Monday, April 28, 2014

Re-imagining Greenhouses

Would you like to meet here?

A week ago we held a meeting in our greenhouse.  It was in a section of one of the ranges that held old and unproductive stephanotis.  So, instead of planting more gerberas or other flowers, we are trying to figure out: are there other uses that would return more value than flowers? 

The stephanotis was not very profitable, we were only making about $600 net profit per year on a 5,000 sq ft. section.  Gerbera daisies would probably return approximately $2500 net profit for the same amount of sq ft. This does not count the costs to plant the gerbera daisies.  Since we don’t need more production for the next 8 months, we are thinking of other uses that could bring as much value as flowers back to KB.  

It might be an exercise in futility, but it will be fun trying.

The meeting was fine, but it did get a little hot during the middle of the day.  It would be easy to add more cooling via ventilation or fans.  We have discussed holding other types of events such as greenhouse dinners, cocktail receptions, corporate events, etc., to take advantage of the amazing views inside and outside.  Long term we toy with the ideas of greenhouse tours with retail space like the winery model.  

Who knows if anything will develop, but it doesn’t cost us much to try.  

We will not quit growing flowers since that is what we do.  
However, there isn’t a more beautiful greenhouse location in the United States, 
and taking advantage of the views - Pajaro Valley and Monterey Bay - should not be overlooked.


Friday, April 18, 2014


Anyone who thinks that high school kids are jaded, and don’t get excited about anything; have not witnessed the modern day prom.  Last weekend was prom at Palo Alto High School.  My daughter Maya and her friends have been planning this day for about 6 months!

Maybe a wedding includes more dress shopping and Facebook posting than prom, but maybe not.  A new development is asking which one is the new category of performance art, where one-upmanship is taken to a whole new level.  As long as it is fun and no one gets hurt, I guess it is OK, not that it matters what parents think. As for prom flowers, here are a few examples of what I saw:

Bowen’s boutonnière was done by one of KB’s salesmen, John Bagnall, who is very creative and can dress up a white mini calla nicely.

One of Maya’s good friends received a light up corsage; I thought that was a cute touch.

As much as I prefer the flower corsage, I have to give the duct tape corsage its due.

These are all great kids and they will be off to college and the rest of their life next year.  It is nice to be able to watch them have that last bit of High School fun before the next big step.

~ Robert Kitayama


Thursday, April 3, 2014

KB Gardenias Galore

We are on a campaign to give KB gardenias a better home.  
This is a sad picture from our gardenia foreman Artemio Garcia who spends a lot of time growing the finest gardenias. He is standing next to a dumpster of his “babies.”  



This is a the time of year that gardenias flourish, and you can call your KB Salesperson and get a deal on stemmed gards, select gards, sem-gards or work gardenias.  We have increased our gardenia production because we are often asked about “fragrant” flowers, and nothing is more fragrant than gardenias.  

If you believe that gardenias do not last, try our stemmed gardenias. They are cut in the bud stage and shipped with a 8-10 inch stem. You can put them in vases and they will open within 2-3 days and last another 3-4 days.  They are a great value and we can pack many in a box.  Go ahead and tell your sales person you read about stemmed gards from this blog and he or she will give you 10 cents off per stem.  Offer good through April 18th.

~ Robert Kitayama