Toilet paper. Yeast. Bikes.
The latest pandemic shortage? Flowers.
Mother’s Day bouquets are the latest hot commodity to join the lengthening list of COVID-19 induced shortages.
The effects of this shortage can be felt all the way in the Northwoods.
Ruth Hempel is the owner of Forth Floral in Rhinelander.
“I haven’t been able to get things as easily as other years,” Ruth Hempel, the owner of Forth Floral in Rhinelander, said. “Yeah, there is a cut flower shortage this year.”
Hempel said plants like eucalyptus, carnations and roses are all harder to come by this year.
“Part of it goes back to COVID,” Hempel said. “Because there was a lot of uncertainty in the market last spring, some growers didn’t keep up their crops, or they didn’t plant or they had worker shortages. With flowers you have to plant months and months ahead for a crop, so things that happened last summer can be affecting what’s happening now in the market.”
Transportation issues have also impacted flower supply. Lots of cut flowers come from South America, and now there aren’t as many planes flying back and forth between the two continents.
On top of that, bad weather events have impacted growing seasons too.
“It’s a three-fold whammy,” Hempel said.
Still, she said she feels fortunate her business is doing well, partly because Forth Floral is able to grow some of its own cut flowers.
“Hopefully we’ll be making a lot of mothers happy,” she said.