Provenance, what is it? Why is it important? Does it really matter where things come from, how many miles they have traveled? Who and what has been poisoned in the process… Food provenance means knowing the root of where your food has come from and knowing how that food was produced, transported and delivered to you.

We’ve all seen how this has been distorted by large companies purely for profit that doesn’t stay in the local community. As individuals we do have power and that’s in how we choose to spend our Euro, the only way to get big corporations to change how they do business is by not supporting them financially. They are driven purely by profit and if you are reducing that by making ethical shopping choices then they will have to respond by cleaning up their act so to speak.

Buying locally and seasonally is better for you and certainly better for the planet. Seasonality applies just as much to flowers as it does to food in my opinion.

I’ve been doing some serious market research lately and was a pleasantly surprised to hear that the provenance of my flowers was top of the list as important to my customers. This is a huge turnaround from when I started growing cut flowers almost 10 years ago, people didn’t care where they came from or how they were grown because they weren’t eating them but what’s the first thing you do when you receive flowers, you stick your nose into them and take a big long sniff, if you compost them you’re contaminating your compost with the residues of chemicals in the commercial growing process.

Summer Scents 'Lilies'

This is precisely why we stopped supplementing our crop with imports seven years ago. I struggled to get rid of the contaminated foliage. I realised I was part of the problem by supporting an industry that I had such misgivings about regarding their ethics.

It hasn’t been easy, turning work away at a time of year when you could badly do with income. For several years, being on the breadline so to speak but I have a social and moral obligation to protect the flora and fauna that resides with us as much as trying to provide a safe future for our children. It’s a little scary sometimes when you stand up for something you believe in and hold true to your values, especially when those values can’t pay the mortgage. I’m happy to say I’ve turned it around because you as a consumer are asking about the Provenance of your flowers and for that I’m very grateful.

There’s still a bit of "I’m alright Jack it’s not happening on my doorstep, so it doesn’t affect me" mentality. However, it does in the long run because we are all connected. We’ve become desensitised to buzz words like ‘Climate Change’ and 'Global Warming’ and there is a bit of ‘Ostrich Syndrome’ about. We desperately need to take our heads out of the sand and make those ethical choices that will help save our beautiful planet.

We firmly believe that you can cultivate beauty that has a supportive and positive effect on our environment and that’s why we grow our produce the way we do here at Bumblebee Flower Farm in a magical part of West Cork along the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way.

Let’s all help keep our part of the world beautiful and clean by supporting local producers and communities.