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9781565124387

Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers

Stewart, Amy Author

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9781565124387: Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers

Award-winning author Amy Stewart takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry and how it has sought—for better or worse—to achieve perfection. She tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide. There's a scientist intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horitcultural legend who created the most popular lily; a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorean farmer growing exquisite roses, the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. And, at every turn she discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.

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From the Inside Flap:

Does it matter that a bouquet of roses travels halfway around the world before it arrives at your supermarket or florist? Or that growers force tulips to bloom in December? Are we being tricked when a scientist engineers a lily that doesn't shed pollen?

For over a century hybridizers, genetecists, farmers, and florists around the world have worked to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature could provide. Almost any flower, in any color, is for sale at any time of the year.

Amy Stewart travels the globe to take us inside this dazzling world. She tracks down scientists intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horticultural legend who created the world's most popular lily (the 'Star Gazer'); a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorean farmer growing exquisite, high-end organic roses that are the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. She sees firsthand how flowers are grown and harvested on farms in Latin America, California, and Holland. (It isn't always pretty).

What has been gained—and what has been lost—in tinkering with Mother Nature? Should we care that some roses have lost their scent? Or that most flowers are sprayed with pesticides? In a global marketplace, is there such a thing as a socially responsible flower? At every turn, Stewart discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.

You'll never look at a cut flower the same again.

From the Back Cover:

A globe-trotting, behind-the-scenes look at the dazzling world of flowers and the fascinating industry it's created.

It might be unromantic to call a flower a commodity or a manufactured product, but flowers are both. They've become big business—created in laboratories, bred in test tubes, grown in factories, harvested by machines, packed into boxes, sold at auctions, and then flown across oceans and continents to your supermarket or local florist. Amy Stewart tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, growers, and vendors working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide. From big agribusiness to local farming, from Europe to Latin America, Flower Confidential explores the intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.

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Stewart, Amy Author
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Book Description Algonquin Books, 2007. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Contents Introduction 1 Part 1 Breeding 1 The Birds, the Bees, and a Camel Hair Brush 15 2 Engineered to Perfection 40 Part 2 Growing 3 Italian Violets and Japanese Chrysanthemums 61 4 Acres under Glass 77 5 How the Dutch Conquered the World 106 6 Flowers on the Equator 137 Part 3 Selling 7 Forbidden Flowers 173 8 The Dutch Auction 209 9 Florists, Supermarkets, and the Next Big Thing 237 Epilogue: Valentine's Day 271 The Care and Feeding of Cut Flowers 283 Visiting Markets and Growers 285 Statistics 289 Notes 293 Selected Bibliography 303. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1565124383

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