Workshop pairs feng shui, romance
by PJ Bremier
Marin Independent Journal
Flowers with a passion. If you have already found your Valentine and want to send flowers, think about ordering them early - and organic, says Gerald Prolman of Organic Bouquet in Mill Valley.
Why? Because flowers will go up in price after Monday. "Most floral companies watch the (sales) movement and offer promotions before Jan. 31 and monitor their inventory and stock," he says. "It's supply and demand. If the supply gets tight, the price goes up. But we're holding this price until Jan. 31."
And why organic? According to the Organic Trade Association, top reasons include the following concerns:
- Organic production reduces health risks. many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.
- Organic farms respect our water resources. The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers, done in combination with soil conservations, protects and conserves water resources.
- Organic farmers build healthy soil. Soil is the foundation of the food chain. A primary focus of organic farming is to protect and build healthy soils.
- Organic farmers work in harmony with nature. Organic farmers respect the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: Wildlife is encouraged by using permanent pastures, utilizing buffer zones, planting wildlife refuges, and protecting wetlands, forests and other natural areas.
- Organic producers strive to preserve diversity. The loss of a large variety of species is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many oragnic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.
So, says Prolman, when you order organic roses from Organic Bouquet for Valentine's Day, you're really saying, "I love you and the Earth, too." Although several Valentine's Day options are offered, one classic combination stands out - red roses and a chocolate heart.
This bouquet of 12 long-stemmed organic red roses in a vase comes with a large European-style organic chocolate heart made by the Endangered Species Chocolate Co., which donates 10 percent of all sales to the preservation of wild animals. All this goodness - with air shipment included - is $60. The roses themselves come from Biogarden La Pampa, the first commercial plantation in South America. It's a family-run hacienda in the Ecuadorian highlands south of Quito that also grows potatoes and includes a dairy farm.
Currently, 3.5 acres of the farm are certified organic, but the entire Biogarden flower farm is in transition to becoming completely organic. The roses are grown in greenhouses; organic chamomiles, garlic, chili pepper, and sodium bicarbonate are used as natural pesticides. Beneficial insects such as wasps are released in the greenhouses to combat aphids, creating a natural balance and eliminating the need to spray toxic insecticides. Worm castings (humus), manure, and flower compost are used as natural fertilizers, and the water used to irrigate Biogarden's land is drawn from a natural spring on the property. After harvesting and processing, the organic roses are shipped to Organic Bouquet distribution centers in the United States and specially wrapped for overnight delivery. For more informations call 1-877-899-2468 or visit www.organicbouquet.com.