More than 80 percent of the flowers purchased in the United States are grown overseas. They are raised with heavy use of dangerous pesticides, herbicides and fungicides – and under poor labor conditions. But 100 percent of the fresh-cut flowers offered at the Concord farmers market are grown right here in California.
It’s important to seek out fresh-cut flowers that are locally grown, just as you would buy local produce.
Purchasing imports means your selection is limited to flowers that can handle shipping and being out of water for several days. Growing and buying flowers locally gives consumers more of a selection. Plus, they are fresher, support the local community and have fewer “flower miles” – the distance flowers travel and the energy consumed in getting them from the place of production to our homes.
Another reason to select flowers from a local source is that, just like with produce, you’re able to talk with the farmer who grew them. And locally grown flowers are usually less expensive than those imported from other states or countries.
Half Moon Bay and Watsonville have the perfect climate for growing gorgeous flowers and plants. The closer to the source your purchase is, the better the product will be. Local nurseries and flower growers are proud of their offerings and work hard to achieve the best flowers and plants available.
The Concord farmers market has wonderful, fresh-cut bouquets from Sunrise Nursery in Watsonville. Maria and Jose Fernandes started the nursery in 1985. Their sons Steve and Tim now operate the nursery on about 30 acres of open growing fields and in six acres of greenhouses. They produce more than 30 different varieties of cut flowers, from roses to sunflowers, carnations to chrysanthemums and everything in between.
Fun flower facts
Historically, flowers have meanings attached to them. Roses for love, daisies for innocence, sunflowers for adoration, or chrysanthemums for fidelity.
Some flowers are edible. Nasturtiums, calendulas, hibiscus, lavender and even pansies can add subtle flavor to salads, soups or cocktails.
Ancient civilizations burned aster leaves to ward off evil spirits.
Sunflowers move throughout the day in response to the movement of the sun from east to west.
Apples, cherries, pears, raspberries, plums and peaches are related to the rose family.
Pick up some locally grown flowers at the farmers market and enjoy their fragrance and color. You will find a wide array of in-season roses, freesias, alstroemeria, gerbera daisies, sweet peas, dahlias, carnations, eucalyptus branches and mixed bouquets.
Enjoy the pure joy of a simple bouquet of flowers. Give some to friends or loved ones to brighten their day. Pick up some extras to take to a neighbor or co-worker. Nothing is better than big colorful blooms given for no reason at all.
The Concord Farmers Market is in Todos Santos Plaza every Tuesday during the winter months, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.pcfma.org