Living Flowers

Slow Flowers Journal

To the Slow Flowers Community of flower farmers, floral designers, farmer-florists and passionate flower lovers. Together, we have created an entire move ment.

The inspiration for Slow Flowers begins in gardens, meadows, orchards and fields, where the timeless act of cutting or harvesting botanicals season by season is part of the natural cycle of a year. For millennia, humans have picked flowers, foliage and branches from nature to use in the domestic environment for décor and display. Flowers, herbs and leaves have played an equally important role in cultural and spiritual practices for many people and traditions. They have been ever-present in the history of humankind, symbolizing the essence of life. As the industrial age reshaped modern life, commerce formed around flowers, reducing many floral crops into commodities that are produced, sold and used with little regard to the environmental and human costs. This has resulted in a floral industry largely based on high-volume, low-cost production, greatly devaluing flowers to the point where it has been quite challenging to make a living wage as a flower farmer in the U.S. For various reasons, be it economic, trade or government policy, the floral industry since the early1990s has undergone a major shift in the way flowers are grown and marketed. Slow Flowers began in the U.S., where 80 percent of cut flowers sold are imported from other countries and continents. The Slow Flowers Movement recognizes that this is not sustainable for people or for the planet, particularly when flowers are often considered a luxury. Slow Flowers believes that it is impossible to support the continued production and consumption of a perishable product that devours so many valuable resources (jet fuel, packaging material, water, to name a few), especially when there is a fresh and beautiful domestic alternative. Slow Flowers is a response to the dramatic changes of the past 25 years. It recognizes that most humans are disconnected from fragrant garden flowers and small-scale flower farming. It aspires to take back the act of flower growing and recognize it as a relevant and respected branch of agriculture. Slow Flowers aims to reconnect flower consumers and professionals in the floral industry with the source of their flowers. We believe that when the market place uses transparent origin labeling of all botanical varieties, it elevates the value of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown florals. Slow Flowers commits to the following practices:•To recognize and respect the seasons by celebrating and designing with flowers when they naturally bloom.• To reduce the transportation footprint of the flowers and foliage consumed in the marketplace by sourcing as locally as possible.• To support flower farmers small and large by crediting them when possible through proper labeling at the wholesale and consumer level.• To encourage sustainable and organic farming practices that respect people and the environment.• To eliminate waste and the use of chemical products in the floral industry. The Slow Flowers Movement puts a priority on sourcing domestic flowers. In a way, this also means that we are redefining beauty.