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Minnesota Flower Farms Lead the 'Slow Flower Movement' to Promote Local Blooms
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/26/2023

Minnesota, like many other regions, is witnessing the emergence of flower farms dedicated to promoting the "slow flower movement". With one in every five cut flowers being imported from distant continents, these local farms are on a mission to reshape the floral industry.

In the Longfellow neighborhood and beyond, a growing number of flower farms have sprouted over the past decade, contributing to this larger trend. One such farm, located on a double lot in the city, has seen remarkable growth since its inception seven years ago.

During a visit in April, visitors witnessed the spring planting season in full swing at the city farm. Even on this small lot alone, a staggering 15,000 tulips were being cultivated. This farm, known as Northerly Flora, is emblematic of the slow flower movement, which seeks to encourage consumers to opt for locally grown, organic flowers from nearby farmers rather than imported blooms that are often cultivated using chemicals and pesticides.

According to those involved in the movement, the disparity between imported and locally grown flowers is akin to the difference between a perfectly round but flavorless imported tomato and a juicy, locally grown heirloom variety. However, many consumers remain unaware of this distinction, as the U.S. market has become inundated with imported flowers.

In 1991, Congress eliminated tariffs on cut flowers from certain South American countries, effectively driving numerous American flower farms out of business. As a result, nearly 80 percent of the cut flowers sold in the United States today are imported, primarily consisting of varieties that can endure long-distance transportation and fit neatly into shipping boxes.

To counteract this trend, Minnesota's local flower farms and others nationwide are striving to cultivate a renewed appreciation for homegrown blooms. By supporting these farms and purchasing locally sourced flowers, consumers can contribute to the growth of a sustainable floral industry that champions organic practices and fosters a deeper connection to the beauty and uniqueness of locally cultivated blossoms.

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