As promised, here’s Heather Cook’s follow-up article on her trip to Resendiz Brother’s Farm. Learn a little about the farm and how Mel Resendiz is a visionary within our floral industry!
Two views of the farmland at Resendiz Brothers. You can see the leucadendrons safari and salignum on the hillsides. In spring, these hills are painted in color with waxflower which you can see in picture on the right. All of these hillsides are covered in poly tubing to provide water to the plants which are irrigated regularly. Also you can see there are roads above and below the plants, workers spend their days weeding, pruning, maintaining drip systems, and harvesting while walking on a slant. These hills duplicate the environment normally inhabited by these plants native to Australia and South Africa.
It takes a great deal of vision to look at these hills and see an opportunity. Mel Resendiz started his business in 1999, but spent years before that travelling to Australia, and experimenting with different plants. If you were to start a business today, for instance growing tulips or freesia, there is a huge body of knowledge and research on how to do this successfully. Many have done this before you, so you can learn from their experience. However there is not much history or data on growing plants from Australia or Africa. There are very few experts on this topic in the world and Mel has become one of them. Many of the practices that a farmer would normally engage in, such as fertilizing, pinching or pruning, Mel learned the hard way, do not help these crops. He tells stories of fertilizing his pink ice protea thinking it would give him a better yield, and exactly the reverse occurred. He fertilized them and they responded by growing leaves and not a single protea. He completely missed an entire harvest. There are places he has planted that the protea won’t even grow. Come to find out that the soil was too rich and loamy, in other words it was too good for these plants! Only through trial and error (quite often at great expense and lost production) Mel has improved his techniques and knowledge making him a unique supplier for Mayesh. He continues to try new products and is very responsive to requests by Mayesh to bring in new items. We can look forward to much more coming from Mel in the future.
Pictures below (left to right): Brunia albiflora, kangaroo paws, pink ice protea, and leucospermum Flame Giant.