Why do flowers barely make it home
from the store before they begin to
wilt? It was not a question I had ever
thought to ask until I visited WilMor
Farms one morning in early August. As the noisy
insects of late summer performed a continuous
chorus, my senses were overwhelmed by the long
rows of amaranths, yellow sunflowers, reddish
orange marigolds, zinnias, rudbeckia triloba, celosias
(cockscomb and rooster tail), basil, ageratum, and
sweet-smelling white tuberose. Rita Williams pointed
to each one as the names of the flowers rolled out like
a native tongue.
The reason for the short life of most flowers
we buy at the store is because, “80% of the flowers
bought in America come from foreign markets,” said
Rita. According to 800florals.com, an online floral
…Foreign imports dominate today's flower
market, in some cases accounting for 90% or more
of all U.S. sales within a particular category….
Together, Colombia and Ecuador accounted for
roughly 90% of all roses, 98% of all carnations,
and 95% of all chrysanthemums sold in the U.S.
last year. And, they're not the only countries
competing for America's love of flowers.
Local flower growers have struggled in recent years
to compete with global markets. But with the “Buy
Local” and “Slow Food” movement, there has been
a cultural shift back to local farms and resources
Hometown Living At Its Best 53