Organic flowers have created a great impact on the customers specially in the US in the last decade. Highly toxic fungicides, insecticides and fumigants are sprayed on flowers grown commercially. Twenty per cent of these products are banned in the United States that have carcinogenic properties.
More than two thirds of workers who cultivate commercial flowers in Columbia and Ecuador are reported to be suffering from health ailments caused by exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Conditions such as birth defects, neurological problems, reproductive problems, conjunctivitis, nausea, etc are very common in these countries where flowers are cultivated on a large scale for commercial purposes.
According to a report submitted by the International Labor Organization, about twenty per cent of the workers are children. These children are more vulnerable to health hazards associated with these chemicals than the adults. The pesticide and fertilizer run off also contaminates the soil bed, affecting humans and wildlife adversely. The flowers are transported in refrigerated compartments that use chemical preservatives to keep the flowers fresh for a long time.
Farmers who grow organic flowers prevent the use of hazardous chemicals. In order to ward off pests and insects, mixture of raw garlic and pepper in oil based medium is sprayed. Instead of chemical fertilizers, the excreta of farm animals are used. The farm animals are fed on the clippings of the plants and shrubs. This is a ‘green’ and symbiotic way of farming. They encourage the sustainability of farms.
This kind of flowers have the following benefits:
· Reduce the usage of toxic chemicals.
· Organic farming methods incorporated in growing such flowers reduce soil pollution and help enriching the soil naturally.
· Several health conditions resulting from the use of chemical fertilizers can be prevented by encouraging the growth of flowers.
· The sale of natural flowers supports the local communities who are financially weak.
· These flowers are believed to be more long lasting and fragrant than their non organic counterparts.
· They are of great importance to pollinators. The honey produced from these flowers is safe and effective in treating several diseases.
· They have better color and appearance when compared to the traditionally grown variants. They add to the aesthetic and holistic approach of a garden.
The role of soil and cultivation methods is very important in producing good quality flowers. Organically grown flowers not only enhance the appearance of a room or delight the person receiving them as a gift, but also they contribute in safeguarding Mother Nature from the toxicity of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.