The gray everyday life picks up immediately when you bring a bouquet of flowers to the table. But when carnations and roses are flown to Finland from Colombia, the luxury of everyday life has an irresponsible shadow.
In return for the ecological flower business, the Slow Flowers Finland community has emerged. It consists of small Finnish farmers who grow flowers in the open, following the rhythm of nature.
The cultivation of cut flowers grown in the open is based on nature-friendly and sustainable cultivation methods. The aim is to make the flower business greener, say farmers in the community Sannaliina Mononen and Maiju Koskela.
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The challenge is the northern location and short growing season
Originally, the philosophy has landed in Finland from the United States. Mononen and Koskela were inspired by Instagram’s slow flowers accounts and, inspired by them, ended up as farmers a few years ago.
“I was trying to find a new job in the gardening industry, but growing vegetables didn’t sound like a profitable business. I was wondering if I could find a job in those flowers to support myself, ”says Mononen.
However, the challenge was the northern location and the short growing season. Both Mononen and Koskela participated in a virtual flower growing course at the American Floret Flower Farm, from which they were encouraged to grow anywhere.
And so it has succeeded. Mononen, who lives in Siuntio, specializes in special tulips, and thousands of orchard tulips growing in the open bloom in May-June. Koskela in Vihtil, on the other hand, has a production field where all kinds of flowers grow from dahlias to cosmos flowers.
At present, there are about 30 farmers in the community in Finland. Some sell bouquets, some sell wholesale to merchants, and some make wedding ties. Anyone can start as a farmer, but more members are admitted to the community once a year.
“The only criteria are that the cultivation would be a commercial activity and it would not be a self-sufficient field, so the quality of the flower cannot be guaranteed.”
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The philosophy could be compared to food produced ethically and close by
Local production is welcome in the flower sector, which is highly efficient. The intensive production of flowers, for example, uses huge amounts of toxins to which nature is exposed in addition to workers.
“The world will not be saved by flowers, but slow flowers is working to ensure that the cut flower industry is not as harmful as it really is. Many are not aware of how ethically the green area is, as well as the environment, ”says Mononen.
Cut flowers are often produced in South America, for example, from where the bouquets are flown to Finland.
“It is not sustainable for cut flowers imported from elsewhere to be consumed around Finland all winter.”
Slow flowers production is close by and local. Cultivation respects the environment because it does not use, for example, large greenhouses, toxins or electricity.
Another advantage is that local cultivation makes it possible to grow spectacular and special flower species that cannot withstand long transport journeys due to their short vase resistance.
Ask your florist for ethical flowers
Community website you can check the list of small farmers and where in Finland they are located. Many farmers have their own shops where flowers can be ordered.
“You can also give a little to your own florist and ask if you could get better options for the sale,” says Mononen.
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Source: Puutarha – Kotiliesi.fi by kotiliesi.fi.
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