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The Power Of The Flower: Boost Your Mood, And The Local Economy, By Supporting Local Flower Farmers

The power of the flower: Boost your mood, and the local economy, by supporting local flower farmers

Nothing says “HELLO SUMMER” like a bouquet of fresh, locally-grown flowers. Flowers provide a glimmer of joy, a pop of color, a boost in your mood, and a delightful smell. The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, which can be further enhanced when you can connect the flowers with the farmer that grew them! There is something special about being able to pick up the flowers from the individual who nurtured that flower from field to bouquet, whether it be directly from their farm, at their farmers market booth, or from a neighborhood shop that supports and carries locally grown products.

As a consumer, you hold a lot of power in your purchases. In this month’s blog post, we share how the power of local flowers can be a boost for not only your mood, but the local economy. We’ll share these insights while highlighting a handful of fabulous flower farms (and a few honey businesses businesses) across Illinois, including: Clara Joyce FlowersIllinois Willows, Angie’s Honey, The Hive Honey Beetique, Finding Eminence Farm, and Triple M Farm: Mariah’s Mums & More, LLC.

High-quality blooms

When you buy locally grown flowers, you will get to enjoy your flowers for a longer period of time compared to when you purchase them from a location that ships the flowers in from other states or countries. Why is that the case? It is because flowers that are purchased from other places have to be shipped from around the world, and that takes days off their blooming life! Flowers that are purchased from local growers can last upwards of two weeks since they are typically harvested right before they are sold, and the travel time is significantly less (sometimes coming from just a few miles down the road). 

Photo credit: Clara Joyce Flowers

For Jo Daviess County flower farm, Clara Joyce Flowers, quality is everything. Established in 2016, Clara Joyce Flowers is a specialty cut flower and plant farm emphasizing on fresh cut flowers, wedding floral design, and young plant propagation. When it comes to flowers, and the need for high-quality local blooms, farm owner Drew shares the following on their website: “There was always such a large gap between the conventional imported flowers we had in the shops and the types of gorgeous local blooms I knew I could successfully grow. I targeted that gap and never looked back. I took the basics of design that I had learned, and made them my own.” Drew draws inspiration from the seasonal offerings available, making the best of the season, which in turn means the best quality. If you’re looking for inspiration, floral beauty, and a glimpse at what life is like in the local cut flower industry, then be sure to follow the Clara Joyce Flowers Instagram account!

Seasonal selections

Flowers that are grown locally often contain multiple varieties, taking advantage of the seasonality of the flowers. Many bouquets for sale in stores only contain a few different flower varieties. For the same price, you can get a bouquet from a local grower that includes upwards of eight different varieties of flowers, especially during the height of the growing season. And when there are not as many varieties in season, local farmers often supplement bouquet with other floral products, making it a truly unique arrangement that showcases the local nature and seasonality.

Photo credit: Illinois Willows

One example is Illinois Willows, who offer a variety of floral products in their arrangements. Located in Central Illinois, Illinois Willows grows specialty cut flowers and woody ornamental branches. As a grower with a floral design background, Kent Miles, the owner of Illinois Willows, decided to grow some of the more unusual flowers or different varieties than what are typically found in local flower shops, using the seasonality of Central Illinois as the foundation for his crops. Illinois Willows offers products all 12 months of the year, which means there are a variety of seasonal products for consumers to choose from. “We offer year-round Illinois-grown cutting flowers ranging from asters to zinnias. Our cut flowers are grown for vase displays, wreaths, garlands, and other floral arrangements. Our woody ornamentals are the woody cuts carefully harvested from our trees and shrubs. They are grown and harvested and sought after from around the world for their high-quality, colors, shapes, and sizes.” Keep up with what’s in season at Illinois Willows on their Instagram.

Happy bees!

An added benefit to supporting your local flower farmers means that you’re also supporting the local bee population! The power of buying flowers from local growers means that you support their business, which in turn stimulates their growth and expansion. That means more flowers for the bees, butterflies, and other flower-loving wildlife in your area. 

For honey businesses like Angie’s Honey in Pomona, and The Hive Honey Beetique in Mahomet, having happy bees is an important part of their business plans. Angie Kuehl, owner of Angie’s Honey, has hives located in Jackson and Union counties. Angie’s hives produce raw honey, bee’s wax, and other affiliated products. The Hive Honey Beetique loves supporting pollinators, and that’s certainly shown through the vast selection of honey based products and beekeeping supplies they offer in their Mahomet store and online shop.

Full service farmer-florists

Photo credit: Finding Eminence Farm

There are a lot of details when it comes to planning floral arrangements for special occasions. Local flower farmers have an edge when it comes to offering floral services because they are the people that actually grow the flowers used in the arrangements, bouquets, corsages, and more! This assures you, as the consumer, that you will have specialized attention from the time the flowers are planted to the moment the bouquet reaches your hands.

Finding Eminence Farm, located in Lexington, provides full floral services for weddings and special events using the flowers they grow directly on their farm. The flowers they use in these gorgeous arrangements are picked just days before the event, and travel a small distance to arrive in the venue or into the hands of the wedding party. Farm owners, Chris and Audra Wyant, started their farm in 2015, and in addition to offering floral services for weddings, they also offer a membership program so that other members of the community can take advantage of their beautiful bouquets, wreath making kits, and on-farm flower arranging classes. It’s special touches like this that make farmer-florists the powerhouse producers of local flowers.

The Power of the (local) Flower: Supporting small businesses in your community

If you’re searching the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois Directory, you likely already know the pleasure of spending your hard-earned money in your local community. Supporting local farm and food businesses has tremendous benefits throughout your local community, and local economy. When you choose to buy your flowers locally, your purchasing power is a direct investment in the livelihoods of your neighbors, friends, and community members. The benefits of local flower sales don’t stop there, though! The ripple effects continue, from increased job opportunities to a stronger sense of community pride. 

Photo credit: Mariah’s Mums & More

One flower farmer who knows a thing or two about community pride, and the power of supporting small businesses in the community is Triple M Farm: Mariah’s Mums & More, LLC. Nestled in the heart the Central Illinois town of Clinton is an oasis of mums… and more! Mariah’s Mums & More is a Dewitt County treasure offering a seasonal farmstand, educational tours, hands-on workshops, farm dinners, and an annual Mum Fest. Owners Mariah and Greg Anderson offer unique opportunities for their community to visit their farm and connect with nature. “Community is an integral part of our farm. We often say if we want the community to support our farm, then we must actively support our community.” says Mariah in her farm story on their website. “We bank, we shop, we dine, and we do business in our community. Community groups and organizations that we’re involved with include Agriculture in the Classroom, Dewitt County Farm Bureau, Relay for Life, Clinton FFA, Dewitt County 4-H and Extension, YMCA youth programs, and Ducks Unlimited. Youth organizations are dear to our hearts. We’re passionate about employing and mentoring young people with an interest in agriculture or entrepreneurship. It all comes full circle for us when we watch that extremely shy sixteen-year-old farm employee blossom into a knowledgeable, customer-focused, and confident employee by their freshman year of college. That’s when we know we’re doing more than just growing flowers and vegetables at our farm. We’re growing future leaders for our community.” 

Get Listed with Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois

Are you a farm, farmers market, farm-to-table restaurant, or grocery store that sells local products purchased directly from local farms? Get listed in Illinois’ most trusted guide to local food. Your listing is absolutely free. Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois is a local foods marketing project led by a coalition of organizations across the state working to promote local farms and food businesses like yours. Get listed and start reaching new customers today!

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