Angela DeFelice carrying Arena Gold Lisianthus Rocksteady Farm Hudson Valley NY Local Flowers Surviving Domestic Growers with Molly Oliver Flowers


When I began learning how to farm flowers in earnest, in 2008, at 26, I joined a relatively small but incredibly talented contingent of surviving domestic flower growers — flower farms around the country that hadn’t succumbed to the global market forces that allowed cheap flowers to flood the local market and undercut prices. As you might have learned by now, 80% of the flowers we have access to purchase here in the US are imported from countries overseas” in the US, primarily Ecuador and Columbia, but also as far afield as South America, Japan, Vietnam and elsewhere. Of course, that doesn’t make those foreign flowers bad – in fact, they’re quite amazing. One stroll down 28th Street in New York City is a testimony to the incredible skill of flower growers around the world. As a result, the flowers we see in our corner stores, supermarkets and most florist shops have that impeccable (almost too perfect, in IMHO) look to them. They’re nice, but somehow not as transcendent as those fresh garden roses, complete with their intoxicating aroma and thorns that we see in a neighbor’s garden plot or the Brooklyn Botani’s Rose Garden. We don’t know who grew these stems; we often don’t know what conditions workers were in; and we often can’t tell whether those flowers were grown using organic or sustainable methods.



While the US used to have a thriving local flower economy – (yes, even here in New York State, mostly in eastern Long Island and in the surrounding tri-state area), most of us probably do not have a connection to a local flower farmer, much like how the majority of people living in this country are likely unable to afford or purchase fresh food directly from a local farm. Access to fresh, nutritious food has become a luxury. Access to organic food has become even more of a luxury, when farming without synthetic chemicals used to be the norm… And as many have felt the urge to reconnect with soil and our food in our highly industrialized and digitized society, so too have some farmers, florists and conscious consumers begun to work to raise their voices and raise awareness about the option of buying local stems. I began doing events and weddings in 2011, and found a need to offer a locally sourced option to the design world.
May 11, 2016 — Molly Culver

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