Posts Tagged “callas”
As we gear up for the fifth stop on our workshop tour in Houston next week, we wanted to share a little bit about one of our newer tour sponsors!
Sande Flowers is a Dutch flower farm based in Guayllabamba, Ecuador which is located 30 minutes outside of the Capital city of Quito.
Sande Flowers is the world biggest calla grower with over 20 years of experience in Ecuador. The 450+ employee company doesn’t only grow callas but beautiful lilies as well. They also have a line of summer flowers like Bells of Ireland and Larkspur which are very popular amongst the American people too.
The farms’ altitude (7500 ft.) and its position on the equator create the perfect circumstances to grow high quality flowers year-round. But what makes Sande Flowers really special is their highly qualified staff and Dutch production technologies. Callas are one of the most difficult crops to grow and they have mastered it from breeding to producing and to processing it.
Sande Flowers is a proud Rainforest Alliance member. They believe in their core values. Living by their guidelines helps nature, improves the standard of the flowers and the well-being of their employees. Their turnover of staff is way lower than other farms in Ecuador and their people really seem to enjoy working for the company. The owners believe that only happy and satisfied employees will do everything to deliver that perfect beautiful flower, what has been, and still is, the most important feature that has driven the company for decades.
The relationship with Mayesh and Sande Flowers has always been great because they both strive to supply the best possible and supreme quality flowers from the grower to the end consumer.
Make sure to follow them on Instagram @sandeflowers!
Oh good, you’re back! If you’re reading this, it must mean my attempt at recapping our visit to Liberty Blooms didn’t scare you off. But don’t worry too much, this summary is more pictures than anything so things should run smoothly. Pictures I can do.
Over the course of our trip, primarily in the Medellín area, we visited a number of other farms to learn how they operate, and see some of the flowers we get from them in their early stages, from the ground, to harvest, to the grading and then finally packing.
Stop One: Altagracía
Altagracía is one of the largest Calla growers in Colombia, covering almost 24 acres of production. They grow over fourteen varieties of callas in nine different colors, as well as some colored hydrangea and dusty miller. Not only did we have a great tour of their farm (other than what they swear was their first farm tour in the pouring rain – I must have brought it with me from Seattle, oops!) the girls we work with are so friendly, and we ended up having a fabulous dinner with them and the owner’s family when we made it to Bogotá, filled with delicious food, even better wine, and more than enough laughter. Check out some photos from their farm below!
Stop Two: Valley Springs
Valley Spring’s farm is nestled in hills of Antioquia, in a town called La Ceja. They grow beautiful white hydrangea, and I have to be honest, I had no clue they could position these fields on such a steep grade! It was, once again, raining, so we weren’t able to walk the entire farm due the mud and steepness, but it was such an unique and picturesque setting that I really enjoyed getting to see a farm set up like that. At Valley Springs we also spent time inside checking out the different processes they take the hydrangea through, like the grading system. Pat even took a shot at grading – how do you think he did?
Stop Three: Gutimilko
Before our flight out to Bogotà, Andres and Pablo picked us up for our final farm visit in Medellín. La Guadalupana Farm, the main supplier for Gutimilko, is located in La Unión, on a sprawling property. They grow hydrangea, callas and a small selection of other varieties, and also have a cattle business producing milk. Shockingly, we don’t get much milk from them, but we do buy lots of hydrangea! Andres and Pablo are brothers who have grown this farm into what it is today, and we had the privilege of visiting their country home at the start of the visit, which is located on the farm. I was promised a horse back ride next time I visit… Andres, if you’re reading this, I hope you know I was serious about that!
Stop Four: Aposentos
I unfortunately did not make it out to the Aposentos farm, but Pam braved the Bogotá traffic to visit one of our carnation farms. She had a great time and snapped some shots to share with you guys!
One of the coolest things about going to these farms before attending Proflora in Bogotá was that we were able to catch up with many of them at the show, as well as dance the night away at the big fiesta at the very end. Not only did I get to see the beautiful Colombian countryside and learn so much about the farm processes on these visits, but I also feel like we formed some great relationships that will continue to grow, and I’ll always have my Colombian family to visit when I inevitably return to their beautiful country.
Stay tuned for a couple more posts wrapping up the rest of our trip!