Six new flower farms have recently officially become Certified American Grown, joining a cadre of 45 certified farms nationwide. These farms vary in size and in the varieties of flowers they grow, from small urban flower farm to a large greenhouse farm that propagates 90 percent of the nation’s gerberas.
The newly certified farms are:
- Grace Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama
- CamFlor, Watsonville, California
- Menagerie Farm & Flower, Live Oak, California
- Harmony Harvest Farm, Weyers Cave, Virginia
- WilMore Farms, Metter, Georgia.
- Ocean Breeze International, Carpinteria, California
Earning recognition as Certified American Grown helps retailers, wholesalers and florists connect their customers with flowers grown right here in the United States and tells customers that the flowers they’re bringing home or giving as gifts were grown, bouqued or bunched by American flower farmers.
Flower farmer Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm & Flower grows garden roses and specialty flowers, including tulips and dahlias. She sought out certification because she believes it’s important for people to know where their flowers are coming from and how they’re grown.
Alvarez finds today’s consumers are in tune with the origin-matters message and are telling floral designers they prefer local, seasonal flowers. And in her experience, they appreciate knowing there’s an American farmer behind the blooms.
She’s also a fan of the advocacy that Certified American Grown provides around trade, taxes and agriculture in general.
“These all affect me, so I benefit from the advocacy work and I appreciate that my involvement, even as a small farm, can help push the needle.”
Novelty flower grower Carlos Cardoza of CamFlor sought out certification at the urging of some of his top clients who felt it would be a complement to his California Grown status.
“As soon as I got the logo and artwork and was able to share with my customers that we are Certified American Grown they were very congratulatory and pleased to know they had a supplier that had earned the certification,” Cardoza says.
He notes that many of his clients’ customers are asking for domestically grown flowers, as well as unique flowers not typically provided by importers.
“It’s a good time to be an American flower farmer. There’s a trend toward more novelty flowers and the use of more American Grown product,” Cardoza says.
Farmer florist Kelly Wood of Grace Gardens, the only certified farm in Alabama, says becoming Certified American Grown is helping her introduce the locavore flower movement to new farmers and floral designers in her state.
After becoming certified, Wood made a personal commitment to help new small farmers and create a market for them to sell their flowers. She also shares the importance of buying American Grown Flowers with florists in the hope of creating a network of growers and sales outlets.
“The benefit of American Grown Certification is that it lends credibility to what I’m trying to accomplish,” Wood explains.
Ocean Breeze Farms co-owner June Van Wingerden saw the Certified American Grown branded flower sleeves, store displays and truck wraps and knew she wanted to be part of the movement.
“The program and the splash that comes with it make a positive statement and is consumer friendly,” Van Wingerden explains. “And wholesalers are looking for it to distinguish one product from another.”
Six new certified farms, dozens of reasons to get on board.
Certified American Grown is growing and looking for more farms to join the Certified family. Today the brand represents the largest consumer facing brand featuring the origin of flowers in the U.S. floral industry. It is a powerful statement of pride and beauty that has proven to connect with consumers everywhere.
Have you considered joining the Certified American Grown movement?