When you purchase one of our seasonal flower project subscriptions, hire us for an event, or attend a design workshop, you’re also supporting a worthy and significant handful of local flower farms and nurseries. All small businesses, all working hard to support the earth and their communities.
All the farmers I work with pursue this work with passion and intention and heart. They’re competing with cheaper imported product coming in by planeloads, and are trying to do right by the earth with regenerative practices and to do right by their employees with living wages.
Speaking of “regenerative:” have you heard this term?
The mainstream will have you believe it’s merely about holding soil carbon in the ground to mitigate climate change (most agriculture practiced in the US today is degenerative — it ignores soil life in favor of a chemically based system).
I’m grateful for the many calls to action for white farmers and white led farming orgs by BIPOC farmers and bipoc-led organizations to address structural racism and implicit biases in their businesses, and to begin by properly attributing organic, sustainable, regenerative farming techniques as pioneering soil health practices developed and still used today by indigenous cultures across the globe.
These rites — protecting and feeding the soil with densely planted cover crops (pictured here in my garden, image 1; at the youth farm, where I used to work, images 2 and 3; and a resulting thriving ecosystem at eddy farm) are earth-oriented and about growing an equitable relationship of give and take.
The cover crops you see in these photos are planted early to late fall in the northeast on beds that will ultimately freeze over the winter. Some of the green matter (like this Rye) will grow in before frost and create a verdant blanket, while its roots help to hold precious organic matter in place. Some covers die back in frost, but in the early spring these green or brown matters are turned into the soil, providing food for the soil life coming out of dormancy. It is with those nutrients that new flowers and foods are sustained.
There is a metaphor coming … always is.
Tending land and nurturing soil in a non-exploitative manner is a carefully thought out and executed symphony of layered actions. The complexity of relationships inherent in farming, and examining one’s own place in that hierarchy is what farmers do every day, ideally. They tend our lands, and in turn, our ecosystems and waterways because the earth knows no boundaries— it is all connected. What we put into the earth winds up in our bodies. It’s the same with our relationships, the way we spend money, where we place our intentions and how we manage our resources.
In my mind, growing a more “sustainable” world and floristry movement has a lot to do with starting with equity; it’s not just about floral foam’s impact on land but the people who are exploited to produce it and where it’s waste festers – what communities it poisons.
10% of all profits from our Seasonal Flower Project will be donated to BIPOC-led organizations and farmers because we need to create more balance in who gets to do this beautiful earth tending. It is one small way I can help us get there.