You name it, California has it. Grasses, palms, citrus, angel trumpets, trumpet vine, mexican trumpets (all the trumpets), geranium, and roses and rain tree pods and mimosa acacia and so much eucalyptus to name a few. But what they don’t tell you is to access most of these you have to park illegally on the opposite side of the foraging site, nearly encounter death crossing a busy highway and then somehow look inconspicuous (not me) while cutting down what *most likely* is on someones private property. And so finding and cutting and safely arrive back to your vehicle feels like such an improbable task. I have many questions for those who forage regularly. Like how, and…where..and how. Well, I am on a mission this month to acquire said fruiting trees and pods and vines. Listen, I have foraged many a things in my day over the last 7 years but tbh half of it was questionably ascertained, and that is being generous, to me. Two months ago I needed date palms so I commandeered a hand saw and pulled over off (will not mention specifics in fear of implicating myself to the Oxnard PD cause if anyone is reading this is PROLLY THEM) , a highway where people drive very fast and on a sharp turn they they were. Glorious juicy golden dates at arms length. I didn’t mention that, foraging also has to be at arms length to add to the preexisting complications. Anyway, I got it. And anyway, it was for sure not legal. Wow this is turning into a confessional and I am…not against it?
I think “designing off the land” is an incredible concept that would be sustainable if I only had a couple small jobs, but with larger scale installations and events it is more of a novelty concept most of the time. This is also how I feel about foam (shit man, am I going there right now?). It might be less controversial to bring up Trump’s wall than such hot button issues as floral foam in our industry but, let’s go there. I want to be sustainable. I want to have custom designed structures in my inventory that are built to support reusable vessels rather than foam cages. I want to source containers that work for installations which do not involve foam. But, I do think it is about making the changes where you can and about moving toward change rather than expecting it overnight. At this point with my current inventory it would cost me more to use less foam (in the way of structures) which is something I am willing to incur but at the right time.
I think this topic overflows into the greater issue of sustainability which there has always been a lot of talk about in our industry. How wasteful we are, how much we throw away at the end of our events. How sickening it is. But man, I think I disagree. Flowers die, its what they do. You could argue the restaurant and hospitality industry has more real waste as the uneaten food could have gone elsewhere. What we do is a part of a greater industry of growers, harvesters, suppliers, sales reps, designers…all making a living off of flowers. Is it sad that they often only have one night of appreciation to a mass group of people under twinkle lights? Yes. But speaking for myself, they are thought about for months in advance (I dream of flowers so really thought about all the time), delicately handled, doted on, talked to, and kissed for a least 3-4 days before their eventual end. HOW we throw them away is the topic of interest to me and I DO believe something could and should be done there. But let’s end the guilt ridden talk of what we are doing as wasteful…but can we also talk about what to do with them after because I would love to compost if I had the space.
k thanks my people, until next time xo