Time to honor Mom, your first love, ducky! If you give her flowers, make them certified organic, Veriflora or otherwise sustainably grown, from farmers who assure they eschew synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that hurt Mother Earth. And, they're simply gorgeous. Cupids, for instance, will want to aim for a dozen damask pink Aphrodite Roses, $49.95 at  Organic Bouquet. If Mom's not  into pastels, there's always the the Provence Bouquet, $79.95, in the bold reds and purples of Cezanne. Mother's Day bouquets from a California family farm start at $44.95, including a bunch of bright ranunculus, or bursts of floxgloves, dianthus, lilies, peonies and even protea. Fresh seasonal sprays are $59.95 at Diamond Organics.

Another label to look for is certified Fair Trade, which protects the health and welfare of farm workers, including moms. These, including reduced pesticide use, preservation of soil fertility and prevention of erosion, are among the standards that qualify flowers for certification by Veriflora and inclusion, along with organic, of course, in Local Harvest's online store, where you can search by zip code for flower growers nearest you. 

If Mom prefers growing plants to cut flowers, you'll go potty at Local Harvest's variety of living plants such as the Cook's Delight Herb Garden basket with 6 fresh herbs, $38.90, the irresistably named Chocolate Mint plant, $3.99, which the pesticide-eschewing growers say tastes like a chocolate peppermint patty, or an 8-pack of different lavenders, $45. Or serve her an heirloom tomato garden in a pail from Organic Style.

Not for nothing does Mother's Day come when spring's in full bloom (May 11, children!). If she lives near enough for hand delivery (and is anywhere really too far to visit the dear old girl?), you can pick Mom a local, sustainably grown bouquet at your nearest farmers' market.

Remember, you want only the best for Mom, and it's mutual. 

Story by Mindy Pennybacker. This article originally appeared in Plenty in April 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2009