Congress pushes for California flowers in the White House

Aug 5, 2014

Flower fields in the Lompoc Valley
Credit Flickr member Anita Ritenour

There is an effort in Congress led by Central Coast representative Lois Capps to feature more locally grown flowers at the White House.  

In a letter to President Obama, members of the bi-partisan Cut Flower Caucus thanked him for showcasing American, cut flowers during the last State dinner with the president of France and encouraged him to continue doing so. Congresswoman Capps says the White House has had a long tradition of showcasing American products at events and says she and members of the caucus would like to see flowers as part of that. 

"Of course, it's our hope that an abundance of them will be from California," said Capps. 

The initiative is not just about beautiful flowers "but it's also about local jobs and supporting our local economy and I've been championing them for a long time," Capps said.

Although an initiative like this may support local jobs, some of the most popular cut flowers are water-intensive crops. The Congresswoman says during her visits to Central Coast nurseries, she found they conserved a lot of water.

"I have been very impressed with the way they recycle every single drop, "said Capps.  "That which isn't used is recycled so that it keeps going through. They are very conservation-mi

  nded in the flower-growing business."

This is not the representative's first attempt to feature locally-grown flowers at the White House, back in 2012 she sent a letter to First Lady Michelle Obama on the topic.