This Valentine's Day, Buy Local and Organic!

What kind of a statement would it be to give your sweetie chemically processed flowers with a carbon footprint the size of a wildebeest, grown by impoverished workers compensated little for their efforts? Now that's a romantic basis for your heart-felt sentiment! I might embellish some, but it's true that most of the flowers you purchase from traditional florists are grown near the equator in Africa or Latin America utilizing chemicals that may or may not even be legal here in the States. Worse yet, long shipping distances raise their carbon footprint and make them an even less environmentally friendly option.

Maybe you already buy organic foods, but make floral purchases so rarely you haven't thought about buying organic flowers. If you don't want to take my word as to why you should, here are a couple of blurbs which may help make up your mind:

Green America: Say it with organic flowers
Newdream: Buy Organic flowers now

The gist is: the chemicals used to grow conventional cut flowers are bad, mmmkay? Bad for you. Bad for your sweetie. Bad for the environment. Bad for the workers who grow them.

Unfortunately, it's still cold here in New Mexico on Valentine's day, and after calling around extensively it seems this makes finding locally grown flowers next to impossible. La Montanita, Whole Foods, and possibly Petals can hook you up with organic or locally grown posies in the warmer months, but sadly it appears that organics have not caught on with conventional florists. (To paraphrase one local I spoke with on the phone: "We all get our stuff from the same suppliers and they are all covered in chemicals to make for big, beautiful blooms". He didn't sound any happier about this than I was.) However, if you are still stuck on that two dozen roses, there are several online vendors you can order from. Here is a list of the most prevalent ones:

Organic Bouquet
California Organic Flowers
Diamond Organics

But, why not consider a gift that will keep giving throughout the year? Why not buy that special someone an organic wildflower garden or fruit tree? Most of our local greenhouses now carry native plants, and places like Plants of the Southwest and High Country Gardens specialize in options that are water-wise. Seeds of Change is also a great place to go for all things organic. Perhaps he really likes tomatoes? Nothing tastes better than home grown!

If your sweetie's thumb is more brown than green, fret not! Consider cooking your honeybun an organic meal, or putting a gift basket together comprised of healthy, organic products you can pick up at any local health food store. Keller's, La Montanita, Moses Kountry, Trader Joe's, Vitamin Cottage, or Whole Foods all carry everything from bubble bath and body oil to organic gastronomics (including chocolate!). If you'd like to specifically support local businesses , Martha's all-natural products are great, as are those from Tijeras Organic Alchemy. Or, if you are looking for something a little spicier, it looks like Self Serve Toys is carrying a line of eco-friendly toys and products.

Finally, if a night on the town is more your style, consider dining at a local eatery that buys locally grown foods when possible. Zinc, Savoy, & Seasons, the Slate Street Cafe, the Gold Street Caffe, the Artichoke Cafe, Scalo, and Sophia's Place are a few good options to check out.

Whichever of these options you choose, you'll feel better, literally. After all, you don't really want your sweetie to get a face full toxins and carcinogens when they inhale deeply from that bouquet... do you?

Views: 2

Comment by Chroma Studios on February 4, 2009 at 2:17pm
Great post! I would also like to add, ART by LOCAL artists make a wonderful gift! If you can't find locally grown flowers, why not a painting or photograph of a flower? Perfect for that brown thumb, because it doesn't need water, and does better without direct sunlight!
Comment by Aeaeae on February 4, 2009 at 2:18pm
Ooooh- good idea! :)
Comment by Mary Schmidt on February 4, 2009 at 4:14pm
Local Art: Check out the Wooden Cow Gallery on Montgomery. Affordable and always something different too. Los Poblanos Organics delivers (which forces me to eat better) or you can visit their shop on Carlisle. (BTW - Slate Street buys all organic, happy chicken eggs from Taos.)

And, for a longer list of where to buy local (if not necessarily organic), you can visit the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance web site and look at the member directory (or pick up one of the directories at the local library branch.) our web site is keepitquerque.org. (We're renovating the site so so we'll have lots more member info and a fully updated member database in March.)
Comment by Chroma Studios on February 4, 2009 at 4:59pm
We have an opening this First Friday night with featured artist, David Lloyd Stewart, great artist! We also have lots of affordable art!
Comment by Chroma Studios on February 5, 2009 at 8:52am
Good times or bad, can you eat flowers? OK, so maybe you can, but how many people eat flowers?
Comment by vashti on February 5, 2009 at 9:49am
How about some lovely local art for your sweetie (or yourself?) and some tasty chocolates. or cupcakes. you know, all local and organic and such.
Comment by Kelly on February 5, 2009 at 11:45am
Art feeds the soul.
Comment by Sarahjmd on February 5, 2009 at 3:18pm
Local art or arts and crafts would just really make my day as a Val. or b-day gift. (I always get the combo gift this time of year, like the folks born near Christmas.) Try the Weyrich Gallery, on Louisiana and Candelaria. They will keep a wish list card for you and people can be sure they are getting you something you like. Hurry up - get over there and make a list!
Comment by Chroma Studios on February 5, 2009 at 3:56pm
Also, what woman doesn't LOVE jewelry for Valentine's Day? David Lloyd Stewart will be featuring some wonderful jewelry this month at Chroma!

OK, I'm done doing the blatant plugs now, apologies!
Comment by Cupcake Pharaoh on February 8, 2009 at 2:28pm
CUPCAKES say i love you. :D cupcakeology is da bomb.

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