Blog Archive

'cause it's easier being a green sinner than a green saint . . .

You Must Be the Flower Farmer

We started "greenSinner" with an idea: we wanted to help people be green, in realistic ways. Most folks want to do what's right for the environment, but getting there -- or even figuring out what the "right" thing is -- isn't always easy. We started with this idea, not really sure what it would become. A blog? Yes, partially. A way of life for us? It already was. Maybe even a vocation? We hope so. We've been quiet here on the blog lately, but if you saw last week's post (or you've been checking us out on Facebook or Twitter), you've seen we haven't been idle. We've opened a stall at the Pittsburgh Public Market. We're building on our love of growing things to bring you flowers, and hopefully a slightly more beautiful world in the process.

Flowers always bring beauty. But many of the cut flowers available here in the United States are shipped from the tropics and treated with lots of chemicals to preserve them, neither of which is very good for our planet. It also limits the selection of flowers available to those that are easy and economical to ship over long distances and retain vase life after they've been on a plane or in a truck for a week.

We decided we want to help change that. There's a local flower movement a-brewin', and we're joining in. There are already growers all over the country, and we're glad to say we're getting started right here in Pittsburgh.

We don't have any land. What's a farmer without land? Well, we've been very lucky to work with some great partners so far:

  • We're working with Healcrest Urban Farm at their community garden in Garfield.
  • We've benefited from a very generous offer by Catherine at Prism Stained Glass in Lawrenceville to use space behind her shop for a production garden, create a display garden on Butler Street, and participate in creating some community garden space.
  • We've been able to forage from our own gardens, those of friends and family, and even folks we've met through the Public Market, like Scotty and Brenda at the Berry Patch.

We do hope in the future to have a place to create the greenSinner farm, and we've been working with Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority to utilize vacant land in the city.

So it's very much greenSinner. Green, because we're growing locally, without chemicals. Sinner because, well, we're still cutting up flowers, after all. They're fresher and so should last longer, but they're only temporary. Still, we think it's worth it for the beauty they can bring, and if that's not for you, we have plenty of live plants, too.

When I recently met someone who said to me, "You must be the flower farmer," I thought, "Yes, I am." And it felt really good to say so.