Flowers are considered to be a luxury; to survive all we need is food, water and shelter. Whether you are a gardener, grower or just like to decorate your home with fresh blooms, flowers are not a primary concern. After the 3 essentials we then all have a choice, dependant on our lifestyle what we spend our hard earned money on. Some like to save first and spend occasionally, some like to live each day as if it were their last.
When choosing what to buy, price is one of the most important considerations; this is not always the best option and at last consumers are starting to ask questions and wanting to support their local businesses and community.
So why choose local over foreign imports?
Imported flowers are intensively farmed, sprayed with pesticides, refrigerated to keep them fresh once picked; which is not natural or environmentally friendly. They are then flown thousands of miles, handled numerous of times, utilising resource and energy. Being brought up on a traditional farm has taught me that supermarkets only look after themselves, they want uniform everything, they set the price to the producer and equally can cancel contracts with producers at the drop of a hat. As a consumer, we become a slave to convenience, enticed by loyalty points, vouchers off products and buy one get one free offers (that we don’t always want). How many times have you bought a certain product and then all of a sudden the supermarket no longer stocks it? Do we say anything, do we shop elsewhere to get that product, or do we just reside ourselves to buying another brand; perhaps even their own brand?
Our flowers are grown as naturally as possible, greenfly and slugs do like to nibble at the new shoots of certain young plants but with a wonderful network of British Growers through Flowers from the Farm, The British Flower Collective, #britishflowers, growers can liaise with each other and advice and support is always freely available. It’s clearly evident that if we harness nature and provide a bio diverse environment, pests and weeds, (things we would have sprayed and killed some 20 years ago) just encourage an abundance of different birds, toads, frogs, insects etc into the field. Ultimately, everything has a purpose and if we interfere with nature too much, we effect the natural balance, causing unnatural intervention that can have a long term effect.
Buying British Local Flowers means you get flowers with beautiful scent, the colours are vivid and widely varied, they are not covered in chemicals, they will last in a vase if cared for correctly. Your choice of flowers moves with the seasons and consumers are connected directly with the grower. Buying British, locally grown flowers and produce means you know it’s farmed ethically, not damaging to the environment and most importantly it supports local communities with employment and also strengthens our economy.
Whatever it may be, sometimes cheap is not the answer. I think we all need to learn to perhaps have less and what we do have is quality, difference, supports a wide network of fields, supports our local community and the fantastic producers here on our little island. Sometimes less can be more!!