Summer has officially come to a close and now the fall/winter mindset is here. For some in Corpus Christi, these thoughts seem laughable due to the consistent high temperatures, but for the avid gardeners, we know that more than temperature we are thinking of day lengths and sun levels. With even the most mild-weathered winter season, the day length will shorten to less than twelve hours of sunlight which is what affects the blooming and stem lengths of the flowers that we grow. While I have been busy nursing my summer flowers through the highest temperatures of the season, I have also been planning, prepping and scheduling next season's plantings.
The Honey Bee & the Hound is currently very focused on our first-ever flower share that we advertised as a CSA purchase (Community Supported Agriculture.) With the flower share selling out so quickly and way surpassing our expectations, we sure did feel supported by our community! We cannot stop saying 'thank you' to these wonderful customers! While the next six weeks will be spent staying focused on regular business around the farm, flower share subscriptions and planning for the next planting season, I would love to walk through some of the regularly used hashtags and social media messages that are seen associated with locally grown flowers so that those who are outside of the flower farming world may have a new look inside of the meaning and the passion behind what flower farmers do. All too often I see hashtags used in a meaningless way - words so often are - especially when fads are trending. For someone like me who is so very passionate about the work that I do, I would at least like the chance to offer some education behind the words that I choose to associate with what I do - because they absolutely do mean something to me. And I would love nothing more than to have someone learn what a hashtag or saying means, and then find a way to make it relevent in their life as well!
The first hashtag that I would like to address is #seasonalfloweralliance. The Seasonal Flower Alliance is simply the act of the public supporting the flowers that grow seasonally in their community. This holds strongly when florists and designers order in anemones, ranunculus or delphiniums in June, July or August. We hope that by educating those in our community about what grows during each season, then the public can follow suit by educating the brides and party planners alike about their choice to support the seasonal flower alliance by decorating only with flowers that grow seasonally in south Texas. If you love where you live, embrace what lives in the place that you love! You see, the choice to have locally grown flowers is much more than simply supporting a community member who farms flowers, saving money or supporting the locally grown movement, it is much more about what could possibly be happening at the farms in the other countries who sell their flowers to the United States via wholesale imports. These farms are known for having a history of child labor used in their flower fields, they have different pesticide chemical spraying regimens and their flowers are hand-dipped in preservatives before they are packaged up to be put on an airplane to be shipped here. The flowers from the central and south American countries are shipped into Miami where they are then put on other airplanes to be dropped around the country in large, regional, wholesale warehouses, then they are put on vans and trucks and driven to the smaller wholesalers in counties around your state. As I have said before, the carbon footprint on this green industry is disturbing! But even more disturbing is to think of what has been sprayed on your flowers that you so often hold to your face to smell, and even more so, who has been cutting, de-foliating and hauling your flowers around the field.
In some parts of the U.S.A., farmers choose to only run seasonally during the warm temperatures. Other farms put up greenhouse/hoop houses/low tunnels to extend their season into the winters. Everywhere you look, you have a choice to seek out the seasonal flowers no matter where you are located.