Last Bite

Tanglebloom Flower Farm, What's Your 'Local'?

September 07, 2016
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Melissa Masters of Tanglebloom Flower Farm
Photo by Chris Benzakein

Local has many interpretations. To some it’s a chosen lifestyle, or maybe it’s necessity. It could be considered hip, ethical or even lavish.

To me, it’s a little bit of all these. As a flower farmer, it’s a lifestyle first and foremost. My local is the field, which is really just one giant garden. There’s nothing I love more than being in tune with the rhythms of the growing season: The patterns of birdsong, plant growth, sunrise and sunset. Wondering if the skipper moth I cross paths with all day is the same one that flitted about the florets last season. Witnessing honeybees feasting when a crop is in full bloom, wondering which of my neighbors’ hives they call home (and wondering how I can get my hands on that honey!).

In rural Vermont, living local can be a necessity. We’ve learned to plan well for trips into nearby Brattleboro. We also know the inventory of local shops—and their business hours—in fine detail.

Living local might be considered hip in some circles. Some may lament this, but I think any time people are spending their time or hard-earned money on local, it’s a good thing. The real connection lies in our ability to educate why it’s so remarkable. With Tanglebloom, people love seeing our flowers and hearing stories about how and where they’re grown. They tell me about how long they last, or how they made someone’s day. Sometimes they might be surprised to learn

they cost more than the bunches featured year-round at the supermarket. But eventually they think twice about those weeks-old imported blooms, and suddenly it feels like buying an out-of-season tomato: It just doesn’t make sense. No joy will come from it, and what are flowers for, if not for bringing joy?

Choosing local is an exercise in ethos. If I desire to live in a place that allows people to make a fair living, know balance and find and celebrate joy in their lives, then I’ve got to support my community.

Sometimes, that support looks or feels lavish. I relish in brunch with my little family at Duo Restaurant, knowing I’m supporting a vibrant new business, local farms and kindred souls. Special occa- sions call for Tavernier Chocolates or a special release from Hermit Thrush Brewery. When the rigors of farming leave me exhausted (and sunburned), I recharge with a dose of self-care at Persimmon + Rose Holistic Skincare.

We’re all working hard to live our best, to live our local. Let’s be okay with relishing and celebrating it. 

Melissa Masters, Tanglebloom Flower Farm, Brookline, VT 

Article from Edible Green Mountains at
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