner and the talk of "green" in the air, the timing couldn't be better to share the scoop on our recent trip to check out a certified organic flower producer. On a cool sunny morning last week, five of us from Whole Food Market met excited to tour a Southern California flower grower and gain a better understanding about their organic program. We were not disappointed! Field Looking in any direction, the landscape was a visual patchwork of different textures with each crop. The hills and valleys were each a microclimate, creating ideal growing conditions. Eucalyptus and waxflower dominated the landscape with all kinds of treasures (like protea and sunflowers) mixed in. The majority of the crops were South African and Australian natives - certainly less common than a rose or tulip here in the states, but no less beautiful (and in most cases they last two to three times longer than a "typical" flower). FlowerSo what made this farm so cool? Part of it was certified organic! Sure, when we talk about organic flowers we get plenty of "Organic flowers??!? It's not like I am going to eat them!", but our visit reinforced that organic flowers are so much more than pretty. They are produced without the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This maintains and enhances ecological harmony and positively affects the health of the environment - including the land, groundwater and the workers. Flower Over 500 acres in total, the farm is family owed and operated. While only a portion of the farm was certified organic, more land is being transitioned that will nearly double the organic acreage. Everything on the farm - from plant selection to the location of each variety and its water usage - was planned to the last detail. The farm has over 30 wells, making it self-sufficient in watering. The perrenial plants are propagated on the farm and planted by hand once they are ready for their permanent home on the hills. Onsite compost production helped to ensure robost, heathly plants. All that (and so much more) added up to high quality, stunning flowers. FlowerWe know there are lots of great flowers out there and lots of great places to get them - locally grown, from well-managed farms in other countries (like our Whole Trade™ flowers) or from your very own garden - but be sure to add certfied organic to the list of flowers to consider!

 

Carol Medeiros joined Whole Foods Market in 2001 at our Cherry Creek store in Denver and has been working on our produce and floral team ever since.

 

5 Comments

Comments

Scott says ...
Great!
04/10/2009 12:30:32 PM CDT
Amanda says ...
Take it from me I inspect foreign cut flowers entering the country. Almost all flowers are fumigated due to pests found on the plants. If you can get organic flowers grown your much better off.
04/15/2009 7:07:17 PM CDT
Marie-Josee says ...
What a great news! Is it possible to know the grower's name? Are these flowers available in every store? I appreciate that you are doing most of the job I would do as a costumer, that makes my shopping easier and greener.
04/22/2009 11:29:41 AM CDT
Eva Hui says ...
We've gotten some flowers from Whole Food the last few months. All are beautiful and long-lasting. The bunch of cut flowers like the one shown in the photo above with two sun-flowers is still doing well after almost two weeks. There is a subtle fragrance that I notice coming from the little flowers and leaves. I wonder what they are called. Could you tell me the names of those flowers you have included in the bunch? I would like to learn more about them. Thank you.
04/03/2011 4:56:20 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Eva: Thank you for your comment. The stores custom make the arrangements they sell, so it's best to ask them what they put in the bouquet.
04/04/2011 9:08:20 AM CDT