If, like me, you are trapped in an endless cycle of winter (my little corner of the mid west has been continuously blanketed in snow for a month now), you might, like me, be dreaming of spring blossoms. While I’m greedily browsing through seed and plant catalogs, I’ve been thinking about the beautiful flowers of Ethiopia. Almost three years ago, as we traveled out of Addis Ababa toward Awassa, we noticed large flower farms close to the road. Our lawyer and fabulous guide Sintayehu told us that these flower farms supply much of Europe with the roses for Valentine’s Day and the rest of the year. It seemed so surprising that something so fragile and short-lived would be grown on another continent, but it was true.
In the past three years the market has expanded, it is now likely that the last bouquet of roses you received (or purchased for yourself!) was a beautiful arrangement of Ethiopian stems–a pleasing thought.
While the largest export in Ethiopia remains wonderful, wonderful coffee, it’s exciting to note that floral exports from Ethiopia increase each year. My sweet daughter was born in Awassa, the city of roses. I think I’ll go buy some today, to celebrate her heritage selfishly enjoy. Thank you Ethiopia, for your many gifts!