Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
Jessica Eisenmann, owner of Iron Meadows Flower Farm and a vendor at the Champaign Farmers Market, joins us.
Here’s more from Jessica:
We focus on the importance of fresh-cut, locally grown flowers. Over 80% of the U.S. cut flowers we find in grocery stores, wedding bouquets, and florist arrangements; are imported (mainly from Colombia). Back in the 1970s, ALL cut flowers were grown in the U.S. There is no industry standard when it comes to the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that can be applied. If a flower farmer wanted to spray chemicals on their crops every single day,…they could. Nothing prevents them from doing that.
At Iron Meadows we try to use only OMRI certified organic products to deter aphids, caterpillars and other pests that munch on the leaves and eat the flowers. Plus, we really try to promote the beneficial insects such as lady bugs and green lacewings (both species eat aphids) without destroying the flowers. In addition, harsh chemicals can kill the bees we need to pollinate our crops.
We only deliver flowers locally (less than 100 miles) from our farm in Buckley. I made a promise to myself to never sell a flower that is more than 2 days old. Most of the time our flowers are harvested the day you buy them.
People should know that local flowers mean seasonal flowers. You won’t find peonies in July, sunflowers in May, or tulips in September. Everything we grow blooms in its natural season. This means our offerings are constantly changing. Last week we have anemones, after this weekend’s heat, the anemones have gone dormant and the snapdragon have taken off!
We only sell our flowers grown on our farm in Buckley, IL. Nothing is imported.
We also focus on growing flowers that florists love using (sweet peas, dahlias, cosmos) but to to their delicate petals, they are not able to ship well. Giving us the advantage over the imported flowers.
We are at the Champaign Farmers Market every Tuesday afternoon from 3-6 PM in downtown Champaign off Neil Street.