Thursday, February 7, 2013

Buy Local This Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Be sure to pass by those grocery store roses and choose a beautiful  floral arrangement filled with locally grown flowers that your Valentine will love!


Choose from a $40 or a $70 arrangement filled with locally grown tulips, foliage and pussy willows. Each of these arrangements can be made in a mason jar, milk glass vase, garden vase or birch vase.

Gift basketMaybe you want to give you sweetheart a little more local love this year. Choose our All Local Gift Basket for $100 which includes our $40 floral arrangement together with some of our favorite local treats!

Finally, for the gift that keeps on giving, you can choose a Local Color Flowers flower subscription which will provide a seasonal, monthly or weekly arrangement to your Valentine. This is a great way to experience the best our region has to offer throughout the year. Contact us for more information.

We’ll be delivering on Valentine’s Day in the Baltimore City area or you can pick up your arrangement at our studio in Charles Village between 11am and 6pm.

To place an order (earlier is better!) use our online order form or call (410-262-1494) or email ( us!

The Fight for Local Flowers this Valentine’s Day: Whole Foods Promotion of Globally Sourced Flowers

Last week Whole Foods’ blog featured a post titled “Share Your Love With Whole Trade Flowers”.  The post promotes buying “whole trade” roses from Whole Foods that were sourced from Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica. According to Whole Foods, their definition of  their “Whole Trade Guarantee” is:408142_10150565868564962_1596364616_n[1]

  • Meets our product Quality Standards
  • Provides more money to producers
  • Ensures better wages and working conditions for workers
  • Cares for the environment
  • Donates 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation®

As you can probably guess, the networks of local growers that we work with were a buzz with this news. East Coast and West Coast growers alike expressed anger, outrage, frustration and disappointment. Whole Foods has a huge amount of buying power and influence so for them to urge people to buy foreign grown flowers on the biggest floral holiday seemed like a slap in the face to the American flower farmers. Growers and supporters alike bombarded the blog post with comments  urging Whole Foods to support local farmers.

Many of the comments recognized that improved standards on flower farms in places like Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica are needed. Many applauded Whole Foods attempt to improve conditions in foreign farm communities. However, they generally did not believe that this “Whole Trade Guarantee” was a good reason to ignore the environmental impacts of shipping flowers from thousands of miles away. They also were vocal that there are local options available and  buying local should be the consumers first choice.

For me, the timing of this debate was interesting because I myself had just been challenged publically about the value in buying local as opposed to supporting low income farm communities in places like Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica by buying their flowers.

Is the answer black and white? Clear and easy? Probably not. For Local Color Flowers, we’ve built our company on a commitment to buying local flowers from growers within 100 miles of Baltimore and using them for all aspects of our design work. We made this commitment for lots of reasons including:

  • Our desire to run an environmentally sustainable business that does it’s best to have a small environmental footprint
  • Our desire to work directly with farmers and farm families that we know (and love)  to provide our clients the best product our region has to offer
  • Our belief that investing in small businesses in our own community is critical to making our community and region financially stronger and more culturally diverse.
  • Our belief that local flowers are superior in both quality and vase life to flowers that have been shipped in from thousands of miles of way

Our region has a strong cut flower industry that provides cut flowers/foliage/potted plants/flowering branches and more year round. We believe it’s good for us, our community and our business to buy local.

Does that mean it’s BAD to buy Whole Trade roses? No- not bad. It’s probably better than lots of the choices out there. I just believe that when possible, buying local is the right first option.

Tell us what you think! Tell Whole Foods what you think!