Once again West Cork SuperValus lead the way supporting ethical sustainable producers. This time it’s with Bumblebee Flower Farm’s ‘Christmas Collection’ – a natural eco-friendly range of wreaths, candle arrangements and foliage bouquets.
We all love to decorate our homes for Christmas, but do we really stop to think where lots of them originate from…This year Field’s of Skibbereen and O’Keeffe’s of Bantry are leading the way with their locally grown initiative for a more sustainable Christmas.
Ruth Field comments on why she thinks this is so important. “Supporting local producers has always been at the core of our family business. At its most basic level when you buy local much more of that money stays in the local community. As a family run business, we know all to well the value and importance of local support, so it’s a no-brainer for us, in turn, to support local producers. This way we can recycle a much larger share of revenue right back into the local economy, which benefits all of us.
“I have always been a fan of Bumblebee Flower Farm. Going all the way back to ‘Ruby Harte Floral Design’ there was always that refreshing approach to floral design, even with commercial flowers, so when Mags (aka Ruby) approached me about stocking her seasonal flowers and Christmas collection, I was thrilled to get involved.
“Their whole ethos of ‘Ethically produced and Sustainably grown’ is admirable, it can’t be easy to produce all year round without using imported flowers given the vagaries of the Irish weather but by thinking outside the box and clever use of seasonal ingredients they have succeeded. But it’s the natural beauty of their products that get me every time.
“We will have a limited stock on display, but we will be taking orders to ensure everything lasts well over the festive season, this really is one of the huge benefits of being involved with our community and building solid relationships with our producers.”
Jim O’Keeffe in Bantry is no stranger to the idea that supporting local is good for all of us. “We are very proud of our involvement in the community, the staff members that have been with us over our journey and the designated area which showcases our wonderful local producers,” says Jim. “We are always striving to improve our carbon footprint and be more sustainable. I admire what Bumblebee Flower Farm stands for, the strength of their convictions and commitment to their environmental impact; their choice of materials, how natural everything looks and it all smells so fresh.
“This is new to us, but we are very excited about it, it’s going to be the future of flowers. People’s views are changing; it’s not just the provenance of food now, flowers are coming under the microscope too. We are delighted to be stocking Bumblebee Flowers Farm’s ‘Christmas Collection’. We will have a selection on display but will be taking orders as we go along.”
Mags Riordan (aka Ruby Harte) has been creating beautiful natural Christmas arrangements for over 20 years but kept it very low key until now, making the decision to venture into mainstream. “I’ve been watching the flower industry and it’s reassuring to see things going back to a more natural relaxed feel,” explains Mags. “It just seemed the timing was right to introduce a natural Christmas range that really is sustainable. People familiar with my ethos are aware of my ethics and that I’m always striving to improve my standards and have as low a carbon footprint as I possibly can.
“Being a professionally trained florist and coupled with my horticultural background this has enabled me to create inspirational floral design where I stay true to my values and only use produce grown here on the farm or foraged locally.”
It’s a journey – each year Mags eliminates something that she has found to be unsustainable. This year it will be floral foam. She knows she will have to be resourceful in how she approaches some elements of floral design.
“I’m very excited about this new venture and delighted to be partnering with local SuperValu stores.”
Her ‘Christmas Collection’ will also be available in Caulfield’s in Merchants Quay and Quiches in West End Ballincollig.