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Journal

Marching into Spring

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Flowers take time.

Welcome to meteorological Spring!  The temperature swings and longer days have a lot of us itching for the green leaves and heady abundance of Summer (I know I am!). But, flowers take time.  Weeks of planning and preparation go into the timing of when to plant, transplant and harvest a flower crop.  It takes a few months (or more) for some flowers to make it into a market bouquet. This is why, in the cold, dark days of January, I start sowing seeds and don't stop until August! 

This notion of taking the time to nurture a seed into a beautiful, locally grown flower is part of the Slow Flower movement (based on the concepts of the Slow Food movement).  Slow. It means "moving, flowing, or proceeding without speed or at less than usual speed".  To me, it also means growing flowers that do well in our climate, without using chemicals. 

If you follow my Instagram account, you probably saw my photo of flower trash from a local florist shop right after Valentine's Day: boxes piled up to my height; most labeled from various South American countries. I love flowers and think everyone should have and/or grow them. That is why it makes me so sad that the "fast" flowers produced abroad have become the norm for Americans.  Besides the carbon footprint when shipping the flowers (internationally and within the US), there is the issue of chemical use when growing the flowers and again when the flowers enter US customs.

All of this is to say that the time I take in growing chemical-free local flowers is not just for the benefit of the bees, or soil, or birds, or children that visit my gardens. It's because my flowers are a small part of the larger, global picture of sustainable small-scale farming. My flowers are part of the solution to an unsustainable industry. Good things take time. Great flowers take time

If you are interested in learning more, watch this great short film (15 min) about the local flower industry in America. It's produced by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), of which I have been a member for the past 3 years. 
See the film HERE.

Next week I'll talk about exactly HOW I start all those seeds! I'll give you tips to start your own seeds at home and make sure they grow into beautiful, healthy plants. What will you grow???

Have a great weekend,
Joan

Plant and Flower Events! 

Kodedama at Illini FS Farmtown

"Kodedama is a ball of soil, covered with moss on which a plant grows."  This class sounds super-fun and you get to take home your own kodedama! March 10th,Saturday, 10-11, $15 More info HERE

Orchid Sale--Plant Biology Conservatory
~200 plants for sale, cattleyas, miltonias/miltonopsis, oncidium hybrids, dendrobiums, phapiopedilums, and some species orchids. You can also visit the conservatory after you shop! It's so warm and green in there. Especially nice when it's cold outside! March 10th, Sat. 10am-2pm, and 11th, Sun. 1pm-3pm. 1201 S. Dorner Dr., Urbana, Plant Science Lab.

Broadway Food Hall Spring Fair
Come find some flowers or plants to perk up your space for Spring. Old Town Flowers will be there along with other local artists and makers to welcome Spring to Champaign! March 14th, 15th, 16th (Wed, Thurs, Fri) 11am-2pm each day. Click HERE for more info.
 

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Summer Camp!

Old Town Flowers is hosting two weeks of summer camp packed with kid-friendly programming!
Flower Camp--June 25-29
Plants+Potions Camp--July 23-27

See the webpage HERE for more information about the camps and pricing.