“Joey” Azout- and Alexandra Farms- Exceptional Garden Roses!
My friend José Azout- or “Joey” as he prefers to be called- is the owner of Alexandra Farms in Bogota Colombia- the largest Garden Rose Grower in the World. We visit Joey and his Garden Rose farm- in this Episode 210- Everything’s Coming up Roses – on “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom”.
Joey is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet- and I met Joey many many years ago- when he was getting his Garden Roses off the ground- a lot has changed in just a few years… except this Funny- Passionate Man. Joey has an infectious sense of humor and he’s probably one of the most Charming Hosts- you can imagine.
Every other year- AsocolFlores – the Association of Colombia Flower Growers- hosts a convention and trade show in Bogota Colombia- called ProFlora…. it’s an exciting time with flower people from all over the world- coming to see the New Varieties- New Technology- and check in with their favorite growers- and Kelly and I have attended as “PRESS” for several years… there are farm tours- and sometimes cultural events- to teach us more about Colombia and a fun party on the last night. But the Most COVETED – Elegant and Exceptional Event- is the one that Joey hosts at Alexandra Farms- it’s the Place See and be Seen for Sure!
Joey provides transportation to his amazing farm- where there are tours of the Rose Growing Operation- Introductions of NEW Varieties- Exciting Videos- Great Swag- and the most exceptional Dining experience featuring Delicious Local Cuisine. It’s a sit down event- with tremendous service- and this past year it featured David Austin Jr. presenting NEW Promotions and varieties- along with Joey’s Exceptional Hospitality and Kindness…
Joey is Truly Passionate about his roses- and not only carries the David Austin Varietals- of Garden Roses- but also other hybrids from all around the world. Alexandra farms has over 50 Varieties- and they have Garden Roses in all but two colors (BLUE and BLACK)! Alexandra farms is 20 hectares – (a hectare is a square – 100 meters on each side or about the equivalent of 2.45 acres). They produce Exceptional Garden Roses 12 months of the year- 24/7.
Alexandra Farms produces 300,000 roses a week. That’s amazing. These roses are grown in the perfect climate- that is what Colombia is known for… elevation is 2550 meters above sea level- and this provides the perfect altitude and attitude for growing flowers… it’s true- Alexandra Farms is made up of Rose Loving People! These Rose loving people plant, grown, prune, pick, package by hand- they are constantly in ‘touch’ with the roses- and this process shows in the Exceptional Quality of the Roses.
The other amazing thing about Alexandra Farms is their dedication to sustainability- one of the most fascinating is shown during our visit- Alexandra Farms has perfected a method- of creating a medical mesh bag- (the bags are sewn by hand on the farm) and these bags are placed over the rose buds… this prevent Botrytis and Pests from harming the buds- it’s a novel way of reducing pesticides- and the bags can be used up to 3 times- they are washed between use and sterilized… it’s yet another way that Joey’s Passion for Roses- shows through!
I’ve been featuring Alexandra Farms roses on my Web-based TV Show- Fun with Flowers and J for many years. I help Joey introduce or enlighten the professional florist and future brides about his newest Varieties- This gives me a first glimpse and first hand experience with his Exceptional Garden Roses. I can speak from experience that these roses are long lasting- great performers- and many times- extremely fragrant. There’s truly nothing like a rose- that really smells like a rose!
I hope you enjoy our visit to Alexandra Farms- and spending a few minutes with my friend Joey Azout- it’s a treat- and you didn’t have to fly to another continent to experience it… but trust me- if you ever have the opportunity to visit Alexandra Farms- YOU MUST- and if Joey ever offers his famous “Chicken Soup”… don’t pass it up… there are avocados floating in it… and it’s AMAZING… TRUST Me on this one!