Check out the 2018-19 American Floral Trends Forecast

Wrapped inside the pages of the January 2018 issue of Florist’s Review is the 2018-19 American Floral Trends Forecast.

And it’s glorious!

This year, the annual report includes more flowers from Certified American Grown farms, more designers, more voices, more photos and, of course, an in-depth look into (more…)

5 Breathtaking Stops Announced for the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour

 

The fourth season of the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour is underway, and Certified American Grown wants you to grab all of your flower-loving friends and head to a flower farm for an award-winning experience you’ll never forget.

 

Click the video above and imagine yourself at one of this year’s American Grown Field to Vase Dinners.

 

They have an exciting lineup of farms involved with this year’s floral-infused dinner tour. Known for stopping at America’s most beautiful flower farms, this year’s tour includes amazing destinations, and they’ve also made some notable tweaks to (more…)

Kelly Shore was the featured designer at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Scenic Place Peonies in July last year. She taught a class prior to the event, encouraging the use and support for Certified Ameican Grown Flowers.

Kelly Shore’s Doing Her Homework

A week spent in Alaska with flower farmers was the tipping point for Kelly Shore, owner and lead designer at Petals by the Shore in Maryland.

Shore was in Alaska to design the tablescapes for an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner being held at Scenic Peonies last summer. She went there with a job to do, but when she left Alaska 10 days later, her gut told her that her next job would be to consider an awesome possibility: Sourcing 100 percent of the flowers and foliage she uses in her designs from American flower farms.

“When I went to Alaska and I saw what the farmers there face, it sparked something in me. I had some really good conversations with the flower farmers on the host farm and with other farmers in attendance, and I thought (more…)

Co-Owner of Ocean Breeze Farms Has Long History of Service, Advocacy  

Past CCFC Chair Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, passes the gavel to June VanWingerden of Ocean Breeze Farms who was elected chair of the board for 2018.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

June Van Wingerden has been a constant force in the ag community, advocating for California cut flowers and water and labor issues for decades. The California State Senate recognized her dedication when they named her California’s Woman of the Year in 2005. Now, she’s bringing her heart for (more…)

Customers who visit The Bouqs Company website might be surprised to see some smiling faces posted alongside the flowers and custom bouquets sold on the site.

Just who are they? They’re the American flower farmers who grow a variety of blooms sold at the popular site. And in addition to getting a glimpse of the farmers and their locations, customers can also click to see a one- to two-minute documentary video about the farmer and their flower operation and read a brief bio of each farmer.   (more…)

CalPoly’s Rose Parade Float was Certified California Grown on December 31 and received the Past President award from the Tournament of Roses for most outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials on January 1.

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 1, 2018 — The Certified California Grown 2018 Rose Parade® entry from Cal Poly Universities has earned the Past President’s Trophy, an award that recognizes outstanding innovation in the use of floral and non-floral materials. The float, designed, constructed and decorated by students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, included nearly 97 percent of cut flower and greens from California.

The float earned California Grown Certification at a ceremony Dec. 31 led by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross. Certified floats must be decorated with more than (more…)

It’s a year-end tradition that helps us both remember where we’ve been and chart a successful path into the new year – the top 10 list, that is.

And so as 2017 winds down, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) is pleased to share our top 10 blog posts of the year. As you’ll see, the past year brought the flower industry growth, optimism, consumer awareness and a bit of anxiety toward to the end thanks to a round of wildfires.

An interactive map highlighting the proximity of the fire to the flower farms in Carpinteria Valley was included in our number one blog post of the year.

Here’s a look at our most-read posts of 2017 (more…)

To view the full press release, click here.

California Flowers Front and Center

on Tournament of Roses Parade ® Entries

CA GROWN certification ceremony kicks off Rose Parade festivities

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 27, 2017— Entries from Cal Poly Universities, FTD Companies Inc., Mane Attraction Drill Team and the Tournament of Roses Police Department’s motorcycle unit will all be adorned with California Grown flowers when they take to the parade route in Pasadena Jan. 1, 2018, for the annual Rose Parade.

