US (MA): Flower farms ask to “buy local” for flowers, too

Flowers are a key part of the local farm economy, and our ecosystem. Flower farmer Georgia Barberi of First-Flower Farm in Great Barrington noted that, “the local flower movement has really lagged behind the local food movement,” even though flower farming can help preserve farmland, protect biodiversity, and provide meaningful work in the same way food farming can.

And all of that beloved local food, whether grown on farms or in gardens, depends on pollinators, and those pollinators, in turn, depend on flowers. So flowers aren’t just a just a colorful add-on to eating local — they’re a key part of the food and farm system. Local flower farms support the local economy, too — for many farmers, high-value flowers are a key part of their farm’s viability.

“Non-organic, imported flowers have just as much of a negative environmental impact as conventional, imported food,” said farmer Megan Bantle of Full Well Farm in Adams, Massachusetts “If it’s bad for your health, then it’s also bad for the health of the soil and the ecosystem, even if you don’t eat the product.” She suggests buying your local, seasonal flowers at farmstands, local co-ops, and farmers markets.

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