Our eyes have been opened to a whole new understanding of how flowers are grown, ordered, and delivered to become a part of a larger arrangement. And we have Bel Fiore Farm & Floral to thank for that. As lovers of all things Kansas City, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share what we learned and how one local flower farm provides couples a sustainable solution for their wedding. Teaser Alert: there are flowers being grown right here in our city that you can use in your arrangements instead of shipping them halfway across the world. And because that just makes basic sense, sustainable wedding flowers are going to be the next big thing.
The Root of the Issue
It’s a fact – sourcing flowers internationally creates a carbon footprint up to 10x greater than choosing local blooms. Not only that, but they must first trek upwards of 4,800 miles (and many days) just to get to your bouquet, undoubtedly compromising a flower’s freshness.
A staggering 77% of flowers consumed in America are grown overseas. In fact, today less than 2% of roses are grown in America. The largest importers to the United States are Columbia and Ecuador where workers are often not paid a living wage.
After flowers are harvested, they are packaged in plastic and cardboard and bound for the U.S. Each day 40,000 boxes of flowers are flown into the Miami International Airport alone. From there, they are inspected, and sent through customs before being flown or trucked to their destination city. By the time they reach their end-user it is days or sometimes weeks since they were first cut.
This practice is not eco-conscious or sustainable.
Bel Fiore Farm & Floral Creates Shoot with Only Local Blooms
One might assume our midwest climate makes this an exclusively warm weather possibility, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Inspired to show people what magic can be worked in the dead of winter, Bel Fiore Farm & Flower owner Angela Turner, took on a challenge. She set out to prove that she could put together an ambitious floral photo shoot with only local and American blooms. She sourced flowers from their farm, Wild Goose in Osceola, MO, and larger farms in California. Not one bloom crossed international borders. In fact, she went as far as to nix any floral foam, since that poses an environmental hazard, in and of itself.
Angela’s magic garden shoot was inspired by this year’s Pantone color, “Classic Blue,” and included luscious David Austin Garden Roses, Potomac orange snapdragons, soft blue delphiniums, bold anemones, yellow and white ranunculus, jasmine vine, and tulips.
“When I look at these photos I see white and blush anemones that we lovingly grew in our high tunnel, fantastic snapdragons from our friend’s farm, and other specialty cut flowers like garden roses from one of the best and few rose farms in America. Locally grown flowers allow a couple to have fragile blooms like dahlias, anemones, or garden roses that don’t ship well from overseas.”
Reduce Your Floral Carbon Footprint
Before our conversation with Angela we knew nothing about local flower farms or the story that an internationally purchased flower goes through, along with the footprint it creates along the way. That’s why we are here to share the story with you, show you images that illustrate that there is no deviance in beauty, and provide you a way that you can reduce your carbon footprint with your own wedding.
When you work with a floral farmer or a designer like Angela that is committed to sourcing locally, you are not only supporting a domestic farm, you are able to put a real name to the person who lovingly grew your blooms.
Angela’s advice for sustainably reducing your carbon footprint:
- Have an open dialogue with your wedding florist about where your flowers are coming from.
- Follow their advice and go with flowers that are in season for your wedding. For example, trying to have a Peony in your bouquet in October is harder to source and would require a bloom grown overseas.
- Re-purpose pieces – take flowers from the ceremony and re-use the designed piece at the reception.
- Ask your florist if they can design without floral foam.
- Bring buckets and take blooms out of the centerpieces at the end of the night to send home with guests or take to a nursing home. If your florist is responsible for tear-down at the end of the night, ask them what they will do with the flowers. With a little extra effort those blooms can have a second life with someone who will enjoy them for a few more days.
CREATIVE VENDOR TEAM
PHOTOGRAPHER: Suzanne Fryer Photography
VENUE: The Stanley – Kingston Room
HAIR & MAKEUP: Roxana Dolson
MODEL: Hunter Decker
DRESS: Emily Hart Bridal
FLOWERS: Bel Fiore Farm & Floral
TABLE DETAILS: Bel Fiore Farm & Floral, Very Violet, Ivy & Sparrow, & The Historic Browning