 In an appropriate nod to the origin of the parade – created to showcase the bounty of what’s growing in California when the rest of the country is snowbound – the floral-adorned motorcycle unit will be the first entry in the parade, leading off the entire event.
“The Tournament of Roses takes pride in supporting California Grown agricultural products showcased in the Rose Parade. The founding members of the Tournament of Roses began the parade to tell the world about our paradise. Now, 129 years later, we’re still making California proud,” said David Eads, executive director and CEO, Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
CDFA Secretary Karen Ross officiated the CA Grown certification ceremonies
for the 2017 Tournament of Roses and will do so again this year.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The four parade entries will receive their official California Grown certification at a ceremony officiated by California Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Dec. 31 in Pasadena. The California Grown Certification Program recognizes parade floats and entries decorated with more than 85 percent of cut flowers and greens from the Golden State.

The ceremony will recognize Cal Poly Universities for the seventh year in a row and FTD for the fourth year. The motorcycle unit and the equestrian unit will be Certified California Grown for the first time.

The eight Tournament of Roses Police Department motorcycles are expected to feature roses, iris and chamomile.

FTD, the Official Floral Partner of the Tournament of Roses, has a 60-year history of participating in the Rose Parade. The storied floral and gifting company will use a variety of California Grown flowers to decorate its five VIP parade vehicles.
Beautiful CA Grown flowers will adorn FTD parade vehicles for the fourth year in a row.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The float from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona is titled “Dreams Take Flight” and will feature baby animals flying airplanes amid a whimsical landscape.

The float will showcase more California Grown flower varieties than ever before thanks to a deck design that allows for large mixed arrangements in addition to the chrysanthemums and gerberas that cover the float’s characters. More than 97 percent of the float will be covered in California Grown flowers that were donated by many of the state’s flower farmers. Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grew and dried the statice and straw flower used on the float.

Secretary Ross joined Cal Poly students as they celebrated
the certification of their 2017 float entry, “Dreams Take Flight”.
Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

The Tournament of Roses Parade® is a New Year’s tradition where nearly a million visitors line Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena to view the beautiful floats first hand, and millions more watch from their homes across the country. The California floral industry has a $12.2 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. California’s flower farmers represent over 4,500 jobs and contribute $1.7 million to California’s economy every day.

# # #

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.

(more…)

Andrea Grist, business manager for Florasource KC in Overland Park, Kansas, was preparing for a customer open house when she had a bright idea. Why not have some issues of Florists’ Review available to hand out at the event?

When the magazines arrived, Grist was happy to find the publication included copies of the new Certified American Grown Farm & Flower Guide as an added bonus. What she didn’t foresee was how that bonus publication would (more…)

Get a Sense of What Farmers Experienced

The threat to California’s flower farms from several Southern California wildfires is almost over. (Insert collective sigh of relief here). That said, flower farmers and others in the ag community can tell you it was an experience like no other – and something they hope to never experience again.

While fire officials are now focused on “mop up” activities in the Carpinteria area, the Thomas Fire appears to have left flower farms largely unscathed. Mandatory evacuation orders have made accessing farms and the daily harvesting flowers challenging, but those evacuation orders are anticipated to (more…)

While the wildfires in Southern California approached some of the nation’s largest flower farms and hampered the ability for some employees to work, the Golden State’s farms are open and operating.

“We haven’t received any reports of production loss or farms lost due to the fires in Southern California,” explained California Cut Flower Commission CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “We’re in close contact with our farms in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Diego Counties and so far our farms are checking in as safe and continuing to operate.”

The Thomas Fire

Flames could be seen on the hillsides from the nurseries in Carpinteria Valley on Monday morning. Photo by Ivan Van Wingerden of Everbloom, Inc.

The Thomas Fire near Carpinteria, known as the nation’s flower basket, appeared to get dangerously close to (more…)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 7, 2017

Nation’s Flower Basket Threatened by California’s Thomas Fire

CCFC Creates Interactive Map to Track Fires Near Flower Farms  

The nation’s flower basket is being threatened by the Thomas Fire in Southern California, a fire that has already consumed 96,000 acres and is rapidly expanding due to winds and dry conditions.

The fire is burning close to nearly two dozen flower farms in the Carpinteria Valley, known as “the flower basket of the United States.” Smaller fires have also been reported near flower farms in San Diego and Lompoc.

To help track the fires and their potential impact on flower farms, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) has created an interactive online map that shows which of the state’s flower farms are near fire locations. View the map, which is being regularly updated, at ccfc.org/fires.

To add to the conversation and provide additional updates, several Southern California flower farmers will be using Facebook Live to provide updates and video of the fires.

