Across Victoria micro-farms are sprouting, dedicated to producing bee-friendly, no- or low-chemical botanicals for the local cut-flower industry.
Hayley Connor is one such grower.
For the past two years Hayley has run The Rook Blooms on the four-hectare Bullengarook property she shares with her husband, Daniel, and two children. In the first year she planted four flower beds and expanded to 12 beds this summer, supplying florists in a 40km radius of the Macedon Ranges.
The 36-year-old worked in the airfreight industry before starting the blooming business.
“When I worked in freight I’d see orchids from Singapore flown in, wrapped in multiple layers of plastic and I thought they were perhaps special, but I didn’t think much more of it,” Hayley says. “Once I started growing slow flowers I was shocked to learn how many flowers are imported, how important it is to support local growers, and, like we do with food now, grow flowers sustainably.”
Hayley is a member of Consortium Botanicus, a website for growers and consumers that includes a database of more than 300 micro-flower farmers across the nation, all of which are “100 per cent grown not flown”, and which advocates holistic farming methods.