Green, local, sustainable and seasonal are trending now more than ever, which is a very good thing. The Slow Food Movement encourages the farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem, which has popularized the idea of farm-to-table. Consequently, the Slow Food Movement has inspired the Slow Flower Movement, which was created to help people find the best U.S. floral designers who are committed to sourcing only from American flower farms. As a rule, domestic flowers are always going to be more sustainable than eco-certified imported flowers, hence the newly popularized idea of field-to-vase.
Coincidently, while this whole field-to-vase movement has taken charge, I was experiencing a whole Slow Movement in my life. Anemic and yearning for quality over quantity, and trying to savor the hours and minutes instead of counting them, my husband and I leapt off the hamster wheel of life and made a drastic change. Over the past three years, we’ve undergone a complete 180 degree shift of conscious change in our lives. We went from a quarter of an acre cared for by landscapers to having 10 acres and buying a John Deere tractor — from not caring about our carbon foot print to being consciously aware while still learning how to decrease said foot print. And yes, we’re wearing Birkenstock now. Our friends are shocked and tend to ask us lots of questions at times. But that’s ok — as soon as they see what we’re trying to build together, they get it.
Being in the flower business for many years already, suddenly acquiring this land naturally led us to start growing our own flowers. Idealistic and naive as much as that sounds, that’s what we’re doing. We’re learning to grow as growers. And guess what, we started with one of the hardest, most beautiful flowers: the dahlia!
Currently, we’re going into our fifth season of foraging and harvesting at Apple Blossom farm, specializing in growing dahlias and hydrangeas. Every fall we evaluate the cutting garden’s successes and failures and plan for the next season. Until then, we’ll continue to grow as growers, reaping and sowing from one season to the next.