Watching the Rose Parade is a tradition in our family. I grew up on it. My parents began watching in the 1960’s, well before cable television. My parents would watch, and comment on the floats, the ingenuity, and how the fragrance must permeate the air there. We would watch the bands and equestrians and marvel at how far many traveled. One of my parents dreams was to attend this parade in person. (They did make in 1995 or 1996!)
This parade was first broadcast on television, in 1947. It is watched on television in over 127 countries, and is viewed on the website in over 150 countries.
The sad part of this story is that many, and possibly all, California growers no longer grow roses commercially. They cannot compete with those roses coming in from South America. California growers face the most rigid regulations by comparison, so much so, that they cannot compete.
My husband works in the wholesale floral industry, and we make trips to California. We meet the growers, tour their fields, and marvel at how they persist, adapt, and survive. One particular grower of roses, had to come to terms with his survivability. He no longer is a grower of roses, but of orchids.
Lane Devries, President and CEO of Sun Valley Floral, published this telling article–America’s Flowers, Worth Fighting For. In this article Mr. Devries “provides a domestic flower farmer’s perspective on the effect of federal trade policy on flower imports”. In the end, he notes that, he sees a time when consumers will request local flowers, like locally grown produce. News and information about California flowers can be found here.
One other little known fact outside of the industry–80% of flowers bought in our country, are imported.
Given that fact, and that most states do not have the growing climate of California, California grown flowers are America’s local.