I thought this week I would turn a little bookish, and share with you my new favorite book, “The 50 Mile Bouquet”. Are you ready to be wafted away on the perfumed breeze of Sustainable, healthy, and lovingly cultivated flowers? I am game if you are! Lets be off then!
What do the words Seasonal, Local, and Sustainable mean in regards to flowers? For those of you who are becoming more and more familiar with making wise choices about choosing organically grown foods over the pesticide, herbicide, Genetically Modified ones (like our family is), then let me introduce you to the idea of organically grown flowers. Yes! It might sound a little over-the-top, however, when one thinks about it in the terms of raising flowering plants the way God intended them to be raised, without herbicides and pesticides, and then to make a profit from them in good conscience, one begins to understand it to be a very good thing after all. Here is another way to think about it: would you want to be given a bouquet of overly large, perfume-less roses that came from a green house filled with chemicals and not a speck of dirt to be seen? I thought not.
Thus, in The 50 Mile Bouquet you will come to understand that Sustainable is another word for organic only better because it means that flowers and other crops are grown in such a way so that the ground they come from is far from being depleted of its vital nutrients. But “sustainable farming” doesn’t stop there, the farmers are also giving back to their surrounding communities as well as the soil they till. Every one gets to profit with “sustainable farming”!
Local refers to the practice of buying produce that is grown within a 50 mile radius, hence the book’s name, “The 50 Mile Bouquet”. Buying locally is something really hard to practice on a constant basis even if you live near a farm that supplies organic food. I can testify to this. However, more and more people are realizing the benefits of buying and eating produce that is locally grown, and the farmers are realizing they are receiving more customers who are asking for sustainably grown produce. And so the wheel of life goes around, and every on can profit from good things.
Seasonal. Well as you all have witnessed, the flower season around where we live doesn’t last forever. Many 21st century people are very used to having the blessing of buying what they want when they want. God did not order His creation in this fashion. He gave us seasons for a reason, and though I cannot say whether any of the farmers and florists documented in “The 50 Mile Bouquet” believe in a Loving God, I do know that they understand and respect this order. Thus, if a farmer cannot grow a particular flower crop in the Fall and Winter, he won’t even try. So here comes another hard practice to learn: don’t buy anything that is not in season! Let Valentines Day come without a bouquet of factory grown roses! I will content myself with Chocolates instead! Don’t you agree?
Every page of “The 50 Mile Bouquet” is decorated with flowering eye candy! David E. Perry‘s photography really pulls you in!
I cannot say why I’ve enjoyed reading every word that came from Debra Prinzing‘s book, but I do know that she has given me a new mind in regards to the flower world! It might happen to you too!
The most ironic thing about my reading this book, is that the majority of the farmers and floral designers are located on the West Coast in Washington State, Where we used to live!!! I only pray that the Lord will give me the blessing of traveling back one day to visit our dear friends, and these farms!
As you journey through “The 50 Mile Bouquet” you will come to understand the full idea of what it means to grow flowers in this particular way, take a tour through the overwhelmingly vibrant flower crops of the sustainable flower farmers, step into the shops of a few of the best Eco flower designers gleaning arrangement techniques from their clever minds, find the DIY in you to want to create a magical bouquet like the leading floral artists of our day, invite yourself to a DIY flower filled wedding, and lastly discover where all of these famers, designers, gardeners, and artists show off their fresh goods. You wont feel cold this winter with a book like this in your hands! Save your money and pick up a copy!
I want to give my lasting thanks to my dear friend Nellie Ashmore, the daughter of our local organically minded farmer. It was she who first gave me the desire to buy myself a copy of “The 50 Mile Bouquet” one Summer day after we had finished up early from making up her market bouquets. I spoke of my great interest in it, little knowing that she would later present the very book as a Thank You gift! Well, I thank her again and again! I have found my niche because of her generosity.