“The map shows the fires statewide and will help answer the question we’re currently hearing a lot, like ‘How are these farms that I’ve bought my flowers for decades from doing?’” said Kasey Cronquist, CCFC CEO and ambassador.

The raging Thomas Fire, which is now edging closer to Ojai and Carpinteria on two fronts and forced the closure of Highway 101  and Highway 150 for hours Thursday as flames burned on both sides of the freeway, started Monday night in Santa Paula and quickly tore through Ventura toward the Pacific Ocean.

The wildfire has 5 percent containment and is burning its way into the Los Padres National Forest.

Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said if the wind continues, and rain doesn’t touch the region, the Thomas fire could continue for a few more weeks.

Visit CCFC.org/fires and follow the California Cut Flower Commission on social media for ongoing updates.

December 8: Facebook Live Update withCalifornia Flower Farmers David Van Wingerden of Westland Orchid in Carpinteria, CA and Bruce Brady of Mellano & Co. in Santa Ana, CA. 

powered by crowdcast

December 7: Fire Update with California Flower Farmers Ivan Van Wingerden of Everbloom and David Van Wingerden of Westland Orchid in Carpinteria, CA. 

powered by crowdcast

# # #

About the California Cut Flower Commission

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) unites the state’s approximately 225 flower farmers to advance California’s $320 million flower industry. In addition to providing cooperative marketing opportunities and administering advocacy efforts, the commission has positioned the California Grown brand as a highly recognizable, consumer-facing brand to drive sales of the state’s fresh flowers and foliage. Learn more at ccfc.org.

Media Contact:

Kasey Cronquist

CEO & Ambassador

916-441-1701

kcronquist@ccfc.org

Out of an abundance of caution, the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) announced that it was suspending its annual year end meetings scheduled for December 7-8 in Santa Barbara due to the Thomas Fire burning just south of Carpinteria.

In a letter to California’s flower farmers, CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist wrote, “The uncertainty of the fire’s path, potential road closures and the need for hotel rooms for evacuees were all factors that were considered in making this decision.”

The Thomas Fire continues to grow and remains at 0% containment with high winds expected to continue through Friday.

“Currently, none of our Santa Barbara or Ventura County flower farmers are facing any immediate threat to their farms or flower production,” Cronquist explained. “However, mandatory evacuations have affected many employees, friends and family members, including CCFC’s Anna Kalins whose family was evacuated from their home in Ventura on Monday night and has not been able to return.”

Click to view map online.

Current information on the Thomas Fire can be found at ReadyVenturaCounty.org and a map outlining the fire’s path can also be found at nwcg.gov.

Our deepest thanks and appreciation go out to all of the firefighters and first responders who are doing their best to protect people and property while battling these fires, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected and displaced by the wildfires in Southern California.

CCFC’s Annual Meetings and Awards Dinner will be rescheduled.

The CCFC’s official announcement to farms can be found here.

The motorcycles used during the Tournament of Roses parade by the Pasadena Police Department will be joining Cal Poly Universities and FTD as another certified CA Grown parade entry in 2018.

This year’s Cal Poly float is entitled “Dreams Take Flight” and features baby animals flying prop planes amid a whimsical landscape.

 

Certification requires that over 85 percent of the flowers and foliage used in the parade entries are grown in California.

 

FTD will once again certify the flowers on the official Rose Parade vehicles.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography

 

“Each year these special motorcycles kick off this iconic parade leading the pack of floats, cars, bands and equestrian entries,” says CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “It just seems fitting that those motorcycles, ridden by Pasadena’s finest, be decorated in all-California Grown Flowers.”

 

The last stop on the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour was not only the perfect finale, it was among the tour’s most unique destinations.

Over 150 people attended the last American Grown Field to Vase Dinner of 2017 at FernTrust, Inc. in Seville, Florida.  Photo by Wings of Glory Photography.

After all, how many people can say they’ve dined on a fern and foliage farm in the middle of the “Fern Capital of the World?” A sold-out crowd did just that Nov. 18 when the Field to Vase Dinner Tour came to FernTrust Inc. in Seville, Florida.

FernTrust, a farm cooperative, is one of the most trusted foliage producers in the country. Guests learned all about the 126 varieties of best-in-class foliage and ferns grown by FernTrust during a tour with farmer David Register. Jana Register provided a tour of FernTrust’s packing house where she shared FernTrust’s many product lines including their patented ColorFresh program that extends vase life of foliage and greens through a unique color sealing process.

