I'll admit that I'm girly when it comes to flowers. I may not seem like the type, but I do appreciate getting flowers as a gift. They just brighten a room, and in doing so, brighten my mood.
So imagine how I felt when, shortly before my birthday, these appeared at my door:
This beautiful bouquet isn't just a bunch of flowers - it's also making a statement. These flowers were all grown and cultivated in the state of California. So what, right? Well, actually, it's quite an important fact.
75% of all US grown flowers come from California, however they account for only approximately 25% of all cut flowers actually sold in the United States. So where do all the other flowers come from? The remainder are imported from South American countries.
California’s cut flower industry generates $10.3 billion in economic impact for the State of California. The cut flower industry overall generates 121,950 California jobs and $3.3 billion in wages for other industries. Considering the recession gripping the entire country, and the economic crisis that California is facing, I see buying domestic flowers as a small-yet-important thing we can do to help us all.
Beyond economics, there's also the freshness factor. Those flowers on my table meet the strictest growing standards in the world. They were raised in a world-class, year-round environment perfect for growing hundreds of varieties. (A climate I am sometimes jealous of in February.) And California flowers are most likely still in the field just 24 hours before you purchase them and therefore are much fresher and will last longer.
The flowers on my table lasted well over a week before I saw any sign of droop. Their fragrance filled the entire house. It made me happy to look at that bouquet every time I walked past the dining room.
The California Cut Flower Commission, who provided my lovely flowers, recently came up with "hint cards" to help us get the message out about our love of flowers. My husband often forgets that something as simple as a single rose or small bouquet "just because" or for a special occasion is often just as good as, or better than, a larger gift. These hint cards provide a humorous way to remind the special person in your life that you like getting flowers, too.
Until now, I had no idea where my flowers came from. I feel more in-the-know about the flower industry now, and I think in the future I'll take the extra step to make sure my flowers are domestic grown - after all, we encourage everyone to "Buy American" for other products, so why should flowers be any different?
Thanks to the CCFC for sending me the floral bouquet and teaching me a little more about the flower industry!