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Eco roses from California. Photo courtesy of Fieldwork Flowers.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the problems associated with flowers shipped from far away, from the long distances flowers must travel to the chemicals used to grow them and preserve them for shipping. It's really a no-brainer: the same issues apply to cut flowers that apply to our foods. Who wants all those chemicals in our homes?

Over the past few years, more florists are championing the benefits of flowers that have been grown in our region using fewer or no chemicals. The movement has been aided by the recent publication of several books celebrating the locally-grown, organic bouquet, including Debra Prinzing's Slow Flowers and The 50-Mile Bouquet and Valerie Easton's Petal and Twig, both of which provide inspiring and beautiful examples of how to grow, shop for and design captivating locally-grown and organic bouquets.

There are several organic cut flower growers nearby, in the Mosier and Hood River areas, but they don't use greenhouses, so only supply cut branches and flowers during the growing season. We do have a local, wholesale cut flower grower, Peterkort Roses, supplying their wholesale-only flowers to the Portland Flower Market with roses, lilies, orchids, and other flowers and greens year-round from their greenhouses. According to their website, they are "as close to organic as is humanly possible"—meaning they aren't 100% organic but they are using IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and are about as local to us as you can get, in Hillsboro, OR. Remember, you cannot purchase from them directly unless you are a professional member of the Portland Flower Market, but you can ask for them at your favorite local florists. Support local growers who use fewer or no toxic chemicals by asking for locally-grown, sustainably-grown or organic cut flowers whenever you buy flowers!

*Update: A recent fire damaged a few of Peterkort's greenhouses, so the outfit will not be providing roses, lilies, or orchids for Valentine's Day. They will have some ranunculus and anemones!

Here are a few places to help you show your local love this Valentine's Day:

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