View Full Version : Organic flowers - Trying to find a commercial organics
05-03-2004, 10:35 AM
I am in the business of floristry and have had a couple of enquiries regarding organic flowers. I also work fairly closely with a provider of organic fruit and veg. Where can I find a grower of organic flowers?............
07-03-2004, 09:15 PM
My experience is by no means complete, but to answer your Q i think you will find it extremely difficult to do so. Flower growing is much like modern agriculture in that it has developed into monoculture growing systems where you find greenhouses filled with onely one variety of flower. I know of nurseries when i lived and worked in that field in Adelaide that incorporated beneficial insects as a means of pest control, but this was only after chemicals didn't work or they were trying to cut down their expenses in chemicals!
From this i can only conclude that it's going to be difficult to find someone that would be in that industry and be organic as its such a tight margin for the product; especially when competing with someone who can produce something outwardly identical for a cheaper cost!
If someone can't directly or confidently provide you with a source of an organic grower, perhaps try ringing around.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!
PS. It is for the simple fact that the flower industry isn't environmentaly sensitive, and that it is reaking havoc in the 3rd world by replacing fields for crops into flowers for the 1st world, that i have told my wife that i refuse to buy her flowers. Instead i grow them and she has the most amount of flowers of anyone else i know, and visitors always comment on how many we have! Having said that i have been to many flower show displays and continue to be amazed at the talent and quality of florists and their displays :)
08-03-2004, 01:36 AM
Okay, now while I agree with the Chook Nut that in general the cut flower industry is unsustainable and unethical, I think enormous opportunity exists for Permaculturalists to "exploit" this market.
Aside from the fact that personally I think it is just weird that humans have this fetish for cutting off another species sexual organs and displaying them trophylike in vases around the house, a good Permaculture system will incorporate as great a diversity as possible of flowering plants, annual and perennial to act as habitat for beneficial insects and birds, to break up visual and scent patterns for pests, and even in some cases for use as mulch.
Why not select several commercially viable flowers to work in this capacity with an added bonus use of being able to sell the flowers to the local florist or at the markets or wherever?
Of course, you would want to make sure that you leave some in the garden for the hummingbirds, or honeyeaters depending on where you live.
I've heard that there are organic growers of native flowers in Australia who are doing quite well, and I would bet that there are non native organic flower growers around as well. Whether or not you can sustainably grow monoculture flower crops is another question.
Before I finish I want to remember Jaragun Ginger on the Atherton Tableland where I wwoofed for a while a few years ago. During the ginger harvest season Colin would make a trip a week down to Cairns to sell a load of ginger and each time he would or he'd have his wwoofers wade out into the pond by his house to pick a few buckets of irises. I think he just sold them to the local nursery on the way to his ginger wholesaler, and I think he probably made enough to at least pay for his petrol and maybe even a meal on the road...
Sounds to me like an opportunity for some kind of sponsored growing system to happen- where you and possibly other florists pay someone to grow organic flowers.
Surely it could be done with the right knowledge of nutrients for flowers, and of which flowers have the least pests and diseases in that area.
It means the farmer gets paid before the flowers are grown, or paid as you go along. It's usually done with organic veg, but could work with flowers too I guess. Ideally both things would happen together-veg and flowers.
But I may be just dreaming!?
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.