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US: Flower farming in the time of COVID-19

Flower growers in the United States are facing challenging times, but they keep soldiering on despite the crisis. Let's take a look at how some growers are dealing with the situation.

Kitayama Brothers: Continuing to grow
At Kitayama Brothers, the mantra is “our tradition is growing”; it highlights the rich history of the company dating back to 1948 and sets their sights firmly on the future and improving in everything that they do. "We believe that right now, this mantra is maybe more important than ever, we all have to find ways to continue growing, learning and sharing even as many of us are locked away in our homes. Small florists are finding ways to keep their business alive with increased social media and delivering their flowers to customers in new ways. The flower growers are looking for ways to avoid having to dump enormous amounts of flowers by alerting consumers about the need to purchase flowers and support their local florists that then support the growers. The world needs more flowers in homes and not in dumpsters right now." Read their full story here.

"This zero shipping has annihilated our industry"
As grocery stores and supermarkets find their shelves getting stripped bare of pasta, canned goods, frozen foods, cleaning supplies, and most popularly, toilet paper, some have chosen to prioritize their space for new shipments of those items over flowers and potted plants. This change has left wholesale flower and plant growers in Santa Barbara County without crucial pipelines for getting out its products, which consist of millions of plants grown annually. Erin Caird, director of sales and marketing at Santa Barbara-based Por La Mar Nursery, didn’t mince words about the precarious state in which wholesale growers have found themselves since certain stores stopped accepting shipments for a month. “This zero shipping has annihilated our industry,” she told the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Growers come together
Samantha of Sea Change Farm has noticed flower growers coming together in this time of crisis. Read her observations in her blog.

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