the possible ecological benefits of botanical art.
I used to think decorating with floral was a waste of money. I didn't understand why you would pay so much for something that was going to die a few days later. I thought it was such a waste of resources.
What if we had that same view of our own life? Are we not valuable in the grand scheme of things because we live and die so rapidly? Flowers became this representation of that fleeting bloom, that moment of beauty within eternity.
When I started this business a decade ago I wrestled with the service I was providing. I had a long history of creating with plants, it felt like an extension of me, and yet I abhorred it on some level. I wanted my entire life to be a reflection of idealism and benevolence toward all the earth. I became stifled and stagnant in my life and business because of these impulses for unified beliefs and actions. I thought the floral industry was corrupt, just like everything else.
As I dug into it, I found that the flower market I was supporting actually did think about the effects. They shared with me their relationship to the farmers and how they sourced the flowers I was purchasing. I still didn't like the amount of overseas shipping involved but it pushed me to buy from more local people, and sure enough, the market for local flowers began growing. It is much larger today than it was ten years ago.
Besides buying local and knowing the source of my flowers, I began wild foraging pieces in nature. I found that many of the plants I would forage were invasive species. I use things like Ivy, Scotch Broom and Clematis in my designs.
After years of challenging my own business practices I had a lovely realization:
MY ART AND DESIGN ARE COMPOSTABLE!
In an age of plastic and one-time-use event/party supplies I finally understood how incredible botanical art and design truly was. People weren't wasting their money on floral, they were purchasing something that could bring beauty and celebration without creating trash. All of their arrangements could be composted and used to grow more flowers and food in the future.
All of that to say, I am super excited to announce that this year I will be growing a lot of my own flowers along side my food in a massive garden space. I want to have my hands in the entire process and look at the ways I can use the whole cycle of flowers to help with regeneration and healing our soils.
Flowers are this moment of beauty and sensuality. They are here to remind us of life cycles and the importance of allowing ourselves to bloom and die over and over again. When we bring them into a space, we bring life, we cultivate a moment of pure expression and presence.
I am devoted to using my business for beauty, celebration, growth and healing on all levels.
UPDATES ON THE FARM: 4.18.20
This week was an explosion of movement in our small farm journey. We accomplished three huge tasks: obtaining chicks, building a chicken tractor and starting our seeds.
The baby chicks showed up in the mail like a box of fresh baked muffins. Johnny went to pick them up and upon return we role played a muffin delivery.
He knocked on the front door, I answered. “Muffin delivery!” he said with an uncontrollable smirk. The box was full of a tiny chirping chorus. Opening the lid was one of my greatest moments. Tiny balls of fluff huddled in the corner as one precious mass. I couldn’t believe the cuteness.
Over the last week they have grown from those tiny fluffs into longer, winged creatures, not quite to their molting, teenager stage. It will be a few more weeks until they can enter the real world.
Meanwhile, Johnny crafted a chicken tractor. This is a coop that you can move from place to place so the chickens get fresh grass and critters every few days. We are using it to clear the cover crops we planted on the garden and fertilize (with their poop) before planting our seeds. It is a truly symbiotic and magical process. They are increasing the health of the soil and their own eggs (which we eat).
Our goal is to create a highly nutrient dense soil to bring our bodies nutrient dense food. This is something that our agricultural system at large has failed to do. In turn, we have a sick society, physically and mentally. Our bodies, our emotions, our personalities, expression, energy…everything that we are is a reflection of what our soil contains. Consuming a vegetable grown on depleted soil vs. a vegetable grown on nutrient dense soil is a very different thing. We truly believe that our mental and physical health epidemic can be healed through this act.
The chicken tractor is the start of building this soil that will become us. And while we thought we were going to have to wait a few weeks to get this going, we were unexpectedly blessed with 6 full grown chickens that a friend was giving away. After 5 days on the garden we moved the tractor for the first time. It was a really special moment. (seen in the photo to the right)
Now that we have some garden space cleared and nourished we can begin the process of planting seeds. All week we worked on mixing up soil and using soil blockers to start the flowers, vegetables and herbs we will be growing.
Soil blockers are a great way to create a waste free seed starting system. They are metal forms that are filled with soil and then pressed out onto trays in perfect square shapes. No plastic used!
A few of our seeds started sprouting over the last few days, their presence a beautiful metaphor for the new growth and nourishment that is coming for us all as we reunite with nature and the truth of who we are.