AU: Florists turn farmers amid pandemic import shortage

What happens when you cannot get produce to fill your orders? You grow it yourself. This is what florist and beef producer Leanne Davis did during the pandemic as imported flowers were scarce. The department of agriculture figures shows that between January 1st, 2020, and December 6th, 2021, there were around 11,000 consignments of fresh-cut flower stems imported into Australia.

"A lot of what we use in Australia comes from overseas, but when the pandemic hit all imports virtually stopped; so, I thought, what can I do to overcome this problem?" said Mrs. Davis, who runs Ellerslie Flowers at Kempsey. At the start of this year, she shifted the sheep to greener pastures and turned their paddock into a flower farm using recycled old tanks to grow the flowers as she was not confident about the soil.

"There was a lot of experimentation with different varieties," she said. By Mothers Day, the flower farm substituted a third of what they could not buy. From there, she added more flower beds and now has 20 varieties. Mrs. David said there was now a movement, 'grown not flown', where many florists were turning to the locally grown product or doing it themselves.

"Like food, flowers are seasonal, and we are trying to make people aware of where their flowers come from and it's also saving on the flower miles in transportation," Mrs. Davis said. The next step is purchasing a cool room to store the flowers so she can supply other local florists. "I can never substitute the experience of established growers and the quality and reliability of what they offer."

Read the complete article at

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber