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by S. Holdbrook
OrganicGardening.com

Bouquets without Sprays

Thanks to the nation's first distributor of organically grown flowers, you can send your sweetheart a dozen pesticide-free roses this Valentine's Day. Most domestic and foreign-grown cut-flower crops are raised with a host of chemicals.

Organic Bouquet co-founders Dave Smith (also co-founder of Smith & Hawken) and Gerald Prolman (an organic industry pioneer) are out to show that flowers smell even sweeter when grown organically. The company, based in Novato, California, has lined up about 30 growers from around the world. "This is history in horticulture" says Prolman. "This is about the earth and the farm workers."

It's also about money. Smith predicts the organic wholesale flower market could top $150 million by 2006.

Paul Sansone, owner of Here and Now Garden, in Gales Creek, Oregon, was the nation's first commercial organic flower grower and one of Organic Bouquet's first suppliers. Sansone predicts that most growers will eventually abandon their reliance on chemical inputs and grow organically. In addition to the high cost, safety concerns, and red tape associated with pesticides, he says, pests are becoming resistant to chemicals. "There's a groundwell of change that is already happening. The current system is not sustainable. My feeling is [organic flowers] will completely change the industry."

Organic Bouquet flowers are available at 888-899-2468 or www.organicbouquet.com.

Several store chains - including Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and other upscale natural product retailers - also carry them. In-store retail prices for bouquets range from $7 to $18. Ordering online is pricier: $30 to $50, plus $9.95 for overnight shipping. Grower bunches or multiple stems of one type of flower, and potted plants are also available.



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Sustainable Flowers Make The Perfect Gift For All Occasions

Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts. All of our flowers are grown in a manner that is not only environmentally friendly but also provides outstanding resources for farm workers and artisans. Organic Bouquet partners with select flower farms in California, Ecuador and Colombia. All of our flower farms follow stringent growing practices which are monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations. When you purchase flowers from Organic Bouquet, you are helping to improve the life of a flower farm worker, their family and the local floral community.

Our eco-friendly flower arrangements include roses, calla lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies, hyacinths, sunflowers, alstromeria lilies and blue iris. In addition to a complete line of flower arrangements, we offer gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants and  wreaths. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through our participation in Carbon Offset programs.

Whatever the occasion, our flowers make the perfect gift- birthday celebration flowers, anniversary flowers, holiday flowers, or floral arrangements simply to say thank you. Sending flowers from Organic Bouquet says that you care not only about the person receiving the flowers, but also about the environment. All of our gift items are shipped nationwide to all 50 states. So whether you need to send flowers to Florida, New York, California, or Colorado, we can guarantee overnight delivery to ensure they arrive fresh and ready to put a smile on someone’s face.

Whether you are purchasing online, or through one of our customer service specialists, you can be assured you are ordering the freshest quality of flowers and environmentally friendly gifts.