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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Flowers bring bunches of happiness

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Flower farmer George Singh, at Bangalow Farmers Market.

American environmentalist ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson once famously said: ‘Where flowers bloom, so does hope.’ That was decades ago, but never has it been more evident.

While many businesses have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, local flower farmer, George Singh, says the flower industry has literally been blossoming. 

George, who has been growing flowers on his 14-acre farm at Tintenbar for over 20 years, is a local fixture at Byron and Bangalow Farmers Markets and says sales have skyrocketed in the past two years.

‘More people than ever are buying flowers,’ George says. ‘During the pandemic and lockdowns, they’ve been spending more time at home and they want something to brighten up their homes. Flowers are a quick and easy way to do that. 

‘They really do help to brighten up your day and make people feel happy. In fact, for some of my customers, they were giving flowers priority over their food!’

The local farmers’ markets didn’t shut down during the pandemic as they are deemed an essential service. In fact, customer numbers surged.

‘It gave people an opportunity to get out,’ George says. ‘They could shop outdoors in the fresh air and also chat to people while they were shopping. It was a chance to be a little bit social (at a safe distance) during a very isolating time for many.’

George grows a wide range of flowers, including chrysanthemums, roses, gerberas, carnations, sunflowers, snapdragons and proteas. He says there are a number of benefits to buying local.

‘Imported flowers have to be fumigated before being sent to Australia,’ he says. ‘Locally grown flowers aren’t, and they are also much fresher as they haven’t been put in cold storage and shipped halfway around the world.

‘Shopping at the farmers’ markets mean you are getting genuinely locally grown flowers – and produce – as well as supporting small-scale local farmers. Plus, there’s a real sense of community at the market. It’s magic.’ 

Byron Farmers Market is held Thursdays 7–11am at the Butler St Reserve, and Bangalow Farmers Market is Saturdays 7–11am, behind the Bangalow pub.

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  1. ‘Where flowers bloom, so does hope.’
    Must not have been the adventurous type.
    It’s people that make the spirit of the place, not the foliage nor dirt.


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