The Flower Stand - J's Blog
A Visit to Continental Floral Greens in Florida!
This week on the Florida Fresh Foliage and Flower Tour… the JTV Crew and I visit Continental Floral Greens! We visited Continental Floral Greens CA Grown Location in Watsonville… and saw how they were growing Ivy, Foxtail Fern, “Star” Asparagus and even Leatherleaf.
I’ve been to 3 different growing locations of Continental Floral Greens… Watsonville, San Antonio and now the location in Deland Florida! One of the things Continental Floral Greens focuses on in their growing operations is their ability to grow different kinds of greens in ‘the perfect location’ for that specific foliage!
With 4 different growing locations in the USA and others in Mexico and Guatemala…Continental Floral Greens is truly a Global Resource when it comes to foliage!
The other important service Continental Floral Greens offers is their expansive transportation system… allowing them to deliver Continental Quality Foliage quickly and easily to their customers all over the USA!
During our Visit to the Florida Location…they were busy building and increasing the size (and services offered) at their growing Florida Location! Just a few short month later… (we filmed there in April)… the concrete slab we saw is now a full scale warehouse where they create bouquets, package greenery assortments and dispatch their Quality Foliage Products!
Continental Floral Greens gave me an opportunity to see first hand how difficult it is to pick leather leaf. We take this for granted… you know we go through Leather leaf like water… and somehow never think about what it takes to bring a bunch of 25 quality stems to market!
I met Domingo…an Expert Picker, who has been with Continental for over 37 years. Domingo demonstrated the process… What is really interesting is that when I was watching Domingo it was like he was in fast motion… He Picks and moves so quickly it actually looks like Fast Motion Photography. Domingo showed me several times how to cut and arrange the fern fronds into my hand…
First of all… you’ll bent over completely… at the waist… and moving down a row of fern… not only are you PICKING the Leatherleaf but you’re SELECTING perfect fronds… ones that are Mature and not too Young… and looking for imperfections… you pick only the good ones…
Then you gather them in a sequential stack so they sit orderly in your hand so you can easily wrap the bunch with your Specified COLOR of Rubber Band… this is how your bunches are counted, tracked and graded… Remember you’re working with a razor sharp knife too! And it’s WARM… it’s Florida… and it’s humid and hot… it can also be wet… and the fields are outdoors… so there are all sorts of Critters… that can be down in the fern too…
Domingo has been recorded to cut 600 bunches in ONE DAY… that’s a record and something worthy of WORLD CLASS Status… I couldn’t even compete… Domingo would have fired me long ago! Remember… we purchase these bunches for approximately $2.50 to $3.25 for 25 Stems… that’s .01 to .13 cents a stem… NOW that really puts this really into perspective… that’s a tremendous amount of work for American Grown World Class Foliage… and it’s happening everyday, week in – week out… in the Fern Capital of the World… Fresh from Florida!
Check out my “ATTEMPT” at Fern Picking on this week’s show…
Continental Floral Greens is known world wide for the wide variety of “palm” foliage… and especially TeePee (pronounced “tep-pay” rather than Teee Peee). This remarkable foliage is harvested sustainably in Guatemala and then shipped to the various Continental Locations for Grading and Distribution… It was amazing to watch this process under Roy Pitts direction in Central Florida!
One other highlight of our Trip to Continental was the “Gator Sighting”… the JTV Crew was looking forward to perhaps ‘engaging’ the Florida Wildlife… and thanks to Reggie Lennon, the retaining pond at Continental Floral Greens did not disappoint! A Few of us got to see a Large Florida Alligator that’s been a resident of CFG in Deland for some time! It’s easy to excite us Michiganders with a “Gator” Sighting!
I’ve had the pleasure of touring each of the Continental Floral Greens locations with Jim Everett! Jim is true American Original… he shares great stories of the Everett Family’s Dedication to Foliage Farming and Discoveries around the globe… and even shared in our Video… how he came to “smoking cigars”… during an electrical outage during “Freeze Protection” in the early days of the Deland Operation!
Join us this week for a tour of Continental Floral Greens… I couldn’t resist weaving the Continental “TeePee” Foliage for my project in their variegated Pittosporum field… in addition you’ll learn more about how our American Foliage Farmers bring World Class Foliage to our Great Flower Industry!
The Florida Fresh Foliage Tour premieres a New Show Every Other Monday from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013… Each Show is FREE To View or Download at uBloom.com!