The rose has been associated with Valentine's Day since the 1700's. The rose is the symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. However, do you know the environmental impact of roses in February? Ever wonder why they are so expensive? Roses don't grow in February north of the Equator! That's right.
Most all of the roses purchased for Valentine's day in the US are grown in Columbia or Ecuador. They are grown in factory settings using lots of toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They are cut, bundled, dry wrapped in plastic, boxed and packed into transport planes by the millions. They land in Florida, where they sit in warehouses waiting to be packed onto other planes to be sent all over the United States, where they sit in another warehouse waiting to be distributed to wholesalers. The wholesalers finally re-cut them and put them in water waiting to be purchased by florists who usually order them at least a week in advance. So, the roses you buy in February could be up to three weeks old before they get to your Valentine! Have you ever spent an astronomical price for roses, only to have them bow their heads a few hours after you get them home? Well, that's why.
The environmental impact is off the charts as well. The 100 million roses that make their way from South America to your love's hands every year for Valentine's day, produce 900 metric tons of carbon emissions. Not to mention the damage caused by tons and tons of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
I think it's time to rethink what we give for Valentines day. I always think that going local is best of all. Find a local chocolatier who makes fancy, handmade sweets, or a lavender farmer who makes their own natural beauty products. How about a treasure from an artisan jeweler or painter?
If they love their garden, get them a dormant flowering shrub or rose from your local nursery and plant it for them as soon as you can get a shovel in the ground. Blooming potted Spring bulbs, such as Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths are also a great choice. Write a poem or love letter for them, telling them how you really feel. That is something they will treasure forever. Or, what about giving them a beautiful glass vase with a gift certificate for a Flower CSA membership from Valmont Valley Farm inside? They can fill it every week with freshly cut seasonal flowers throughout three seasons of the year! Who knows, they may even get some gorgeous, intensely fragrant, old fashioned garden roses included!
If you would like to join in supporting my flower farm and receive beautiful bouquets weekly, please sign up for my Flower CSA! Get all the details here!
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