Wednesday, July 24, 2013

KB California Carnations

Intrigued by the title?


We're just back from Fun N Sun in Santa Barbara and a lot of attendees said it was the best Fun N Sun yet.  Kitayama Brothers staff and shareholders had a great time and I think we may have gained a little business.  Imagine that, actually feeling like a trade show was worth all the effort. Thanks NORCAL!  

One of the reasons the show was successful is because the flowers, the farmers and the programs were genuine. Nowadays consumers want genuine. Fun N Sun was a collection of the finest growers in California and each has a genuine story about how they have survived and thrived in this great but challenging industry. 

Another reason we like to attend these events is we have to periodically think outside of the box. I attended a presentation by J Schwanke where he lamented the fact that there might only be one carnation grower left in the USA.   

Later on that evening after a few drinks, J had me almost convinced that Kitayama Brothers should grow carnations again. “You were once the carnation kings!”  It is true, we once were the biggest carnation grower in the USA.   

It's so retro it might work. So if anyone actually reads this blog, let me know your thoughts. Does KB California grown carnations sound like a good idea?


  1. Hi Guys! I think you know my answer- YES! Dedicate an two greenhouses to production. The idea and the possibility excites me. Thanks! K

  2. You know what my answer is... YES!


  3. Me Too Robert... If you would like we can do a survey of our uBloom Members... I'm happy to do that...

    I would like to show them the difference.. the Unique Texture... THE FRAGRANCE... the Uniqueness that is Specifically CA GROWN and KB when it comes to carnations!!

    I like the idea of calling the product a CA Grown Carnation... and those that held those OH SO SPECIAL Carnations in their hands at FUN N SUN... know the difference KB could provide!!!

    Let me know how we can help... I have an upcoming episode of FUN with Flowers and J featuring your CA GROWN Carnations... and my passion for them... It could be a great way to help spread the message!

    I was HONORED to share and show American Grown Carnations during my presentation and my Undying Gratitude to KB Farms for making that possible!!!

  4. J, I have been lying low regarding the CA Carnation topic. I know that after a few drinks with Kelly and you I thought it was a good idea. Today at the SF Market, Christina from Farm Girl thought it was a good idea too. I said I thought carns were about .12 in Miami today. She said "so", these are California carnations. OK, it gives me something more to think about. It wouldn't be hard to be the largest US carnation grower again.

  5. Robert, I think you'd be wise to first work on getting people (wholesalers and others) to focus on increasing the demand to ensure that the venture would be feasible. Let us not forget the California avocado message that was extremely important (albeit missed by many!) in regard to increasing demand for all avocados (>carnations<) as a means of creating demand for those you grow. Timely words for our entire industry!

  6. Ben, California carns would be a niche product, if one could even get good cuttings. I agree with you about working to promote carnations, but I think California carns must be differentiated. Carnations have always gotten a bad rap for being too "ordinary", they are too good. They last too long, come in too many colors, are too beautiful for their price and precieved to be too "supermarket". They get no respect. If a CA grower wanted to sell on the usual commodity carnation market, California carnations would not be competitive. They would have to be promoted like Dry Creek tomatoes or Niman Ranch beef. A local, branded product percieved to be unique and special. Possible, yes. Difficult, yes.

  7. You know, my mom is the green thumb here.. I can't make a silk plant live.. haha.. but I have fun trying anyway.. *grin* ... so all her standard carnations died. She's getting older and has had to depend on someone else to water her plants (and he fell a little short let's say.) So we looked in EVERY store that sold plants.. not one single carnation, not even SEEDS! *expletive* So, I went to the old standby - the Internet. I bought seeds off of Amazon. Seeds for some outstandingly BEAUTIFUL carnations. So, there's a thought. Not only grow the flowers for sale, but maybe the seeds for sale as well - even over the Internet, which would put you on a global market. :) I personally would love to see more carnations in my local stores for sale (Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware, etc.)