CSA Flowers Are the Best Way To Get Local, Fresh Blooms All Season

Here's how to sign up for one close to you.

Garden-fresh flowers instantly brighten your home, and many fill it with a pleasant aroma. (And the scent can also improve your memory if they're roses.) You're probably buying your flowers online or at your local grocery or flower shop, contributing to the floral industry's nearly $16 billion yearly revenue. Unfortunately, many bouquets sold online or at your grocery store feature ordinary blooms that often wilt in a few days.

Now there's a way you can have fresh, locally-sourced florals delivered to your door with flower CSAs. Produce CSAs, aka Community Supported Agriculture, have been around for more than 25 years, but ones that exclusively provide flowers are relatively new. Debra Prinzing, the producer behind Slow Flowers, an online directory of suppliers of local and domestic blooms, first noticed the rise of flower-focused CSAs in late 2014. Since then, she says these small businesses have been popping up nationwide.

woman holding a vase of flowers on a white washed wood background
Courtesy of Miranda Edwards

Here's how these organizations work: First, you find one in your area by going to the Slow Flowers website under the CSA section. The site has nearly 700 farms and florists selling fresh-cut blooms, so there is likely one near you. Another way to find one is by inquiring with local florists. Prinzing says there are different subscriptions, from weekly to monthly to seasonally. You choose your CSA flowers plan based on your preferences and what's available, and you'll receive blooms, often the same day or the day after they're cut. They're usually "grower's choice."

The beauty of CSAs (besides the product) is they benefit both the grower and the customer, especially the newcomers. "Sometimes, a CSA is a good way to try out a new farmer," Prinzing explains. "Maybe they don't have enough flowers for the wedding industry, but they have a beautiful selection for a micro sale. It's nice to support local farms that really need the cash flow," she adds.

miranda edwards csa bouquet
Courtesy of Miranda Edwards

As a buyer, you can decorate with unique, diverse flowers in your home that aren't typically available in your local supermarket or from an online florist. These unusual plants can be difficult for the everyday gardener to grow. "That access to heirloom flowers, nostalgic cottage flowers, and ephemeral botanicals is only achieved when you can buy farm direct," Prinzing says. Plus, by eliminating the middle man, like a florist, which makes the process longer, you're getting the freshest, longest-lasting flowers possible.

Debra Prinzing

That access to heirloom flowers, nostalgic cottage flowers, and ephemeral botanicals is only achieved when you can buy farm direct.

— Debra Prinzing

If you're not quite ready to commit to a subscription, some CSA flower farms offer gift certificates. It's an effortless way to try it out and makes a thoughtful gift for the gardener in your life. So the next time you want to beautify your home with some blooms, consider joining a local CSA for the freshest, highest-quality flowers money can buy.

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