Baby’s Breath

Baby’s Breath | East Wenatchee, WA | 2016

Today we treat sprays of wild baby’s breath as a noxious weed. But back in the 1980s, the bushy flowering plant, which thrives in arid climates, was touted to be the next Gold Rush. Purveyors claimed they could make millions of dollars by harvesting truckloads of the stuff and selling it to florists around the world. Heck, every flower arrangement uses sprigs for filler, right? In eastern Washington, a few entrepreneurs did indeed make money at it — for a few years anyway. But the floral industry quickly realized that cheaper baby’s breath could easily be cultivated where labor was dirt cheap. Mexico, for instance. Our region’s blossoming business of harvesting floral filler wilted and died. I guess I should have sent flowers.