[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_text]The floral department at Swarthmore Coop is now being coordinated by Marsha Swezey, Suburban Blooms.  You might have noticed for the last two spring through fall seasons that Suburban Bloom’s bouquets were sold in addition to the Co-ops regularly available bouquets, flowers and plants.  The material for those bouquets is grown in Marsha’s home garden in Ridley Park, and assembled exclusively for the Co-op.  Marsha and her husband Jon both grew up in Swarthmore, and raised their children there.  Marsha has taken floral design classes from and worked with Jennie Love, (Love’n Fresh Flowers) and the ASCFG (Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers) and is a new volunteer at Scott Arboretum.

In 2012, Marsha read an article about the local flower movement and was inspired to join in.  Debra Prinzing, a Seattle based writer and speaker coined the term Slow Flowers.  What most folks don’t realize is that Almost 80% of fresh flowers sold in the United States are not grown in North America, but in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Israel. Shipping flowers from those countries to the United States incurs huge transportation, energy, refrigeration, and storage costs, leaving an enormous carbon footprint. These floral materials may carry residue of chemical pesticides or fungicides. Locally-grown flowers can be cut in the morning and on your dining room table that evening.  Local growers strive to produce their flowers using responsible farming methods like integrated pest management, diverse cropping systems, and low-input fertilization programs. Their farms encourage important biodiversity, soil health, and water conservation.  Although it is not easy to find locally grown, or even American grown flowers year round in this area, local blooms are sourced whenever possible. Assisted by Co-op General Manager Ed Farace and Produce Manager Rose McDaniel, the Co-op continues to look for local providers of quality floral material.

The first change you may have noticed in the floral department is that the bouquets now available are prepared and wrapped in house. Rather than buying “pre-fab” assembled bouquets from a distributor, this gives us the option of choosing attractive flowers, and creating unique combinations.   Also available on a regular basis are bunches of Alstromeria, a beautiful flower that has been very popular with Co-op customers.

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon – Sunday February 14th.  As they have in the past, the floral department at the Co-op will have a beautiful assortment of roses, flowers and plants for your special someone.  If you have specific floral needs and would like to order ahead for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion, please contact Marsha.

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