Many of our readers and diy brides ask what it’s like to spend a day at the farm where their flowers may have been grown. Well, it varies to say the least. Here’s an inside look at how farms operate and what you might expect when spending a day at one.
First, realize that not all farms are created alike. You have small farms and large farms, farms that grow one flower variety and others that grow many types of flowers, and farms that are located in cold climates and others in warm, tropical environments. Farms are also scattered globally. Some of our fresh cut flowers ship farm direct to you from Thailand, New Zealand, California, Florida, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Netherlands and other exotic locations.
When it comes to growing flowers, many farms opt to grow a certain class of flowers such as orchids, or roses, or succulents, or other types of flowers. This is due in part to the climate. Not all flowers can grow in all environments. Tropical flowers, for example, must be cultivated in warm environments. Exposure to cold weather would kill orchids, anthuriums, and other tropical blooms, for example. Additionally, many farmers find it easier to focus on certain flowers due to the complexity involved with growing certain flowers. Similar to how a physician might specialize, a farmer might decide to isolate his practice to one or a few cultivars.
At the farm, various teams work to grow and ultimately harvest and pack the flowers. When it comes time to fulfill your order, the harvesters will scan the field for the best blooms to pick. Once cut, your wedding flowers are taken for processing which may involve further trimming, preparation and hydration. Once hydrated, the post harvest team carefully wraps and packs the cut flowers for shipping. The flowers are then held in a cooler until ready to be shipped out from the farm. And on any given day, the farm may have hundreds of boxes to ship out for supermarkets, wholesalers, brokers, auction houses and a few select customers like you.
In some cases, flowers may be unavailable for harvest. This results from poor weather as not all farms use greenhouses. In these unfortunate cases, the farm may not know the condition of flowers until the day needed for cutting. Similar to vegetables and fruit at the supermarket, a farm can be out of flowers for a given day or week simply due to Mother Nature.
Hopefully, this short writeup gives you some perspective as to the how commercial flower farms operate. No two farms are alike, and so the intricacies and complexity for each given farm make the work challenging and enjoyable to farmers across the globe.