Did you know more than half of all cut flowers sold in Australia are imported?

For roses, the figure could be closer to 90 percent, according to a recent ABC report.‘I find it really sad’ says local grower Briana Atkin, of Duranbah-based vegetable and flower farm, Jumping Red Ant.

‘The quality of our local flowers is so much better’.

The good news is, in the same way that we are becoming more conscious about our food and where it comes from, there’s a shift happening in the flower industry towards local and sustainable.

With all that has been going on this year, demand for local cut flowers at the farmers markets has been particularly strong, says Briana. People are keen to support local business, as well as bring some beauty into their lives during a tough time:  ‘Flowers make people happy,’ she said.

Customers also appreciate the longevity of local flowers. ‘People are like – ‘I’ve still got your roses – they’ve been there for three weeks.’’

The next few months as we head into spring is boom time for local blooms, and Briana is especially excited about a new selection of striking proteas – South African and Australian natives –  that will be on the stall at New Brighton and Mullumbimby Farmers Markets this year.

‘We planted them in 2017 – they take two to three years to start flowering and now the first generation of them are just starting to come out in full force,’ she said.

Also coming up on the stall is a flush of spring roses:  ‘They’ve just been cut back so they’re fresh from new bushes.  They’re at best at this time of year  – the head size is huge and the cooler weather means the colour is popping.’
Other varieties on the stall in spring will be ranunculus, which come in a stunning palette of bold and vivid colours, anemones and pretty, delicate straw flowers.

‘The stall is going to look amazing.’