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Valentine's Day a bed of roses for Colombian growers
Thousands of acres of white-tarped greenhouses, some the size of several football fields, are crammed with seven-foot stems topped with rich red crowns. Many are pulled into warehouses by horses, chilled to sleep in refrigeration rooms, and then packed with other flowers onto planes - 1.1 million at a time - to be sold in the United States.
It's peak season for a massive Colombian industry that shipped more than 4 billion flowers to the United States last year - or about a dozen for every U.S. resident.
The Colombian industry has bloomed thanks to a U.S. effort to disrupt cocaine trafficking, the expansion of free-trade agreements - and the relentless demand by American consumers for cheap roses.
Read more at the New Haven Register (Damian Paletta)
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