A note about local flowers
I am a florist who chooses to grow their own flowers for a variety of reasons.
It allows me to have access to a wide range of unusual flowers, and source uncommon colours and varieties that aren’t found through my wholesalers. Then there is the negative environmental impact of shipping cut flowers grown around the world to Canada. The unregulated use of chemicals and pesticides to ensure the perfection of these flowers with a longer vase life is a concern. Workers are exposed to high levels of chemicals and these chemicals have been shown to run off into vital sources of drinking water. Many workers, the vast majority of whom are women, work in unsafe conditions with low pay to meet the demand for inexpensive and perfect, long lasting blooms.
I bring these items to your attention because it's important to me that you know that locally grown flowers are intrinsically different from imports. Local blooms may open during the day and close again at night. Some may continue to grow and change and stretch towards the light. They weren’t bred to be shipped across oceans. They often contain more scent and colour. Some may not last as long in your vase. They are, by nature, ephemeral and imperfect.
Bloem is committed to environmentally conscious growing and design practices. We take inspiration from the Slow Food and Slow Flowers movements that champion sustainability, ethical work environments, and the creation of as little waste material as possible.
We grow flowers for our design work and for industry professionals through the Local Flower Collective. This helps get more local flowers into the hands of designers, and let's us participate in a community of eco conscious growers and florists. It also allows us to minimize waste and gives us access to flowers grown by other small scale growers across Ontario.
You can learn more about the working conditions on commercial cut flower farms abroad here, and the Slow Flower movement here. Local flowers are available during Ontario's growing season of May - early October.