I’ve known Lane DeVries for many years- and his passion for growing flowers is incredible. He’s dedicated to growing flowers in the right location- the right way- to provide the very best Flowers- no matter the species or variety. That’s what so unusual about this 4th Generation Dutch Flower Farmer. Lane is the owner of Sun Valley Flower Farms- actually the largest flower farm in the USA. The Sun Valley operation in Arcata California produces over 80 million of stems of Tulips a year.
The other unique thing about Sun Valley’s Tulip Production- is that it’s a YEAR Round operation. Yes… I said that right- Sun Valley produces Tulips 24.7 – 365 days a year. This is due in part to Lane’s passion for creating the FINEST TULIPS … and his investment in the technology needed to keep the tulips coming… there is a labyrinth of Coolers- over 70 if I recall correctly- that gently move the tulip bulbs quickly through a shortened- growing season- degree by degree- fooling the bulbs into producing- based on the temperatures created inside the coolers. This elaborate temperature succession – provides the minimum amount of varying temperatures to simulate the change of seasons that cause tulip bulbs to bloom.
Another important factor is Southern Hemisphere Bulbs that are used to produce the tulips for the fall and winter seasons. The ability to plant tulips from the other side of the world- allows the year-round tulip production- that has made Sun Valley Famous!
Lane searched for the perfect location on the Globe to produce Tulips- and located his tulip farm in Arcata California- this geographic location- provides the perfect weather for Tulip production year round- with a mean temperature of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. It was key in the success of Sun Valley Tulip Production.
Another important factor- was the unique soil that occurs in Humbolt County – where Arcata is located- it’s a very humus soil – that is rich with organic materials- that is the perfect growing medium for Tulips. It’s amazing to walk through the greenhouses in Arcata and see the systematic approach- that allows Lane and his team- to produce the finest Soil Grown Tulips! Soil growing- that is timed, temperature controlled and perfectly executed is what Sun Valley does Best!
But it doesn’t stop with Tulips- Lane also loves to grow Iris- and the Iris from Sun Valley in Arcata is just as breathtaking as the tulips… then there are Lilies- Asiatic, Longiflorum Asiatic (LA) Hybrids, Oriental , Royal and Rose Lilies- that are stunning- and another pride and joy of Sun Valley! They grow an amazing variety of flowers- and Lane is keen on finding the perfect geographic location for each crop- so he can provide the Finest Quality- to each and every variety offered by Sun Valley!
Little known fact- Lane is also an ordained minister- and gives his sermons on Sunday Mornings- only after he walks the greenhouses in Arcata to be sure that all is right with the Tulips. He sends me copies of his favorite sermons… something tells me that a gentleman that is so in touch with Flowers and Nature- naturally gives great sermons to his congregation!
A Final note on my Friend Lane DeVries- his passion for flowers- stretches far and wide- he is on a mission to raise the awareness of Women’s Day – throughout the United States- with his Dutch background -he’s fully aware of how important the observation of Womens’ Day is throughout other parts of the world- and he believes that EVERYONE should take the opportunity on March 8, to honor the women- that have provided Love, Hope, and Strength to us in our lives… I love the Concept behind Women’s Day- and I love getting a sticker to promote it every time I see Lane… he’s always on that mission!
I also join Lane in his thinking- that the Best Way to Honor those Amazing Women in our lives is with Flowers… I work with Sun Valley every year to promote Women’s Day on a local level in my home town- Grand Rapids at our Annual Flower Power Challenge Event at the West Michigan Home and Garden Show! Thank you Lane for providing Inspiration… and the most Beautiful Soil Grown Tulips- every day of the Year! You are a True Flower Friend!