Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ted Jonkeer visits Kitayama Brothers to consult about tulips

Ted Jonhkeer, JonhKeer Greenhouse and Carolyn Do,
Kitayama Bros. San Jose Manager
At the end of February, Ted Jonkheer from Jonkheer Greenhouse in Mt. Vernon, Washington came down to the Kitayama Brothers farm in Watsonville to give us advice on growing tulips.  One thing Kitayama Brothers respects is good flower growers. We know what it takes to produce beautiful flowers profitably and our hats go off to the good ones... and Ted is a good one.  Ted has been growing tulips, grape muscari, blooming branches and several other types of flowers for almost as long as we have.  We have been buying Ted’s beautiful tulips and blooming branches for years.  This year Ted decided not to plant tulips and we invited Ted to Watsonville to consult with us on a potential tulip program.

When B&H was leasing our KB East greenhouses they set up a tulip range next to a large set of coolers we have.  Now they are gone and we believe we have the perfect setup for a tulip program.  However, before we jumped with both feet into this crop, we decided we needed some unbiased eyes to give us their opinion.  Ted toured our facility and he believes we can do a successful tulip program.  Of course just like anything else new, we will have to learn a lot in a short amount of time.   We will have to learn about cooling, storing and timing the tulips.  Also there is the selection of the right colors and varieties, growing conditions, harvest, post harvest and then selling the tulips.

We are constantly looking at new flowers and opportunities for Kitayama Brothers to grow and right now I would give our tulip program more than a 50% chance of starting next January.  Stay tuned to find out about what happens with the tulips and other new crops we plan to grow.  

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