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The Sustainable Flowers Podcast:

A conversation about sustainable cut flower growing and designing between two passionate Canadian  growers trying to figure it out.

Heather and Clara grow cut flowers for market on the northern edge of the Canadian Prairies.  In this podcast they discuss the issues they face and alternatives to conventional approaches that they are putting into practice or are trialing to ensure that their small-scale flower farming operations are sustainable. Looking to the past and to new technologies to learn the whys and hows, they discuss everything from peat to floral foam, Antirrhinum to Zinnias as well as their weekly adventures on their Zones 2 and 3 flower farms.

May 29, 2019

This week we discuss the issues and some of the research around plastics in horticulture, from our seed starting and potting up practices, our field production - so plastic field "mulches" and landscape or nursery fabrics/cloth, and our retail end with regards to sleeves etc. 

Selected articles referenced in the podcast:

Situation in Europe: 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/05/national-trust-declares-war-plastic-plant-pots/

Info on the Chinese ban on recycled plastics imports

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/16/eu-declares-war-on-plastic-waste-2030

Washington State University extension paper on landscape fabric

https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/landscape-fabric.pdf

Biopolymers and plastic pots:

Schrader, James A.; Christopher J. Currey; Nicholas J. Flax;
David Grewell; and William R. Graves. 2018. Effectiveness of Biopolymer Horticultural Products for Production and Postproduction Nutrient Provision of Garden and Bedding.  Hort Technology June 2018 28(3) 257-266. 

Plastic mulches in agriculture:
Steinmetz et. al. 2016 Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short-term benefits for long term soil degradation? Review Article. 2016. Science of the Total Environment.

 

The Sustainable Flowers Podcast theme music was composed and performed by Heather's son Callum, and the challenging job of audio editing was done by the brilliant Laura Eccleston.