Fern Farmer David Register gave guests a guided tour of FernTrust, sharing information about the wide variety of foliage grown on the property. Photo by Wings of Glory Photography.

Following the farm tour, guests then dined at tables adorned with hundreds of feet of lush fern garland and topiaries created by floral designer J Schwanke. Tour sponsor Syndicate Sales provided all of the hard goods and vases that were incorporated into J’s beautiful tablescape design. Nearby, an all-foliage American Flag added to the evening’s wow factor, as did old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and vistas that provided views of the beautiful ferns and an incredible sunset over the lake.

Field to Vase Dinner guests enjoying a beautiful November evening on the fern farm in Florida.  Photo by Wings of Glory Photography.

Chef Justin Timineri of Fresh From Florida created a wonderful Floridian themed menu and Joe Hearn and his team from Joe Hearn Events did an outstanding job managing all of the event’s special touches for this floral filled event.

“This Field to Vase dinner was such a fun event. Getting to meet the farmers and families that have worked the land and listen to the stories was a great experience,” shared former chef Dennis Littley of AskChefDennis.com. “The setting at the farm was picture perfect and the tables were magazine worthy, looking like something out of Martha Stewart.”

Guests enjoyed the bountiful wines of national sponsor, Geyser Peak Winery. Photo by Wings of Glory Photography.

Microbrewery Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. shared its craft beers, Geyser Peak Winery served up wine varietals and Copper Bottom Craft Distillery provided signature citrus cocktails featuring names with a nod to local ferns.

Find out where the tour is going in 2018, and then plan to attend one of these one-in-a-lifetime dinners at americangrownflowers.com/fieldtovase

Each year, a delegation of America’s flower farmers head to Washington, D.C. and join together to advocate, share the #originmatters message, connect with members of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus and do a whole lot of storytelling to elected officials.

The trip, which has grown in scale and momentum, is coming up in February.

Farmers from across the United States came together for the largest Fly-In to date in 2017. Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

 

Once again, farmers and representatives from the Certified American Grown program and the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) will meet with lawmakers and the administration about how to remedy the competitive challenges America’s flower farming families face in today’s market.

Delegates from Virginia to Alaska came together to advocate for America’s flower farmers.  Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography

 

It’s a big trip.

It involves so many people leaving their families and businesses to passionately share the importance, value and sheer joy of growing their flowers here in the United States.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, Co-Chair of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus, visits with California growers at the Wine and Flowers Reception. Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

 

But it’s worth it. Every time. And every time more flower farmers sign on to make the trip and share their stories.

Because origin really does matter. And lawmakers and consumers are getting it. And they’re starting to ask about the origin of the flowers they bring into their homes and give as gifts. And that makes all the difference.

If you’d like more information about this year’s trip, contact Andrea Philpot at aphilpot@ccfc.org.

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) recently sponsored the California State Floral Association’s 12th annual student design competition at CaliFlora 2017 held at the International Floral Trade Center in Carlsbad, California.

Winners from the CaliFlora student competition, sponsored by the California Cut Flower Commission.

Fifteen students representing California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; City College of San Francisco and Mission College participated in the timed competition.

Armando de Loer Mejia of City College San Francisco won the competition, with Alyssa Snow of Cal Poly coming in second and Isabel Sarellano of Mission College taking third place. The People’s Choice Award went to Paula Knapp of Mission College.

CCFC Chair Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea with Mel Resendiz (right) and Rene Van Rems (left).

CCFC Chair Diana Roy attended the two-day CaliFlora event known for its certified florist exam, hands-on design workshops, Top Design Competition, student design competition and feature show.

The CCFC is proud to support the next generation of floral designers by sponsoring the student competition at CaliFlora.

Safeway’s Crystal Hedgpeth Honored for Blue Bucket Campaign That Promotes CA Grown Flowers
 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Jan. 8, 2018— Crystal Hedgpeth, floral sales manager for Safeway’s Northern California Division, was named 2017 Flower Farm Champion by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) at its annual meeting January 4 in Santa Barbara.

Hedgpeth earned the award for the creation of Safeway’s Blue Bucket Campaign that showcases California Grown Flowers in the company’s 280 Northern California Stores.

