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Six new flower farms earn American Grown certification

Six new flower farms have recently become Certified American Grown, joining 45 other certified farms nationwide, according to a news release. These farms vary in size and in the varieties of flowers they grow, from a small urban flower farm to a large greenhouse farm that propagates 90 percent of the nation’s gerberas.

The newly certified farms are Grace Gardens in Birmingham, AL; CamFlor in Watsonville, CA; Menagerie Farm & Flower in Live Oak, CA; Harmony Harvest Farm in Weyers Cave, VA; WilMore Farms in Metter, GA; and Ocean Breeze International in Carpinteria, CA.

Farmer-florist Kelly Wood of Grace Gardens — the only certified farm in Alabama — said becoming Certified American Grown is helping her introduce the locavore flower movement to new farmers and floral designers in her state.

“The benefit of American Grown Certification is that it lends credibility to what I’m trying to accomplish,” said Wood in the release.

Novelty flower grower Carlos Cardoza of CamFlor sought certification at the urging of some of his top clients.

“It’s a good time to be an American flower farmer,” said Cardoza. “There’s a trend toward more novelty flowers and the use of more American Grown product.”

Flower farmer Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm & Flower grows garden roses and specialty flowers, including tulips and dahlias. She finds today’s consumers are in tune with the origin-matters message and she’s also a fan of the advocacy that Certified American Grown provides around trade, taxes, and agriculture in general.

“These all affect me, so I benefit from the advocacy work and I appreciate that my involvement, even as a small farm, can help push the needle,” said Alvarez in the release.

Ocean Breeze Farms co-owner June Van Wingerden saw the Certified American Grown branded flower sleeves, store displays and truck wraps and knew she wanted to be part of the movement.

“The program and the splash that comes with it make a positive statement and is consumer friendly,” said Van Wingerden. “And wholesalers are looking for it to distinguish one product from another.”

Earning recognition as Certified American Grown helps retailers, wholesalers and florists connect their customers with flowers grown in the United States. The brand is growing and looking for more farms to join the certified family.

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