The World's First Commercial-Scale Organic Rose Farm
Mission and Philosophy
"Our mission is to cultivate roses that take care of the soil and the environment, utilizing biological and natural systems of production." - Jorge Chiriboga, General Manager, Biogarden La Pampa
Biogarden La Pampa aims to grow the cleanest and highest quality roses possible, using natural organic methods. Biogarden is the first commercial plantation in South America to obtain the certificate of 100% organically grown flowers. While 3.5 acres of the farm are currently organic, the entire Biogarden flower farm is in transition to becoming completely organic. Currently, Biogarden is working with scholars from La Escuela Politecnica Nacional to develop a program for obtaining and maintaining organic farming standards in Ecuador.
The executive president of Biogarden La Pampa is Dr. Hernan Chiriboga, who is also president of Expoflores, Ecuador's flower exporters association. Dr. Chiriboga co-owns the farm with his only son, Jorge, also known as Hernan Jr. Serving as Biogarden's general manager, Jorge Chiriboga is an agronomist with an undergraduate degree from la Escuela Agricola Panamericana de El Samorano and post-graduate degree from Massey University in New Zealand. Jorge was recently appointed as Ecuador's Vice Minister of Agriculture.
Biogarden is a traditional hacienda in the Ecuadorian highlands, located near the city of Riobamba, 200 km south of Quito. The farm's proximity to the highest mountain in Ecuador (Chimborazo) and location in the center of the world (Equatorial Line) give it the most favorable natural conditions to produce the highest quality organic flowers. The farm consists of 200 hectares of land, used for dairy, potato, and flower agriculture. Ten hectares are used for flower production - seven hectares of roses, one and a half hectares of Calla Lilies, and one and a half hectares of Agapanthus. Two hectares of roses are certified organic, with three more hectares due to be certified by early 2004.
The Chiriboga family uses a careful process to tend to the farm's organic roses. All the roses are grown in greenhouses, where the climate is maintained at 20 degrees Celsius, with 70 percent humidity, an ideal environment for rose production. Organic chamomiles, garlic, chili pepper, and sodium bicarbonate are used as natural pesticides (the farm has never been sprayed with any red label pesticides). Beneficial insects like wasps are released in the greenhouses to combat aphids, creating a natural balance and eliminating the need to spray toxic insecticides. Worm castings (humus), manure, and flower compost are used as natural fertilizers. The water used to irrigate Biogarden's land is drawn from a natural fountain on the property, sourced from Altar Mountain, a magnificent nearby volcano.
Once harvested, Biogarden's organic roses are classified, graded, and packed by hand, and they are kept in refrigerated post-harvest facilities to maintain their freshness. From these facilities, the organic roses are shipped to Organic Bouquet distribution centers in the U.S. and specially wrapped for overnight delivery to you and your loved ones.