Crystal Hedgpeth was honored as the 2017 Flower Farm Champion at CCFC’s Annual Dinner on January 4, 2018. Pictured here from left to right are Bruce Brady, Promotion Committee Chairman, Crystal Hedgpeth of Safeway and Kasey Cronquist, CEO/Ambassador of the Cut Flower Commission. Photo by Linda Blue Photography

 

“Crystal’s campaign really highlights what can be accomplished when retailers make the effort to connect their customers with the story and source of their flowers,” explains CCFC CEO and Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “Double digit growth by utilizing the California Grown campaign is exciting to see and something we want to celebrate.”

Hedgpeth designed the Blue Bucket Campaign in response to customer surveys that gave the store low ratings for the availability of locally sourced items. Knowing Safeway stores were chock-full of local products, including the California Grown Flowers that made up more than half of the flowers sold in the stores, Hedgpeth created an attention-getting sales and marketing campaign focused on flowers sourced from farmers in the Golden State.

She attached the misperception about the “lack of local” by grouping all California blooms and foliage in a single display in the floral department. After several brainstorming sessions with her team, a broader vision emerged for bringing a California Grown Flowers campaign to life. The team added a large “iron man” sign atop the display that included the CA Grown license plate logo and with a message declaring Nor Cal Safeway as the “largest buyer of CA Grown Flowers.” And Hedgpeth implemented her division president’s idea that all the buckets the flowers were displayed in be just as blue as the CA Grown logo.

Safeway’s blue bucket campaign draws attention to the beautiful CA Grown Flowers in each of their Nor Cal locations.

 

“Once we had the merchandising done, it really made an impactful statement. The colors of the flowers were more vivid against the blue buckets,” Hedgpeth explained.

Safeway stores that implemented the Blue Bucket Campaign saw double-digit increases in sales of California Grown Flowers – think 12 to 16 percent. And what started in October 2016 in fewer than 50 stores spread to all 280 Nor Cal stores by Valentine’s Day 2017. California Grown Flower sales are up 14 percent.

In addition to individual flower varieties showcased in the blue buckets, Hedgpeth has since added California Grown mixed bouquets. And in stores where customers are particularly local-focused, she gets “hyper local” and sets up displays and signage for nearby flower farms.

“In our minds, this should be part of our permanent thinking. We’ll continue to support California’s flower farmers and even incorporate the Certified American Grown Flower program. We want to continue to grow this. We have new stores coming in 2018 and 2019 and we’ll continue the campaign in those stores. As long as it’s relevant to customers, it’s relevant to us!”

In 2016, the Flower Farm Champion award went to Lois Capps, former U.S. Representative for California’s 24th congressional district, for her notable efforts to support California’s flower farmers. A founding member of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus, Capps served as a co-chair of the caucus since its inception in 2014. She also helped drive awareness of issues impacting California’s flower farmers, certified CA Grown floats at the Tournament of Roses Parade and met with farmers during advocacy events in Washington, D.C.

Farmers Send Flowers to Honor, Thank First Responders at Wildfire Benefit Feast

In early October, wildfires ripped through California’s renowned wine country, displacing more than 10,000 in Napa and Sonoma Counties alone, and wiping out entire neighborhoods and businesses.

Today, we know it was the most devastating wildfire event in California’s history.

Camille White of Venn Floral helps place arrangements down the long table for Tuesday’s event. Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

But on Nov. 21, just days before Thanksgiving, California flower farmers, a team of volunteer floral designers led by Venn Floral of Sebastopol and the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) joined forces with industry partners Visit California and California Grown to support a farm-to-fork style feast for over 500 guests to benefit wine country wildfire recovery efforts.

Hosted by Visit California, The Grateful Table featured celebrity Chef Tyler Florence in partnership with farm dinner event company Outstanding in the Field. The CCFC, with its experience managing the national American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, was tapped by Visit California to assist with the design and execution of the floral tablescape for the event.

California flower farmers sent thousands of flowers for the special fundraising event. Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

Working with Heather Frye and Camille Rowan of Venn Floral, a tablescape was created based on thousands of flowers donated by California’s flower farmers. Resendiz Brothers Protea, Sun Valley Floral Farms, Holland America Flowers, Green Valley Floral, Joseph & Sons, Ocean View Flowers, Camflor Inc., Mellano & Company, CallaCo, Westland Floral, Pajarosa Floral and Kitayama Brothers all responded to the call for donations amidst a busy Thanksgiving holiday rush on flowers.

CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist with first responders who were honored during Tuesday’s event and presented with flowers for their heroic efforts during the deadly wildfires that swept through the region. Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

Torchio Nursery and Jessup Transportation provided logistics support for this effort. And Syndicate Sales provided all of the vases for the event.

