Underground Organics

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I’ve been meaning to tell you about Underground Organics since back in the spring when buckets of their beautiful flowers first started showing up at my local weekly market, the Dufferin Grove Farmers Market.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Underground Organics are a trio of farmers living just outside Toronto who are organically growing annual and perennial flowers and selling them locally at farmers markets and health food stores in the region. I had all but given up on buying cut flowers since learning about how bad the industry can be for both the environment and the people who work on big cut flower farms. My gardens aren’t big and are primarily dedicated to food so having flowers to cut and enjoy in my home is a rare treat reserved for the times when my flowers are blooming abundantly. Since this spring I’ve been enjoying a new bouquet every week.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved
Here’s what I bought last week.

Shane and the gang grow all kinds of interesting flowers and unique varieties, many of which I have never seen before. There’s a new selection of tempting colours every week making it difficult to choose. And they’re affordable too. Most bouquets run in he $4-8 range with bouquets of really fancy blooms at about 12 bucks. You can choose a ready-made bouquet from an assortment on display or choose your own blooms and have Shane, a gifted farmer and floral arranger, assemble it and wrap it up. They even use old-school butcher paper and beautiful hemp twine — none of that clear plastic or tacky floral nonsense used to package bouquets at your run-of-the-mill corner store florist.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

If you’re in the Toronto area, Underground Organics sells every week at The Trinity Bellwood Farmers Market (Tuesdays), The Dufferin Grove Farmers Market (Thursdays) and other local stores (see the site for listings). If you’d like to learn more about the flower industry check out Amy Stewart’s eye-opening book Flower Confidential. And if you know an eco-conscious flower farmer or florist in your area please add it to the comments since many of us want to buy organic flowers but don’t often know where to find it.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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10 thoughts on “Underground Organics

  1. Hmmmm … looks more like a Bachelors Button to me. I can’t wait to hear what it really is! Very cool find. Our farmers markets sell lots of organic cut flowers from the local farms. But the bouquets can get very expensive quickly.

  2. Are the orange and yellow flowers in the third photo Zinnias? They look just like the picture on a mixed packet of Zinnia seeds I have called ‘Persian Carpet.’

  3. Thank you so much for posting about these guys! I wish I’d known about them for my wedding – my flowers were awesome, but circumstances beyond my control meant that I didn’t get to choose local/organic sources. Now I’ve been charged with getting flowers for my Grandma’s 80th birthday party and I know exactly where to get them! I hope they take special orders…

  4. Fern: Yes I believe they are ‘Persian Carpet.’ I love them. They’re much smaller then the usual zinnia with so many beautiful patterns and colours.

  5. I read Flower Confidential & have seen these guys selling at DG – pointed them out to my husband last week (when we also caught the Clay & Paper show) with a big “hint, hint”… like, “don’t buy me that supermarket stuff when you can buy great local bouquets HERE!”

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