Your flowers came from Chicory & Jig-bee flower farms this week:
Dahlia – Some very special dahlias, thanks to Cassie at Jig-Bee this week!
Millet – Besides having an awesome deep burgundy brown color with unique seeded texture, millet is a preferred food for lots of song birds and woodpeckers. If you feel up to it, set this one outside when you’ve enjoyed it enough for yourself, to share with the birds!
Nine weeks have passed since the start of the csa and the last week of bouquets goes out today! It’s been such an enjoyable season for me this year. I’m so grateful for the relationships I’ve been able to have with Chicory and Jig-bee flower farms! Both farms provided the bulk of flowers each week for the csa (with the exception of one week where I was able to harvest from Laughing Lady Flower Farm in Doylestown). Both farms are taking fairly small pieces of land in the city and turning them into fertile growing spaces for beautiful cut flowers, despite the competition of large wholesale distributors, cheap bunches from Trader Joe’s, and a huge selection of cut flowers from grocery stores, like Whole Foods. They are doing the hard work of creating sustainable businesses for themselves in a way that supports a more sustainable future for humans and the earth we rely on. It’s a pleasure for me to support their businesses as they help me bring my own business to life as well. By allowing me to work with them, I’m able to meet my first objective as From Blossoms CSA, which is to distribute locally-grown flowers.
My second & third objectives of the csa, are to educate/inform about the flowers in your bouquets each week and to spark inspiration and creativity. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my weekly journal entries, and spent some time with your flowers, arranging them for your own enjoyment or sharing them with others. I’ve been so lucky this season to have such thoughtful members who were willing to share your photos and send me little notes about how much you enjoyed them each week. It’s really been a special season to get feedback about how much you enjoyed them!
Before I sign off until next season, I’d like to address a question that comes up in late fall, which is “What should a flower lover, who wants to be nice to the earth, do during the winter?” This is a challenging question because the answer is maybe not the one you’d like.. Not one that involves getting bright, beautiful bouquets of flowers, anyways.
I have a few suggestions for earth-caring, flower-loving humans this winter:
- For the holidays, consider buying a fresh, festive wreath. My friend Amanda at Germantown Kitchen Garden happens to make a variety of really beautiful wreaths with fresh greens & berries in Nov/Dec. (So check out her website to order one, then!) Below is an alternative display of one of the wreaths I bought from her last Christmas. Instead of hanging it on the door or on the house outside, my boyfriend and I decided to suspend one of her wreaths above our bar/counter and then next to the wreath, we suspended some pine cones to finish out the length of the counter. (but they look lovely as a door or wall decoration!)
- The trade-offs and benefits of sourcing anything seasonally is that you can’t have something all year long. Instead you can appreciate those short windows of bounty and then look forward to them for the following year. For instance, if you source your food seasonally, you eat apples in the late summer/fall, but not all year long. You eat tomatoes in the summer, but not all year long. You eat strawberries in early spring, but not all year long. So the same goes for flowers. In the fall and winter, some unique textures and colors do emerge, but they are fewer and farther between.
- When you’re feeling particularly trapped in the winter and longing for some interesting color/texture, I recommend getting bundled up and visiting an arboretum.. Morris Arboretum for instance is one of my favorite local spots. In December, when most tree leaves have fallen and frozen, you can see more clearly some really beautiful bark that you may not have noticed when the tree was covered in leaves and flowers. In January, there are some bright red and orange Ilex berries to catch your color/texture interest. Then starting in February, the all-stars come into bloom: witch hazel. Witch Hazel is one of my favorites because not only is it a lone bloomer in winter months (yellows, reds, oranges!), its hardy green foliage in all the other months of the year (besides winter) is hardy and beautiful!
So I still wouldn’t recommend buying the South American (or Californian) flowers made with pesticides and cheap labor. It’s tempting and sometimes pretty cheap, but ultimately supports a very flawed, unsustainable system. I think it’s totally worthwhile to start putting into practice sourcing seasonally and local when it comes to flowers. You’ll start to notice some of the unique things that winter has to offer and better appreciate the bounty of spring/summer/fall flowers!
Thanks again for your support and interest in local flowers and for your lovely photos and feedback. I can’t wait for next year and can’t wait to get you more flowers!