Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sustainable vs. Organic Flowers- what's the difference?

Okay. For those of you who wonder why some flowers may be called "organic" and other sustainably grown.... Here's the difference as I see it:

Organic. At the Simsbury site where all of the annual flowers are produced First Bloom Farm follows strict organic practices for production- this includes organic fertilizers, organic pesticides and field materials. This extends all the way to post-harvest practices (what happens between field cutting and customer), holding the plants in pure well water , or using OMRI* approved treatments. Flowers and herb fillers, started with "Organic" seed may then be called "organic". Here's the tricky part...not all productive cut flower varieties are available from an organic source. These varieties, cannot be labeled "organic" even though they were grown with the same "organic" practices. It would not be "legal" for me to label these items as "organic"... confused?...

Sustainable. I like this word. To understand it requires a sense of trust, perhaps a leap of faith and knowing your producer, me, Maggie at First Bloom Farm. "Sustainable" is the word FBF can attach to all of the other annuals grown at the Simsbury site. These crops were started from non-organic seed or tubers (in the case of Dahlias) and were grown using the same "organic" production practices. Sustainably grown. No one owns the word sustainable, you cannot be fined for using it improperly, and it encourages you ask, perhaps start a conversation with me, the farmer. Sustainable, I like it.

As I see it, my goal as a producer is to provide the highest possible quality product, choosing the best cut flower cultivars. I choose responsible field practices regardless of labels. If you want to know how I grow, ask. I love cut flowers and am happy to discuss them with anyone!

*What's OMRI? The national certifier for organic stuff... Visit http://www.omri.org/

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