Guests were invited to create their own boutonnieres to wear during the event. Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.
Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

Additional floral designers who donated their time to the project include:

One hundred percent of proceeds raised from sales tickets to the feast will support nonprofits that are helping those affected by the wildfires in California’s iconic wine country. And among the guests at the event were people who had lost their homes as well as first responders.

CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist and CCFC Chair Diana Roy with Chef Tyler Florence.Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

The event was touted as “the best way to show them your California love and help them rebuild the region is to come celebrate: sip, savor, dine and unwind.”

It was also a way for flower farmers and designers to lend their resources and talents to a worthy cause.

A beautiful tablescape was designed and beautifully executed by Heather Fry and Camille White of Venn Floral.  Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

“This was a wonderful way for our farms to support the recovery effort of the communities that have been impacted by these fires” shared CCFC CEO & Ambassador Kasey Cronquist. “As the flower donations rolled in, we learned about the many connections our farmers have with people who were affected by these fires. They were very happy to give their blooms to the cause.”

Over 500 people attended the event, which required 63 tables for the pop-up farm to fork dinner. The dinner table ran right down the Napa & Sonoma county lines. Photos by Visit CA and Max Whittaker, Freelance Photojournalist.

Over the next several weeks, the California Cut Flower Commission will be highlighting California flower farmers who are investing in the future and growing their farms through a series of blog posts entitled, “California Growing.” With increasing demand for American Grown Flowers, these farms reflect the dedication, commitment and hard work that is being made to deliver high quality, consistent, year-round supply of fresh cut flowers and greens.

Ocean View Flowers

Lompoc, California

Ocean View Flowers has been in business for 25 years, and while it recognizes its history, this flower farm is committed to remaining nimble.

The beautiful flower fields of Ocean View Flowers.

Located in the Lompoc Valley, 50 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, Ocean View is taking a multi-pronged approach to increasing quality and productivity, and expanding efficiencies.

Ocean View Flowers has added two solar energy projects, expanded into new flower varieties, improved yields and flower quality, and invested in lean business principles, according to President John Donati.

Many approaches. Many successes.

Going solar

In 2015, Ocean View invested in a 560 kilowatt ground-mount solar energy system to reduce its overall impact on the environment and offset energy costs. In 2017 it added an additional 1.1 megawatts.

Energy from the solar panels cover the farm’s cooling and refrigeration needs and offset electricity costs farm-wide an in its business offices.

Ocean View Flowers invests in solar technology at the farm.

The green energy approach fits well with Ocean View’s commitment to sustainable farming practices.

New varieties

A forward-thinking nature also applies to Ocean View’s selection of flower varieties to grow. Donati says his team is constantly looking at new varieties that appeal to consumers.

“And we’re nimble with our color mix to reflect the trends for the coming year,” often basing selections on the colors that Pantone and other trend forecasters identify as leading hues.

Improving yields and quality

It’s one thing to grow the right flowers, but getting more flowers to market to meet consumer demand is an entirely different issue.

That’s where Ocean View’s efforts to improve yields come in. Donati explains that they’ve been able to amplify yields by growing in three areas: the Lompoc Valley, the low desert south of Palm Springs and the high desert near Bakersfield.

Acres of flowers are being harvested more efficiently then ever at Ocean View Flowers.

By growing in different regions at different times of year, Ocean View can take advantage of the best seasonal growing conditions. Better conditions mean more flowers – consistently.

Going lean

Ocean View first invested in lean business principles nearly a decade ago and that commitment continues today, literally transforming how it does business.

“It’s not just about saving money, it’s about putting measures in place that increase quality, improve efficiencies and reduce the daily tasks required of employees,” Donati explains. “We use lean business practices throughout the organization, from growing to harvesting to packing.”

 

 

Ocean View’s lean efforts include the addition of harvesting trailers to reduce the labor required of field employees, financial incentives for employee productivity and a host of initiatives to reduce the number of steps or motions employees in any department take.

Ocean View Flowers has improved its capacity and quality controls through its focus on going lean.

Most recently, Ocean View added a second line in its packing department to help reduce the number of motions required of packing employees and optimize the flow of flowers to those who are the last to touch the blooms before the leave the farm.

Together, all of these steps are keeping Ocean View on the cutting edge, and keeping customers supplied with spectacular blooms all year long.