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CAN (ON): Farmer-florists are a growing trend

The flower business has been borrowing trends from the food industry: fresh, local, sustainably grown and often heirloom. What does this look like?

If you happen to be an Instagram user (and a gardener) you may have come across one of the growing number of “farmer-florists”: small-scale growers who serve local markets with unique flower varieties from their very photogenic floral farms. Often, they market themselves through social media.

While today there is a vibrant community of farmer-florists close to home, the current trend traces its roots to the Skagit Valley in Washington State. In 2008, Erin and Chris Benzakein established Floret Farm which started as a small business of cut flowers which quickly spawned a full-fledged research and education farm and a popular book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden. This title is considered equal parts resource and inspiration for many of the growers who call themselves farmer-florists today.

In Canada, Melanie Harrington established Dahlia May Flower Farms on her family farm in Trenton, Ontario after reading Benzakein’s book and deciding to take a workshop on Floret Farm in Washington. With over 60,000 Instagram followers (@dahliamayflowerfarm), Harrington has no problem marketing her sustainably grown, unique and often heirloom varieties from her roadside stand and to local florists.

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