Here I am at the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) trade show in San Francisco signing galleys after dinner. NCIBA hosts a "Moveable Feast" dinner in which one author sits with each table of booksellers, and after each course the authors get up and move to a different table. (They feed us ahead of time so we don’t have to eat and talk at the same time!)
My role at an event like this is to chat up booksellers and, in this case, to answer the question on everybody’s mind: Where do I go to buy "good" flowers?
It seems like everybody in northern California is already convinced that there’s a need to shift to more sustainable, and more locally-grown, agricultural products. Now they’re starting to look at flowers through that lens as well.
Is there a way to do the right thing by the environment, by the workers, by our dwindling oil supply, and still buy flowers from Latin America? This is what people wanted to know. There’s no quick and easy answer, but I get into it in my book and I’ll continue talking about it on this blog. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with just one piece of the puzzle–something that Ecuadorian growers said to me quite often–
"When you buy California roses, you are supporting a Mexican worker who is away from his family. When you buy Ecuadorian roses, you are helping an Ecuadorian family stay together."
What do you say to that?