Friday, May 4, 2012

Stop & Smell the FLOWERS!

The Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service grows over 60 varieties of "specialty cut" flowers, many of them lesser-known varieties like Scabiosa, Larkspur, Euphorbia and Nigella. We also grow many common favorites like Zinnias and Sunflowers, but we try to choose interesting seasonal varieties. We also grow a variety of perennial flowering plants, many of them native to New York. At the Youth Farm, we like to say that flowers are "food for the soul." Just as we need fresh food to nourish our bodies and minds, we love flowers for their ability to produce smiles. In this busy city, "stopping to smell the flowers" is no longer just a cutesy phrase, but a welcome respite from stress and obligation.

On the farm, cut flowers add beauty, attract beneficial insects, and provide both an exciting new educational angle and a new creative outlet for our students. The cut flower industry, like the industrial food industry, is riddled with many injustices from environmental degradation through monoculture planting and heavy pesticide use, to human rights abuses towards flower industry laborers. We encourage the students to think critically about these issues. At the same time, growing, harvesting and arranging flowers is a very joyful experience, and gives our students and adult trainees a fun new way to channel their creativity. Finally, flowers are a great marketing opportunity for any small farm - their vibrant colors attract customers, and they can be an excellent income stream.
This year, we will again offer a CSA Flower share!
Our flower share prices are on a sliding scale between $135 and $165 for the entire season from June 27 to October 17. Pick up is on Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6:30 at the high school. Flower CSA sign-up deadline is May 20th, register now! Stay tuned for a possible second pick up location. 

You can also see our flowers at some amazing local restaurants like 61 Local, Brucie, Juventino, Rucola, Court Street Grocer, and Seersucker.