Sunday is Valentine’s Day. When you were small, this meant bringing your mother Cheerios in bed and leaving an intricate paper heart on the desk of the 1st grade heartthrob. There was something thrilling about emptying your decorated shoebox at the end of the day, poring over the little cards, trying to discern who was probably super in love with you. It was nice. And I feel like we all grew up and something changed and Valentine’s Day has been zapped of a lot of it’s sweetness.
We all get so crazy this time every year, following the same, absurd formula for romance: Candy + Flowers + Candlelight = Love. But this formula isn’t so foolproof, because even a bouquet of flowers can come with unpleasant connotations. Have you ever thought about by what process flowers end up on your table? Today we’re featuring Amy Stewart‘s Flower Confidential. Stewart dives into the multi-billion dollar flower industry, investigating the life of the average flower: genetic manipulation, factory farming, and its international journey from the grower to the vase on your counter top. It’s a revealing look at what’s not-so-romantic about the average flowers most people purchase (not to put a damper on the festivities, or anything)–but it also offers wonderful and decidedly romantic options for flowers that haven’t been genetically manipulated, factory farmed, or sprayed with pesticides.
It makes me yearn for the days when a jagged, glittery, hand-made Valentine really made my heart skip a beat. Because whether you’re single, attached, or somewhere in between, the beauty of V-Day is that it’s about love not romance. Everyone loves someone and Sunday is the day to remind them of that. So, I’m proposing a return to the Elementary School version of Valentine’s Day, where you tell the people you love that you love them in an original, creative way.
If flowers are a Valentine’s-must for you, a good alternative to the mass-produced flowers in your grocery store would be to buy from vendors that stock from local farms. Buying local is better for the flowers, for the community, and for the earth (no emissions from international shipping!). Try something like Local Harvest to locate an organic flower vendor in your area. Also, VeraFlora is the eco-label for cut flowers. At their website you can find farms that have agricultural sustainability certification. And there’s always Organic Bouquet, a flower delivery company that Stewart touts in her book–their arrangements are spectacular. Some of us at Algonquin have ordered flowers from there and the recipients were amazed by how fresh and long-lasting the flowers were.
So go tell all those neat people that you love them! Of course, if you have no Valentine this year, you can always be mine.
P.S. Leave us a comment: Tell us your original Valentine’s Day plans!