Photo courtesy of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
We're so lucky here in Seattle to have 100% regionally grown flowers available at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in Georgetown - and now the USDA has invested in the Market's continued success.
The farm-to-florist cooperative of flower growers, which includes Washington, Oregon and Alaska, has recently been awarded $138,000 in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding. Who knew there was block grant funding for dahlias and roses??
The purpose of the grant program is to promote and increase opportunities for specialty crop producers and to stimulate agriculturally-based community economic development. I'm pleasantly surprised that flowers are included....this means we'll have an expanded selection of locally-grown flowers displayed in our restaurants and shops, and sold at markets and grocery stores.
Did you know that Washington is the 2nd largest cut-flower growing state in the nation, and Oregon is 4th largest? And now the USDA has teamed up to help our flower farmers survive and thrive. SWGMC President Diane Szukovathy, co-proprietess of Jello Mold Farm in the Skagit Valley, explains that the grant will fund training on sustainable growing practices, season extension and marketing.
In 2011, small family flower farmers and independent flower producers formed a cooperative to create the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in an historic Georgetown building (5840 Airport Way South, Suite 201, take the Michigan/Corston Street exit off I-5). This past summer the market opened to the public from 10-2 on Fridays...so far the market had been self-funded, and this boost of government support is sure to help it expand, and offer us fresh, local flowers over a longer season.