Growing Green Flowers
Father and son team Jan and Hans Brand run B&H Flowers in Carpenteria, California.
"We as a family came out 23 years ago and started this business from scratch," says Jan Brand.
Their family mantra is to grow the best flowers in the biz, sustainably, without harming the earth or workers.
"We have veriflora certification for sustainability, not only is it cutting out pesticides, it's a move to organics, taking care of employees, there is an environmental part of it you don't have any impact on surrounding environment," Hans Brand said.
The company is producing the world's first organic Gerber daisies, and also turns out lillies, tulips and more. The key is that they are doing it without spraying chemicals.
"I know it is very dangerous pestcidies and I have experience with that," Jan Brand said. "I have a bother nearly killed from using them in greenhouses in the Netherlands. After that we were very alert 10 00 and changed the whole thing." Instead of chemicals, they are using what you could call, bug management. Basically, using beneficial bugs to fight bad bugs that could wreck havoc on the crop and kill the plants.
Alberto Arroyo is the pest management facilitator at the nursery. He says they use trained bug spotters to scout any potential problems within the crop.
"Whenever they find something strange in the crop we have a flagging ststem," Arroyo says. "We use different flagging colors for different pests."
Once they find a problem, they release good bugs to battle the bad. In doing so, they avoid potential infestations that would require much more work to control.
"I believe in this system because we can only get this done because of the workers. You look around and you see all these blue markers everywhere," Hans Brand says. "The guys are walking around and looking at plants everyday, and if they see something wrong they will put up a flag to warn people. If they didn't do that then we'd get a big issue and we'd have to spray. Now we get to spot when it's just a few bugs and we can attack it very easily."
For more information about B&H Flowers head to OrganicStyle.com.