New Year’s Rose Parade – 2014

UntitledCan you imagine a Rose Parade without California roses?

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.

California Grown
California Grown


It’s that time of year–Album: A Baton Rouge Acoustic Christmas  Click on over to the site noted above, to preview and purchase a Christmas album that has become a recent favorite for many.

The album is uniquely arranged and performed by graduates of the LSU School of Music, instrumentalists from local bands, and some of Baton Rouge’s most talented and unique singer-songwriters.  Artists from the Baton Rouge area include:  Jacob, Zachary, Luke Ash, Peter Simon, Ben Herrington, Ryan Harris, Joel Willson, Amy Willson, David Melancon, Robert Kling, Melissa Wilson, Jonathan Alcon.

A Baton Rouge Acoustic Christmas

One of the new songs, entitled “Shiny Things” as performed locally, can be found on the YouTube link: 

Produced by Ben Harrington, this album was recorded as a gift to the artists friends and families during November and December of 2011.   In 2012 the album was made available via online distribution sites noted below.  Make it part of your repertoire this holiday season!