When you walk into your local florists' or grocery store, there’s a good chance the flowers on display are anything but local, seasonal or fresh. In fact, they most likely were transported thousands of miles to end up in your hands. That’s because the vast majority of flowers sold today were grown in Latin America due to a trade pact enacted in 1992 allowing countries such as Bolivia, Colombia and Peru to ship exports tax-free. The pact was designed to reduce the exporting of drugs and strengthen alternative industries. Ironically, it primarily strengthened the mass-production of flowers.
Today, flowers imported into the country are mass-produced and laden with pesticides, which breed out a flower’s unique fragrance, vibrancy and natural seasonality. While these flowers may be inexpensive, the impact they’ve had on the local flower industry has been profound, as a result 58% of American flower farmers have gone out of business. Our home state of Colorado was once recognized as the carnation capital of the world before flowers were mass-imported. No wonder we’ve lost the connection to what makes the flower so special: its beauty, its seasonality and its story.
I’m Gina Hemmings. I founded Mossflower because I believe in the transformative power of nature and surrounding yourself with beautiful natural elements. We Coloradans know all about this. My inspiration for Mossflower is to teach people where their flowers come from. People are innately curious and discerning and I’d like them to know why it’s important to buy seasonal, local flowers. If for no other reason, choose local flowers because they have a beautiful scent. In our busy, urban lives we are often removed from the origin of our food and flowers and the artisans that take meticulous care to provide them for us.